86 percent of young people now want to pursue the career path of social media influencing. But what college majors will be the most helpful?
Influencer marketing is now a $6.5 billion industry and by 2022, that number will surpass $15 billion, according to Business Insider Intelligence. With brands investing 25 percent of their marketing budget on influencer marketing, the industry is quite a lucrative one for current and future job seekers, which is likely why a whopping 86 percent of young people now want to pursue the career path of social media influencing. While many influencers are interested in higher education, there is a fierce debate of whether heading off to college is necessary or worthwhile in their pursuit of influencer success. Toss in the average student loan debt of $32,600 for college graduates, and the tables begin to turn. However, equipping yourself with an educational background in a few select areas can help you to truly excel in the highly competitive influencer marketing landscape.
Food And Nutrition Management
Influencer marketing in the food industry is one of the most talked-about marketing tactics in recent years. In a study by CampaignDeus, 16 percent of branded content by influencers were for food and drink, highlighting the vast opportunities for influencers to secure partnerships. As an influencer in the food industry, you will be in the position of recommending foods, diets and nutritional products to your followers.
With the gravitation in the food industry toward influencer marketing as an advertising tool, many companies will be looking for dietary professionals to support and recommend their products based on their benefits. As a certified nutrition professional, earning the trust of your followers will be easier if you have been properly trained. Some colleges also offer variations of a food and nutrition management program or optional courses, such as a degree in food business entrepreneurship. This will teach you the skills needed to analyze and understand the food industry, thereby improving your marketing skills.
Many universities now offer a Master’s degree in media management, which combines elements of communications and management. These programs are great for influencers because the courses included tend to cover key concepts influencers will come into contact with throughout their careers, including marketing plans, digital strategies, competitive tactics, target audiences and media sales. Some colleges have also gone into more detail and include social media management and photography courses as a part of their degree programs, recognizing the rise of social media and the increasing use of social media tools by businesses today.
As an influencer, your interaction with the public is non-negotiable. A bachelor’s degree in public relations opens many doors in the professional world, including careers in account management, social media management, and advertising strategy. Many of the courses taught in a public relations program, like how to write a press release, communicating with your target audience, and conflict resolution, are all applicable to your role as an influencer. Working with brands and followers requires your communication and conflict resolution skills to be well-honed while your part of your job will include drafting social media posts or videos on the product/brand you are working with. This would entail you choosing the appropriate content, layout, and imaging — all things that public relations graduates are well versed in.
In a time where at least one-third of the upcoming generation (generation Z) has aspirations to become an influencer, a college campus can be more than an influencer hotspot; it can become one of your most powerful tools in promoting and building your personal brand.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Karoline Cooke.