As Lazarsfeld, Berelson, Gaudet, Katz and Rogers observed, the opinion leaders, or influencers, are key to spreading the word about new products and services. These influencers are generating an income from their online following and, according to Forbes.com (O’Connor, 2017), a paid-for social media post can be very lucrative, with fees of $25,000 paid to a top yoga teacher (e.g. Rachel Brathen) for their endorsement or $3000 to $5000 paid to a recognised fitness instructor.
The fees can be higher for specific social media platforms where they have greater numbers of followers and fans, for example:
• $300,000 for a YouTuber with 7 million subscribers or more
• $200,000 for Facebook
• $150,000 for Instagram
In our digital age, as celebrities charge more and more to promote brands, brands are turning to alternatives. We have seen the development of a new type of opinion leader, the micro-influencer. Forbes.com suggested that ‘an Instagram user with 100,000 followers can command $5,000 for a post made in partnership with a com- pany or brand’ (O’Connor, 2017, p. 1).
KEY TERM MICRO-INFLUENCERS Carol Scott, whilst director of marketing at a specialist influencer company, described micro- influencers as ‘everyday individuals with small, dedicated followings online’ (Scott, 2016, p. 1).
Writing in Adweek, Emma Bazilian provided a profile of a female millennial micro- influencer: typically aged between 18 and 34 with 2000 to 25,000 Instagram followers, attracting an engagement rate of 3% and higher. Their key topics were fashion,
THE DIGITAL MARKETING LANDSCAPE 9
beauty, travel or fitness (Bazilian, 2017). Bazilian added that the brand marketers could employ these micro-influencers to promote and increase product and brand awareness and specifically to:
• Seed products
• Promote sample products
• Share unbox videos
• Create ‘how to’ videos
• Develop ‘day in the life of’
• Share trending content
• Attend events
• Promote discount codes
• Host product competitions
Smartphone Sixty Seconds® – Evaluate Your Influencers On your mobile phone search for your favourite influencers. You might follow them on Instagram but they may have additional social media profiles too.
• Find all their online profiles. • Add up the number of followers on each. • Find a sponsored post and share with classmates. • Try to figure out what they were paid for the post and what impact you think it had.
Case Example 1.1 Eltoria Influencer Marketing Eltoria is the alter ego of Simone Partner and, as an influencer, Simone is not an ‘IT girl’ or someone who has a famous dad. She had a very different starting point and is a law graduate from the Uni- versity of Reading, where she gained a 2:1 degree.
In the last year of studying law, Simone’s course included one non-law module and she opted for ‘entrepreneurship’ and for her assessment started the Eltoria UK fashion and lifestyle blog based on her interests. At the time she was working at the organic skincare firm Lush. She enjoyed the module, which was evidenced in her results – a first-class grade. After university she pursued a career in law and her first job was in a big commercial firm, which she didn’t enjoy, so she tried a smaller legal firm. However, in both firms she discovered that law was not a career in which she felt she could work for
the rest of her life. Having continued with the blog and subsequently winning many awards, Simone realised that it could be a career option. The awards allowed Simone to take some time off and focus on the blog to see if it could work.
Today Simone has generated an impressive following on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. She is not the average fashion blogger: she’s intelligent, her content is well written, with great depth and analysis. Having been at university, she has had typical student jobs in retail stores and understands the challenges faced by those who are working and studying. This may be one of the reasons that she is popular with university students – she understands their situation.
In terms of a typical week, Simone records five to six videos and sometimes works for 12 hours a day to complete the content for a brand contract. There is a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes.
Having created the brand, her website showcases the social media services provided:
• Social media support • Sponsored blog posts • YouTube partnerships • Ambassador campaigns
See more at www.eltoria.com
Case Questions • What do you think about micro-influencers like Eltoria? • Did you realise serious lifestyle bloggers could be working 50 or 60 hours a week?
1.2.3 THE MOVE FROM TRADITIONAL TO DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS How did we make the move from traditional to digital marketing tools?
As technology has decreased in price, and with the development of the internet, digital marketing has offered easier, but not always cheaper, solutions. Plus, new technology has heralded changes in behaviour (see Chapter 2, The Digital Consumer), resulting in the decline of traditional marketing tools, as shown in Table 1.2.
Table 1.2 The move from traditional to digital marketing tools
Traditional Digital Why the change?
Newspaper and magazine adverts
Online adverts; social media, PPC
Newspaper and magazine sales have declined and it’s easier to target people online
Door-to-door sales people
Email Door-to-door is expensive and we can now personalise offers to existing customers via email
Company brochures Websites Printing brochures is expensive, so is creating websites, but they are agile and easier to change as needed
THE DIGITAL MARKETING LANDSCAPE 11
Traditional Digital Why the change?
Traditional PR Online PR, blogs With the decline in newspaper and magazine sales, the number of staff has declined too; online PR makes the process easier
Directories like the Yellow Pages
Search engine marketing
The default is to search online and voice search is growing, so directories have become smaller and are rarely used
Community groups Social networks We live in a more mobile world where people move from home towns to find work, so traditional community groups have declined, but social media networks increased
The challenge is that not all generations have made that move, as we will explore in the next part.
1.3 DIGITAL NATIVES AND DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS If you’re a student at university now, there’s a good chance that you’re a digital native. You’ve been born into a time when mobile phones, tablets and wearables are the norm. The research says that you rarely watch TV in real time, you’d rather view YouTube. You don’t send letters, you use WhatsApp. You don’t use Yellow Pages, you ask Siri. As you’re using a range of digital tools to talk, shop and share, some of the older generation of digital immigrants are seeking your help to plan and organise their digital marketing.
The words ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ weren’t invented by me; they are part of a range of generational cohorts, which are shown in Table 1.3 with selected reference sources for you to explore further.
Table 1.3 Generational cohorts
Term Birth years Selected sources
Baby Boomers Born mid-1946 to mid-1964 Porter, 1951; Hogan et al., 2008
Generation X Mid-1960s to the late 1970s/early 1980s
Coupland, 1991; Hamblett and Deverson, 1964
Digital Immigrants Born before 1980 Prensky, 2001a
Digital Natives Born after 1980 Prensky, 2001b; Palfrey and Gasser, 2008
Net Generation Born between 1982 and 1991 Tapscott, 1998
Millennials Born in or after 1982 Howe and Strauss, 2000
Google Generation Born after 1993 Rowlands et al., 2008
Generation Y Born between 1981 and 1999 Bolton et al., 2013
Generation C Born after 1990 Dye, 2007; Friedrich et al., 2010
Some cohorts cross into another generation. This is because there is no official agreement on the terms, nor are they formally defined by government, but mainly by researchers and consultants working in advertising who see the different behaviours developing.
The terms ‘digital native’ and digital immigrant’ are considered by some as being con- troversial and by others as divisive. The phrases are largely credited to Marc Prensky, who was teaching groups of students and realised there was a marked difference between the students who had always used technology and teachers who were new to this. He described the situation as similar to learning a new language, where immi- grants move into a new country and learn the language but it is never their mother tongue, so they might always retain an accent. In the same way he thought that those who had to learn about technology would retain this ‘accent’.
The work has been criticised due to the phraseology and as some people objected to the labels. I’m a digital immigrant but love technology and as an early adopter I could see how it would make life easier. Equally, I sometimes witness students who are digital natives, struggling with newer technologies.