Who Has the Upper hand: Corporations or Influencers?
The internet is in a constant state of evolution. 20 years ago, email marketing was cutting edge and a business creating a mailing list was ahead of the curve. Then we entered the golden age of blogging and content marketing. Companies became experts and blogs made brands a lot of money. Today, social media influencers are the ones who hold the power. Who do we have to thank? Social media.
Why Influencers Have the Power:
1. We Trust Our Peers
There are certain “buying triggers” that pushes people to purchase. Trust, credibility, authority, and reciprocity are just some of the things that encourage people to purchase a product. Hearing an influencer’s review is more personable than hearing what a company representative has to say on TV. Once friends and family try the product and verify the raving reviews, an individual is more inclined to make that purchase.
When we think about the difference between a brand and an individual online, we are more likely (as consumers) to trust the advice of an individual. The consumer understands that the brand has to promote themselves, but an individual doesn’t have to promote a brand unless they like it. There’s a higher degree of trust. This gives social media influencers tremendous power. They can say “Buy ABC Cat food” and the sales of ABC will skyrocket.
2. More Interesting Content
Generally speaking, individuals have more interesting content. Individuals are seen as people who are experts in a certain field. A company is perceived as being “for profit”, hence why many companies are partnering with Influencers to get their brand story and products out there.
For example: Betty can share 10 posts a day on Instagram about financial security and her message will be received. If a Financial Security company shares messages, they’re often glossed over. The content an individual shares is more personable and authentic than the voice shared by a publisher.
When someone creates their own content for social media, it shows the work and determination that they have put in. The fact that an individual went through such lengths to orchestrate an Instagram photo/video, caption included, is more appealing than having a company create a post. Why do you think companies hire influencers for their marketing?
3. Better Audience Insight
Typically, companies will post more often than individuals and know less about their audience and followers.
An influencer putting out content on social media knows their audience. They know what type of content resonates with their audience. Why? Because they take the time to engage with them. Influencers take the time to take surveys, ask their followers for their opinion, and most importantly, ask if there is anything else their audience would like to see. —This has proven key to the success of individuals v. corporations.
Most companies do not engage with their audience. They see the massive following as being more prominent in their industry. But, what most companies do not know is that in order to grow their online presence, they too must engage and use their social accounts consistently. Numerous social media sites have changed their algorithm from “give, no take” to “give and take”.
Social media has put the power of content into the hands of the individual. Through consistent content, the power of the peer, and commitment to engage and connect, the individual has the leverage. Does this mean that brands and publishers are going to become obsolete in terms of social content? No, if you commit to the same qualities that the individual does, there’s a chance to make your mark on social.