Thursday, June 01, 2023
COPA to Unveil Best Influencer on Social Media Categories in 2023
The COPA’s are now in its 15th year and will continue to move to support digital content creators across Canada and this year we will create categories for the growing influencer community in Canada that exists on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook and You Tube. These influencers reach the Gen Z segment of the market (A 18-32) that grew up with a smartphone. Once I take out me personal generational bias it opened my eyes on this market after talking with few Gen Z’s.

The holy grail of marketing is to create a personal one-on-one relationship with your customer on scale and “Influencer Marketing’ achieves this. We know influencer marketing works or does not work based on the recent experience of Budweiser using an influencer that had 11 million followers that the core market rebelled against resulting in a sales drop through a product boycott. 

The ecosystem of influencers in Canada has a low of 10,000 followers and up 1.2 million based on published reports by talent agency vendors who provide access to the influencers through their networks. The more notable name on this list is pro hockey player /celebrity Mitch Marner with 500K followers. On the other side of the coin are the digital agencies that manage the influencer campaign with all the ad tech tools for tracking and reporting. This new ecosystem is estimated to be a $20 billion market worldwide that is provided for free from all the major social media providers Twitter, Tok Tok, YourTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

The content of the influencers is sliced along like magazines based on niche topics like fashion, beauty, health, sports, and wellness, but is personal and not branded like in magazine or newspaper. I can call an influencer a micro magazine but instead of words they use video and pictures. If a Gen Z were to ask to read an article or watch a video they will watch a video. This where my personal generational bias is a factor as I am the opposite, this was confirmed when I was planning an Instargram account to reach this community in the COPA’s search for Canada’s Best Influencer on social media. Today’s journalists need to create stories with pictures and video a not words to reach this market as they live on social media.

This is the new digital media and its has been dubbed the “Creator Economy” that had different names in the past like bloggers, vloggers, but today’s influencers have scale. Look if a magazine has a subscription base of 500K that would be amazing, but a personal brand like Mitch Marner, pro hockey player/celebrity has 500K too. If you want to make a personal connection to your brand this is a good way to go for today’s Gen Z.

When the brand is  a good fit with an influencer and they have a good reach these mini-magazines are now part of today's digital media buy for some consumer brands. The revenue potential is based on reach, but the industry rates for influencers are modest at $100-$250 per post, but it can add up quick you work with 20+ influencers. But Gen Z’s are smart and they don’t believe everything they hear or read. During my research I discovered the TOP 100 beauty Influencers were displayed on the World of Beauty Italy website

Social media is at a pivotable point in its growth. One one hand you a a free digital communications system via text, photo and video that is available for free that is used by millions of people around the world. According to some of the industry marketing hype provided in The State of Influencer Marketing benchmark report by Influencer Marketing Hub states, the Influencer Marketing Industry is estimated at $21.1 Billion in 2023. The Key social media tools used by brands are Tok Tok (56%), Instagram (51%), Facebook (42%) and YouTube (38%).

Twitter’s move to clean up social media from all the bad actors has been a good one. We all know all about fake people on the internet and their paid model is a good step. If I am advertiser in one of the many influencers networks I want to have the confidence that my ad/content does not go into an ad farm with fake clicks and people. The paid model is a good way to have people authenticated that they are real people. Considering that a $20 billion industry has been created using free tools, people will be willing to pay the fee if they make money on it, so it will work, but not all. Instagram is also following suit.

As a publisher though I have been reluctant to accept content from the Digital agencies. Here is a pitch from an agency I recently received for $500.

1) The published article must get indexed and It should not be backdated.
2) Links should be Do follow- 1 Client link,1 Internal link, and 2 High authority links.
3) The post must be on the homepage for some time and it should be accessible from the homepage (via a relevant category).
4) The Article and links should not be marked as a sponsored post, paid post, guest post, etc. Also, there should not be any kind of disclaimer like: “This post may contain affiliate links’’ in the article.
5) The post and links should remain permanently archived on your website.

They ask for a lot for $500, but the kicker is the lack of transparency of the post and to most publishers this is too big of a risk. This is why for many years I have always been skeptical on this type of approach and as you can see there is a lot of stealth articles being posted on the web as authentic.

Trust is key to the relationship between the influencer and the consumer and the Ad Standards of Canada introduced guidelines to help ensure that influencer content is not deceptive. It requires that the representations disclose any material connection between the influencer and the entity behind the brand, product or service being promoted. The guidelines further requires this disclosure to be clear, prominent, and in close proximity to the representation being made.

With the advent of AI generated content, let’s see if any virtual influencer shows up creating content for this digital ecosystem. But at any rate it is here to stay and we are now beginning the search for Canada’s Best Influencer as part of the 2023 COPA’s.
- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

Most Recent Blog Comment
Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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