Internet personalities or “Social Media Influencers” are everywhere: almost everyone you know follows or is familiar with at least one influencer. In this day and age, the Internet, or social media in particular, now serves as a hub not just for information but also for entertainment. This makes social networking platforms an attractive avenue for brands to market their products and services, especially now that the Philippines is the social media capital of the world. Being a YouTuber or Instagram Model is now accepted as a sustainable profession, and there has been a visible rise in the number of active online content creators today.
Social media influencers are like the unsung heroes of online marketing: they help brands get closer to their target and are even more effective than hiring mainstream celebrities for endorsement. As a brand, you need real people to help bring your services or products closer to your target audience. And if you don’t have the budget to hire a Hollywood actor or a Sports superstar, influencers might just be the perfect allies for you.
What’s Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing uses a combination of traditional and marketing methods with the addition of collaborating with an established online personality called an influencer. This technique is mostly content-driven, as you have to align your brand with the influencer’s niche. Among the best examples of local social media influencers are people like Jericho Arceo, who often breaks down relevant socio-cultural issues and encourages conversation about topics such as cat-calling, body-shaming, and depression; Anne Clutz, on the other hand, is known for giving in-depth and honest reviews on popular beauty products; and of course there’s Mikey Bustos who makes hilarious skits and parodies featuring Pinoy culture and tropes.
Influencers create human connections to your brand and promotes trust
Unlike mainstream actors, pop artists, or athletes, influencers interact with their followers and subscribers regularly. Some even set up exclusive mailing lists, private photo or video sharing channels, or use mobile messaging apps to help manage communications with their fans. Internet personalities are also perceived to be more authentic and relatable because most of them openly share slices of their personal lives: making their approval of products and brands come across as honest recommendations. In comparison to mainstream celebrities who often build walls to protect their privacy, influencers are much more transparent to their followers and are easier to reach.
Say, for example, a passing stranger told you that Brand X Shampoo is the best, but your best friend swears by Brand Y, which of the two are you going to side with? The same goes for your audience: people are more likely to accept suggestions that came from someone they already have a connection or a relationship with. Charismatic influencers feel more like a friend to their audience rather than a stranger, thus giving their promotions more credit.
Of course, this isn’t always the absolute truth, as numerous social media and networking influencers have been exposed to fake feedback and reviews, but a good chunk of revered online celebrities select sponsorships they can trust to avoid this or choose brands that are not directly related to their content to reduce bias and keep their integrity intact. Consider, for example, the likes of h3h3 Productions promoting Dollar Shave Club or Rhett & Link promoting Wix.com: though knowingly sponsored, subscribers are likely to support the brand anyway because both channels have built a trustworthy reputation with their paid promotions not affecting their primary content.
As a species, our innate survival instincts dictate collectivism and a need for belongingness. To be part of a group, people tend to accept what is more like them. Hence, we react better towards actual people representing a brand than a faceless corporation trying to sell to us.
Influencers encourage brand loyalty through symbiosis
Brands can piggyback on the existing relationship influencers have built with their audience. In order to show support for their favorite content creator, subscribers can instead purchase sponsored products knowing that in turn, they are helping the channel grow and profit. PewDiePie, for example, is 84 Million subscribers strong and still growing, making him viable for sponsorships. The Swedish Internet celebrity has been known to promote brands such as Origin PC, Clutch, Razer, G Fuel, and Honor. Since the YouTube algorithm is making it harder for channels to monetize videos through ad revenue, content creators like PewDiePie and smaller channels like Bobby Duke Arts or Draw with Jazza sometimes rely on brand partnerships and sales through their audience to be able to regularly produce content. In short, it’s not uncommon for brands to need influencers as much as influencers need sponsors to maintain their channels.
Influencers give you access to niche audiences
Any subculture you can think of has a thriving community and a popular figure at the helm. The beauty community has people like Jeffree Star, Tati, and Simply Nailogical; Foodies have Binging with Babish; Pop Culture enthusiasts have Film Theory and Nostalgia Critic; and people who are fond of morbid and death-related topics have Caitlin Doughty, also known as Ask a Mortician on YouTube. Depending on your brand, you can collaborate with influencers that cater to a specific niche to help promote your products or services.
Skillshare, for example, has partnered with content creators that usually demonstrate technical skills their audience is already interested in, making it easier to sell the platform as an avenue for learning. You are likely to see Skillshare promotions from art channels on YouTube, as the platform pays these influencers to teach capsule classes on their website.
All in all, influencer marketing as a whole encourages natural social interaction between your brand and your audience. When done right, it can help you gain loyal customers and a reputation that barely needs further marketing. Are you looking for influencers to help promote your brand? Or are you looking for a new platform to broadcast about your products and services? Check out EyesUP now and access a growing online community of users from around the world! It’s free, secure, and easy to use. Download EyesUP today or follow our blog for more awesome articles about the best social media trends!