The Power of Influencers

By: Elliana Meinert

Influencers. We’ve all heard of them, and many of us follow them on multiple social media accounts. Everyone has seen or responded to influencer marketing whether they know it or not. From celebrities to everyday people, influencers have taken over all social media platforms with their vast followings. They are people who have spent time building their own brand and reputation, cultivating a refined audience.

Influencer marketing is one of the main tactics companies use nowadays to help acquire consumers. The ultimate result of an influencer marketing campaign is the collaboration between the brands and the influencers themselves. By using their following to help brands gain recognition, influencers have become a component factor in bringing in revenue. People tend to trust what other people have to say, as opposed to mainstream advertising or corporations. Finding the right person to promote one’s services or products can be a long process, but within any industry, there are influential people who are recognized by tens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.

The impact these people can have with their following is incredible. Influencers have the power to determine whether or not individuals purchase a certain product or follow a specific brand. They are portrayed as figures we strive to be, and their goal is to make particular companies more attractive and appealing to consumers. People generally follow influencers because their content is informative, trustworthy, entertaining, and generally aspirational.

Kylie Jenner, for example, is a celebrity influencer who makes an estimated $1 million per sponsored post on her Instagram. This makes her the highest paid celebrity influencer on the social media platform, according to the 2018 Instagram Rich List. This is an extreme case, while many influencers are not celebrities. Many of them are individuals who have a strong following and whom people look up to, while not being considered a “celebrity.” These people are also known as micro-influencers. Brands tend to lean toward micro-influencers when they are looking to establish longer and more meaningful partnerships. They turn to influencers with a lower reach who fit the style of their image, helping create a more genuine product. Most of this influencer marketing takes place on Instagram, since it’s the most favored platform.

Authenticity is a major component in influencer marketing. Influencers need to be able to create content that people can identify with, so anything they create needs to come off as sincere. Even though having a large number of followers is beneficial, the number of followers an influencer has does not directly correlate with their true audience engagement. True influencers drive action not just awareness. They share their passions as well as acting as a voice of the people. Monitor what influencers are talking about and know that whatever they are saying is being heard.

Instagram: @ellimeinert

Twitter: @ellimeinert24

Linkedin: Elliana Meinert

This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. I agree with you in that influencers are at such an all time high and it’s an entirely new business that is thriving. As someone who follows Kylie Jenner and enjoys her content, I feel like it is important to have a certain understanding on the type of influencer you are following. For example, I know a lot of people don’t like her or her family, but I look at them as fashion icons and pure entertainment. They are constantly up with the new trends and always post new ideas I find fascinating. I think it’s important to have a healthy balance of understanding the purpose of influencers and what they do. Meaning, I feel like you shouldn’t follow Kylie if you don’t enjoy fashion or that kind of entertainment because that is the type of person she is and what she is known for. Like you said, authenticity is really important, which I feel is translated through snapchat especially because it is in such real time, which people enjoy because it comes across as more relatable.

  2. Isabelle Shattuck says:

    Hi Elliana,

    I really enjoyed your view on influencers roles in our lives; it is very true that we all follow them and they help us consume brands products. People allow themselves to become so absorbed in what influencers are promoting and who they are promoting for. It is also very smart of these brands to invest in this niche market since this is currently where a lot of advertising is happening. By having people with high profile accounts like Kylie Jenner does make a difference in the industry, since many girls look at her as a role model and want to be like her. I also really liked your ending point telling that we should be monitoring influencers conversations and understanding the conversation to ensure that they are authentic.

  3. Natalie Stone says:

    Hi Elli,

    I really enjoyed your post about authenticity when it comes to influencer marketing. This has been quite a hot topic recently as Instagram is cracking down on sponsored content and paid partnerships. I am interested to hear what you think about posts when they are sponsored, and how do you draw the conclusion of if the influencer is being authentic or not? Often I find myself questioning if my favorite Youtube actually has been using Dove shampoo and conditioner forever? And why is this the first time I’ve seen something on her feed about it? I think the line can be challenging to draw, but I am interested to hear what you think about smaller/micro-influencers and their brand deals?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Natalie S.

  4. Holly Walden says:

    Elliana,
    Personally I don’t follow influencers because I don’t believe any of them are authentic. I don’t particularly like the idea of people getting paid to sell something to me over social media. The problem is, is that I would like to be in public relations. I will have to utilize influencers and appreciate them more so on the business side. I find it interesting when you said that it doesn’t matter the number of followers but how many people actually engage with the influencer.

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