Everything you need to know about Influencer Power from Logan Paul, King Bach, Kim Kardashian, Gary Vaynerchuk and Casey Neistat
The aim of marketing and PR is to get a company’s products and services in front of the right audience who will hopefully become customers. Traditionally the path to the customer was done via TV, Radio and Print (magazines, newspapers). However, the problem with today’s world is that the audience no longer watches TV as they stream YouTube video content and binge watch entire seasons of their favorite show. Today’s audience doesn’t listen to Radio but prefers Podcasts and Music streaming services. Today’s audience doesn’t read magazines and newspapers but read blogs and websites.
So how does a company get their products and services in front of the right audience in today’s world ? They turn to Influencers.
Influencers are people, of all ages, all nationalities, who create content (blogs, videos, podcast) that reach a loyal audience who not only consumes that content but also engages with the Influencer. Therefore, the term “Influencers” was created as the Content Creator has the ability to influence their audience. In the days of old – celebrities were seen endorsing products (everything from coffee to cars, to shampoos). Influencers are today’s celebrities and just like celebrities can demand large amounts of money from brands to promote their products.
Globally, companies are turning to influencers to promote, use, review and share their product or service with their audience. And influencers are getting paid handsomely to do so.
How much are influencers getting paid ?
The amount of money an Influencer can demand from a brand, will depend on factors such as the number of followers they have, the amount of engagement they have and how much their followers continue the conversation ie. discuss their content even when they are not involved. As everything online is measured, an influencer uses a site such as Social Blue Book to show a brand what their audience is worth and brands who want to reach that specific audience pay for that privilege.
Some of these Influencer rock stars are people like Logan Paul, who made almost $200 000 for one day’s worth of work with a brand shooting his own commercial and start in a YouTube Red Original Movie. Andrew Bachelor (aka King Bach) who makes 6 seconds Vine videos charged a brand $300 000 for just wearing a shirt with their logo. How can they demand such sums ? They can, as they have millions of followers who instantly watch,share and engage with any content they produce – something that brand equate to the olden “Prime Time Ad”.
Check out this revealing CBS 60 minute clip where Bill Whitaker talks to influencers such as Logan Paul, Ling Bach and Kim Kardashian about their social media experiences.
Only top Influencers get paid ?
I always say that New Mass Media is Social Media. Therefore, the opportunity that it offers is for anyone to create content, build an audience and be financially rewarded when a brand wants to engage with that audience. Influencers don’t need to be at the very top to work with brands. There are influencers who have a small but very specific niche and companies who want to engage with that audience will pay for that access. If a company sells left-handed leashes and there is an influencer who talks to the left-handed market, then they could work together.
As Gary Vaynerchuk said in that CBS interview “The person that’s the 18,417th funniest person never, ever had a shot on being on television. Now that same person has the opportunity to make $100,000 a year making skits on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat and Twitter” Gary Vaynerchuk has often said that the power of the social media allows for anyone to be a star – regardless of age. In this powerful video, he talks to people who are 52 and says “Maybe it’s not time to take up golf….they feel it’s a young man sport. It is not.”
Are Influencers effective ?
Data is tracked and traced and therefore brands, marketing, PR firms have a quantifiable ability to show how effective a campaign was with an influencer. According to a report by Augure, which examined that effectiveness of influencer marketing,
“93% of those surveyed this year are currently getting results in improving their visibility through influencer engagement strategies, compared to 7% who consider them “not effective” or “somewhat ineffective.”” and 75% of professionals consider influencer engagement effective in lead generation.
Too many Influencers can be bad
Supply and demand still drive the market and this raises several issues such as:
From a brand’s point of view:
- As anyone can create a blog, a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, it technically means that there are lots of people who call themselves “influencers” which creates an oversupply of people who create content with little quality and authenticity control. There are those who simply copy-and-paste press releases and there are those who copy other people’s work and pass it off as their own. This is bad for brand’s reputation, there is a fake or non-existent audience and brands need help in knowing who to deal with and who to avoid.
- There is no “rate card” per se. Each deal is fresh and each influencer can ask for a price that they are willing to work with.
- Influencers are not easily comparable. Influencers like Casey Neistat who has “only” 5.5 million followers isn’t comparable to with CollegeHumor who have 11.2 million subscribers. They have different audiences, different genres, different styles. Yet, when Casey gets serious on issues such a hurricanes, the upcoming elections or helping a fr – people take note! (you got to read what Casey did for Marlan here)
From an Influencer’s point of view:
- There are so many influencers who don’t value their worth’s, or their audience’s worth that they are willing to work for very little money and even for free. This means that rate for the average Influencer is being squeezed, not by brands, but by the market of fellow influencers who are driving the price down in order to get the work or even worse “exposure” (read my “Dear Brand who wants Blogger to work for free”)
There are rules – that shows power !
Kim Kardeshian has made a career by constantly being in the spotlight. This has allowed her to amass a following of over 160 million – not everyone is a fan, but most people are aware at least of who Kim is. Kim’s secret formula is getting people to watch and engage with her on various social media platforms and this has resulted in her building a brand for herself worth over $100 million.
However, with a great audience, comes great responsibility and the FTC has stepped in issuing guidelines on how influencers must disclose when they are being paid to promote a product or service. While some see this as bureaucratic nonsense and interference, the FTC essentially has confirmed the power of Influencers is real and how each one has the power to influence their audience. Historically, that was the power and responsibility of the old traditional mass media houses who ran TV, Radio and Print.