Narcissism pays big bucks in some cases.
But that’s not to say it’s without controversy. A dispute between YouTube influencer Elle Darby, (who has 96,712 Youtube subscribers and 89.2k Instagram followers) and The White Moose Cafe , a hotel she offered to promote on her platform in exchange for free accommodation, has struck a chord online. Darby’s critics argue that narcissistic influencers have a lot of nerve asking for free things in exchange for promotion. The hotel manager has since banned all bloggers from entering his hotel in what has snowballed into quite a sensationalized response. When all is said and done, neither Darby nor the hotel owner are cast in a very positive light, but the dispute did raise some interesting opinions about the social media influencer industry.
Depending on the demographic a brand is trying to reach, social media can now be a more lucrative advertising strategy for brands than traditional methods such as television commercials or radio. Instagram boasts 500 million daily active users. Youtube is over 30 million. Those who don’t ascribe to the notion that social media influencers are operating in an arena where there is “real” buying power are seriously kidding themselves and potentially missing out on a huge market. The top Youtube influencers can rake in as much as $300 000 for a video partnership because they can guarantee millions of impressions. On Instagram, the figure dips but is still quite impressive at $150,000 a post. Even “micro-influencers” with a following of around 100,000 can get around $5 000 a post. There are some seriously impressive women making a VERY lucrative name for themselves on social media; we’d like to highlight some of our favourites. Every influencer listed here most likely charges upwards of $20 000 to $100 000 a post on account of their followings being over 1 million.
Chiara Ferragni – The Blonde Salad
Instagram Followers: 11.5 million
Youtube Subscribers: 97,622
Ferragni was a law student who started a personal blog for $10 in 2009 which she grew through Facebook ads. It now rakes in millions of dollars a month just in ad revenue. She is the CEO of two incredibly successful products and has more followers than Kirsten Bell or Kerry Washington. She’s been featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list and her success has been the focus of a Harvard Business study.
Danielle Bernstein – We Wore What
Instagram Followers: 1.7 million
Youtube Subscribers: 15,349
What started as posting outfit inspiration of her peers at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC on her personal blog, Bernstein has grown into an empire. She now has 5 people working for her managing her website, clothing company and shoe company as well as managing her social channels. She recently revealed that she makes anywhere from $8 000 to $20 000 a post.
Arielle Charnas – Something Navy
Instagram Followers: 1.1 million
Youtube Subscribers: 9,692
Charnas loyal following began with a fashion blog in 2009 she started because a boyfriend suggested it. When he broke up with her she kept it going to exact “revenge”. It’s certainly paid off. A Nordstrom partnership she did last September netted $1 million for the brand and sold out within 24 hours. Known for her $$$ style, she’s also recently launched her own line for Nordstrom with prices that are easier on your wallet.
Aimee Song – Song of Style
Instagram followers: 4.7 million
Youtube subscribers: 230,502
Aimee has grown her fashion blog (started in 2008) to over 2 million page views per month and spun it into a loyal social following of fashionistas keen to gobble up her jewelry and clothing lines. She’s partnered with major brands like 7 for all Mankind jeans.
Everyone has to start somewhere – each and every one of these influencers began with a small following but now probably receives enough free samples, clothing, and offers to rival celebrities. Brands who do not understand this, or the impressions they can be tapping into through the lucrative world of influencer marketing are missing out on a huge advertising channel that is without a doubt here to stay.