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Influencer Marketing: History, Evolution, and the Future

Evolution of the Influencer

Social media influencers: that’s a real thing? Since social media became the preferred method for communicating for many people back in 2004, many of us can’t imagine our lives without it. One thing that social media has definitely changed for the better is that it has democratized who gets to be famous, or at least well-known.

Up until recently, we had to rely on movies, magazines, and television shows to tell us who was famous. Now people can make use of social media to become well known in their field of interest. If you want to become internet famous for makeup tutorials, there’s a community for that!

This also means that people can now make a living by using social media. You can build up a following within a community, become well known for your knowledge base in said community, and then open yourself up to the opportunities that are out there for influencer posts.

This lifestyle is not without regulations, though, despite the fact it is basically a brand new industry. The FCC wants to ensure that people know they are looking at advertisements, so that’s why you will often see Sponsored Content splashed across blog posts or #ad in an Instagram post.

Nevertheless, people tend to find social media influencers more trustworthy than paid celebrity spokespersons – 70% of teens say that YouTubers are more relatable than celebrities, while 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as the ones they get from family and friends.

Nevertheless, people tend to find social media influencers more trustworthy than paid celebrity spokespersons – 70% of teens say that YouTubers are more relatable than celebrities  Tweet This!, while 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as the ones they get from family and friends.

To quote Seth Godin, People can “smell the agenda of a leader”. This has never been more true when it comes to influencer marketing. To maintain fiercely loyal fans, you must love and believe in what you’re endorsing. Mari Smith quoted by John White, How the Rise of Influencers Like Lilly Singh and Andrew Bachelor Have Disrupted Advertising

Learn more about the evolution of the influencer from this infographic!

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Download a Sponsored Marketing Whitepaper:

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This comprehensive guide includes nearly 300 technology vendors in areas as diverse as social media, influencers and advanced ad tech solutions. Download Now


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