In the beginning was… clay. And a potter. Strange as it might sound, according to nogre.com’s infographic, the first Influencer action dates back to the 1700s when Josiah Wedgwood, an English potter and entrepreneur, paid Royalty to endorse his pottery. Have you ever wondered how Influencer Marketing will look, let’s say, in 2020?
#InfluencerMarketing the (very) old school way
The first recorded influencer action was celebrity “Fatty” Arbuckle, a silent film actor, who had an endorsement with Murad Cigarettes in 1905. Then it all started on a larger scale – print ads, radio ads, TV ads.
2004? seems like a lifetime ago
It’s 13 years now, since Facebook was launched. One of their first recommendation systems was Facebook Pulse (now deactivated), which allowed you to see the most popular products from different categories in your friend’s network.
Then, in 2010, Amazon noticed a huge potential behind social media users. In cooperation with Facebook, it allowed its users to link both their accounts. Thanks to this move, Amazon was able to recommend consumers items based on Facebook activity and interests. Also, users could see notifications about their friends’ birthdays and possible gift suggestions.
This is the time in Influencer history, when “influencing” still wasn’t a true profession.
Everything changed in 2015, when Airbnb started a cooperation with well-known influencers – music stars. The first one was Mariah Carey. She was paid for staying in one of Airbnb’s properties, taking some pictures and posting them online. The buzz was huge and encouraged Airbnb to put Influencer Marketing at the heart of their advertising strategy.
Nowadays, Airbnb is considered to be one of the leading Influencer Marketing brand strategists in the market, at least within their travel niche. And stars like Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo or DJ Khaled became the biggest Influencer Stars among the celebrities.