A few years ago, a study discovered what children want to be when they grow up. Rather than “I want to be a doctor” or “I want to be an astronaut”, the most common response was “I want to be a YouTuber”. Kids want to be famous on social media.
Over the years, social networks have infiltrated our daily lives. Now you can make more money reading a script on your phone for 10 minutes than a doctor makes in a year. Indeed, most influencer pricing starts between $100 and $10,000 per post, according to influencer agency reports. Agencies have embraced this social phenomenon and implemented authentic influencer content in their advertisements.
The influencer as we know it
This is the ideal job; all the tools you need are at your disposal. If it’s that simple, then no wonder everyone wants to be an influencer. The tools were provided at the right time for Gen Z and millennial kids, empowering users from any corner of the world to become social media stars.
In 2022, is the term ‘influencer’ now outdated? Social media gurus suggest the term should simply be “content creator”, opening up an opportunity for more diversity on social platforms. TikTok has made this possible with its inclusive approach, while Instagram is very specific about its influencers. Heavy filters, high-quality photography, and edited bodies promote a misrepresentation of what influencers “should” look like.
It is important for marketing agencies to understand the difference between these platforms and be able to adapt. Although Instagram is trying to be more like TikTok every day, this line is perhaps becoming less divisive.
Short video content is king
Between the years 2016 and 2020, we saw the fall of Vine, but the rise of YouTube vloggers. 2020 has arrived with a pandemic across the world, forcing us all to return home without “in person” interaction. It’s safe to say that the majority of us have headed to social platforms to feel connected.
In the absence of a thriving social life, we all eventually became more laid back and relaxed, relying on taking photos and even creating our own user-generated content (UGC). Many people saw this as an opportunity to become full-time creators – and with the level of requirement to be an “influencer” being much more relaxed than normal, it wasn’t difficult.
But it opened up a whole new set of problems in the world of influencers. Emma Chamberlain said it well: “Because everyone is trying to be an influencer, the industry has become less exclusive and, in turn, less credible. But was it ever credible to begin with?”
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