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The Evolution of Influencers, From the 1700s to Today (Infographic)

While influencer marketing may have started long ago, it's reaching new heights today with the help of social media.
The Evolution of Influencers, From the 1700s to Today (Infographic)
Image credit: Joe Robbins | Getty Images

Influencer marketing is a great way for companies to boost their reach and get their name out to the world. Tapping into the social followings of celebrities and social media icons is an effective way to get new fans and customers, and while it may feel like it’s at its height right now, influencer marketing actually has an old history. In fact, it dates all the way back to the 1700s.

Related: How to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

The famous potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood tapped into royalty, getting kings, queens and other nobles to endorse his pottery line. Later, in 1905, Fatty Arbuckle, an American silent film actor, comedian, director and screenwriter, became the first recorded celebrity to endorse a product, which was Murad Cigarettes.

But today, when we think of “celebrity” or “influencer,” stars such as Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and DJ Khaled come to mind. And that’s because these celebrities have followings so massive, an endorsement or ad by them is sure to get customers swayed to buy a product or try a service.

Related: Coca-Cola, Dell and PayPal Share Their Influencer Marketing Secrets

While influencer marketing may have started long ago, with the help of social media, it’s reaching new heights today -- and it has created an entirely new genre of celebrity. There are a number of famous individuals today who found their fame only because of social media, such as YouTuber Lilly Singh and Vine star Andrew Bachelor. These influencers may be even more effective than celebrities when it comes to endorsing a product -- 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers say that these influencers are more relatable than celebrities.

To learn more about the evolution of influencers, check out NoGRE.com’s infographic below.

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