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Influencers in the new age

Traditionally, you had to be a celebrity to win endorsement deals for products. If you were a movie star or a sports star, or if you were doing anything else that drew big audiences, you could count on marketers approaching you with endorsement deals.

You had little chance if you weren't falling in these categories.

Social media has opened up the endorsement business to the non-celebrities (people like you and me) that previously had little chance of getting any endorsement deals. Read this account by Fast Company to see how teenagers are making thousands of dollars in endorsement deals just sitting at home.

As people are beginning to spend more and more time on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram or blogs, the revenues generated by these have been growing at tremendous rates (not to mention their valuations).

It didn't take long for marketers to realise that while traditional interruptive ads could be published on these media as well, there were other ways to get their messages across.

After all, these social media are dominated by people (or the virtual avatars created by people). Which meant there was a huge possibility of tapping into popular accounts for getting messages across at much cheaper prices than those charged by traditional celebrities.

With many many parody accounts garnering big following, especially on Twitter and Facebook, marketers are reaching out to the owners of these accounts for product endorsements.

As avenues to spend their budget increases for marketers, they ought to choose their influencers with their long term brand proposition in mind, rather than merely pandering to people with huge social media following.

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