June 15, 2020
TL;DR: It’s you. Creators sway your opinion on anything and everything!
As 2019 rolled on, influencer marketing became part of the big leagues. It went from being an afterthought to being an integral part of the marketing strategy. Brands began to allocate budgets specifically for influencer campaigns.
The change happened due to two facets. One, the tools of measurement available to evaluate the success of a campaign improved. Two, the breadth of creators increased by leaps and bounds.
This year the field was set to reach deeper and greater heights. Although the pandemic did throw a wrench in those plans, the outcome was not what most people assumed it would be.
But the focus of this blog is not how influencer marketing changed in 2020 because of coronavirus. We’re tackling more basic questions – who are influencers, and what do they influence?
Who are influencers?
Any person on social media who has the power to sway the purchase decision of other social media users is an influencer.
They hold a position of authority in a given niche because they are experts in it and know the art of actively engaging their audience.
An influencer can be a friend, a colleague, a family member, a stranger or a person who taught you how to create that perfect cat-eye eyeliner!
While the most common term is influencer, a more accurate moniker is content creator because at the end of the day, that’s what they do – produce content that holds value to followers.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the real question.
Who are influencers really influencing?
Potentially, creators have the power to influence each and every person following them.
The reality is slightly skewed towards those who fall between the age group of 18 to 34, i.e., Gen Z and Millennials. These individuals put no weight and trust in old-style ads. Furthermore, they have gotten pros at sniffing them out and ignoring them. But when it comes to creators, they have implicit belief and confidence.
What do influencers really influence?
Opinions of their audience.
And when we say opinion, we don’t mean that content creators change thought processes against your will. Think of influencers as educators, who impact your buying decisions by providing you with much-needed information. You trust them because they share honest opinions about a brand, product, topic, service, etc.
Here are some stats to back that claim:
- 65% of people discover a new product or brand through a creator once in 7 days.
- 87% of people accept that they bought something after being inspired by a creator.
Now, if your question was what areas do influencers influence, then the answer is absolutely everything!
There is no niche where influencers don’t hold power, from gaming to comedy, from books to clothes, from travel to food, from charity to support of minority groups.
In each sector, you’ll find a different person holding sway. To name a few, Bhuvan Bam, Kusha Kapila, Danish Sait, Srishti Dixit, Ashley Graham, Elon Musk and his mother (we’re not kidding, Maye Musk is a true influencer).
Why do influencers hold so much power?
The present and coming generations are perpetually connected to the internet. They rarely, if ever, switch on the TV. Therefore, traditional advertising channels are ineffective. It is this gap that gave birth to influencers – people who you listen to when they say a product is awesome.
But why is it that these influencers hold such a capacity to mould opinions?
It is the absolute trust that we put in their authority and authenticity. The trust makes it harder to ignore them. So, when influencers endorse a brand, you are compelled to give it a look at least once.