Behind Closed Doors
The Power Of Influencer Marketing.
Influencer is a word familiar to most. However, even though most days we all see influencers through the eyes of our social media accounts, we don’t truly see them, or the behind-the-scenes work.
The connotation that influencing is easy, fun and mainly involves receiving free products has long reigned as the industry has grown. It is easy to see how this can be conveyed. With their perfect Instagram grids, and stylised stories, our natural response is to assume what we see at face value, and that is ‘look how glamorous and easy their lives are’. However, being an influencer and using influencer marketing as an income is much more difficult than it seems.
Firstly since Instagram has adjusted its algorithm many times since the birth of the influencer, it is much harder to gain such a large following organically. If you are attempting to build a following and become an influencer in 2021, you can only build a huge organic following through either pure luck or a range of purposeful strategies. These strategies usually involve knowing brands or other people with large followings that you can “bounce” off to gain a following, using paid advertising, or landing a job within the entertainment industry on a reality show, soap opera, or movie. Either way, it isn’t as easy as it used to be. Many teens have unrealistic expectations of how easy it is to create a viral following, as this age group often carries the most unrealistic expectation for themselves and how they perceive the lives of these social media stars.
The only platform that is much easier to grow an original following on is TikTok. Once made popular by the Gen Z kids, it is now home to people of all ages. The algorithm of TikTok makes it much easier for your content to ‘go viral' and therefore gain you a following. While still sometimes luck-based, the app itself isn’t working against you.
Then once you have gained this following, if you begin to make brand deals and advertise brands through your following it only gets harder. Once you begin making an income from these platforms, it is similar to running your own business. You need to follow all necessary rules and restrictions, especially when promoting on social media. You need to be continuously creating content for your account and liaising with brands to determine deals, ensuring you are both getting the best out of each deal. It isn’t an easy feat. It also isn’t as lucrative as it may seem, you need to build yourself to be quite a large brand to actually make a decent income. Most influencers will use their influence to then promote their own business ventures such as clothing, wellness, make-up, and skincare brands, which is where the majority of their income will come from.
So, what about when it comes to your child’s Instagram? If you are a parent whose child is a part of the entertainment industry, you might assume that creating an Instagram account for them is a great way to gain exposure and get them work. The reality however is not as bright as this. As mentioned previously it can be hard to build a following and unless you have millions of followers, you need to realise that the big brands you are after, are unlikely to see your child’s profile.
They are more likely to see their faces when their agent pitches them for jobs. Unfortunately, much to the disappointment of many, it is not a case of promoting your child on Instagram, then a huge brand lays eyes on them and decides to create a campaign around them; while not completely impossible, extremely unrealistic. This is just one of the common misconceptions that can come from watching influencers on Instagram.
While influencing isn’t easy, they do feed into some common misconceptions that can easily be mistaken by parents and, especially children, as the reality. It’s important to always take what you see on social media with a grain of sand, while also appreciating that what influencers do, isn’t as easy as portrayed. Remember to always listen to a trusted source of information when thinking about your child and the entertainment industry, so that you can get real information that doesn’t sugar-coat the hardship and work that comes along with being a part of the entertainment industry.
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