Charlize Theron was reportedly paid US$5 million a year when she signed up as the face of Dior J’Adore in 2004.
But makeup giant, Sephora, is going down a different path, asking all of its fans to become brand ambassadors.
Fans can apply to become part of the #SephoraSquad and receive free products, access to networking events and collaboration opportunities along with a paid contract in exchange for repping the brand and their “beauty truths” on social media.
“#SephoraSquad is a different kind of beauty-influencer program,” the makeup retailer said.
“We celebrate the most authentic and inspiring voices in the digital beauty space. We value unique, unfiltered, sorry-not-sorry storytellers, no matter the number of followers they have.
“That’s why the program offers long-term partnerships—a 2019 paid contract with Sephora—to those who share their beauty truths.”
Those interested need to connect their Instagram account to their applications and get testimonials, with the final squad announced on 29 March. Unfortunately for Australian fans, the scheme is only available for US and Canadian residents.
Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni (@theblondesalad) generated an incredible US$18.3 million in media impact value during the spring 2019 fashion shows, according to fashion data analytics platform, Launchmetrics.
She’s at the major end of the influencer spectrum, along with Kylie Jenner who is reportedly paid US$1 million for every paid post.
But aside from high-profile Instagrammers and household name celebrities, brands are realising the power of micro influencers.
These influencers usually usually have between 50,000 and 200,000 followers but can have less than 10,000. And they generally have loyal fans who are highly engaged.
According to Forbes, they’ve surged in popularity among marketers looking for grassroots engagement.
So much so that they could be even more powerful than big-name celebrities, the founder of influencer agency HelloSociety, Katie Brennan told AdWeek.
“When it comes to celebrity accounts, who have maybe millions of followers nobody actually believes that a celebrity is a real fan of a product they’re trying to sell,” she said.
“Influencer marketing is still effective when they’re looked at as peers.”
She explained that engagement actually goes down once influencers reach a certain number of followers.
“You might get eyeballs, but they won’t be eyeballs that care.”
The lesson for brands?
Go small, or go home.
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