The social media world is on the lookout for a new breed of influencers. Especially since the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the many ways younger influencers have become out of touch and even tone-deaf, showing irresponsibility amid a pandemic that has claimed the lives of half a million Americans, there is room for a new generation of influencers to rise and be a good example to their audience.
If you are creative, live a reasonably aspirational lifestyle, and believe you have something new to say, here are some strategic tips to become a stand-out social media influencer in a saturated landscape.
Stand for something positive.
The influencer culture was created after socialites like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian took center stage and many younger girls found out that they can make a name for themselves just by being themselves and through clever marketing. But what made influencers even more ubiquitous is that unlike the aforementioned celebrities, social media influencers were accessible and were just like their audience. But after a while, these new influencers became just like the reality stars that preceded them — they became consumerist and larger than life.
As consumers move towards conscious consumerism, there will be a need for the kind of influencers that advocate for things of value, like environmentalism, caring for the vulnerable, and mental health. What advocacy are you passionate about? Make that the centerpiece of your brand and persona, and watch people identify with your passion.
Select a niche.
The simplest way to find out what your niche can be is to identify what you are most passionate about and what interests you. What topic would you not mind making content about for the next few years? Is it fitness, gaming, beauty, fashion, home life, cars, cooking, DIY, interior design, art—a combination of some of these?
For example, the “Dad, How Do I?” YouTube channel started because the creator was left by his dad when he was 12, and he never learned how to do basic things like tying a tie or changing a doorknob. He started his channel in the hopes of teaching his audience how to do those things. Needless to say, it tugged at the internet’s heartstrings, and he now has more than 3 million followers after less than a year on the platform.
Being an influence is more than just posting pretty pictures and looking good; it’s about doing a lot of research about your niche and presenting it to your audience. If you’re going to choose a niche, make sure it’s something you already know a lot about and don’t mind talking about for the foreseeable future.
Maximize and optimize your social media accounts.
This almost goes without saying, but being a social media influencer means prioritizing, maximizing, and optimizing the social media tools at your disposal. After you have chosen your niche, the next step is to figure out what your main platform will be. If you’re more of a photographer, Instagram might be your best bet. If you love short-form videos, Tiktok is your best friend. YouTube, of course, is for those who love taking and editing videos.
You can then optimize your platforms by turning them into business accounts because doing so will provide you with more options.
Content is everything.
There are no two ways about it: Your content needs to be high-quality and must be authentic enough to resonate with your audience. This is why many influencers and businesses employ the help of content production and marketing agencies to help them have a content strategy that can effectively connect them with their audience. These agencies know the ins and outs of building up brands, and that includes individual brands for influencers. They can help you gain a deep insight into your target audience, come up with a regular posting schedule, and they can also help connect you with brands.
The only way to keep your audience hooked is if you come up with unique and engaging content and if you post regularly and consistently. Your content should always be of much meaning and value to help your platform stand out from the rest.
Thanks to social media being a big part of our lives, becoming a social media influencer has become a real job, which means it will take a lot of hard work to find even a sliver of success. When the going gets tough, will your reason for wanting to become an influencer help fuel you? Know the purpose behind why you’re getting in this line of work, and it will help see you through the tough times and obstacles you will face.