Influencer marketing can be an overwhelming marketing trend to jump into. There are a lot of questions around what it means to be an influencer (because, haven’t you noticed everyone jumping on this bandwagon?) and what metrics to watch for when looking for the perfect one. We’ve had lots of practice driving results with influencer marketing campaign, so we’re confident to say what we’re about too: Influencers are sneaky weasels.
Everyone thinks there are 3 levels of influencers: celebrities, macro (follower count > 100K) and micro-influencers (those between 2K-20K or above). But what people often is miss is the fourth category: publishers.
Publishers are authors, videographers, or documentary producers who focus in on a very very specific topics. They are researchers, secondary educators, and most importantly influencers of societies opinions on specific industries, topics and life-altering events. Publishers in the form of producing media have a larger impact when their content is shared online then when some celebrities are paid-to-post a product they’ve never even heard of before.
The problem is that publishers have no transparency behind their drive to produce content on a specific topic and how they’re being paid for it. Publishers and editors are being paid for the work, which means technically these are ‘sponsored’ articles and videos from larger corporations. So, how does this deepening trend impact our society and the way we once thought influencer marketing was? We have 2 examples to make it more clear for you.
PSA alert: this is not a rant.
First example is What The Meat; it is a recently released documentary on the health epidemic in the United States of America. There’s one consistent theme that holds true throughout, and that is that meat is bad for the health of humans. It’s pushed hundreds, if not thousands of people to give up on their love for meat dishes and animal bi-products after disturbing so-called “truths” come out from doctors, nutritionists and even health organizations across the US. So, how can this one documentary “inspire” so many to change their lifestyles? Fear. The fearful information behind a large health-epidemic in America is everything we thought was right. Lean meat, even including chicken and fish, is labelled harmful and bad for your health in the documentary. And people. Just. ate. It. UP!
The second example we’d like to shine some light on is recent political driven activism in the United States (alright, sorry neighbs’ but you really do have the light shined on you this year). Large groups gather to project their opinions in a “meaningful” way. But who writes about it, draws a picture of the “issue” and pushes it across the country? Publishers. The media. News broadcasters. These types of authors and publications are just as influential as influencers on social media. Their opinions and trusting audience make for a hungry following when something is pushed public, but rarely do people notice just how influential they are and how they’re being financially backed.
From these 2 examples, you can see that types of publications online and in public are driven by much more than a paid-to-post campaign and are sparking rather large interest in issues around the world. Their financial backing is often unknown and the lack of transparency to speak to the motivation behind creating such dramatic and opinion-altering content leaves some people blissfully naive, while others are angry and confused.
But let’s come back to what matters: micro-influencers. We’ll stop repeating ourselves, micro-influencers are the sh*t!!! Their sweet spot for following is between 1.5K-20K, which is the when their follower engagement is at all time high. Micro-influencers are rarely paid, which means their opinions are rarely altered or swayed by brands - and their followers know this. Their audience is much more trustworthy than that of Kim Kardashian being paid $100K to post about diet pills. Why? Because micro-influencers are like local celebrities that nobody outside of your city knows about. They’re relatable, genuine, and most importantly in touch with reality.