Selfie Marketing vs Influencer Marketing

Is this the end of Influencers?

Influencer Marketing

Social media has actively shaped how business operate and reach out to their customers. The latest buzz word in the industry has been “Influencer marketing”. Brands like Puma, Adidas, and Loreal have seen great success with this strategy but as the hype approached a plateau, there were some concerns with this approach.

We live to play

A post shared by FYRE FESTIVAL (@fyrefestival) on

There were instances where Influencers were over-charging for their services, using bots to give the illusion of greater reach and firms were unable to accurately measure the effectiveness their marketing strategies. The Fyre Festival fiasco highlighted the increased need for analytics to bridge the gap between brands and their influencers. While analytics has proven effective in assisting brands to make informed decisions, a new strategy has been in play.


Selfies, hate them or love them, there are all around us. While is difficult to paint an accurate history of selfies amongst the rich collection of fiction and myths, here are some interesting facts.

  • 1839 – The first selfie was taken by Robert Cornelius
  • 2002 – First known use of the word ‘selfie’ in any paper or electronic medium
  • 2003 – First front-facing camera mobile phone
  • 2011 – Jennifer Lee was the first person to coin it as a hashtag on Instagram
  • 2013 – ‘Selfie’ was included in the Oxford English dictionary and announced as ‘word of the year’ 

Millennials are expected to take over 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. A recent study by Now Sourcing and Frames Direct revealed that on average Millennials spend an hour a week on selfie duty. An hour a week spent on taking the photo, editing it, perhaps even planning. This trend is not only prevalent among the millennials but it’s also making its way to other generations

You might question the use of selfies as a marketing strategy. After all, selfies, a social trend that is seemingly amateurish and possibly self-indulging can’t possibly a marketing tool.

When it comes to advertising, nothing beats well-lighted branded photos of day-to-day customers having a good time. It is a great way for businesses to tap into social media and better engage with their customers.

Here are some 3 great examples

1. Warby Parker

Sunday plans. Anyone else have a #warbyhometryon this weekend? ? (Photo by @roamandgolightly.)

A post shared by Warby Parker (@warbyparker) on

The photo booths at Warby Parker, an optical company does more than help customers get feedback from friends and families about the frames they are considering. It also helps customers better enjoy the entire experience.

Given that 55% of their followers are between the ages 18-35, it’s no wonder Warby Parker is focusing their marketing efforts on the creation of visual content on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Warby Parker Photo Booth Instagram Demographics

Credit: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Data provided by Popular Chips– Influencer Marketing Analytics Platform

2. Paintbox

Equal parts classic and daring, our Like a Boss design gives your nails serious edge.

A post shared by Paintbox (@paintboxnails) on

Paintbox is a manicure only studio that trades the traditional walls of nail polish colors for a showcased edit of the season’s top 50 polishes, curated by former beauty editor Langston herself.

After the session, on their way out, customers can pop by the photo booth to capture a high-resolution picture of their manicure which can then be shared through social media outlets. What better way to share your day with family and friends?

For Paintbox, 56% of their followers are between the ages 18-35. Given this sizeable figure and the popularity of their photo booths, it’s safe to say Paintbox struck a chord with their customers.

Paintbox Photo Booth Instagram Demographics

Data provided by Popular Chips– Influencer Marketing Analytics Platform

3. The Tracy Anderson Method

The Tracy Anderson Method is well-known fitness chain with a high-end cult following. Their photo booth comes with props including tiny flags festooned with hearts, a pair of weights and even four photographic filters.

These booths encourage customers to work harder and if they are proud of their results they would want to mark the moment with a selfie and post it on Instagram. For Tracy Anderson, 51% of their followers are between the ages 18-35.

Tracy Anderson Photo Booth Instagram Demographics

Credit: The New York Times

Data provided by Popular Chips– Influencer Marketing Analytics Platform

Selfies VS Influencers? 

Selfies provide a more candid means to market your brand but it’s difficult to track the effectiveness of such campaigns. It is hard to pin your hopes that your customer’s limited network will be inspired by the photos, assuming your brand is clearly visible in the posts. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, gives you access to individuals who have carefully built their social media presence. With the aid of a good analytics platform, brands are able to choose the right influencer that could reach their target audience. The drawback is that while there is some level of professionalism and guaranteed brand placement, most of these sponsored posts are still staged.


Both selfie marketing and influencer marketing have their own merits. If Brands consider applying both of these strategies in tangent they might be able to reap the synergistic effects of both these strategies.

Whether it is Selfies or Influencers, it’s important to track the performance of any marketing campaigns. Currently, influencers have the edge over selfies of day-to-day customers. Would this change in the future? Who knows but regardless of the medium we choose, proper implementation is vital and constant tracking is key to an effective campaign.

Written by Kenneth Edward

Hey, everyone! I am currently serving as an Account Coordinator at Octagon, the world's top agency for sports entertainment marketing and talent management. Besides dogs and fine teas, I love all things marketing. It is my belief that good marketing not only educates, it engages and transforms. Shoot me an email if you have any questions. Thx!

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