Blog Post 2: Branding Breakdown- Influencer Marketing

For this session I have started to develop a research/ information based blog on Influencer Marketing for social users to gage further understandings of the operations behind this field. With this I will post about the methods and strategies brands implement to attract us into buying products.  I look to use my research behind this topic to enlighten readers on how this form of marketing has both positive and negative attributes. Throughout my posts I will explore this notion trust for consumers as well as the distribution of authentic products.

For my upcoming project I am looking to produce around 6 posts. The sources I look to utilise throughout these posts include:

Post 1: What makes an Influencer?

Planning out this post I utilised Kristien Forbes’s journal article on the examination of the beauty industry and the use of social influencers. As Forbes works under the Strategic Communications for Elon University I found her article to be a great source for developing this post. Although there were many sources that discuss what makes up these influencers, her example of linking the beauty industry to these marketing techniques breakdowns these strategies with a successful example. This article also touches on new forms of monetization and payment methods from these posts, diving deeper into why some of these individuals choose to promote unethical products. Freberg, Graham and McGaughey’s 2010 paper on social media influencers and the study of public perceptions of personality is another source that I found very helpful for this post. Stating that “ social influencers represent a type of third-party endorser, shaping audience attitudes” (2010) the article looks to discuss the influences behind popularity on social media and how these individuals achieving fame. Although I am not an influencer myself, these papers are  useful as they act as a way to uncover this lifestyle, helping us understand how these influencers are developed. This information will also be beneficial for my presentation as it acts as a way to describe and introduce the topic to individuals who are not familiar with this marketing strategy.

Post 2: Research on Influencer Marketing? What makes it more effective over others?

For this  post I look to use sources that highlight the effectiveness of influencer marketing for brands. ‘Mediakik.com’ is is the main source I look to use to build this post. The sites research provides statistics and data to help support and strengthen my arguments, reporting that total spending on Instagram influencers in 2017 amounted to $1 billion, and projects that advertisers will spend $1.60 billion on Instagram influencers in 2018 and $2.38 billion in 2019. The use of this research will showcase how these social platforms are growing at a prodigious rate, highlighting the effectiveness of these advertising channels for brands.  Another aspect of this source highlights the user reach and income made off these posts. An example I look to use through ‘Mediawix’ research is celebrities platforms like ‘Beyonce, The Rock or Justin Beiber’ as they are currently the most expensive influencers, charing up to ”$1 million to share a sponsored post with her 106 million followers. Utilizing these statistics and sources throughout my upcoming presentation will look to highlight effectiveness of this marketing as well as the power these individuals have.

Post 3: Testing Analytics on Instagram- Are these suggested products something I would actually purchase? Are they correctly catered towards my likes? 

For the post I plan to use my own Instagram analytics to showcase how these social platforms track and use our online activity to sell product. The Guardians, Danny Bradbury’s article ‘Effective Social Media Analytics’ is a source that I will be looking at whilst conducting this experiment. Touching on our digital footprint, Bradbury’s paper looks at the increase of our online data trail and how these business look at diverse parts of our analytics, depending on their goals. What I found the most interesting in his research is his discussion on tracking customers and prospects on social media to see what keywords they are discussing, therefore folding those keywords and concepts into adverts, updates or tweets to target that audience. I feel this experiment will be great to display in my presentation as well as it will give my classmates and opportunity to understand these analytic processes as well as creating awareness for patterns throughout their own social platforms.

Post 4 & 5: How to spot an authentic post? & Examples and research on unethical brands:

I wanted to create and step by step guide for audiences to discover more about these posts and how they play with notions of trust. Doing some investigation I have found a great example with the teeth whitening company ‘Hismile’ and their unethical practices. With this research I am going to be incorporating the social platforms of influencers to use as examples of these unethical practices. This post is one of the most important throughout my blog as it looks to use research collected from influencers themselves ‘exposing’ these brands. I definitely feel this angle will connect with audiences the most as were the people affected by these posts. Although I plan to go in-depth throughout my blog, I also plan to touch on this throughout my presentation as a way of drawing people to visit the blog so they can read the full story.

Post 6: Short Interviews – Asking students questions on if they have purchased items recommended by an influencer and why?

Throughout my research I wanted to conduct a small portion of interviews with people from different ages to gage if they have been persuaded/ have purchased items promoted by an influencer through these social platforms. Raymond Opdenakker Online Journal ‘Qualitative Social Research (2006)’ is a source that I looking to use to ensure I get the most out of my interviews. With the source highlighting both the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative research,  I am planning on using these techniques as a guide to avoid future problems when conducting my research. Opdenakker’s discussion of different interviews styles has boarded the scale of individuals I originally looked at using for my data, with his techniques surpassing face to face interviews and moving towards a more social and online basis. As this project is based around online content I definitely feel this will be a smart approach to both this post and the overall project.

References:

  1. Bradbury, D. (2013). Effective social media analytics. [online] Available at: The Guardian. (2013). Effective social media analytics. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/10/effective-social-media-analytics [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018]. [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].
  2. HiSmile. (2018). Teeth Whitening Kits | Whitens in 10 Minutes | HiSmile. [online] Available at: https://hismileteeth.com/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].
  3. Forbes, K. (2016). Examining the Beauty Industry’s Use of Social Influencers. Strategic Communications -Elon University. [online] Available at: https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/communications/journal/wp-content/uploads/sites/153/2017/06/08_Kristen_Forbes.pdf [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018]
  4. Freberg, K., Graham, K., McGaughey, K., & Freberg, L. A. (2011). Who are the social media influencers? A study of public perceptions of personality. Public Relations Review, 37(1), 90-92. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2010.11.00
  5. Lee Saunders, B. (2018). Twitter Status. [online] Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/britt_saunders/status/983211704564662272 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018]
  6. Mediakix | Influencer Marketing Agency. (2017). The Biggest Instagram Influencer Statistics Reshaping Social. [online] Available at: http://mediakix.com/2017/09/instagram-influencer-statistics-shaping-social/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018]
  7. Opdenakker, R. (2006). Advantages and Disadvantages of Four Interview Techniques in Qualitative Research. [online] Qualitative-research.net. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/175/391%26sa%3DU%26ei%3DFdsJTdDCGYOnrAer0YjVDg%26ved%3D0CP4BEBYwXg%26usg%3DAFQjCNEsC2J0wILvNuH7LEhQaA2znBkKvw [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].

 

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