Universiti Malaya – Wales

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By Shawal Ras, School of Communication


Earlier this month, the whole world was buzzing about the new Netflix show, Emily in Paris, which sparks intense conversations on the Internet about cultural representation, and hegemony.

The series, starring Lily Collins as the titular character, tells a story of a young American girl who was given the chance to work as a digital marketeer at a traditional PR agency in Paris, and while being alone in the City of Love, she created a massive impact on her Instagram with her creative postings. The moment the series dropped on Netflix, there was a sudden surge of how the French and American were satirized in the show. But despite all that conversation, there’s also sudden talk about how impactful influencers can be in marketing a certain brand. 


Social media influencers now play a pivotal role in marketing for a wide range of brands. Whether it’s endorsing a hijab, high heels, or something as obscure as super sensitive testicular shaver – there’s a digital influencer for every product. And this is not new. More businesses are jumping on the influencer bandwagon as it often means better outreach. But how do influencers actually ‘influence’? Below are some of the several impacts of influencer marketing


Brand Awareness


One of the key benefits of using social media celebrities is their solid understanding of their own channel. Social media is nothing like advertising. The content is straightforward, simple, and it engages with the audience, hence creating more impact than a million-dollar billboard ad. Just look at TikTok influencers; a simple 15-second video of “Sam to the Beat” by Bella Poarch, or a silly caption of a photo, can easily generate more brand awareness than traditional media. 


Strong Consumer Relationship


Consumer-brand relationships can take years to develop but with the right approach through influencer marketing, brands can easily get new consumers. How? Consumers are more likely to trust recommendations by their peers as it is considered more trustworthy than a branded advertisement. Influencers, with the right approach and right demographic, can be very powerful. If a product is accepted within his or her circle, that can immediately boost the brand’s reputation just by connection. 


Better Buying Decision


Social media influencers are great storytellers. Go through any influencer’s social media content and look at how they talk about brands. Without sounding like a salesman, they create in-depth content and conversation, and they cover every question consumers tend to ask when they’re looking at a product. Influencers gained their status by making “friends” on the internet. Reliability creates trust among followers.


So is influencer marketing here to stay? With the ability to connect personally and develop more committed followings than all but the savviest of brands, you can bet your bottom dollar it is.