Advertisers are facing a serious crisis- ad blockers are preventing them from getting their messages out to audiences, which is effectively collapsing the online advertising realm. Ad blockers are expected to squash $12 billion in revenues by the year 2020, so advertisers had better think fast. Fortunately one area of online marketing that is going strong is social media influencer posts.

Paid posts can be inexpensive and can generate more engagement than traditional ads. Influencers who are not celebrities are more likely to get engagement on their posts from followers as well as to engage with followers when comments are made. This leads to a more authentic experience for social media users, and they tend to find the opinions of the influencers more believable because of this interaction. In fact, 70% of teens think that YouTubers are more credible than celebrities. People want recommendations from regular people just like them, and online recommendations are oftentimes just as credible as face to face ones.

Before the Internet and social media, we had to rely on Hollywood to tell us who was famous and who was not. The Internet and social media democratized fame in a way that anyone can build a social media following around their passion and then segue it into a viable career path. Think of all the online communities that have been built around shared interests like video gaming or fashion. Now imagine you have built up a social media following around your greatest passion and now you are able to turn that into a viable business. It is possible with the rise of social media influencers!

There are some rules outlined by the FCC you will need to know and abide by. You must state clearly when you are in a contract with a company, because the FCC wants to make sure viewers know they are seeing an advertisement. This is why you will often see things like #ad or #sponsored on a social media post. Though it is rarely enforced, it’s a good idea to get yourself in the habit of doing this early on to prevent any trouble down the line.

Social media influencers have gained a lot of ground in recent years, and they have changed they way advertisers are able to interact with their audience online. Learn more about social media influencers from this infographic. You might be ready for a career change!

Evolution Of Influencers [INFOGRAPHIC]