Behind the curtains: An insight into influencers

Jan 23, 2024
Behind the curtains: An insight into influencers
In the era of social media dominance, the term “influencer” has transformed into a mainstream profession, referring to individuals with a dedicated following who wield influence in specific niches.

As people increasingly rely on social platforms for daily consumption, influencers have emerged as content creators, engaging audiences through sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and diverse revenue streams.

Being an influencer a viable profession?
In the 21st century, heavily reliant on social media, influencing has indeed become mainstream.

People spend hours scrolling through content — reels, videos, TikToks, ads, vlogs.

Now, anyone with a smartphone can start vlogging, sharing daily life, thoughts, and experiences with a vast online audience, reshaping the social media landscape.

Despite this, not everyone can truly influence. To make influencing a profession, one needs skills and traits that genuinely impact the audience and can generate income.

What qualification does one need?
Becoming an influencer doesn’t have rigid qualifications. No specific degrees or background are necessary.

While not mandatory, online courses - free or paid - can aid in the journey and income generation.

Many courses emphasize areas like affiliate marketing, brand promotion, and collaborations.

Successful influencers often adhere to a thumb rule: having a specific niche. Trending niches include travel, beauty, lifestyle, fashion, health/fitness, and food.

Influencers in election campaigns
Collaborating with influencers for election campaigning can be quite effective, but the results would vary based on several factors.

Some of the key factors include how involved the influencers are with people, the target audience, the political landscape, and the overall campaign strategy.

In many countries around the world, social media influencers are used for election campaigning.

In an article by the Times of India, as many as 150 social media influencers, with more than one million followers collectively, were simultaneously engaged in promoting the narrative of the party of their choice during a recent assembly election in Telangana, a state in India.

These influencers strategically employed powerful and impactful hashtags while creating content, including TikToks and reels, featuring the campaign songs of the party they supported.

Even in the United States, the Biden administration hired influencers to reach out to young voters they could not have reached alone.

In the US, where trust in authoritative bodies is reportedly at its lowest levels, as per Edelman’s 2024 Trust Barometer, content creators or influencers are aware of the power they can wield during this year’s presidential election.

Last September, an influencer named Ashley Renne shared a one-minute video on her Instagram updating her audience about her meeting with President Joe Biden and underscoring the significance of the Inflation Reduction Act.

However, over a year since her visit to the White House, her enthusiasm for Biden’s agenda is diminishing.

She is not the only influencer who was once crucial to the administration’s efforts to connect with young voters experiencing this shift. Renne told CNN there is a big disconnect between what she sees “the government is doing and what the people want.”

Numerous stories akin to Renne’s experience have occurred recently, sparking discussions about Joe Biden’s campaign’s challenges.

The strategy in Bangladesh was not quite as powerful as in India and the US.

However, during the time of the 12th parliamentary election, a popular food vlogger known as “Rafsan TheChotoBhai” uploaded a video with State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid reviewing food around his constituency Keraniganj.

While the video did not explicitly discuss the election, there were subtle allusions to Nasrul Hamid’s party, the Awami League, and its symbol, the Boat, as they later went on a boat ride.

In the video’s comments section, viewers expressed admiration for the state minister’s friendliness and engagement with the local people in that area.

The highs and lows
Like every job, being an influencer comes with both highs and lows.

As a result of its independent nature, this job has several advantages. Influencers enjoy the liberty to creatively and independently express their ideas, talents, and interests — opportunities that are often lacking in many traditional employment settings.

They also have the opportunity to build a loyal following, which is rewarding in many ways. Financial stability, however, highly depends on their ability to survive in the market.

On the other hand, influencers may face criticism, particularly in regions like South Asia where the profession is not always viewed with respect.

People often mock influencers, and even those who genuinely possess skills and capabilities may find themselves becoming targets of such ridicule.

Hence, being an influencer can be a bit more challenging in Bangladesh than in other countries.

Apart from that, as this profession is booming, there is always competition. Influencers have to be very competitive and unique if they want to remain in the profession.

To become a successful influencer, one has to navigate these challenges constantly.

Source: dhakatribune