BCM241 – The Online Advertising Industry

BCM241 – The Online Advertising Industry

Throughout BCM241, Sophie and I have studied the ins and outs of the online advertising industry. Many Influencers sole income is based online, from advertisements on instagram stories to collaborations with major companies. The question that lingers however is where does this money come from? The answer lies with the backbone of online organising – the platforms and companies.

Essentially, the most interacted advertisements are online. Whether you are scrolling through TikTok or swiping on Tinder, the social media platform smoothly transition into short advertisements that unavoidably catch your attention. The advertisements only last from 5 seconds up to 30 seconds, they are extremely annoying, agitating but unavoidable and plainly there. Having advertising on social media makes it the most intractable form of advertising. In comparison to television advertisements and billboards, you can access a website to buy the advertised products or actions almost immediately by swiping up on Instagram or simply clicking the advertisement on Facebook, for example.

Taking it a step further, companies target rising influencers to post about their products, whether this is subtly or direct. Companies could ask for an influencer to post on their Instagram story or make a direct post to advertise the desired product. According to ‘Sprout Social: What is influencer marketing: How to develop your strategy‘ a step by step guide on how to do marketing as social media influencer, they suggest that for micro influencers (who have under 1000 followers) receives around $87 and this grows with the amount of followers an influencers has, a influencer with over 100000 followers averaging around $763 a post.

Subtle forms of advertisement from influencers can often be seen in videos or in the background of posts. An example of this, is the popular energy drink ‘Bang’. Many large TikTok influencers post videos talking about random stuff or moving around a room whilst holding and drinking the energy drink. This strategy draws in the viewer’s attention but still remains subtle and unwitting.

Despite what form of online advertising is used, the online advertising industry is a large money machine that produces significant revenue. The advertising itself producing more attention and money than the purchasing of products. This industry will only continue to grow as our annoyance also continues to grow 😂.

BCM241 DA pitch

BCM241 DA pitch

After weeks of research and planning, Sophie and myself are now able to present our media niche project “Advertising amongst social media platforms”. In the video linked a the bottom of this post, we discussed the elements of this project we will be investigating and how we will be approaching the topic as a whole, using quantitative and qualitative research and both primary and secondary methods.

We both decided to explore advertising amongst specific influencers including Charli D’amelio and the Kardashians and how they use the large platforms to advertise brands on apps such as Instagram or TikTok. By studying these influencers, we will narrow down how much money they make, the average engagement of an advertisement post in comparison to a normal post and how an influencer’s support in a company can change their fans point of views.

Sophie and I will be using the autoethnography method to further our knowledge as well as using observation when we interview a small-time local influencer to gather primary information. We will collect this information and gather it into a series of blog posts, posted on each of our blogs.

Due to Covid, Sophie and I have not yet been able to meet in person, so we will continue to use a joint google document to make field notes throughout the project. We have also been making weekly discord calls to check on each other’s progress and feed each other information. Since the beginning of the semester, Sophie and I added each other on Facebook as well and stay regularly in contact.

Behind the scenes – Background research and ethics of advertising through influencers

Behind the scenes – Background research and ethics of advertising through influencers

Now that we have initiated our research plan and made a planned schedule of our media niche, it is now time to display our background research and show some ethical implications of advertising. In this blog post, we will be analysing secondary sources that represent our niche of advertising amongst social media platforms, for example why companies want to use certain influencers for their products and how this affects their sales/profit. Our theoretical framework will involve us gaining more insightful information on our media niche, that being advertising, and to use this information to gain a deeper understanding on our topic.

Ethical considerations

We will be using the MEAA code of ethics as a directory when approaching our research into our niche. We will remain unbiased throughout our research, only observing what we find rather than giving our opinion. We will only be making general observations about a comment that a fan or an influencer has made. We will be interviewing a small local influencer, before we proceed to interview however, we be asking for her consent to use her name and identity. We will not be quoting her directly and will instead talk about our experience on the niche and this case study. All research will be recorded in a fair and ethical way, remaining anonymous. As well as this, both Sophie and I have agreed to remain unbiased in our research and keep our information unopinionated, our opinions will be kept out of all of our work.

Background research

 Our theoretical framework will involve us gaining more insightful information on our media niche, that being advertising, and to use this information to gain a deeper understanding on our topic .For our autoethnography method, we will be interviewing a small local influencer who regularly advertises on Instagram for a popular clothing brand in Australia, Princess Polly. During both our experiences of our media niche, we both bought a product from one of her advertisements with a unique discount code “chels20”. Based on the interview, we will be seeing how our interactions with her advertisement and code reflect on the results of her overall deal. Even outside of the people who we follow on Instagram and Tiktok who are big influencers like Charli D’amelio, we will see an average of 40-50 advertisements in one day from other small influencers, accumulating to the 4-5 hours we spend on our mobile phones and social media. 

In reference to the above photo, as the most used social media platform for sponsored content by influencers is on Instagram, we will be focusing our research on Instagram (whilst still referencing other platforms). We will also be using the “Influencer Marketing in 2020: 5 Guidelines for Maximizing the Results of Working With Influencers” article, which will help Sophie and I build a structure for how social media influencers interact with their audience.

Sophie and I very excited to continue this research project together into the future, we are so lucky to have found substantial information on the internet and are keen to explore further.


Cronin N, “A Simple Guide To Instagram Influencer Marketing in 2020”, Web Article, July 23, viewed on 1 September 2020.

Gotter A, “Influencer Marketing in 2020: 5 Guidelines for Maximising the Results of Working With Influencers”, Blog Post, February 11, viewed 1 September 2020.

Login, S., Login, B., Login, S., Scheduling, P., Management, S., Care, C., Intelligence, D., Advocacy, E., Business, S., Stories, C., Blog, S., Center, R., Updates, P., Portal, L., Studies, C., Blog, A., Analytics, T., Listening, S., Tools, S., Campaigns, S., Login, S., Login, B., Login, S., Trial, S. and Chen, J., 2020. Important Instagram Stats You Need To Know For 2020. [online] Sprout Social. Available at: <https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/&gt; [Accessed 1 September 2020].

BCM241 – Time to plan

BCM241 – Time to plan

Now it’s time to plan. Sophie and I have established our niche “Online Advertising Amongst Social Media Platforms” And have organised what topics within this niche we want to research. After gathering our ideas and narrowing our niche to are more specific industry, it is time to move on. The next step to reaching our goals is begin researching, we will be doing this through three steps. These three steps are to problematise from our research, create a research plan and then schedule our research.  


The first step is to problematise our niche, Sophie and I have pinpointed key issues in our niche that can help people better understand what we are discussing.  By discovering problems in our niche, it will later aid us in our digital artefact at the end of the semester. Bringing issues forward, gives our niche a different dynamic. It allows people to see our niche from a polar opposite perspective. We discovered that advertising on social media platforms from influencers is not always positive encourage many issues. Although many people buy into products that influencers advertise, advertising can also have an ulterior effect and will deter people from buying into these companies. An example of this is the recent controversy surrounding Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, many of the young audience will not buy into their products due to no longer supporting their actions.

Some of the problems that we narrowed down and will research include:

  •  defamation of companies
  • Wrongful advertising
  • Controversy over advertised company’s brand (eg. An influencer advertising a company that does not relate to their own brand or advertising a controversial company)
  • Discrediting brands

Our paradigmatic framework will explore the content shared from social media influencers e.g. Charli and Dixie D’amelio, and taking notes on how they advertise brands across their social platforms ie. TikTok

Research plan

Sophie and I will be using both qualitative and quantitative research methods to help us reach our end goal. Examples of this are surveys, analytics and specific case studies. Throughout our research we will be recording notes on our shared google document and gathering data that we will later put all together into final digital artefact. We will be looking closely at the companies being advertised, who is advertising them, what platforms they are being advertised on and the response to these advertisements by audiences. The main ethnography method we will be using is “audience ethnographies”, the way audiences respond the media through culture, politics etc. We will be using this article as a example in association with our studies: http://www.globalmediajournal.com/open-access/audience-ethnographies-a-media-engagement-approach.php?aid=35086

Research scheduling

Due to Covid, Sophie and I have had to adapt to a new environment and discover new ways of studying from home (along with everyone else). for obvious reasons, doing a joint DA will be challenging yet technology is helping us still work together. We plan on contributing 3-4 hours weekly to our work and will communicate over discord calls and Facebook messenger. Shown below is our research schedule for the rest of the semester.

Thanks for reading x

#BCM241 Field site – Change of path

#BCM241 Field site – Change of path

A LOT has changed since last week’s blog. I mean a 360 degree change, different niche and different approach. I’ve decided to collaborate with someone from my class, who expressed that she had a similar interest to me after I pitched my niche to our class. Welcome Sophie! Sophie’s blog is https://sophiemorrriss.wordpress.com/ if you would like her follow her along as well on our collaborative niche/DA.

Our new idea stemmed from our similar interest in the beauty industry and how large companies Involve Big social media influencers in their branding for larger engagement of their products. Amongst other large industries such as clothing and music, these large companies get influencers to post advertisements on the largest platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok. Through these social media posts, which could be a short video an a Instagram Storey to a to even a YouTube video involving a 30 second promotion, Influences have the ability to mass advertise products to millions of people.

From previous experience, as a young teenage girl, I had impulsively bought something one of my favourite influencers promoted purely due to the fact that they showed interest in it. Currently, the largest influencers on any platform are the TikTok stars, some of the largest names being Charli D’amelio, Addison Rae and Dixie D’amelio. Their large influence over the younger demographic Allows them to successfully mass advertise a company’s product.

The above field site made with the help of Sophie displays the influencers, interactions, advertised products and the social media platforms that are used for our niche “Online Advertising Amongst Social Media Platforms”. As this topic is fairly broad, Sophie and I will definitely be elaborating on the sources and influencers used in this form of advertising.

One idea that is remaining from my original niche is the discussion of Charli D’amelio. Sophie and I both found extreme interest in Charli’s online presence. As I addressed in my previous blog post, this influencer’s social media platform is one of the largest and fastest growing platforms I have ever seen in comparison to any other, including Kylie Jenner, one of the most famous influencers globally. Charli receives an average of 20 million views per TikTok video and her engagement is at a global peak.

Alongside Charli D’amelio, many other influencers from this platform and other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram all have accumulated fan loyalty from a large fan base created overtime. These fanbases are largely influenced by social media influencers and therefore have extreme power over their follower’s political, consumer and charitable choices. This is where branding and collaborative deals come into play.

An example of this that we hope to research more in depth is the recent collaboration the D’amelio sisters recently took part in with Morphe, a popular makeup brand. The sisters are not widely known for being part of the beauty community which caused large speculation, yet it was still a multimillion dollar brand deal.

I’m so excited to do this niche with Sophie and explore it in a lot more depth. Make sure to follow us along on both of our blogs and social media!

& Thankyou for reading x

What is my Media Niche?

What is my Media Niche?

Social media is powerful, its influence on any audience varies opinion yet its impact is global. Any form of social media can become ‘viral’, such as a YouTube video, tweet or instagram post yet it also has the power to make people go viral overnight. Social media is known for making ordinary people global phenomenons in a matter of hours. When studying what I would research this semester, this media niche caught my attention immediately: Influencers, the social media superstars.

I immediately chose this media niche at 11pm in my bed scrolling through Tiktok, a looping video application. I scrolled upon the now celebrity status ‘Tiktoker’, Charli D’amelio. TikTok is an app that has only gained popularity over the past year, however has made many newborn celebrities for making short videos. Charli D’amelio is known as the most popular amongst this bunch. Charli makes short dance videos on Tiktok, one of these videos became viral overnight. The influencer gained over 5 million followers in less than a week. Charli now has 78 million followers on Tiktok, 26 million on instagram and 3.7 million on twitter, all from making dance videos on a singular application. Each of her videos average around 20 million videos and around 6 million likes. These statistics amazed me, a 15 year old girl receiving this much engagement for doing something so simplistic, yet most influencers are alike.


THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR 77 MILLION !!!! 💕💕💕💕💕💕 dc @itsgabrielluis

♬ Big Bank Dance Challenge – Gabriel Luis Pascual

Alongside Charli, there are many influencers alike such as Addison Rae and Noah Beck who have gained fame from this platform. Generation Z have idolised these individuals from making these short videos and in response have made them influencers. Other social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube have also made influencers through their applications.

The accumulated audiences social media influencers gain allow them to have large influence, striking true to their title. This is where ‘the medium is the message’ theory comes in, the opinions influencers deliver through social media is sent directly to their audience and can influence the individual viewer’s point of view, either positively or negatively. Influencers have the ability to influence millions of people and use their platforms to voice their opinions on topics such as advertising products, politics, charities etc.. Through posting videos and photos, these social media celebrities statistically receive more engagement than television celebrities according to mediakix.  Large companies pay thousands of dollars to have influencers advertise their products on their social media platforms, for example through Instagram stories which can be viewed by millions of people.

How brands can succeed with Instagram Stories: Case studies - Vamp

The above image shows an influencer posting an advertisement on her instagram story, which can be viewed by all of her followers.

With these gathered statistics and my premature interest in this subject, I am extremely interested to research this niche throughout this semester.  I want to discover the depths of what it really takes to be an influencer, how content becomes viral and ‘cancel culture’ amongst influencers. I’m so intrigued by this niche and I’m excited to explore it. If you want to follow along, make sure to follow my blog and follow me on my twitter linked below!


Raphael, S., 2020. A Tiktok Expert Explained Exactly How Charli D’amelio Got Famous On The App (EXCLUSIVE). [online] Distractify. Available at: <https://www.distractify.com/p/tiktok-charli-damelio&gt; [Accessed 6 August 2020].

Mediakix. 2020. Digital Influencers Vs. Celebrities: Who’s Best For Brands?. [online] Available at: <https://mediakix.com/blog/digital-influencers-vs-celebrities-social-media-week-la/&gt; [Accessed 6 August 2020].