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When did Influencer Marketing Start? - [Tracing the Roots]


When did Influencer Marketing Start
Photo by Ivan Samkov [Pexels]

When did Influencer Marketing Start?:

Influencer marketing has become a buzzword in the advertising industry in recent years, especially in a post-pandemic era, but do you ever wonder when it all started?


Well, let's take a journey down memory lane and explore the roots of this powerful marketing channel, though it can also be a strategy.

Do you know? - “Influencer Marketing is expected to reach $22.2 Billion by 2025” 2023 Social Trends Report by PLANOLY

While it may seem like influencer marketing is a relatively new concept, its origins can actually be traced back several decades. Yes, you will read ahead.


However, it is important to note that the term "influencer marketing" itself might not have been used back then.


One could argue that the seeds of influencer marketing were planted as early as the 1930s when then brands began collaborating with celebrities to endorse their products.


Think about it – seeing your favorite movie star promoting a particular brand of cigars or wearing a specific clothing brand had a significant impact on consumer behavior even back then.


Fast forward to the 1980s and 1990s, and we saw the rise of sports stars and athletes endorsing products.


Brands recognized the power of association and leveraged the influence these individuals had over their fans to sell their products.


The Nike "Just Do It" campaign featuring basketball legend Michael Jordan is a prime example of this, which in fact revolutionized the athletic footwear industry.


However, it wasn't until the rise of social media platforms that influencer marketing truly took off!


With the advent of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, everyday individuals with a passion for specific niches could amass large followers.


These individuals, known as influencers, gained credibility and trust among their followers, making them an ideal channel for brands to promote their products or services.


Around 2010-12, the first wave of influencers emerged on platforms like Instagram. These early adopters paved the way for what would later become a multi-billion dollar industry.

"The trend is set to continue: An estimated $6.16 billion is expected to be spent on influencer marketing in 2023” MarketingProfs

Brands started recognizing the potential of partnering with influencers to reach their target audience in a more authentic and engaging way.

As influencer marketing gained traction, marketers began to develop more sophisticated strategies to harness its power.


They started segmenting influencers based on their follower count, engagement rate, and niche expertise.


This led to the rise of micro-influencers, who may have smaller follower counts but often have higher engagement rates and niche-specific audiences.


In recent years, influencer marketing has evolved even further.


We now have sub-categories like nano-influencers (with fewer than 10,000 followers), macro-influencers (with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers), and mega-influencers (with multi-millions of followers).

“According to Business Wire, 61% of consumers find relatable personalities the most appealing when choosing to follow an influencer or creator on social media” HubSpot

Types of Influencers

Types of Influencers. Nano influencer, micro influencer, macro influencer, and mega influencer

Each category offers its own unique benefits for brands looking to tap into influencer marketing.


In conclusion, while the term "influencer marketing" may be relatively new, the concept has been around for quite some time.


It has evolved from celebrity endorsements to leveraging everyday individuals with niche expertise on social media platforms.


As technology continues to advance and social media platforms evolve, we can expect influencer marketing to continue growing and changing in exciting ways.


AI has already arrived, bringing forth a multitude of potential pathways. So buckle up and get ready for what the future holds!


Here's related information that you may also find helpful – Do Influencers Actually Influence?


P.S: Ready to [unlock the power of digital marketing] and drive [your] business forward? – Access my forum today


P.S.S: Please don’t forget to forward this blog post to your network so they can get the best tips, practices, strategies, education, resources, & tools to help their businesses grow [sharing is caring].

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