From the early days of advertising, businesses have worked with celebrities in hopes to reach a wider audience – creating the basis of influencing.
But, since the rise of the digital age, influencers have sparked from all over the world becoming a new type of brand ambassador. Undoubtedly, the 2016 ‘beauty YouTube’ era saw an uprising in influencer marketing – bringing in millions of dollars profit to big beauty brands.
The glamorous side of being an influencer showcases receiving products for free – in which they share their honest or biassed view on the product to their followers. But a survey that researched social trends by a social media management platform, Hootsuite, found that social marketers are experiencing a defining moment in history. The power of promoting brands are in the hands of influencers – professionally known as content creators or social media influencers.
The not so glamorous side of influencing
But creators aren’t receiving as much money as you think. The survey found that most organisations do not go through agencies to find influencers. It indicated that, “28 percent of brands that work with creators do so through agencies or third-party platforms.” This means that for small businesses, they are less overhead and more in control of who they choose to hire as a content creator allowing them to negotiate.
On average, influencers get paid less than US$100 for each post. The survey results outlined that without paying the creators fairly, “marketers jeopardise their future of the creator economy.” However, it also outlined that for small businesses, creators are cost effective as they are able to research the market for creators within their budgets.
Shockingly, most influencers accept products or freebies as a means of getting paid for their content.
Director of integration strategy of Energy BBDO, Leah Gritton explains the reasons why small businesses are reluctant in incorporating influencer marketing. “ With the recession, with COVID, and just being more financially pinched… marketing dollars always get cut. When we’re strapped for resources, creators become a very appealing tool for marketers.” But the survey highlights that small business owners should lean on the creators that might be abandoned by large businesses due to cuts.