Influencers: The History & Evolution

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  • The History And Evolution of Influencers #missnicolina

Turning to Influencers Before Buying

As the world has shifted to social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. Rather than looking at brands, they now look at each other and at their favourite personalities as influencers, who amass colossal followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms.

86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.


Consumers are also becoming savvier at tuning out ads, and marketers are having to find new ways to reach them. As a result, influencer marketing is fast becoming an essential part of the digital marketing mix. This is particularly relevant in the beauty and fashion industries.

57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers as part of their marketing strategies, while an additional 21 percent are also planning to add this strategy to their campaigns in 2017.


Celebrities as Influencers

Media stars are famous for their offline career and serve as messengers for branded content on social media. They have massive online followings, but typically don’t interact with fans.

  • Selena Gomez @selenagomez: Coach contract
    • #1 most followed Instagram account : 122.9m
    • #15 most followed Twitter account : 48.5m
  • Cristiano Ronaldo @christiano: Nike contract
    • #3 most followed Instagram account : 105.5m
    • #12 most followed Twitter account : 53.9m
  • DJ Khaled @djkhaled305: Cîroc contract
    • “King of Snapchat” : 2m views on each post

New Faces of Influence

The influencer types becoming more popular are famous for their online and social media channels. They co-create content featuring brand-related topics and products and maintain close relationships with a niche community of followers.

  • Lilly Singh @IISuperwomanII: Coca-Cola contract
    • #73 most subscribed YouTube account : 11.9m
    • Highest-earning woman on YouTube in 2016
  • Andrew Bachelor @kingbach: Jimmy John’s contract
    • #1 most followed Vine account : 16.1m
    • #138 most followed Instagram account : 14m
  • Michelle Phan @michellephan: Lancôme Video Makeup Artist
    • #136 most subscribed YouTube account : 9m
    • 3.2m Facebook likes

The Future of Influencers


Long-term contracts with micro-influencers will be a big factor in the future of influencer marketing. As influencer programs continue to grow, the top influencers in a particular industry may be harder to reach and more expensive. Because micro-influencers are better at creating engaged communities through authentic storytelling and user-generated content, they will prove to offer more value for the marketing dollar.

Business can take advantage of micro-influencer communities by posting sponsored ads and promoted tweets to an established audience that is already engaged and waiting for niche content.

Agency connections

Agencies like Scrunch, manage millions of influencer accounts and can save you time and money by connecting you quickly to the right type of influencer for your business or brand.

Case Study: Read about how fashion influencers created content for a technology product.

Technology Case Study


Learn more about the evolution of the social media influencer from this infographic and feel free to share!


[Click to Enlarge Image Chart]
Evolution of Influencers

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