With the possible exception of superhero films, it’s hard to think of a more overcrowded market right now than social media influencing.
And, just as it’s easy to see the appeal of a massive green man fighting giant space robots, it’s easy to understand why so many people are getting involved in influencer marketing.
60% of brands used influencers in their marketing strategy in 2016, and that figure is undoubtedly still rising.
What that means for content creators is a space increasingly filled with people realising their personality and passions make them very valuable to brands.
But will there be a point where there are just too many great content creators to go around? And, if that’s the case, is now really a good time to begin your career in influencer marketing?
The simple answer is ‘yes’ – and the less simple answer is ‘yes, but’.
The substance of that ‘but’ is whether you’re stepping into a very busy market place with something that will make you stand out.
That ‘something’ can take all sorts of shapes, but what it absolutely does not look like is simply a desire to make some easy money.
In fact, probably the best way to summarise the kind of qualities you’ll need to make a success of being a content creator is through this fantastic checklist from The Next Web.
It focuses on offering value (not making money) and establishing a genuine specialism (not just joining in). And if the things described in that list sound like the way you’d like your efforts as a content creator to appear, then this might be the business for you.
Social media influencing has developed its own circle of life. The most successful content creators have moved up the ladder and now offer the kind of reach (and charge the kind of rates) you’d expect from traditional celebrities. These ‘superstar’ creators are even hiring agents – who, as you’d expect, will try and engineer the biggest fee they can.
What appears then is something of a vacuum at the entrance to social media influencing. Some big brands will happily pay the big bucks for the big names, but many brands got into influencer marketing because it offered a better value, more personal alternative to hiring a famous face.
The people stepping into this void are the micro influencers, specialists in a certain niche who may not boast the same kind of audience, but can provide you with engagement figures some of the big guns could only dream of.
The reality is that getting into social media influencing is easy, but getting ahead has never been harder. So many people are flooding into it, we’d be lying if we said all of you are going to succeed. (There’s a college in China that even teaches a class on how to be a social media influencer for goodness sake!)
All you can do is be interesting, passionate, genuine, different, valuable and willing to work your socks off. It’s a bit like fighting those giant space monsters. A bit.