Have fashion bloggers and Instagram influencers taken over the traditional marketing landscape for women? Why is it so easy to trust a stranger’s preferences? How can we idolize people so much that we have never met? This is the age of social media influencers and if companies have not jumped on the promotional bandwagon, they will.
Admittedly, I was reluctant to follow my first fashion blogger two years ago on Instagram because I wondered, “Why do I care about seeing their life? I don’t know them or anything about them.” I quickly changed my opinion and learned why those influencers have so many followers and people who are interested in their life and opinions.
My first blogger that I followed, and still my favorite, was Amber Fillerup Clark. Her blog is called “Barefoot Blonde” and she posts mostly about beauty, fashion, hair, fitness, travel, and being a mom. She seems to have the absolute dream life and everything that I hope to become one day. I cannot begin to hypothesize about all of the reasons why we as humans are so fascinated by following every aspect of another’s life, but I can testify that this method of “social media marketing” speaks to me and many of my peers.
While I think most followers of these lifestyle and fashion bloggers are aware that they get paid for posting the products, somehow, we still trust and believe that these are good solid recommendations, as if they were from a close friend or family member. In this age where there are SO many bloggers in the realm of social media trying to make their penny off of phony sponsored posts, the handful of these individuals that have gained their followers’ trust are influencing purchases and opinions.
I am a walking example. Just this week, I have purchased three items that bloggers that I follow posted on their Instagram stories and added, “swipe up” to the image. This somewhat new feature immediately takes me to the website where I can complete my purchase, making it as simple and easy as possible. Are the days of traditional advertising for beauty products and fashion over? How much more of a return are these companies seeing from the promotional marketing efforts through sponsorships on Instagram, as opposed to the other marketing efforts?
I do not have the answers but I would be curious to find out the impact that sponsorship is having on company’s revenue. Almost every item that Amber posts sells out within hours. Her following of 1.3 million may seem small compared to the large population, but relative to consumer products, her posts influence many purchase decisions. It is shocking (yet impressive) that huge companies are paying various influencers, with relatively large or small followings, to do their promoting for them. With the way this trend is headed, it seems as if promotions from bloggers may greatly impact the social media-marketing world that we know today.
Just today, Amber Fillerup Clark posted a makeup tutorial and I have made a note on my phone to go purchase 4 of the products she used in her videos on her Instagram story. I had no desire for new highlighter, blush, lipstick, and powder, but now, I am dying to have them and excited to add them to my makeup routine. How can her posts be so effective? The power of these social media influencers seem to be altering the marketing landscape and I am eager to see if the impacts fade or continue to become more and more prevalent in advertising in the future.