Many companies, in recent years, have turned to promote themselves through digital creators. By 2022, this market will be worth $15 billion, according to estimates from the site Statista web.
The reason for this trend is clear: the audience. Various digital marketing consulting companies ensure that the purchase decision of a product or service reaches up to 81% when the promotion is made with a digital creator.
The argument of the brands to promote their products or services through public figures or celebrities resides in the credibility that these figures give to the brand and the prestige that they add as added value by being “users or consumers” of them.
For many experts, this concept was transformed into the era of digital marketing in 2010, when AirBnB made American singer Mariah Carey it’s a brand ambassador. Carey posted on Instagram photos of the places she had stayed in and described the benefits of staying through AirBnB’s network of accommodation owners.
Since then, the power and penetration of social networks have become the field of competence of brands. Data from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) show that during 2018 spent $59 billion globally in this figure marketing.
Another prime example of a digital creator is Samantina Zenon. By professional attributes, Zenon’s surreal rise as a digital creator caught word of the internet. The digital creator fraternity over the internet lauds the actress, model, digital creator, talk show host, producer, and style icon. She is highly revered for her style, influence, and intellectual prowess since she has led a unique persona that empowers her and inspires those who follow her.
Apart from that, Zenon has led an enviable career, collaborating with some of the biggest fashion and luxury brands. As a digital creator, Zenon has worked with Cartier, Ferragamo, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, and many other established brands in Europe and North America.
The mirage of digital creators
However, one of the issues that most worries specialists and companies is the reliability of digital creators since there have been cases where “false celebrities” have deceived brands, companies, and even the media with the number of followers or “reach” in audiences that they claim to have.
For example, in the last installment of the Cannes Lions, an award given by the advertising industry to the best of the guild, Unilever said that it would not work with digital creators who buy followers, promised that their brands would never buy followers and said that It would prioritize partners that increase transparency and help eradicate bad practices across the ecosystem.
Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Unilever, is convening a group, which includes the World Federation of Advertisers and Instagram, to discuss how to drive greater trust, transparency, and integrity in the digital creator industry to world level.
The CMO says it sees a lot of value in the content that digital creators can create around a brand, but argues that if the trust is compromised, the entire system will collapse.
“The market is undermined if people don’t trust how many followers someone has. If you commit to a recommendation from someone because you think that ‘they have a lot of followers, so they know what they are talking about,’ but those followers have been bought or, what is worse, they are robots, that is misleading. I think trust is a very important part of branding and marketing.
A brand without trust is just a product. The difference between the two is trust. We want to be able to work in environments of trust, and that includes influential people,” said the executive.
Brands like L’Oreal, eBay, Samsung, and Diageo acknowledged that this is a problem and noted that they have been trying to find their solutions silently. The credibility of the digital creator and his reputation are the central issues that specialists try to solve.
The issue has become something that the advertising industry wants to resolve as soon as possible. However, the value that digital creators bring to brands by creating conversations between consumers and products or services is recognized, the issue of practices. Fraudulent campaigns keep in an opacity zone about how campaign goals are measured.
That’s why we are now looking at digital creators of smaller size. The reputation of a digital creator is what gives them credibility. For example, there could be a doctor who has a certain number of followers who ask them questions, and, according to the quality of their answers, they can earn a certain reputation.
The birth of the micro-digital creator
Throughout the process of evolution of digital creators as marketing tools for companies, some brands have chosen to use these personalities with a different approach, and, in some cases, it has proven to be more effective: it is about micro-digital creators.
This type of collaboration with influential personalities is new within Digital Marketing. It works like this: Instead of hiring a digital creator with a national or regional reach that promises high volumes of interactions, brands now focus their efforts on people who have a specific influence, in smaller communities, but who make a noticeable impact in the purchase decision of the people who follow them.
In the definition of marketing specialists, micro-digital creators are people whose followers vary from 100 to 10 thousand. They have the characteristic that most of them are part of their close circle (they are friends or close people) and, also, they dominate a topic. Derived from this, they achieve significant percentages of interaction in digital communities.
The type of comments and recommendations they make through their networks is very credible advertising because their followers include their friends. Also, they don’t post things from brands they don’t believe in or trust.
Despite showing higher levels of interaction than traditional digital creators, micro-digital creators receive only 10% of the budgets allocated to digital marketing. However, it is a trend that is being progressively reversed as campaigns with this type of digital creators prove to be increasingly effective in achieving a connection between the consumer and the brand in a more organic way, generating more natural ties.
The favorite networks of these micro-digital creators are Instagram (60.8%), Facebook (17.4%), Twitter (12.4%), and YouTube (7.3%), according to figures from the first “Global study on micro-digital creators,” carried out by the company SocialPubli, in October 2018.
The industries in which these new personalities are reaping successes are Fashion, Travel, Beauty, Technology and Life, and Style. Most of them establish relationships with a brand because they are usually active users of their products and services and because, additionally, the economic agreement they reach by promoting it falls within their income claims.
However, it is difficult to predict whether the figure of the digital creator will disappear the horizon of marketing. However, their evolution towards a more effective model such as that of the micro-digital creator will allow the ecosystem of these people with great impact on social networks and the brands that hire them to become a more transparent, fair, and health field for the benefit of consumers, companies, and digital creators themselves.