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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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First City University College

School of Design

BA (HONS) In Graphic Design

Visual Culture 3

Dissertation Writing First Draft

The appeal of social media influencer towards the young consumer.

Name: Dheeveya A/P P.Morgan

Student ID: B0813

Cohort: Year 3 Sept 2017

Tutor: Mr.Authur

Submission Date: 5 November 2018

September 2017 Intake


Chapter 1: Introduction

Social media is an experiences that has transformed the interaction and communication of individuals throughout the world. However, social media is not a new concept - it has been evolving since the beginning of human interaction. In recent times, social media has impacted many aspects of human communication, thus impacting business. (Janna Ehrhardt, 19 October 2017)  Social media has become a daily practice in some users‟ lives. The features and the evolution of social media, including major social networking sites that came into existence during the 21st century has develop rapidly to conform to the people of this generation. Some of the sites that are popular now is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Myspace, CyWorld, Lunar Storm and etc. (Janna Ehrhardt, January 11, 2018)

A social media influencer is someone who carries influence over others using those social media platform. An influencer is someone who wields that influence through social media. The form of influence can vary and no two influencers are the same.

The right influencer is someone who can reach your target audience, build trust, and drive engagement. They will create original, engaging content that is in line with their own brand rather than following a template advertising style provided by a brand. (Christina Newberry, 10 July 2018). Now day's people can make themselves famous on social media by building a following around their passion, whatever that may be, and then convert that into a living by charging companies to place ads in the mix with their social media posts or videos. Social media influencers have evolved over generations. Today celebrities aren't the preferred method of advertising online anymore. People tend to prefer peer recommendations over celebrity endorsements, which is what's given rise to the social media influencer. Social influencer that build their own brand by self-publishing. (Simeon Edosomwan, 12 October 2016).

They create connections with other humans, and these platforms allow them to build relationships with people who resonate with them. When people build up their followings in places like Instagram especially using the new Instagram “stories” feature and Snapchat, they're also building trust and authenticity with their audiences, which means their followers are more likely to believe and listen to what they have to say than a slick piece of marketing from a brand. To do this, authenticity is key, as is building trust. People trust people more than they trust brands – particularly those who have the same beliefs as them. In a way, influencer marketing is an upmarket version of word-of-mouth advertising, which is still one of the most powerful advertising tools around. (Jose Angelo Gallegos, 19 September, 2016)

Through this study I would like to know what are the different types of marketing strategies used by social media influencer? Why certain marketing strategies as more are effective than the other? How does social media influencer chooses their social media platform? How do they connect with the community to effectively convey their brand? And how do the brands find the right influencer?

Therefore aim of this dissertation is to investigate how does social media influencers appeal towards the young consumers.

Chapter 2: Social Media Influencer and their Marketing Strategies

2.1: Marketing Strategy use by Social Media Influencer

Influencer marketing is when a business collaborates with an influential person on social media to promote a product, service, or campaign. These people, known as “social media influencers,” have dedicated and engaged followings. Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing. But in today's digital world, regular content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to brands. (Christina Newberry, 10 July 2018) As reported by eMarketer, a survey from WhoSay found that 70 percent of U.S. agency and brand marketers agreed that influencer marketing budgets would increase in 2018. And 89 percent said influencer marketing can positively impact how people feel about a brand as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Survey from WhoSay

For any influencer campaign to be successful, First influencers need to know who they are trying to influence. It helps to be specific. The tighter they can define their target audience, the easier it is to find influencers who are relevant. If they haven't formally defined their target audience they will know the types of people who typically buy their product or uses their services. The worst kind of answer is to try and target everybody. Even producers of everyday commodity products, such as bread and toilet paper, try to differentiate their marketing. That is why they create ranges, focusing on different niches, e.g. a range targeting people who favour quality, versus a range for the budget conscious. (Etzel, Walker & Stanton, 1999)

Other than that, they need to set an objective. Before they can create an influencer marketing strategy they need to determine what they are trying to achieve. Their aim may be something small like gaining a set number of extra visitors to their website, with them signing up for a newsletter such as in Figure 2. Alternatively, people might choose to engage in influencer marketing with the aim of increasing sales of a particular product by a certain percentage. It is impossible for them to measure whether a campaign is successful or not if they did not set an objective. (Christina Newberry, 10 July 2018)

Figure 2: Sign up for a newsletter example

This are the most effective strategy they need to know if they want to do business on social media. They need to know their target audience but one thing for sure they can't target everybody to be their audience. People have different interest especially if they are different in age. Besides that, they need to set their goal before they start marketing so they will know if they are on the right track. Goal can keep us focus on where we need to go and reach. It doesn't let us stray from the path.

2.2 The Effectiveness of Social Media Marketing Strategies

We will know when the marketing strategies that were used is effective is when it increases awareness and branding. The most presence on the top 4 most influential social media platforms is in Figure 4. This gives the brand an opportunity to connect with various audiences and cross channel promote their content. (Hayden Wilson, 21 February 2018)

Figure 4: Top 4 Most influential Social Media Platform

Furthermore it also increases exposure to generate traffic, leads, and sales. Just by plugging in different demographics they can't learned from performing customer research but they can easily reach their desired audience to increase website traffic and new sales for their clients. Besides that, when the marketing cost is reduce that also show that it is working. 

Developing loyal fans shows that people are already interacting with the products or services that the influencer provides. Creating customer loyalty means developing long-term relationships with fans. This relationship fosters the spread of social proof (read 5 star reviews) and repeat customers in Figure 5.

Figure 5: 5 star Reviews

2.3 The Connection between Social Media Influencer and Consumers

Influencer marketing has attracted incredible attention in recent years, and rightfully so. By any measure, it has turned out to be one of the strongest tools in digital marketing for brands to build their personas, attract eyeballs of its addressable market and building trust among its target communities. Partnering with the right kind of influencers is known to help brands gain not only awareness but also credibility. It positively influences purchase decisions – the end game for any marketing activity. (Tamanna Mishra, 29th August 2017)

Most influencer marketing campaigns come with a specific budget and timeline. The good ones focus on building long-term relationships. This means that brands must look beyond just quick social media posts in return for their investment. Of course, the social media posts are usually part of the deal. But brands must also engage and excite influencers enough for them to advocate your brand as an influencer long after the campaign is over. Following and interacting with them on social media is one way to do it.

 Freebies to consumers may be a part of the game, sure. But nothing can replace the healthy, positive experience that influencers have with your brand. Kindness, empathy and camaraderie are key elements of any relationship and influencers are no different. Need to be available to answer questions or clarify doubts, pay on time if the deal involves exchange of money.  

Influencer marketing is a cycle of trust – between the influencer and you, and between the influencer and his or her followers. Social media followers are an intelligent lot. So, if your deal with your influencers comes across as off or artificial, then both of you stand to lose the community's trust. You also shouldn't feel the need to vet through all that your influencers post about you. Ensure that you choose people you can trust to represent you accurately and fairly. For example, if as an offbeat travel company, you sign up a celebrity luxury traveller purely on the basis of their Instagram followers, you will remain doubtful of how much and how well they can communicate your brand to their community. And rightfully so. So, think things through and know your influencer inside out before you seal the deal. This becomes even more crucial in niche industries like technology and B2B services. If as a high-tech company, you sign up fashion influencers for your apparel campaign, you need to accept that their perspective will be significantly different from tech influencers. While this sounds like common sense, I have seen brands get uncomfortable when engaging a niche influencer category that has previously been alien to them. You must understand that eventually, good influencers uphold their commitment to their core audience. Don't engage them if you can't trust them to do their job well, even if it seems unfamiliar to you. Eventually, influencer marketing, like reputation management and PR, is about real people. Treat them like “marketing tools” and you're bound to lose respectability. So, better treat them like people, focus on strong, lasting relationships and watch positive outcomes unfold. (Tamanna Mishra, 29th August 2017)

2.4 The Right Influencer for the Right Brand

Before reaching out to a potential social media influencer, you'll need to consider the three R's of influence which is relevance, reach and resonance. The influencer is sharing content and has an audience relevant to your business and industry. The number of people you could potentially reach through the influencer's follower base will bring value to your business. The potential level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience that's relevant to your brand. Bigger isn't always better. A huge follower count is meaningless if those followers aren't interested in your business' offerings. And a smaller follower count can be very powerful if it's a niche area and the potential influencer has a dedicated and engaged following. (Christina Newberry, 10 July 2018)

Tap influence found that engagement rates are often higher for “micro-influencers”—those with 5,000 to 25,000 followers as in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Tap influence engagement rate

Influencer need to know who they are trying to influence. An influencer campaign can't be all things to all people. An effective strategy requires an influencer to speak to the right people using the right tools and, in this case, the right influencers. (Christina Newberry, 10 July 2018)

It's clear that finding the right influencers is not simply about finding people with the highest number of followers on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. So, what do you look for? Research by influencer marketing platform Traackr found that 3 percent of people generate 90 percent of the impact online. The key is understanding your customers' influence circles and whom they've defined as niche experts within their trusted communities. “It's important to establish some context: identify the topic in which you wish to gain influence,” says Dennis Shiao, Director of Content Marketing, DNN Software. “Next, define your objective. Putting the two together, one example might be: ‘To encourage marketing experts to share our definitive guide to A/B testing to their social networks.'

Within this framework, influencers are people that marketers follow and respect, because of their expertise in marketing. These people (i.e., the followers) will also take action based on the influencers' recommendations. They'll model their behavior. If influencers share their successes with A/B testing, their followers will try the same tactic for themselves.” Similarly, you're looking for an influencer who will be able to incorporate your brand into their usual style of storytelling—not someone who's willing to cut-and-brand message (and sometimes your instructions) into a social media post for anyone who sends them a check. “Online, influencers are typically characterized by large followings and high authentic engagement, but one dimension that is often overlooked is the ‘scope' of somebody's influence,” says Li. “This is a huge oversimplification, but there are 1) global influencers (mega-celebrities like the Bieber), 2) niche influencers (the best in the world in a specific field/topic), and 3) local influencers (the person in your friend group who can convince anybody that “those” Korean tacos are worth waiting in line for). Generally speaking, global influencers reach far more people than local influencers, but local influencers can be much more effective in spurring action than global ones.” When approaching an influencer about working with you, it can help to share a summary sheet about your company including any impressive content or media highlights, your reach and engagement across social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.), number of blog subscribers, newsletter open and click-through rates, and other metrics that demonstrate your content reach and engagement. Showing how you can promote them to your audience is important to show the relationship is a two-way street with benefits to both parties. If you fumble your initial pitch, you may not have the opportunity to try again. “With influencers, you truly get one—and only one—chance to make a first impression,” says Beale. “So make it count! Whatever your platform of choice, make sure your engagement is personal, about them, and anything but ordinary.”

Chapter 3: Lilly Singh @iisuperwomanii, A Youtuber Influencer

Lilly Singh is a multitalented international entertainer with a message of positivity. Sha has a unique voice that she share in a music video or sketched comedy.  Lilly Singh was in her final year of university, finishing a psychology degree, when she first learned 'YouTube star' was a viable career option. She'd always wanted to rap, dance, and act, but lacked confidence and didn't know where to start. It was, in part, a video posted by early YouTuber Jenna Marbles that brought her out of her shell. Marbles (Real name: Jenna Mourey) had filmed herself performing comedy from her own bedroom, on a laptop, and was broadcasting to an audience of millions. If she could do it, why couldn't Singh?

Singh's first video was a spoken word piece on religion and humanity, now deleted as it's no longer on-brand. It managed 70 views. "That meant one or two people who didn't know me watched it," Singh said with a laugh. "I watched other creators. I started writing scripts. I was really just making it up as I went along. "She caught the attention of YouTube executives early on. Within her first year, the Google-owned video platform asked Singh to join their Partner Program. By 2012, having monetized her videos, she was able to hire a manager. (Clare O'Connor, Jun 20, 2017)

So far, so good: Singh tops Forbes' new ranking of Entertainment influencers, heading up an impressive list of social media moguls including vlogger and LGBT activist Tyler Oakley and Vine-star-turned-model Cameron Dallas. With its entertaining mix of comedy sketches, rants, skits, and the occasional activism, like her anti-sexist #GirlLove series, Singh's channel -- under her username, 'IISuperwomanII' --  now boasts 11.7 million subscribers. (Clare O'Connor, Jun 20, 2017)

Singh, 28, remained in her home city of Toronto (she's from suburban Scarborough, Ont.) until a year and a half ago, when she "stepped out of her comfort zone," as she puts it, and decamped to Los Angeles. Since then, her stardom has moved far beyond YouTube. In 2016, Singh partnered with cosmetics giant Smashbox to launch a signature red lipstick shade called Bawse (her preferred spelling of 'boss,' with the implied dose of attitude). (Clare O'Connor, Jun 20, 2017)

Coca cola Canada wanted to pass on their legacy of exclusiveness and positivity to the next generation of Canadians by sharing real enjoyment. Lilly Singh has also struck a new partnership with Coca-Cola. She is smack in the middle of her “A Trip to Unicorn Island” world tour (for which she recently released a mobile app). On June 25 2015, she touched down in her hometown of Toronto for a show at the Danforth Music Hall. There, under the terms of the partnership (brokered by the multi-channel network Collective Digital Studio), Coca-Cola was giving away samples of customized “Share a Coke” bottles, part of the company's own Canadian “Share a Coke”campaign. Singh and Coca-Cola have previously partnered for the Makeithappy” campaign.

Figure 5: Lilly Singh, collaborating with Coca-Cola

YouTube influencers have entirely changed the way that brands interact with fans, according to the rep, who noted, the video platform offers “a great opportunity to engage with a new generation of news makers.”

The “Share a Coke” campaign, which launched in 2014, saw Coca-Cola distribute Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero bottles throughout Canada and the U.S. featuring many of the countries' most popular names.

“Lilly” is not available in stores this year, but “Lily” is. Fans wanting a bottle reflecting the double “L” of their YouTube idol can only get one at the touring Coca-Cola sample kiosk.

There's no word yet of whether the campaign will cross over into Singh's YouTube content, but the Coke rep hinted at a few “surprises” yet to come with regards to Singh's future role in the campaign. (Bree Rody-Mantha, June 26, 2015)

Lilly Singh shows her endorsement with Coca cola in her comedy sketches. She naturally include them in to make the whole video connected. Before she starts her video she will write at the front that it is sponsor by the brand that she is endorsing.

Figure 6: How Girls Try On Clothes Video

In this video, she show the Coca cola, there is a word written on it and she act out a sketch such as in Figure 7,8,9,10. If the Coca cola has the word Dance off and she do a skit that she is dancing, or if the bottle has the word girls night out, she act out with her girlfriends that they are having fun.

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