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Influencer vs Influential – by Motivate Talent’s Nicole Little

by Nicole Little, content solutions executive, Motivate Talent 

Nicole Little Motivate Talent Influencer vs Influential Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something. Picture an influencer. We’re sure you’re thinking of beautiful people in exotic places, the effortlessly fashionable, picture-perfect profile content creators. They have elevated, aesthetic and consistent posts with a ton of followers. While they’re an influencer, how much influence do they really have?

Traditional influencers have dominated Instagram for a few years, but the rise of TikTok and its more casual story-telling visual format, and people generally getting bored of the generic and impossible-to-achieve content being churched out, has disrupted the idea of the traditional influencer.

We’re seeing popular, influential content growth aligned with the philosophy that niche is now mass. Updated algorithms and consumer demands are trending engagement and growth in the direction of engaging a niche industry and demographic. This is where the idea of “People of Influence” comes in.

Since influence is the ability to actually impact thinking and preferences, and traditionally, brands have used online influencer metrics like likes and shares to track an influencer’s impact, we’re now seeing that those metrics have become more fragile, easier to cheat, and not really representative of impact or influence.

Here’s an example of this: Your typical influencer gets a deal with a brand, and they post on their Instagram feed to their three million followers to buy that brand’s product. It’s like a loud shot from a single person… their followers will see the post, scroll past it, or maybe give it a like. But they’re being sold to, and they recognize it.

Alternatively, what if you partner with an influential person — someone who may only have a fraction of the typical influencer’s followers, but they have a deep and authentic relationship embedded in their niche community? They are dedicated to the same values your brand cares about and people within the niche likely trust them. It’s someone sharing something they believe is truly worthy of being shared. This authentic influence has the ability to impact people’s perspectives and behaviours over a longer period of time.

This evolution in the understanding of impact makes for a very exciting time for brands. Rather than working up a deal with a famous celebrity or traditional influencer to spread their message, brands can connect directly with communities of the most highly-aligned, highly-influential people. And brands have the ability to use the internet to listen to those communities, allowing themselves to be the ones who are guided and influenced. We’re particularly seeing success in brand and people of influence partnerships through contracts of extended content creation, podcast sponsorships and brand ambassador roles.

Many of our talents at Motivate Talent pride themselves on adapting to the current market trends, they’re not your traditional influencer, but rather a person of influence. With reputable voices within their respective niches, they’re available for partnership roles as brand ambassadors, content creators and other bespoke branding solutions.