The influencer is dead, long live the creator
OK, so my headline might be a bit sensationalist. I don’t really believe that the power of the influencer has gone up in flames – it’s a massive industry and too ingrained in popular culture to just go away. But I do believe that in a world reshaped by coronavirus lockdowns, with the urgency for fresh new content every hour, every day, influencers (be it celebrities or professional influencers) are rapidly losing their power.
Influencers vs creators
It may surprise you to learn that consumers are now almost twice as likely to consider a product recommended by a friend rather than an influencer or celebrity.
The power is increasingly being handed over to creators – those people that spontaneously share their opinions on a product or brand with their peers and communities.
Of course, creators do still exert influence, and influencers still create content, but the difference lies in their intention. Creators offer an authentic, unrewarded expression of their appreciation for a product or brand, whereas an influencer intentionally creates content and receives compensation for their efforts. To be blunt - an influencer's job is to influence, whereas a creator simply creates. It’s more authentic, and…
In a world of finely-tuned and expertly-curated celebrity and influencer lifestyle content, viewing something real is a breath of fresh air for consumers.
According to the Consumer Content Report 86% of consumers say authenticity is important to them when deciding what brands they like (a figure that goes up to 90% for millennials). However, only 23% said celebrity influencer content is impactful.
It’s time to hand over the reins to creators – the new, more authentic band of influencers
The future lies not in shelling out cash to celebrities and professional influencers, but in allowing and empowering consumers and fans to create content. But don’t just take my word for it…
As commentator Gary Vaynerchuk said last year in an article about the state of the advertising industry, “When the advertising industry understands why Doggface208’s TikTok video is the single best “commercial” in the history of Ocean Spray’s brand, then it will start to wake up and understand what’s going on.”
Doggface208’s video of him skateboarding to the soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams, whilst drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray, received millions of likes and shares and sparked a wave of copycats across social media platforms (including one by none other than Mick Fleetwood himself). It’s perhaps Ocean Spray’s best advert ever - more impactful, more talked about, and more awareness-building than anything achieved by its previous influencer campaigns.
This is just one example. Many brands have benefitted from such authentic UGV moments, proving that creator content is indeed the ultimate in brand advocacy. Check out this advert for Volkswagen and its ‘life is better when you go all-in’ campaign which has racked up almost 1.2 million views since on YouTube in just 3 months. This ad was created using a cool video from the Newsflare archive filmed on a GoPro camera attached to Walter, the golden labrador’s, back.
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