It is clear that brand influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly successful way of publicising products, as the University of South California (USC) has revealed it is offering classes on the job for students.
NBC News reported the university’s new curriculum, which included a course on training to be an influencer and content creator. This demonstrates the growing trend for businesses to use social media members to advertise their goods, reaching mass audiences by doing so.
Robert Kozinets, professor of strategic public relations at USC’s Annenberg school for communication and journalism, told NBC: “I think we’re just starting to see this emerge into the phenomena that it’s going to become. So I think this is a huge area.”
He added that social influencers are “in demand” in Los Angeles and other places in the world, as companies of all sizes are using them to promote their products.
They are so effective, as people tend to trust them more because they feel more authentic.
Indeed, according to the Digital Marketing Institute, nearly half (49 per cent) of consumers depend on recommendations from influencers before they make a purchase. Additionally, 40 per cent admitted to having bought something after having seen it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
Mr Kozinet’s class focuses on how to manage different brands on varying social media sites. The university also has a student club called Reach. This is intended for prospective influencers, and aims at teaching youngsters how to build their own personal brand for their networking sites, which will help them gain interest from businesses looking for influencer marketers.