The days of Katy Perry on a billboard, her piercing, Photoshop-enhanced blue eyes urging you to buy her fragrance, are numbered. Brands are shifting their budgets to digital, and online influencers are the new blogging, tweeting, hash-tagging billboards.
You’re clicking through to their blogs during your coffee break. You’re leaving comments on their posts. You know who we’re talking about: in your Twitter and/or Instagram feeds, you’re following someone who is your kind of cool – in a way, you’ve handpicked your brand ambassadors.
One of the biggest misconceptions about influencers, by brands and followers alike, is that they just got lucky. The reality is that there’s no such thing as an accidental influencer. Social media is a fickle friend with a short memory. Even if you unwittingly start trending, or spark a meme, if you’re not quick to capitalise on your 15 minutes of internet fame, that initial rush of follows, likes and shares will soon dwindle.
Although each of these online celebrities has acquired their fame and notoriety in their own special way there are some commonalities between their success that we can learn from.