Conventional wisdom among marketers states that the more followers someone has, the more effective and efficient they are at persuading their followers to take action.
At one time, this was true, but things have changed. What matters today is talent.
Several important factors are driving this shift:
Audiences are Craving Authenticity
What was so appealing about influencers is that they seemed, to the consumer, to be independent advocates for a brand. When brands engaged with influencers, it felt as if they were driving word-of-mouth, the holy grail for all marketers. Again, this was true at one time, but consumers see past this. They crave authenticity, not another form of low-end celebrity endorsement.
The best brands today embrace a new kind of advocate: independent, professional content creators (writers, photographers, and filmmakers) with deep expertise in their field of passion and a distinct point-of-view.
These creators have published books, written for major publications, and apply the principles of good journalism. They have deep-seated and proven talent in the traditional definition of the word.
Creators with expertise outperform influencers with followers.