For many, social media content creation has become a full-time job. Social platforms are constantly providing new ways for people to monetize their high quality, original content, even enabling them to charge their subscribers and followers for access to exclusive posts. Many rely heavily on branded partnerships as a source of income, forcing them to consider how their content could impact potential future campaigns. Here at TAKUMI, we get numerous campaign proposals seeking creators with engaging content that reflects a well-rounded, multi-dimensional individual; creators that have passion points as well as an awareness of the world around them. In fact, according to our 2020 Whitepaper, 41% of consumers believe that influencers should use their platforms to engage in activism. Therefore, by creating a versatile and empathetic online persona, creators can engage with their audiences more effectively.
Not only does this benefit the creator, it is also beneficial for the brands they collaborate with. Public expectations are high, with brands wanting to appear “woke” and in touch with the matters that consumers care about. With creators bridging the gap between the two parties, it falls on them to represent their followers’ interests. It falls on them to be engaged in the world, posting content that is authentic to their identity and the values of their followers. Embodying these qualities are the micro-influencers- creators with a following of around 1,000 to 100,000 people, and often regarded as industry experts or subject specialists, since they have built their content around a niche interest, such as beauty or fitness. They tend to have a strong relationship with their followers, and their content is a reflection of both their own interests and values, and those of their followers’. They understand that authenticity is crucial, which also feeds into their philosophy behind brand partnerships. More and more, creators are putting values and social justice at the forefront of their partnership decisions by ensuring the brands they choose to work with are aligned with their own values, like sustainability. In doing so, creators are staying true to themselves and true to the social issues their followers care about; followers which represent the target audiences that brands need to reach.
That being said, this means that brands cannot rely solely on creators to help them appear “woke”. In digital marketing, while raising brand awareness and hitting KPI’s are a key focus, this cannot be achieved without a clear brand identity. What do we stand for? What are our values? How do our products, advertising, and culture reflect what we believe in? These are the questions which brands must be asking themselves. If they don’t address world issues or reflect the values of their target consumers, this deters creators from potential partnerships.
Ultimately, although it is niche content which sets them apart from one another, it’s more important than ever that creators and brands show themselves to be culturally, socially, and politically engaged.