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The History of Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing has been a key aspect of online digital marketing for many years. While celebrity endorsement can be found as far back as 1905, the rise of social media platforms has been a game-changer for influencer marketing. In this blog we’ll dive into the growth of influencer marketing and ponder the question of whether it’s still a relevant and useful marketing tactic.


Platforms such as Instagram and YouTube have had a huge part to play in the influencer wave. Users with reasonable followings signed deals with brands and would dedicate posts and videos to promoting and reviewing products they were often paid to feature. YouTube amassed entire categories dedicated to ‘product haul’ and ‘unboxing’ videos, which essentially equates to influencers showcasing items they have either bought or been sent by companies to promote them further. These genres have generated large followings and become a significant focus for brands aiming to reach younger audiences.


However, with this concerns have risen regarding the ethics of sponsored content. It often became unclear whether individuals were recommending products because they legitimately like them, or because they had been paid by brands to push their products. This began to lessen trust in influencers as social media became saturated with influencer content. In 2018 the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) published guidelines stating influencers must make clear if videos have been sponsored by companies to help rebuild transparency.


With this, the question arises; is influencer marketing still relevant? This has been a hot topic of debate in recent years. Some consumers appreciate authentic and relatable influencer content and see them as trustworthy sources of information. However, others question how truthful this content is based on paid brand partnerships often requiring influencers to use brands they may not normally use and give highly biased opinions and reviews. With this, it’s important to tread carefully when delving into the world of influencer marketing, making sure content remains genuine and down to earth.


To find out more about how CCM can help to improve your brand’s social media identity, get in touch with our team on 01625 453 050, or email info@cobaltcatmedia.com.

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