Having a top celebrity talk about your products or services is an absolute dream for many small business owners. For a while, there was something called “The Oprah Effect,” where the fact that the talk-show how mentioned an item as part of her favorite things show or chose a title for her book club would drive sales numbers through the roof at stratospheric speed. Now Oprah’s star seems to have faded, and there’s a new generation of tastemakers taking their place – but things look a little different than you might be used to.
Meet FuckJerry and Beige Cardigan. They’re a newlywed couple out of New York who spend most of their time collecting funny memes on the internet and sharing them on Instagram. While most people who spend their days doing this wind up sleeping in their parents’ garage, lamenting their life choices, these two have managed to build a media empire. Their huge follower numbers and edgy humorous content have made them extremely attractive to top brands like Lyft and Diesel, who have coordinated with the pair on different marketing projects.
Why are businesses seeking these two out? Their content isn’t unique – the memes they share are almost exclusively created by other people. Instead, FuckJerry and Beige Cardigan are curators, searching and sharing what makes them laugh. They’ve amassed a huge audience, including noteworthy pop culture names, and that’s what makes them appealing. Brands hope to gain access to that audience, with an extra level of credibility built in by having the tacit FuckJerry seal of approval.
Given this couple’s relatively high prominence, working with them is going to be cost-prohibitive for most small business owners. But fear not: there’s no shortage of digital influencers. Identifying what voices your customers are listening to can reveal that there’s stars you will be able to work with, whether that’s a blogger, YouTuber, or Instagram sensation.
Make sure you understand the influencer’s content – surprisingly enough, FuckJerry tends to feature edgy material that may not mesh well with every brand’s marketing plan – because they’re not going to change what they’re doing just because you’re paying them. Influence marketing hinges on paying for access, not control – but once that hurdle has been crossed, it can be a very powerful tool to have in your marketing arsenal.