(Schwartz, 2024)

How long have influencers been around? Well, according to some historians, they have been around since 105 BCE. Roman gladiators participated in highly anticipated fights and were advertised throughout the city on billboards. The more famous gladiators rose to celebrity status and promoted products like oil, wine, and weaponry (Schwartz, 2024). Celebrities and athletes have been the consistent influencers for quite some time. Today, we are seeing a different version of influencers that have completely changed the game and started a new trend when it comes to advertising.
The influencers that I am bringing up in this discussion are not celebrities or athletes. Instead, these are individuals who have made a name for themselves by posting mostly short video clips of them doing things that other individuals find entertaining or fascinating to watch. Over time, they grow their audience and have the ability to reach millions of people as followers or subscribers on various social media platforms. In this modern world of marketing, influencers bridge the gap between consumers and brands by offering an authentic approach and trust. When they reach this status in popularity they gain the trust of their followers. Companies notice this and have them use or talk about their products to attract those followers. According to Oracle, 80% of consumers have purchased products due to influencers on social media (Oracle, 2022). Gen Z and Millenials are twice as likely to trust influencers over the Boomers. These generations trust social media influencers over the brands themselves which has allowed influencers to have such an impact on traditional TV advertising. So, the question is, what are these influencers doing?
"So, the question is, what are these influencers doing?"
Several influencers were interviewed and they all had different strategies.
Authenticity - Typically, content produced by influencers is based on what is authentic and easily relatable to their audience, and this goes a long way in fostering trust and boosting user involvement. Content creators have always found ways of putting the brand’s message or product into the content in such a manner that it does not feel like an ad but a genuine recommendation that their audience would value.
Engagement and Interaction - Social media is a common medium that allows influencers to interact with their audience since they usually reply to comments and messages, hold live Q&A sessions, and contribute actively to discussions; these measures further reinforce the bond between an influencer and his or her followers.
Audience Alignment - The brand often takes into account the demographics of the influencer’s audience to ensure that it corresponds with its target market, thereby maximizing the potential number of viewers.

(Ngamnithiporn, n.d.)

Content Collaborations - The involvement of brands in their collaboration with influencers is the idea of combining forces to come up with a product that promotes the brand’s products and services through an artistic and entertaining channel. A typical way in which this collaboration takes place involves allowing influencer creators full creative freedom to create content that reflects their style and resonates with audiences.
Measurement and Analytics - In measuring the performance of influencer marketing campaigns, brands use different parameters like engagement rates, reach, impressions, and conversion rates. Following a data-driven methodology in this area ensures that brands can gauge the value of their marketing campaigns and improve their strategies for enhanced outcomes.

(Phanthura, n.d.)

The introduction of influencer marketing into business and consumer interaction changes the roles of both participants by giving brands a human face and making them more connected. Instead of creating ads in mass form, consumers receive suggestions from the people they trust and respect. This creates a sense of belonging that can help promote not only brand loyalty but also good relations between companies and customers.
We can say that influencer marketing has become an effective mechanism allowing brands to communicate and make contact with consumers in a highly trustworthy and interesting fashion. By using the influence and trustworthiness of individuals on social media, companies can establish stronger ties with their target audience, which in turn increases brand visibility, retention rate, and sales.
Oracle. (2022). 37% of Consumers Trust Social Media influencers over brands. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/37-of-consumers-trust-social-media-influencers-over-brands-301538111.html
Schwartz, Q. (2024). Ancient Roman Billboard. Grin. Retrieved from https://grin.co/blog/the-history-of-influencer-marketing
Schwartz, Q. (2024). The fascinating history of influencer marketing. Retrieved from https://grin.co/blog/the-history-of-influencer-marketing/

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