The world of influencing was unknown to masses until a couple of years back. The sudden toll of marketing shift on the digital platforms has led to the rise of the concept of influencer and influencer marketing altogether. Every other person on social media now likes to call themselves influencers.
What started as a hobby has now become a full-time profession for millions. Brands invest truckloads of the amount in influencer marketing, considering it the most efficient form for reaching out to the audience. Identification of right influencers by the brands is of the utmost priority as one decision can make or break the campaign. The term influencer is a broad category that has many subsets under it.
Social media is a vast ocean with multiple species of influencers. The hunt for the perfect one that matches the brand’s objectives and vision is a tough job for marketers. Brands face a significant dilemma while choosing the right candidate for the campaign as every second person on social media platforms is an influencer and is putting out quality content.
While people in the digital space are now getting familiar with the notion, some are still alien to this change and have a hard time understanding the functioning of the industry. There are various misconceptions associated with the profession.
Is there a fixed guide to be an influencer?
The most fun part about being an influencer apart from all the money, attention, brand deals, events, and PR packages are, unlike other professions in the world, this one needs no degree. If one has an expertise in a particular field, that’s going be an add on benefit, but this industry works solely based on talent and hard work.
There is no fixed formula or guide on how to be a “perfect” influencer as it purely works on the trial and error method. What works for one might not work for another. But there are a few points that should be kept in mind if somebody wants to start their journey as an influencer.
It’s important to decide what kind of influencer does one wants to be. Finding the niche around which the content will revolve is the first task that any new budding influencer should do. There should be clarity of vision from the influencer’s side so that the audience is not confused. This will also prove out to be a benefit for them as brands that belong to the same category will start approaching and collaborating.
Once the niche is decided, influencers should finalize the platform where they’ll be putting out their content. It is necessary to analyze the audience of all social media platforms and inspect where the response and acceptance are more.
Being an influencer can be quite intimidating and overwhelming because of all the perks that come along as the person’s reach grows. In the midst of this, Influencers should never forget the content is key and should prioritize their content first because that is what will help them be in the game in the long run.
Listening to the audience is the only way of improving and moving forward in the influencer world. Influencers should strictly highlight that their profession is only sustainable if the audience is receptive to their content. Any feedback from the audience should be taken into consideration and should be worked upon.
If there’s anyone hack that can help an influencer gain followers and attract top brands to the profile, it is consistent. Publishing high-quality content regularly is one of the most effective ways to retain your audience’s attention.
Apart from having a degree, another major misconception regarding influencer as a profession is that one has to be extremely rich and should have the best of gadgets and team members for curating content. These factors are an additional benefit and do play a role, but it does not confirm the success and, for sure, cannot take over the talent the person has.
Challenges faced by influencers:
Behind all the glitz and glamour of an influencer’s social media profile, there lie days of preparation, brainstorming sessions, and last-minute execution errors. It isn’t a cakewalk, and it comes with its own set of problems and challenges.
Building a community and gaining followers take years of determination and constant hard work. Persistent effort is needed to build trust among followers and brands. There is no guarantee of whether the efforts one is putting in will help in getting the equivalent amount of return on investment or not.
The constant planning between influencer’s content and the sponsored content is a huge struggle. Audiences do not prefer watching sponsored content on the feed because they feel influencers are not being honest and are collaborating just because brands are paying them a certain amount. As an influencer, one has to be extremely cautious. Bombarding the audience with sponsored content can harm the reputation and disengage the followers.
Many times influencers get paid less or do not get paid at all by the brands. They should keep an eye on which brands indulge in such activities and should be keeping track because brand deals are the only source of earning for them.
Digital space is extremely fast-paced, and any wrong move or post can reach out to millions in a second and can damage the long-built image of an influencer. They should be cautious with what they’re posting and putting out there.
Another significant issue is the clients keep changing requirements last minute. It takes days to conceptualize and execute material for a specific campaign. Once the final product is ready, it’s difficult for the influencers, in the end, to redo the whole process again.
Like any other sector, the competition level is high in the influencer industry and is continuously increasing. The juggling between getting a high number of followers, obtaining the best of brand deals, consistent posting, and authentic content can be super exhausting. Still, with competition increasing, everyday influencers cannot afford to let go of any of the factors. It’s survival of the fittest.
Nobody becomes an influencer overnight. It takes years of hard work and patience before the results start to show. It is rightly said that with great powers come great responsibilities. Being an influencer is a big responsibility as now thousands of people look up to them for genuine content and reviews. Apart from investing their time and energy, the audience put a lot of trust in them.
They should maintain a personal connection with their followers and should build a loyal and engaged fan base that won’t think twice before trying their recommendations.