As people are becoming more mobile driven it’s not surprising that companies are changing their advertising strategies to suit the mobile age. Brands, companies or even destinations are not relying on their own popularity to attract attention but instead they are looking to expand their popularity by using social media influencers.
This was the advice offered by the panellists of How To Make Friends And Influence People Panel at Travel Daze in Sydney this week.
Lauren Bath, who claims to be Australia’s first professional Instagrammer and a social media influencer herself, and Li-Chi Pan described being a social media influencer as fancy term for being Instagram or YouTube or Snapchat famous. Basically someone with a high social media following with a loyal audience, they added.
The influencer usually has an interest in what they are being hired to promote to their audience, for example a destination such as Dubai may hire a popular travel vlogger, or a makeup brand may hire a beauty guru.
As this form of marketing becomes more popular, it may become less effective, Bath cautioned, saying that audiences of social media influencers expect a balance of original content and sponsored content; they also want to know when they are being advertised to.
Though it does pay to have a social media influencer interested in a product, they have to find the balance between promotion and their regular content in the one message they send to their audience. If an audience is being constantly bombarded with sponsored content that isn’t akin to the influencer’s original, non sponsored content, then the investment made by the company is no longer relevant because it could have been done by the advertising team within the company. Bath used herself as an example of the balance between personal aesthetic and collaboration with companies and destinations.
The reason that social media influencers work as an advertising strategy is because their audience is genuinely interested in their actions or opinions. If a travel vlogger has a large subscriber count on YouTube it is more than likely that the majority of that audience is interested in travel and looks to the influencer for inspiration on destinations. Li-Chi Pan is an architecture graduate and social media influencer who combines her love of architecture and aesthetic has over 93 thousand Instagram followers who are interested in her pictures and style.