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Instagram Influencers vs Traditional Advertising - the modern evolution of consumerism

by Heidi Hewlings. Published Fri 12 Feb 2021 11:08, last updated: 12/02/21

While we while away the hours of living in lockdown online, an exponentially dominant new form of advertising is now proliferating our social media feeds...

Influencer led marketing has revolutionised the way brands target their marketing budgets.

Before the rise of social media in the mid 2000’s, brands and businesses relied soley on traditional media; such as print ads, TV ads, email campaigns and product placement to drive sales and develop brand salience and customer loyalty.

The trouble with that however, is that traditional advertising forms are not only extremely expensive and time consuming to create; but the ads do not reach the right people and target the relevant demographic.

Now Pandora's box has been opened and Instagram Influencers invaded the digital world. It's a phrase that the average high street shopper may not be completely familiar with yet... but with them popping up on TV with the label influencer - they have found their place in the pantheon of modern celebrity culture.

In layman's terms 'influencers' are Instagram users with a large following, who promote brands and product on their feeds. If you need a further dive into the world of influencer marketing and just how much planning is being put into it - check out the video above.

Influencers have reach, impact and the ultimate advertising elixir... they have nailed the Instagram algorithm – particular things that many companies have not yet mastered.

Brands can take advantage of the fact that these creators have a specific following, with a clear age range, gender majority and an audience with shared interests.

Many accounts on Instagram adopt a niche category of posts like beauty, fitness, lifestyle, and travel.

This type of platform is like gold dust to companies looking to reach a target market. Labels can guarantee the type of audience who will see their products like never before.

To put it simply, it would make more sense for a fitness company to reach out to a fitness account on Instagram to promote their product to millions of followers, than to spend thousands of pounds on a TV advert, that they can’t be sure is reaching the right fitness fanatics and their exercising eyeballs.

The same goes for beauty products, clothing pieces, jewellery and travel goods. There is a niche Instagram following out there for pretty much everything.

Being bombarded with endless ads and products claiming to be the next best thing is an all too familiar experience when scrolling through your Instagram feed.

But as tedious to some users as it may be, the proof is in the pudding. This stuff actually works.

A recent Twitter poll, revealed that one third of people admitted to buying or being tempted to buy a product they had seen advertised by an influencer.

Melissa Adams, a 21-year-old student from Liverpool said: “I’ve bought quite a lot of clothes that I’ve seen on Instagram, and also directly from influencers stories as well.

"It’s obviously because I liked the clothes and I know that they’re in fashion if an Instagram influencer is wearing it and promoting it. I do trust the people I follow and I don’t think they would advertise something that they didn’t like themselves or wasn’t worth the money.”

Billy Grove, a 24-year-old gym addict from Cornwall said: “I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been swayed from stuff I’ve seen advertised on Instagram.

"Say you wanted to try a new protein powder or something, you’re obviously going to look for recommendations first. If you see that someone with loads of followers on insta has tried it and loves it and is raving about it, then you’re going trust it more.”

Let’s face it, traditional adverting methods like TV ads will probably not die out any time soon.

But the new way for advertising is being paved by social media and may just be the solution to companies trying to increase sales and grow in popularity. If there’s one thing that’s popular in this day and age its Instagram.

How do you feel about the world of advertising paying their way into your daily scroll? Please leave a comment below.


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