In the current age of social media, users are accustomed to interacting with both influencers and content creators. But what’s the difference between the two? Although the two are often misconstrued to be the same, they are in fact different.
Historically, brands have made use of influencers to promote their products on social media, but recently there has been a paradigm shift away from that strategy. Content creators have begun to supersede influencers. Things like influencer fatigue, or lack of trust and authenticity from these paid partnerships are leading this turn, which is supported through our recent survey. 85% of consumers find influencers inauthentic and/or unrelatable. If brands incorporated user-generated content into marketing initiatives, 84% of those surveyed report being more likely to trust the brand and 77% of respondents would be more inclined to purchase their products or services.
Let’s not forget that influencers are not cheap. While influencer marketing is being paid out of marketing teams’ budgets, content creators are rarely paid and are activated to create content purely for their affinity for a brand or product.
An influencer is “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.” The purpose of an influencer is to persuade their following to purchase or use a product. Think Fashion Nova.
Content creators are individuals who produce written, audio, or video content they genuinely care about instead of being hired or paid to do so. Their purpose for creating content is not necessarily to get paid but instead to add value to their community.
Audiences are tired of seeing sponsored content and are welcoming of the authenticity of user generated content.
Kian Bakhtiari from Forbes says it best when talking about the shift in digital marketing:
Using influencers is a thing of the past. User generated content (UGC) should be at the forefront of every marketing campaign. Brand affinity, trustworthiness, and authenticity are all encapsulated through user generated content. There are many ways to deploy a UGC campaign and brands have an array of options when figuring out what works best for them.
To deploy a UGC campaign you have a multitude of options. To determine what works best for your needs, think about what results sound most desirable. Are you looking to bolster your engagement on social media or curate a backlog of themed content? Do you need a passive flow of UGC or a large boost? Keep in mind that you aren't limited to just one! You can always combine or incorporate different results as you build your strategy.
Once you have an idea for an end result, however, it's time to think about how often you'd want to run these campaigns. UGC campaigns can be run weekly, monthly, quarterly - or some combination thereof! It's about which option will provide your community and your team ample time to create and share their content. The sooner a brand activates their community to create content, the sooner they will see a return on their investment.
of consumers find influencers inauthentic and/or unrelatable