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Kristina McInnis On The Power of Rising Creators

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As we gear up for our Rakuten Optimism panel, “Fueling Virality: Unlocking The Potential Of Rising Creators,” we’re giving you a preview into the world of niche and micro-Creators.

Below, we interviewed panelist Kristina McInnis about her experience as a Creator, Marketer and business owner. McInnis is the founder and CEO of KCMConnect a Marketing and PR agency. After several years of building her brand, McInnis saw an opportunity to better brands with her tried-and-true tactics and strategies, leading her to create a full-service creative and PR agency with a growing team of experts in the field.

How has the rise of short-form video has impacted the viral potential of niche Creators?

The rise of short-form video has democratized content creation and provided niche Creators with unprecedented opportunities to reach viral success, connect with like-minded audiences, and build sustainable careers.

Specifically, short-form video platforms, like TikTok and Instagram Reels, have significantly impacted the viral potential of niche Creators in these ways:

  • Increased Exposure: Short-form videos allow niche Creators to reach a broader audience beyond their typical followers. The platforms’ algorithms often prioritize content that garners quick engagement, giving niche Creators a chance to go viral even if they have a smaller following.
  • Discoverability: These platforms offer robust discovery features, such as hashtags and the “For You” page on TikTok, which help users find content aligned with their interests. Niche Creators can leverage these features to attract audiences interested in their specific niche.
  • Creativity and Authenticity: Short-form videos encourage creativity and authenticity due to their limited duration. Niche Creators can showcase their unique talents, perspectives, and expertise in a concise and engaging manner, increasing their appeal to viewers.
  • Community Building: Niche Creators can foster communities around their content more easily on short-form video platforms. These communities often share similar interests or identities, leading to increased engagement, collaboration, and support for the Creator’s content.

How has targeting a niche helped you forge an authentic connection with your audience and what is it about your content that resonates so well with them?

Targeting a niche has allowed me to forge an authentic connection with my audience by speaking directly to their interests, concerns, and passions. When Creators focus on a specific niche, they attract an audience that shares those interests, creating a sense of community and understanding.

Here are some of the things I focus on:

  • Understanding and Empathy: By specializing in a particular niche, Creators can deeply understand the needs, challenges, and desires of their audience. This understanding enables them to create content that resonates on a personal level, addressing their specific concerns and providing valuable insights.
  • Expertise and Authority: Niche content often requires a level of expertise or knowledge, positioning a Creator as an authority within that niche. This expertise builds trust with the audience, as they see the Creator as someone who understands their world and can offer valuable advice or information.
  • Relatability and Authenticity: Niche content tends to be more relatable and authentic because it speaks directly to the experiences and interests of the audience. By sharing personal anecdotes, experiences, and perspectives related to the niche, Creators can establish a genuine connection with their audience based on shared experiences.
  • Community Engagement: Niche communities often thrive on engagement and interaction. By actively participating in discussions, responding to comments, and soliciting feedback from their audience, Creators can foster a sense of belonging and community among their followers.

Ultimately, the authenticity and resonance of niche content stem from a Creator’s genuine passion for the subject matter and their commitment to understanding and serving the needs of their audience.

The rise of short-form video has democratized content creation and provided niche Creators with unprecedented opportunities to reach viral success, connect with like-minded audiences, and build sustainable careers.
Kristina McInnis
Creator and Founder of KCMConnect

What strategies have helped you maintain a consistent and authentic brand image as a niche Creator?

Maintaining a consistent and authentic brand image as a niche Creator requires a combination of strategic planning, genuine passion for the niche, and ongoing engagement with your audience. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Define Your Brand Identity: Clearly define your brand identity, including your niche, values, mission, and unique selling points. This clarity will guide your content creation and help you stay true to your brand image.
  • Stay True to Your Niche: Remain focused on your niche and avoid straying too far from your core content topics. Consistency in the type of content you create will reinforce your expertise and credibility within your niche.
  • Embrace Authenticity and Transparency: Be genuine and authentic in your interactions with your audience. And be honest about your motivations, affiliations, and any sponsored content you create. Share personal stories, experiences, and insights related to your niche, and avoid portraying a false image or trying to be someone you’re not.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and feedback. Show genuine interest in their questions, opinions, and experiences, and use their input to inform your content strategy.
  • Focus On Quality Over Quantity: Instead of prioritizing quantity, focus on creating high-quality content that adds value to your audience.
  • Evolve With Your Audience: Pay attention to changes in your niche and your audience’s interests. Be willing to adapt and evolve your content strategy to stay relevant and meet the evolving needs of your audience.

In what ways has your unique perspective benefitted your partners?

The unique perspective I bring to brand partnerships benefits my partners in several ways:

  • Authenticity and Credibility: My genuine endorsement of a brand’s products or services enhances its credibility and authenticity in the eyes of my audience. By tapping into my niche community, brands can reach a highly targeted audience segment with a high affinity for their offerings.
  • Audience Engagement: By leveraging my deep understanding of my audience and their interests, I can create content that resonates strongly with them, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates for brand partners.
  • Long-Term Brand Loyalty: Collaborating with me allows brands to tap into the loyalty and trust I’ve built with my audience over time. By associating themselves with my brand, partners can benefit from the long-term relationships I’ve cultivated with my community.
  • Value for Both Parties: I strive to create partnerships that benefit both myself and the brand. By focusing on mutual value creation, I foster long-term relationships with brand partners and deliver meaningful results that align with their objectives.

Can you share a piece of content that went viral and what elements lead to its virality?

We had an influencer client who came to us wanting to niche down her lifestyle content on various social media platforms. She has a moderate following but has been struggling to monetize her content effectively, particularly on Amazon. She partnered with KCMConnect to refine her brand strategy and tap into the Amazon fashion niche. KCMConnect facilitated a partnership between the client and Amazon Fashion to create a series of sponsored content pieces.

To start, KCMConnect conducts extensive research and identifies a growing trend in the demand for affordable and trendy fashion items on Amazon. We advised her to niche down her content to focus specifically on showcasing stylish yet budget-friendly clothing available on the platform. Then, the client maintained authenticity in her content creation process by genuinely endorsing products that aligned with her personal style and resonate with her audience. With guidance from KCMConnect, she leveraged her unique fashion sense and expertise to curate engaging content that showcases Amazon Fashion products in a relatable and aspirational way. 

Thanks to the strategic branding and partnership efforts, the client’s campaign with Amazon Fashion went viral within the fashion community on social media. Her authentic endorsement of Amazon Fashion products resonated strongly with her audience, leading to increased engagement, shares, and ultimately, conversions.

After a year of the strategic niche targeting, the client experienced a significant increase in affiliate earnings from Amazon Fashion. She went from making zero dollars on Amazon at the start to niching down and earning $50,000 in one week, demonstrating the power of effective branding and partnership strategies within a specific niche.

Some brands have yet to tap into the potential of niche or micro-Creators because they’re focused on reaching the largest audience possible. Why is this a missed opportunity?

Focusing solely on reaching the largest audience possible and neglecting niche or micro Creators can indeed be a missed opportunity for brands. Partnering with these Creators enables brands to leverage authenticity, targeted reach, cost-effectiveness, content relevance, community building, and audience diversification to drive meaningful results and achieve their marketing objectives.

Are you attending Rakuten Optimism? Reach out to your Collective Voice sales contact to set up a meeting!