Influencers, a word that became popular around 2018. Previously, we were talking more about bloggers, Instagramers, etc. It all depended on the platform used by the person in question to “label it”. Today, we continually hear the term “influencers” because it brings together all these new professions of the digital era even if it is, I find, extremely reducing at different levels.
In this post, I will share both my personal reflections on this world while sharing my experience and evolution in this domain.
How I became a blogger
Marshmalloword was born in October 2013 and more than 1000 published posts during this period. Before this blog, I started a cooking blog when I was a student and even before that, I shared my “teenage” passions (writing, photomontage) on Skyblog. Blogging is therefore an activity that started relatively early in my life. This hobby allowed me to share my passions on the web and it was absolutely not thought of strategically : everything was spontaneous, tinkered while allowing me to have a space of my own where I did what I wanted.
A few months after starting Marshmalloword, I followed the advice of The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles to “professionalize” what I was doing on this blog : editorial planning, improving the quality of the visuals, etc.
Almost 7 years have passed and the road traveled is extremely interesting. Blogging opened up a playground for me, learnings (for several months now, I’m finally looking into the concepts of SEO and co.), meeting people that I would never have had if I had stayed in my only studies field. Today, my style is definitely refined, I know what I want to transmit via my platforms and where I want to go.
Who are the influencers ?
Influencers are described as people capable of being a relay of opinion, influence consumption habits for a marketing purpose according to their status, media exposure, etc. An influencer can therefore be an artist (singer, actor, etc.), model, political figure, it-girl/it-boy, people from reality TV, blogger, instagramer , youtuber, etc.
All these people are contacted by brands, companies or PR agencies in order to boost their communication and/or reach a target of potential customers in the context of advertising campaigns (in general). A contract with an influencer can therefore be punctual or regular depending on the project and its notoriety.
Influencers VS content creators
If it was up to me, I would only keep the term “content creator” because it corresponds more to my vision of what I do. If I can describe myself as a blogger because the blog is my number 1 space for publications, I also create content on different platforms : Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Indeed, the content that I publish is not going to be completely identical depending on the platforms. Also, we must not forget that apart from a blog which we can own with the purchase of the domain name and all that follows, social networks and so on do not belong to us. If one day Instagram disappears, our content on it will be lost (except if you save your publications as photos, IGTV, etc on your laptop).
However, the expression “content creator” does not cover all the variations that we can observe in the digital world, this is why it is the influence that is prominently displayed.
Indeed, what bothers me with the word “influencer” is that it supposes a sort of “dominated”/”dominant” link in the relationship. Thus, the audience of this or that influencers will follow their opinion, their recommendations (more or less blindly) and buy the products put forward.
I have thought a lot about this environment, especially since I am a psychologist so it is part of my job to observe and analyze. Let it be said, we live in a world of influence because we live in a world of the image. The image (even if it is more digital today) is what will come to seduce us and activate one of the first levers of consumption. The capitalist ideology is “to be happy, I must have this and this object.” Capitalism comes to offer us an answer to the fundamental gap of the human subject – this is what makes us desiring (therefore in the energy of life). Except that this gap, which is conceptual in the psy * field (and even philosophical), cannot be filled with material : it is illusory. And it is on this that capitalism works : it will always take more material responses to illusively fill this gap. Since it is not the latest smartphone or the latest handbag that will make me no longer missing, I must find something else, and something else…And the machine ends up saturating.
It is in this sense that I do not agree with the world of influence and how bloggers, content creators can be perceived. Indeed, some influencers are only interested in the material aspect (gifts, money, etc.) and will therefore be motivators/inciters to consumption, even to overconsumption. You will see in their content, the ratio between product placement and content creation will not be the same as a content creator who wants to share an experience through his/her passions, lifestyle, etc. The language used is generally different, as are the components of the relationship.
Finally, I believe that everything depends on the personal and professional ethics of each influencer.
My top 10 tips for content creators and influencers
Even if I remain a blog that grows slowly, at its own pace, I want to share with you my top 10 tips that all content creators should have in mind :
- The environment evolves every day and you have to accept to evolve with it. I voluntarily choose the word “evolve” and not “change” because it is important, in my opinion, to remain faithful to who we are, our values, etc. But yes, the media and social media industry changes as much as its algorithms. We cannot control its changes but we can control the way we experience these changes. Adaptation is the key.
- Post content that appeals you. In fact, if you don’t like or you are bothered with content, it will also bother your audience. I have always thought about my publications with the prism of “what would I like to read, see, etc.?”
- Establish a relationship of trust with your audience. This trust will depend on the transparency by which you share your content. Legislators have started to take an interest in this field of influence and digital marketing and practices are evolving (obligation to mention when an article is sponsored, PR gifts, for example).
- Be consistent in the way you publish. This advice was one of the first that I applied. Indeed, whether on your blog, your Youtube channel or your social medias, your publications come to create an appointment for your audience. In addition to being this moment of reunion, the referencing tools are all unanimous : the regularity allows to obtain a better position in the search results.
- Shake up your routine. Doing the same thing on its platforms for 2, 3, 4 years probably won’t satisfy you. Even if you have a main topic on your blog or platform, you have the right to talk about other topics. Be open to inspiration. For example, I was not someone who talked about fashion and now I integrate it from time to time !
- Your audience is your community. If these people are part of your community, it is because you are sharing points of view, passions, etc. It seems important to me – as much as possible, to respond to comments or private messages, in short, to maintain a tangible link and to interact with your audience.
- Be responsible : we are responsible for what we put on the Internet and it is important to be vigilant of the trace that we leave there. Indeed, once we have said or written something online – even if we thought it was humor, it can offend someone or be interpreted in this or that way. Spontaneity is important but be sensitive to what you write.
- Take a step back. Sometimes we may receive comments that are not very pleasant, or even downright derogatory or inappropriate. This affects us and can have a more or less significant impact on our emotional state. Try to distance yourself from all of this, ignore, block and sometimes, if necessary, use legal tools to protect yourself.
- Take a break. Inspiration does not come like that and if ideas grew on trees, it would be known ! Sometimes taking a break is necessary to reinvent yourself, evolve, etc.
- Assert your personality : what makes you who you are ? What makes you unique in the eyes of your audience ? Do not try to control everything, to have a super smooth image on the web – it would sound fake and would even be difficult to maintain in the long run. Your audience will be all the more attached when they understand your authenticity.
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