Has Cristiano Ronaldo cracked the code on influencer marketing?
WITH 80.5 million fans on Twitter and 186 million fans on Instagram, Christiano Ronaldo is definitely an influencer — but can his new degree program help teach others to follow in his footsteps?
According to Bloomberg, the football star is endorsing and promoting a new online three-year degree program in “social media influencing”.
While it is no surprise that Ronaldo, who dedicates much of his time to philanthropy, is also funding 36 student grants as part of his scholarship — the course itself generates much curiosity given the duration and the field of specialization.
The ‘goal’ of the program is to “fill the current educational gap” and allow students to acquire skills that help them understand and perform better as influencers.
According to the website, the degree will offer classes in fashion psychology, semiotics and the philosophy of language, TV history, intercultural communication & information technology, and other areas.
Bloomberg got on the phone with a marketing executive at the institute who said that the course helped make the distinction between personal branding and influencer marketing and enabled students to master the latter.
Overall, the reactions from influencers, marketing experts, and academic professionals on hearing about the course seem to be mixed — some are overjoyed about the formal education being offered and the support in terms of peers and professors that will be provided, while others reject the idea that ‘influencer marketing’ can be taught.
However, for businesses and marketing professionals, the reality is that influencer marketing is becoming more and more important and gaining a better understanding of the market and the people behind influential profiles can be a big help when it comes to driving successful campaigns.
If the course can distill and analyze even a small part of how, why and what moves the needle in the world of influencer marketing, students can definitely gain an edge upon graduation.
For business executives, the journey might be far more simple and take much less than the three-year degree program: Their goal must be to not only better understand the influencers they work with but also gain more insights into what attracts their customers to those specific influencers.
Knowledge, ultimately, is power. If marketers make an effort to get under the skin of influencers, they’re bound to improve relationships and create better campaigns, and maybe even engineer a strategy to help the company become more influential in the coming months.
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