The Rise of Influencers

By Hayley Williamson

Over the years, we have seen more and more influencers begin to pop up on our social media feed. They cover topics ranging from health and beauty to lifestyle and fitness. With any topic you can think of, you can find an influencer. Across platforms like Instagram and YouTube, they share their lives with us, and viewers and followers begin to consider the influencers in their lives as people whose opinion they can trust. That trust is what makes influencing into a full time job, as companies want to utilize the significant following and influence these people have to market their products.

In a recent article, Forbes discusses marketing trends to pay attention to in 2020. The first one being influencer marketing. Although this is not a new concept, the article highlights the possible shift from working with macro-influencers, such as beauty influencer James Charles, to micro-influencers with a smaller, but possibly closer, following.

Working with smaller influencers allows brands to gain access to a more specific niche market and to reach a following that is highly influenced by the micro-influencers they follow. Up and coming brands will gain more exposure and possibly an increase in sales of their product due to the higher level of trust people often have with smaller scale influencers.

As the world of influencers only continues to grow and change, new platforms begin to appear as well. Tik Tok is the fastest growing social media platform, according to Forbes, and has been taken over by influencers. Being a Tik Tok influencer can now become your full time job too, as popular users on the platform often receive gifting from brands and engage in influencer marketing like those on platforms such as Instagram. Tik Tok also reaches a a younger age demographic as well, with 60% of the active users ranging from ages 16 to 24, making it a good platform to market to younger generations.

The world of influencers will continue to grow as social media and the trends that come with it do too.

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This Article Has 3 Comments
  1. Brandon Yee says:

    Hi Hayley,

    I really enjoyed your perspective on the growing trend of influencer marketing. As someone who is not a significant user of various social media platforms, I was surprised to find myself reflecting on some of the purchases I have been persuaded into making recently due to influencers. The growth and reach of influencers is truly incredible considering how disconnected our personal networks were just a decade ago. Keeping all of that in mind, I am still a skeptic as to the legitimacy of making a living as an influencer long-term. As trends change, audiences age and platforms consolidate and then fracture, how are influencers going to adapt and continue to earn a living wage off of being an influencer? I find this idea of the next generation pushing to be an influencer a potentially dangerous trend that will harm our culture and workforce in future years.

  2. Jaden Watkins says:

    Hayley,

    I enjoyed reading your piece and you definitely made some important points! I think influencer marketing is crucial to pay attention to right now, and that there are both pros and cons to its growing popularity. I personally follow and look to influencers for product and brand advice when their values align with mine, we have similar lifestyles and taste, and I believe that I can trust this influencer. It’s insane how big influencer marketing has become and how much influencers they can now contribute to companies. There are even companies out there strictly aiming to align influencers with businesses, one being The Influence Movement. The Influence Movement strives to bring together brands and influencers while making sure these influencers platforms are being positively impacted, through events and a podcast. This company brings to light how powerful influencers have become and how what they promote can influence hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. I agree with you that influencers and influencer marketing will continue to grow, and that it’s important to realize how we are responding to it.

  3. Katie Corah says:

    Brands using influences to promote themselves has become the new norm. Celebrities are no longer people but promoters and cannot brand themselves as a human being with their own interests and goals. It’s crazy that an app like TikTok can create celebrities, influencers and basically become a job for someone just to post a 15-second video of them dancing to the same song over and over.

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