The Rise of Influencer Marketing Within Digital Marketing Strategy

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The Rise of Influencer Marketing Within Digital Marketing Strategy

Jennifer Miller

The absolute beginning of Influencer Marketing is debatable.  Brian Mechem wrote that influencer marketing began with the Queen and the Pope, they promoted the use of medicine to those who didn’t believe in it, long ago.  And then officially, Nancy Green became the face of Aunt Jemima in 1890, beginning influencer marketing. The History of Influencer Marketing and How it Has Evolved Over the Years  However, Janna Ehrhardt, for InfluencerDB, offers a different perspective.  She believes this form of marketing began around the 1920s.  It was centered around the idea of using personas to build an emotional response or connection to a product, thus encouraging consumers to purchase the item.  Her examples begin with Santa Claus and Coca-Cola.  Believing that Santa Claus would incite a personal connection, Coca-Cola created advertisements of Santa Claus enjoying the beverage. A Brief History of Influencer Marketing  Coca-Cola began its advertisements with Santa in December 1931, further evolving the marketing to include Santa’s image on bottles, cans, and packaging. It is still being used. Did Coke Create the Red-Suited Santa?  

Determining a definitive date for the conception of Influencer Marketing may not be exact.  However, we know that people influence other people’s decisions.  The more we respect, connect with or admire someone, the more likely we are to be influenced by them to act in a certain way and that includes buying behavior.

Influencer Marketing is not a new way of marketing but is taking hold as a major strategy, especially in the consumer product markets.  Companies are shifting towards influencer Marketing to propel their brand through social media. Marketing departments and hired firms are partnering with social media mavens to promote products across social media outlets.  Some marketing experts predict that Influencer marketing will become the primary way of promotion as social media use develops and grows. 

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Influencer Marketing can be very effective for brands if the Influencer is legitimate, has appropriate realm of influence in regard to the product/brand, and has the right number of REAL followers.  On all social media platforms, there are ways for Influencers to buy or fake followers to market themselves as a legitimate Influencer.  However, software exists so that marketing departments or firms can research Influencer’s legitimacy.  The new technology that allows verification of the amount and quality of Influencer followers will ensure Influencer Marketing spend is being used effectively. Understanding Influencer Marketing and Why it is So Effective

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Marketing 2.0 created an opportunity for brands and consumers to engage in ongoing dialogue as opposed to the Marketing 1.0 model where information was a “one-to-many” broadcasted communication.  Marketing has adapted to work with technology, consumer preferences, and therefore staying competitive.  The main idea behind Marketing 2.0 is that social media platforms are now allowing consumers to directly interact with businesses, brands, and Influencers. We live in a semantic web and marketing digital world. Marketing 2.0: Less Spin, More Value

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Digital advertising can be very difficult because of competition, costs, and getting the strategy right.  One of the key sayings for digital marketers is, “always be testing” and AB (constantly running and comparing the results of different digital marketing content) testing is a big part of the job.  Influencer marketing may be a better advertising channel resulting in higher customer acquisition. The ability to analyze the effectiveness of Influencers for Brands can be done by simple social media monitoring before the promotion begins thus getting rid of the need for digital ad effectiveness (AB) testing. Influencer Marketing: A Stable Acquisition Channel in a Volatile Ads Environment


Ehrhardt, J. (2017, October 19). A brief history of influencer marketing. InfluencerDB. Retrieved from

Mathew, J. (2018, July 30). Influencer marketing and why it is so effective. Forbes. Retrieved from

Mechem, B. (2018, March 9). The history of influencer marketing: How it has evolved over the years. Grin. Retrieved from

Miachon, N. (2018, March 21). Influencer marketing: A stable acquisition channel in a volatile ads environment. Forbes. Retrieved from

Mooney, P. (2008, January 28). Did Coke create the red-suited Santa? Coca-Cola Company. Retrieved from

Sorensen, S. (2010, April 23). Marketing 2.0: Less spin, more value. Forbes. Retrieved from