People love people. People want to know other people. People are of course, most heavily influenced by people. Now that there are people that have measurable audience and social influence we can see corporate america turn to the ‘social influencers’ to promote their products and services.
Celebrities have been promoting for brands for over 50 years, yet the advertising of old seems corny, unrealistic and unsincere.
The most prized and trustworthy advertising model in the industry has been telelvision ads for almost 50 years. It’s basically dependant on eyeballs (viewership) and hopefully it is targeted at a certain demographic like men, women or children.
When internet video was in it’s infancy, television in it’s prime and there was no intiative to capatalize on videos created by regular people and amateur entertainers. When YouTube became a one stop online video source and search engine along with making it incredibly easy to upload your own videos the eyeballs started to move in mass to the computer screen for their entertainment needs over television.
Now with the onset of podcasting, streaming movies, games, and entire networks based on the internet media entertainment, it is finally possible for anyone with an internet connection to be an overnight sensation. Social Media not only serves to promote internet media but businesses and brands are tapping into bring it into the offline world as well by using youtube “overnight brands” to promote their products and services.
Services such as ‘Klout’ are allowing us to measure up people’s influencing capabilities to look for real indicators of influence and allowing us to invest in personal brands that can bring a return on investment. Brands can now target certain demographics by finding users with a high ‘Klout score’ and that are influential on certain topics. Klout is using it’s indexed users to sell to advertisers in the form of offering Klout ‘perks’ to influential people. This gives these social influencers an opportunity to get some sort of special offer from a company in exchange they will hopefully promote it by talking about it across their network. These ‘perks’ could be in the form of a discount, a special preview, chance to test drive a new product, or to attend a special event centered around a launch of a new product or service.
This new form of advertising is all about leveraging personal brands to penetrate into an intimate network of like minded individuals that will hopefully be more receptive coming from one of it’s influencers. As the owner of your company down to even being the Social Media Manager you may want to bring your real name and personality to the forefront of your product or service. Companies like Ford Motors have brought Scot Monty to the forefront of their marketing strategy as Scot has become one of the most prominent and respected figures in the world of Social Media Marketing. CEO of the micro-lending company Kiva, Matt Flannery has leveraged Social Media to become a voice for change and engage in constructive dialogue on world issues all the while promoting the service and gaining trust and respect from his supporters.
The age of personal branding is about to enter it’s maturity stage with measurable indicators of social influence and corporate america is about to jump on board. The time is now to find new ways to get your personal brand to the forefront of your Marketing strategy.