Alycia Chrosniak, who is a food and travel blogger, got a peculiar alert on her phone last week: the presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg was inviting her to get $150 by making content about why she supported the billionaire Democratic candidate in the U.S. election.
Not a “top choice”
“It feels weird to put out an ad supporting a person versus a product,” said Chrosniak, who works from Connecticut and usually makes sponsored content for hotel brands and restaurants. She expressed Bloomberg was not her “top choice” candidate and stated she did not accept the offer.
The move of paying micro-influencers makes sense as people that have a few thousand engaged social media followers can easily spread political messages or make content to gather momentum ahead of the 2020 race, though some industry players remain wary.
Many agencies who link influencers with brands told Reuters they had been approached by political campaigns, though they refused to disclose the names of individual politicians or organizations.
For the midterm elections of 2018, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid influencers to spread out the message of ‘get out the vote.’
NextGen, a progressive political action committee America has already appointed hundreds of Instagram micro-influencers to boost and encourage young, less-interested voters to turn out in 2020, while Piedmont Rising, a North Carolina healthcare non-profit, is paying local influencers to share their stories before the U.S. Senate election.
Social media “ambassadors”
Turning Point USA which is a conservative student group has also created a network of more than 100 unpaid social media “ambassadors,” who they invite to events and gift branded swag.
The Bloomberg campaign’s post on influencer marketplace Tribe, which was reported for the first time by the Daily Beast, was in search of content from U.S. residents who were abetting of the former New York mayor. The Bloomberg campaign did not answer to Reuters requests for comment.
Political groups and marketers claim that the idea is that voters have a stronger connection with micro-influencers than with celebrities. They can also reach out to specific local or niche communities.
“They trust the mommy blogger who’s active in their local community,” said Matt Anthes, vice president of digital communications firm The Hatcher Group.
Marketer James Nord stated that influencers had managed to earn tens of thousands of dollars for many pieces of political content at the time when he was working for such campaigns he had worked on.
However, NextGen America, which has allied with influencers ranging from drag queens in the Iowa caucuses to famous huskies in Wisconsin for the Supreme Court election for the state, said influencers were often turned off if they were offered money for content early in the conversation.
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]