PRAXIS U: The Democratization of Influence

Blog - PRAXIS U Democratization of Influence

Social media tools have enabled anyone to become a creator. Gen Z has grown up surrounded by content marketing and everyone can influence their own circles. With a new emphasis on authenticity, social spaces are largely seen as egalitarian with no gatekeepers.  

In recent years we have seen a full democratization of influence. Tools from social platforms have enabled anyone to become a creator and Gen Z has jumped at the opportunity. A generation that has grown up surrounded by content marketing and social influence has realized their own worth and ability to influence their own circles (both personal networks and online interest based networks).  

There’s a new emphasis on authenticity, which helps to remove the barriers created in previous years. Social spaces are largely seen as egalitarian with no gatekeepers.  Brands have perhaps the biggest opportunity to break through in an authentic way, however the smaller scale and fragmented nature of the market require significant tactical shifts. 

This article is a preview of our PRAXIS U session, THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF INFLUENCE, a complementary one-hour session that PRAXIS offers to brands looking to grow their marketing knowledge. To book your session, email [email protected].

RISE OF THE NANO AND USER-GENERATED CREATOR 

The creator economy has extended past the age of influence, and the line between consumers and creators becomes increasingly blurry – if the messenger & the market are one and the same – what is the difference between creator content and UGC? In short – there isn’t always one!  

LEVERAGING CREATORS: UGC  

  • Brands are expected by both consumer and platforms to echo their ideas and their content –  fully immersing themselves in the world of their consumer.  
  • As consumer values, expectations and experience have shifted and creators have become the consumer, brands are expected to echo this model. 
  • Additionally, algorithms behind creator-driven platforms like TikTok increase channel and content visibility for brands and creators alike for consistent creative output.  
  • As such, it is no longer in a brand’s best interest to produce high-budget or overly-produced content. It is no longer cost effective to create branded content, either with a production studio or a mega-influencer at the volume that is required to see consistent and sustainable visibility and community growth.  

 

BUT ARE CREATORS STILL INFLUENTIAL? 

We’re now approaching an era where branded content is the norm and is not necessarily high-impact or unexpected.  

So is influencer marketing losing its edge or ability to break through the online clutter? And does influencer or creator culture still have sway, or does it simply invoke eyerolls?  

To answer this, it is critical to look at Gen Z, a generation that has spent most of their lives surrounded by influencer and creator content. Because of this (and because younger generations are often bellwethers for trends to come) they offer us a good sense of whether influencer & creator marketing can still have impact and what shifts we might see moving forward.

GEN Z

  • PREDICTIVE POWER: They predict the next decade of digital, social and consumer trends. Gen Z’s predictive power is unique from their predecessors because the internet and innovation are accelerating at unprecedented rates
  • CREATORS AND CONSUMERS: They’re the first and only digital natives, meaning they’re shaping consumer cultural and digital behaviour at an accelerated rate that influences brands, technology and people
  • PURCHASING POWER: They are reworking the creator economy by empowering themselves as both creator and consumer
  • CONNECTIVE CONNOISSEURS: They hold record-breaking purchasing power as the purveyors of influence and are the closest point of contact to brands. 

WHERE BRANDS SHOULD FOCUS ENERGY & EFFORTS

In the evolution of digital media, many new platforms have emerged, and existing platforms have expanded their use cases to answer their competitors and capture market share.

  • Democratized Video Platforms: Where anyone can be a creator (IG, TikTok) 
  • Video Heroes: Where video drives record levels of engagement (YouTube, Twitch) 
  • Conversation Drivers: Where the trends are shaped and amplified (X/Twitter) 
  • Cutting Edge Platforms: Where the future is now

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE? 

In our DEMOCRATIZATION OF INFLUENCE session, we explore both sides of Gen Z influencer marketing: the consumer and the role of the brand. We’ll look at:  

  • How Gen Z—the first digital natives—expect to see content and brands show up online and in social media  
  • What they expect of influencers  
  • How they make purchase decisions  
  • Attendees of this session will emerge with a better understanding of how to market effectively to Gen Z consumers and how to partner with Gen Z influencers for best results. 

Book a one-hour session for your marketing team and we’ll even treat you to lunch! Contact [email protected] today.