From the previous two blog posts, it is evident that influencers have had a deep seated effect on Public Relations and campaign strategy.
However, recently there appears to be yet another shift in PR and marketing strategy in the form of the micro-celebrity. In the pursuit of authenticity in the overwhelmingly polluted SMI market, brands are looking to influencers with a smaller, but more loyal followings to target more specific audiences.
This is a smart move as social media users have become more wary of large scale influencers in the midst of new advertising standards. The new code, implemented by the Australian Association of National Advertisers will require social media influencers to label sponsored content. This code however is essentially undermining the reasons why marketers and PR strategists looked to social media influencers… authenticity.
This year, the New York Times bought HelloSociety, an agency that connects brands with influencers and they found that accounts with fewer than 30,000 are more beneficial to work with.
To hear from the perspective of a micro-influencer, I spoke to Sydney sider Carla-Rose Brett.
As well as being having a significant social media presence, Carla-Rose is also a PR and social media strategist.
Carla-Rose began working towards influencer status when her friend informed her that the influencer market was growing rapidly. Carla is beautiful inside and out and for her, he could not be more right.
Starting as purely health and fitness orientated, she added lifestyle to her repertoire so thats she could “promote a broader range of brands and products.”
Creating content as a micro-celebrity
I was curious to know how Carla-Rose crafts her content. Was it for brands she wanted to represent or was it purely brands that a previous relationship had been established with? Essentially, her content is reflective of her journey. Carla-Rose explained how initially she would reach out to smaller brands to ask if they would collaborate with her however as her followers grew and brands became aware of the power that lay behind micro influencers, brands now come to her. As well as being free to choose as she pleases, Carla-Rose is also represented by her modelling agency who help send products her way or set up collaborations.
Maneuvering the disrupted influencer market
“I just try to be as authentic and real as I possibly can be”.
This of course, is spot on with the research. Creating a clear message about who she is as a brand is how she continues to gain partnerships and collaborations. By discussing issues that are relevant and topical on her Instagram, like vegetarianism, she is able to make her values clear and therefore align herself with potential brands and their values.
From social media platforms, to the influencer and then to the micro-celebrity, it is clear that Public Relations as an industry has been significantly affected. Strategies have been altered, KPI’s have been added and new agencies have been created.
However the space is subject to constant disruption, so who knows what’s next…