So, we all do it, don’t we? Out shopping, we pick up a brand someone’s recommended because we can’t deal with all the choice? Or we go out to grab a recommended brand simply because of word of mouth?
Pictured above: Alisha Marie and her ever growing vlog channel on YouTube
Well, there is now something new that has been entering our social media feeds: The use of influencer marketing – studies show that people are now trusting influencers as much as their friends. If someone is perceived as a ‘social media star’ they are more trusted by consumers over what brands are communicating. Brands will need to introduce this emerging trend to increase their success of interaction with its audience or risk losing out. A survey showed that 84% of marketers are already implementing influencer marketing campaigns this year. The analytics firm Annalect conducted a study, finding that 40% of people have purchased an item online after seeing it recommended by an influencer on social media. As we all know, if Kylie Jenner wears it the whole world seems to have to have it.
Pictured above: Kylie Jenner showcasing her new merch using the platform Instagram
In this era, there are a lot of ‘new type’ celebrities – people who have a large social media following, beauty vloggers for one being a great example. This means the number of these ‘influencers’ are increasingly rapidly. YouTube is one of the main social medias platforms to adapt to using this trend. A Google study uncovered that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they are relating to these vlogger stars over the ‘traditional celebrity.’ YouTubers share everything in their lives from making their morning cup of tea, to break ups. This further engages their audience and creates strong ties with them. We trust their opinions because we see them as ‘humans’ making this trend more powerful. I know this works, as my bathroom cabinet would show. I’m a sucker for the ‘shinier hair shampoo’ and ‘perfect contour’ products I see displayed so effectively on my own feed.
This increase of social media ‘superstars’ leads onto a new trend of Instagram takeovers – just to endorse these brands further. These takeovers are a great way for brands to collaborate with influencers by cross-promoting content to promote a product or an event and it is one of the latest PR trends in the world of social media. Someone with a large social following takes over a brands account temporarily – particularly used within cosmetic brands. It promotes products, boosts engagement and gains the brand followers from the influencer….and of course gives their social media team a break! Brands who do this well are Sephora, who used superstar twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to promote their new ‘Elizabeth and James’ fragrance.
Pictured above: The Olsen twins whilst taking over Sephora’s instagram.
If Instagram takeovers are strategically planned they can become a valuable marketing strategy.
It seems all social media are introducing these takeovers – blogger Dara Fontein thinks snapchat takeovers are the new fun, engaging way to showcase a brand through a “pair of fresh hands.” Snapchat takeovers tend to produce a raw view of the brand, acting more as if it were one of your friends – particularly targeting millennials. Social Media Today say that this technique is so successful as we see the brand for what it could be in our own lives. Victoria Secret has demonstrated this trend perfectly. As snapchat takes a leap into advertising, they used their Angel ambassadors to show product launches and events. Giving behind the scenes access to their latest photoshoots, this provided some personality and authenticity to the brand for its snapchat viewers. We’d all love the lifestyle of a VS Angel, right?
Pictured above: An example of the VS angels taking over the Victoria Secret Snapchat
It is however important to get the right influencer to take over, someone who can present the brands values effectively and encouraging new followings and motivating followers to increase their activity.
This trend of social media takeovers is on the rise; it gives brands a great opportunity to reach new audiences as both parties have their own following. It gives brands a great opportunity to humanize themselves – when strategically planned. It is constantly increasing and moving its way more frequently into our social media feeds. This trend has even reached the smaller social platforms like Musical.ly who now shows influencer content. Takeovers offer companies much more promotion, whilst not being one of the ads you see online and click away. This new trend allows viewers to see these influences and enjoy the content, whilst engaging audiences with new brands successfully.
Have you ever been influenced by one of the above techniques? If so I would love to know! Tweet me @ZoeRollinsPR