Let's Get Candid: The Shift from Influencers to Content Creators

Let’s Get Candid

 The Shift from Influencers to Content Creators

By Liz Burton

Illustration by @marinedequenetain for @sivanayla

Illustration by @marinedequenetain for @sivanayla


The year is 2012. Blogs are all the rage. Brands are only warming up to the idea of creating an Instagram account. And a culture-marketing agency based out of a small, former art studio on Venice Blvd. was born.


When Matte Black started, influencer marketing was new and the opportunities were excitingly unknown. The fusion of public relations, social media and review-based content was one that our clients quickly got behind. Real people sharing products with a real (and quantifiable) audience for free? Sounds like a no-brainer.


Fast forward a year or so and the bloggers (not yet called influencers) are growing in audience size, quickly realizing that the reach they have is actually making an impact on brand sales. Cue affiliate programming and the start of sponsored posts.


More “everyday people” realized the opportunity as a blogger as a side gig and eventually, a paying career. There was a blogger for everything - mommy bloggers, food bloggers, interior design bloggers, beauty bloggers, you get it. Here’s when the market became oversaturated. With so many bloggers available to brands, the blogging industry got a little competitive and what we like to refer to as the “Arms Race” for the biggest following.


So, what happened next? Here was our process of dealing with this new, influencer phenomenon. 


Numbers, numbers, numbers. Everyone has reach, but how impactful is it? How influential are they actually?

The shift in how brands utilized such platforms like bloggers and Instagram began. Brands hoping for visibility that garnered actual interest and eventual sales aren’t so keen on paying a blogger to pose with a product for an unreasonable amount of money, resulting in a sponsored post that most Instagram users have learned to ignore on the platform today.


A big following is suddenly not as important as engagement rate.

The number of people a post has the potential to reach seems to matter less and less if those people only perceive the placements to be inauthentic forms of advertising, benefiting bloggers bank accounts.


Sell through rates and returns on brand’s investments with these influencers are now not worth it.

Thousands of dollars for social promotions does not always equate to thousands of dollars in sales, it also doesn’t allow for honest communication between a brand and an audience.


The sweet spot stands somewhere in between the beginning of social content creation, people sharing products with their following of friends and the sponsored posts of today, Instagrammers with 1+ million following sharing a staged product shot to their following of strangers, made even more obvious with the #ad.


Brands need to redefine important content.

Simply put, content that you can use across all digital and marketing platforms is more valuable than spending money on promotion. But where to produce this content? This is where micro-influencers take over, the new wave of creators running the show behind brand content and “shareable moments,” the stuff that makes brands work.


Micro-influencers are the people you are already following on Instagram, the content creators of your feed delivering you gorgeous photos featuring brands they have personal connections to or stories of time and place they view valuable. They have a following, but it is more intimate than that of your favorite blogger. They are giving you all the inspiring content to feed your social media hunger. They are the future, and so Candid was born.


Candid, a new content product by Matte Black, is helping brands generate great content with the help of micro-influencers, the sweet spot of content creation.

If you have a brand that’s in need to killer content for your social and digital channels, get in touch with Candid here.