This week, The Blogger Programme look into the rise of influencers monetising their own brands. The role of social media influencers in today’s marketing efforts are increasingly growing, with power players like Tesco, Nike and Amazon heavily relying on the authentic reach of social media icons and crowd-sourced celebrities to boost sales and meet the constantly evolving needs of modern consumers. The opportunities created for such influencers can be hugely profitable when working with brands, yet as it seems, that isn’t the endgame for many of these influencers. It is apparent that many of these influencers are busy growing their own brands, with beauty and fashion products seeming to be the most popular when it comes to creating their own labels.
Some influencers, particularly those with larger followings, are rethinking the way they do business entirely and are instead starting to create and build their own empires. A growing number of influencers are deciding to forgo taking payments to promote other brands, and instead are launching their very own brands. An example of this is Emma Chamberlain - in just over a year, the 17 year old YouTube star accumulated 3.6m subscribers on the popular video platform and is the latest influencer to prove that enough of those subscribers can be turned into customers to start a brand that just might be viable. Emma unveiled her very first fashion and accessories line 'High Key By Emma’, and it proved to be a sell out within two hours.
Another example is Marianna Hewitt and fellow influencer Lauren Gores Ireland. The two women recently co-founded Summer Fridays, a beauty brand that, in just a month, is a best-selling skincare product. Within two weeks of launching, Summer Fridays $48 Jet Lag Mask was outselling brands like La Mer, The Ordinary and Sunday Riley.
Other examples include the likes of Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman creating their own swimwear line A Bikini A Day, Jake Hall building his own fashion brand Prevu London, Kady McDermott creating her own beauty line By Kady and Tommy Mallet designing his own footwear Mallet Footwear. Influencers have also started to launch their own merchandise and guides, for instance Kayla Itsine and Grace Fit both offer fitness workout guides to their followers, generating them another form of income.
In short, these influencers are people who have a passion and aren’t afraid to tell the world about it. And by posting about their passion on social media, whether it be for another brand or their own, these influencers have gained immense internet popularity, allowing them to shape and influence audience opinions on matters through blog posts, videos and pictures. What really sets social media influencers apart from other types of endorsers is their relatability. Despite having a large popularity and internet following, influencers are still perceived as mostly normal, everyday people. They post about their lives, stay connected with their followers, and are able to interact directly with them.