On April 25th, high atop the Toronto skyline, 23-year-old Marisa Lazo sat with her feet dangling off a 12-storey crane, in the middle of the night where she waited patiently for a firefighter to rescue her. Not your typical influencer marketing story.
Although later she faced six criminal mischief charges, Lazo, who was described as an “adventurous girl” was later released on bail. She also earned herself the pseudonym – Crane Girl – all the while waiting hours for crews to rescue her. Why did she do this?
For Instagram likes.
Likes/retweets/shares/subscribes are the new currency of the digital age. The more you accumulate, the more eyes are on you. The more people are aware of you, the higher the profitability is of your brand.
Financial gain through influencer marketing might not be everyone’s goal when on social media. It could be that Marisa was only looking to capture a stunning image for her circle of friends. If she hoped to boost her online presence, rooftopping might be the most adventurous way to do so. Rooftopping is a popular social media trend that has been turning heads lately. Daredevil risk takers climb a high precipice to snap pictures to share with the world.
But where is the profit in having a popular social media account, especially at the risk of your own safety?
Websites like Revfluence and Shoutcart promote brands through their own web of “social media influencers”. In other words, someone with a huge number of followers. These influencers come from different entertainment backgrounds – models, makeup artists and professional photographers, to travel bloggers, and meme reposters, you name it. They can appeal to a diverse group.
Companies customize advertisers based on demographics, content quality, and audience. This is why many online fitness figures promote a product like Fit Tea at random. These Instagrammers get paid (directly or through their hiring company) to promote a product. These fitness figures don’t even need to take a sip of Fit Tea to get paid. With 700 million monthly Instagram users, this sort of sponsorship can go a long way for a brand. It’s an opportunity to reach a large audience of potential buyers through dedicated influencers.
Influencer Marketing engages audiences in an organic way
Each influencer takes the time to engage their audience in an organic way. They integrate, promote, photograph and create videos in creative ways to entertain fans. By personalizing the advertisement, the influencer makes the product or service seem authentic. Authenticity sets this sort of advertising apart from other forms of marketing. Television commercials, pop-up ads and billboards are impersonal and intrusive. If done right, influencer marketing tactics can be seamless and convincing. They won’t run the risk of alienating followers. Advertisements can seem like a natural extension of the influencer’s account.
Fellow daredevils can relate with Marisa Lazo, and show support by following her. In turn, they would very likely be receptive to cleverly promoted items that link to Lazo herself. For example, hiking gear or a certain brand of grip gloves.
Traditional advertising versus influencer marketing
The success rate of conventional advertisements has declined due to ad blockers and PVR. Luckily, start-up businesses have plenty of options for online recognition and promotion. The newest alternative combats ad blocking, reaches the unreachable audience of Millenials and future generations that traditional print and television advertisements are struggling to engage, comes at an affordable price tag and often lives up to the hype.
Notable Influencers span beyond Instagram. You have Vine stars like Logan Paul, whose comedy skits struck a chord with younger audiences. Or the friendly for all-ages, Family Fun Pack. Even Snapchat phenomenon Shonduras with his expertly finger-drawn Snapchat stories. Options available today range from Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube to any form of blogging. With a variety of social media options, influencers will not be in short supply anytime soon.
Alex Correa | The Edge Blog