To Curate or Not to Curate: It's All About Your Audience

We’ve been in influencer marketing since the beginning and we’ve seen all the changes along the way, including the rise of the so-called “influencer aesthetic.” As influencers became more professional, content became highly polished, curated, and aspirational. Recently, however, more content creators and influencers are reconsidering this trend and experimenting with more candid and raw content. Some say that their audiences have grown tired of content that appears staged, and this has sparked a lot of conversation about what “authenticity” on social media actually is.

We’re leaning in on this convo. Here’s what you all in our Obviously fam had to say:

Lissette Calviero (@lissettecalv) posted:

About a year ago, there was a @lightroom and preset craze among bloggers. Everyone was stepping up their quality, pairing with creatives and trying to create the perfect look of a  ‘consistent feed.’ Now, it seems the new perfect look is not being perfect at all.
@lissettecalv  Lissette Calviero styles and edits her photos to capture the perfect vibe.

@lissettecalv
Lissette Calviero styles and edits her photos to capture the perfect vibe.

This “perfectly imperfect” trend is especially popular with Gen-Z influencers, like 17-year-old Zoe Nazarian (@hashtagzoe). Her profile is a mix of fashion inspiration, shots of hanging out with friends, prom photos, and even a few face filters. It’s natural, fun, and a strong example of the content many younger influencers are drawn to. She insists that she doesn’t see highly stylized profiles as inauthentic, but rather a reflection of different interests among various age groups and demographics. Zoe says:

Every influencer markets to their own demographic, so I don’t think there’s a difference between myself and older influencers, rather there’s a difference between influencers who have an older demographic than I do.
@hashtagzoe  Zoe collaborates with popular brands like Tarte Sugar Rush

@hashtagzoe
Zoe collaborates with popular brands like Tarte Sugar Rush

Jadyn Hailey (@jadyn_jhh), another Gen-Z influencer, agrees.

“Being that I’m 16, I see my content is usually viewed by ages 11-19. I like to do the current ‘trends,’ as in the ‘quirky’ and ‘fun’ posts. Though, with my style, I do try to not have that much of a ‘basic’ style. I like and try to be really creative and different when it comes to my style and outfits. Most older influencers will have a really classy style, as in wearing more high end clothing. 
@jadyn_jhh  Jadyn shares her goofy side with her followers.

@jadyn_jhh
Jadyn shares her goofy side with her followers.

Both Jadyn and Zoe agreed that what sets them apart from their peers is the consistency of their content and their commitment to post regularly. They may not be using Lightroom on every photo, but they’re still thinking seriously about their content, when to post it, and whether it will resonate with their audience. Ultimately, this is a responsibility shared by all influencers, regardless of their age or their personal style.

When asked if she would ever consider changing her polished aesthetic, Lissette said she has considered it, but received a resounding “no way!” from her mostly Millennial followers. She says:

I took to stories and polled my audience (my favorite research method) and many said they enjoy my current aesthetic. It’s what makes me...me! They mentioned stories is where they like to see more raw, in-the-moment content.

Influencer content has evolved a lot over recent years and the evolution is far from over.  In the future, Obviously expects to see more variety in influencer content, from the highly curated to the completely unfiltered. It’s all about your audience and what performs best for you.

Where do you fall?

Emily BarozComment