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Influencer Marketing Is Replacing Celebrity Endorsements(Forbes)

The article first appeared on the Forbes.

Answer by Archie D’Cruz, works in advertising, on Quora:

Where do big tech brands find the quirky bloggers they use in their advertising?

It’s not just tech brands that are using them, and to call them “quirky bloggers” is to vastly undersell what they do.

They are Influencers—with a capital I—and for savvy companies in beauty, fashion, tech, travel and food, they are a key element of the advertising mix. Most of them are represented by agencies, and in that sense they are no different from a sportsperson or an actor.

Two of the clients I work for (one an international cosmetics chain, the other a major publisher) regularly use influencers for new campaigns; and judging from the feedback, it clearly is a mutually rewarding experience.

For those who aren’t aware, influencers are the current Big Thing in marketing. They have taken over from celebrity endorsers, and deliver stellar bang for the buck in terms of both cost and believability. I mean, seriously, in what universe would Microsoft overpaying Oprah for a tweet like this be justified?

If anything, Apple should be delighted with that unexpected—and free—plug.

Bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers, on the other hand, are seen as more likely to have actually used a product before endorsing it—and there is supporting evidence in the form of video, photos, and written descriptions. Many of those that manage to attract large followings are happy to peddle that influence to advertisers—for a fee, of course.

How much that fee is depends on who the influencer is and what is expected of them. Someone like a Chiara Ferragni of Blonde Salad (popular enough to launch her own shoe line and be featured in Vogue) or Jenna Marbles (18 million YouTube subscribers) can command six-figure sums. My cosmetics client typically pays each blogger $8,000-$15,000 per campaign. At the other end, with my publishing client, an advance review copy is often all that is needed.

The blogger in the question link is Courtney Quinn, a New Yorker who used to develop handbags for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade and Coach. She quit her job after her blog Color Me Courtney took off, and prior to the Microsoft Surface commercials, had done work for Disney, Nike and Maybelline, among others.

Read more on the Forbes.

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