Written by Tina Dahmen
The 3 Stages of Advertising Explained and What Influencer Marketing Actually Means
So first things first. Everyone around you is an influencer including yourself. May it be your mother, your father, your grandma, your boyfriend or your high school teacher. A blogger is an influencer, the media, and the news are influencers and so are the adverts in London’s tube station when we go up the escalator.
We are being influenced by everything around us and everything around us is being influenced by us.
And this new game, so-called “Influencer Marketing” is all about taking this influence online and reaching more people with our message and story.
Social media can be both; evil and good. And this is your chance to take positive advantage of those platforms, transform your life and monetise your presence like a boss.
Let’s be grateful for a second and thank social media for its existence. It has revolutionized the way we socialize and communicate. And we must take advantage of it.
We have even started to build entire communities online, like The Biz Heroes, where people meet up to socialize, to discuss life and business.
Looking back in history, we had a few major revolutions happening through social media.
May it be the Arab Spring in Egypt that has been triggered and set on fire by a user tweeting about the happenings on the streets, or may it be the rise of social movements such as the #metoo or #blacklivesmatter movement.
The latter has become one of the largest social movements in the entire history of social media. #blacklivesmatter has been used more than 12 million times which makes it the third most-used hashtag on Twitter around a social cause.
Simply ask the selfie generation to once again turn their cameras on themselves, but infuse that act with a higher purpose” and you have a recipe for success.
TechCrunch author, Sarah Perez
Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Since 2014, mostly due to social media, the ALS Association has raised more than $115 million for research towards Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Hundreds of thousands of people paid attention to this challenge, including celebrities like President Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, and Sheryl Sandberg.
Within 15 days after this challenge was kicked off, the ALS raised $15 million in donations. This is called viral content and brands could be able to repeat this virtually in the future.
This particular challenge can be seen as a blueprint for achieving virtual success via social media platforms.
Celebrities will become less relevant for the influencer marketing sector as the real value lies in the so-called ‘word of mouth’ recommendations.
Imagine seeing JLO posting about a specific make up product or restaurant and you aren’t *really* sure if she actually uses those brands or if she just does it to get paid.
Now imagine your old friend from high school or any other (micro) influencer you follow on Instagram for instance, would post the same.
Who would you trust more and follow their recommendation? Most people would say their friend, as it seems more authentic and real. Sounds logical, right?
This is why authenticity and honesty are such viable aspects of influencer marketing. ONLY promote products and services which you actually believe in and which you actually like yourself.
Everything else is suicide. It’s a quick bug but your followers will get to know you over time and they can tell what’s genuine advice and what isn’t.
Social media has changed the way we consume news, it has changed perceptions on who we trust and who we don’t trust. In a way, social media has given huge power to ‘the small man’.
Instagram has been the number one platform where influencers are present and it has ALSO been the number one platform where brands and businesses are looking to advertise.
Do you want to learn how to monetise your presence on those platforms? You can check out my signature course ‘The InstaLeverage Course’ here.
Now, let’s take a step back in time. Remember the good old days where we all used to read a magazine?
After traditional advertising died, the industry shifted completely to digital advertisement. Smartphones quickly became a thing and today we are clued to these devices 24/7.
If we are not checking out Facebook or Instagram feeds on our phones, we are most likely watching some Youtube videos on our desktops, or are reading Quora on our Ipads. Advertising goes where people hang out.
Magazines are being taken online, there is little hope for print magazines to survive for too much longer in the industry. It is not going to happen with the number of free resources we can access today online. So, magazines turned into blogs.
Even National Geographic Traveler now stopped printing the US version of the magazine and they are more focusing on digital content. And here the online advertising era was born.
When I was a teenager, the “BRAVO” was my favorite magazine. I could not wait until a new version of the magazine came out- every Wednesday.
My favorite section in the magazine was ‘The Dr. Sommer’ section – a team of doctors who would brighten up (us) teenagers every week about sexuality. A topic which was very taboo in my village, in my parent’s house, and in my friend’s parents’ houses (they didn’t have a clue how to talk to us about topics like this).
We grew up in a very conservative environment. So, the BRAVO quickly became our go-to place to learn more about our natural thrives – it was our trusted (and only!) source of information at the time. (This is why it’s so important for you to choose a niche, more to this later).
Obviously, the magazine made money through sponsored posts and advertisements. Back then, it was THE PLACE to advertise, let’s say CDs from Bon Jovi or The Kelly Family, the latest fashion for teenagers or the latest coolest lipstick. Whatever teenagers were interested in, this was the place to advertise, as we were their exact target audience.
Now, take the previous explanation and just move it online. Today we can do absolutely everything with our phones and therefore are clued to them. The minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed, we check our phones.
Congratulations if you have overcome this crazy habit yet. (Btw, we do have a 30 days no screens in bed challenge implemented into our platform at The Biz Heroes, you should check us out 😉 )
Any social media platform’s business model is making money through advertising and it has never been easier to reach your target audience.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Snapchat and now Tik Tok, you name it, everyone is collecting data in order to be able to deliver better-targeted ads.
This was a good catch for advertisers until consumers started to implement advertisement blockers on their devices because feeds are being flooded with ads that it is not even funny anymore. Now, it became super expensive for companies to advertise and super overwhelming for consumers to take in that content.
R.I.P. Online Advertising. Hello Influencer Marketing.
Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing advertising channel and for a good reason. Google searches for influencer marketing have grown by 1500% in the past four years.
It’s been predicted to become a $15 billion industry by 2022.
Brands are preparing bigger budgets to invest in the new channel of advertising, as it is more cost-effective as well as the ROI (return on investment) is a lot higher.
What do you think, how does influencer marketing and sponsored digital marketing differ from each other?
Look at those two photos.
Which one is more appealing to you right now? Well if you are saying the left, then you are taking the p*, obviously.
Not only because I am wearing a red bathing suit (and look super hot in), no.
Also, because my post is not a sponsored ad by a company that tries to get into your newsfeed (and Instagram gave them permission to do so).
You like my post much better because:
- You followed me because you like me for some reason and you gave me permission to be in your newsfeed
- My post is authentic and it shows me doing something that I like (in case you don’t follow me yet and don’t know what the heck I am talking about, I document my (travel) life on this Instagram account where I promote luxury places & adventure travel, and my business knowledge and value bombs are being dropped on this Instagram account.
- I am a real person, you know me and you are feeling a desire to be that person in the pool
Result: You (my audience) trust me more instead of a sponsored post by a company which just pops up on your feed.
Here are just a few reasons why you should become an influencer and why companies decide to work with influencers instead of pouring their money in (almost) useless ads:
- We can build trust much quicker
- We can improve companies awareness
- We can enrich a brand’s content strategy
- We can reach their target audience effectively (they save a lot of money through advertising with influencers)
- We provide amazing value to our audience
- We can build winning long term partnerships and benefit from this in the long run.
That’s why you must have your online persona figured out, your values and your entire brand and should never just advertise for everyone.
Your audience will feel it when you start to promote places or products that you aren’t really a fan of and this just backfires on you. Don’t do it.
We will discuss all of this and many more topics all-around influence in The Influencer Bible.
Find out more about how influencers can make money and how you can do so too.
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