The Influencing Industry is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after industries to both invest in, and begin a career. The London Centrist spoke to Amy Rebecca Owen, known to her followers as ames.ro, about her views on the industry. Amy has been a full-time influencer for just under 2 years and has built up a following of 528k people during that time.
The appeal of the Influencing Industry is that it is highly flexible, adaptable, and in touch with the ever-revolving door of social media platforms. Social Media, in some shape or form, is a significant part of our daily rituals. Amy describes her day-to-day experience of the job, “mainly planning, creating, and editing imagery and video content. Then there is negotiating brand deals, networking with brand PR’s or other influencers, attending events (currently virtually) and making sure I’m constantly present on social media”. A constant presence on social media not only requires a constant grasp of perspective, but also generates a sort of accountability to your followers. The psychology behind social media mechanisms for engagement is complex and extensive. Essentially, the human mind, as a social mammal, is constantly seeking relatability and company. For many, this is what influencers provide. Millions of people will feel as if they have a friendship, or personal knowledge of a public figure, despite never meeting them in reality. Is this level of transparency sustainable?
Amy comments that “it is no secret that the influencing industry is female dominated…. It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many empowering women and it makes for a very positive, inspiring work environment but it does also come with competitiveness, social anxiety and of course comparison at times”. It is this kind of pressure which has risen a considerable amount of concern about the effects of continued self-criticism due to the promoted ‘perfection’ which social media portrays. SingleCare completed a survey in 2020, where 62% of respondents said they experienced some degree of anxiety. ‘Our World In Data’ also found that women in the U.S. and around the world are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men. However, social media can have transformative effects for people with mental health issues too: according to Mesfin Bekalu from the Harvard School of Public Health, “social media may provide people with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others”. There is also no doubt that social media can inspire people to undertake healthy lifestyle changes. But do the drawbacks outweigh the positives?
Brands will search social media channels for influencers which might suit their target audience. They will subsequently send influencers a gift product in the hope they will post about it, creating brand awareness. Equally, they might decide to enter into negotiations for paid content straight away. Amine Rahal from Forbes analysed data in 2018 which found that 86% of marketers and advertising agencies used influencers as a key part of their outreach programme. Of these, 92% found this practice useful. Market analysts have predicted that the influencing industry will be worth $15 billion by 2022. This rapid level of expansion is a glimpse into the direction of future reliance upon social media and influencers for business marketing strategies. While the global economy takes further steps to espouse the digital marketplace, it will become more important to implement regulations, and protect the way in which companies utilise consumer data.
The influencing industry is one to keep an eye on as it begins to hold the crown for the most popular way to advertise in the 21st century.