Whenever I’m searching for a new restaurant or service and need to know if it’s worth going to, I almost always grab my phone or laptop and check Yelp. Before buying certain products, I always ask friends or family who have them already for their opinions. But when it comes to needing honest opinions and thoughts on things my friends or family don’t know about, where do I go? Where does anyone go for opinions on products, services, advice, etc., when it’s not available from someone you personally know? While the answer 10+ years ago would have been celebrity endorsements, the real truth is that we look toward influencers for those answers. Just so we’re all caught up on the same page and can eliminate the confusion, we’re defining influencers as someone on social media who has the power to affect someone else’s decision due to their perceived authority or knowledge.
I love YouTube and Instagram, anyone who knows me knows that’s no secret. Both of those platforms are made up of influencers, sharing their life hacks, tips and tricks, DIYs, fashion advice, travel diaries, product reviews, and their daily lives through videos or photos (in a nutshell). These influencers, who post about their lives, are ordinary people who are heading towards fame because of their relatability and the fact that other ordinary people feel a connection with them. In a way, influencers can feel like your friend, someone who you want to be more like, or someone who gets you and gives advice you’ve been looking for. There’s countless reasons why influencers gain a huge following and can make a career out of showcasing their lives on the Internet, but their relatability is what makes people click that subscribe or follow button.
I think it’s awesome to see somebody you relate to showing their vulnerability online. It’s so nice to see people on the Internet, showing off their lives (mostly the good and sometimes the bad), and interacting with the people who provide them the platform to have a career. By seeing what products they use, what their fashion sense is like, and what they do for fun, their followers are easily influenced just because of their relatability. We trust their opinions on products they use, products they promote, advice they give, and what restaurants/coffee shops to go to all because these influencers are real with their audience and truly love what they do.
The big “so what” in all of this is that influencers are important. Marketing campaigns that once used celebrities to promote products are now using influencers. When targeting a digital world of millennials, influencers are the ones who are connecting with the teen to young adult demographic who have grown up watching these influencers who have also grown up alongside their followers. There’s YouTubers who I have been watching since high school, who are still posting YouTube videos and making a career from what once was an Internet hobby. These same YouTubers are ones that I do take advice from (product and life), and who inspire me every single day.
We’re only seeing the beginning of influencers making their way into successful careers growing outside of Instagram and YouTube, who will be seen in marketing and digital spaces a whole lot more. The power of influencers is only at the beginning, and time will only tell what’s to come.
xx, The Influence Mvmt