Creators Are Often Influential but They Hate Being Called ‘Influencers’

Creators Are Often Influential but They Hate Being Called ‘Influencers’

Creators give away the art and content they create. Further, a recent case study we conducted at Influencer News revealed that 85 percent of social media content creators preferred the title creator over influencer. It implies she is “doing something underhand to influence,” she said, as if her “followers are sheep.” 3.) Influencers take. The irony with influencer marketing then is that it hopes to capitalize on the facade of a connection between the influencer and the influenced with the aim of only pushing products. In contrast, the term creator implies one who is not defined by their marketing utility but by their desire to create content that adds value to those who engage with it. And let’s not forget about the sub-categories: Micro-influencers (5K-10K followers), mid-tier influencers (50K-100K followers), top-tier influencers (100K+ followers) and celebrity influencers -- the ones your cat follows on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter and pre-ordered their spring hoodie line. The best of the best don’t use the word. Influencers themselves don’t want to be called influencers. So, marketers, why should we?

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Creators give away the art and content they create. The social capital and authority they earn just happens to make them influencers — a term they almost never use.

Creators Are Often Influential but They Hate Being Called 'Influencers'

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that marketers ruin everything.

Pumping monetization strategies, ad real estate and loads of marketing jargon into our new favorite social media apps and then pushing them to the mainstream has been a prevailing sign of the times. First it was Facebook, then it was Twitter, then Instagram. Now it’s the “influencer” space as a whole: The turf of individuals who have earned expertise, respect and leadership, among a trusted following within their niche communities on social media.

There have been many positives for brands and influencers alike from the development of influencer marketing trends, such as a 90 percent believed success rate of influencer marketing tactics for brands, and the possibility a stable income for hardworking influencers. However, there has been an elephant-sized downfall to this merge: the term influencer itself.

This word leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I have to use it to describe a colleague of mine within the space, and many other influencers agree. Perhaps it’s because the denotation — an “individual whose effect on the purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative” — was coined by marketers who only see in green. Perhaps it’s because people who are truly influential don’t need to tell everyone that they are a #influencer.

Here are five reasons why the word influencer should meet a quick death in 2018:

1.) Influencers hate the title.

Per the definition, calling someone an influencer defines them exclusively based on how useful they are to the advertising industry. As a result, some of social media’s most prominent content creators have been vocal about the devolving reputation of the term.

In a GQ article written by Tom Goodwin, voted LinkedIn’s #1 voice in marketing in 2017 and 2018, Goodwin delved into the paradox behind one desperately needing to assert their influence through a title, without actually “getting stuff done.” He described influencers as those who have “mastered the art of follow-backs, buying likes, retweets, giveaways” and more, while those who are truly influential do not have the time to market and merchandise influence.

Further, a recent case study we conducted at Influencer News revealed that 85 percent of social media content creators preferred the title creator over influencer. When considering…

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