What the F### is this.
Every time you turn around a new marketing strategy seems to appear from out of the blue. The latest and most touted is “Influencer Marketing”. Before you go scurrying off to consult your Marketing Handbook to find out exactly what it is “crossing the line” has done the leg work out of it for you.
Apparently it is “A variety of practices that rely on specific key individuals who may have a profound or positive influence over a potential consumer base. Influencer Marketing seeks to leverage these key individuals by persuading them to persuade consumers to buy a particular product or service”.
The execution usually involves a testimonial by either a key person posing as a potential buyer or a satisfied customer whose life has been changed as a result of using a product or service thus establishing credibility. Attempts maybe made to use so called authorities such as celebrity sports stars, academics, media personalities, prominent business men (oops business people), soapy stars, pop singers, or if all else fails, burnt out political hacks.
“Everything old is new again”.
SMK.com (Social Media Knowledge) was salivating in a recent piece on Influencer Marketing.
“Online Influencers have emerged as one of the most powerful allies for marketers to grow online acquisition.”
“With ad blocking stats reaching a cost of US$41.4 billion in 2016, it comes as no surprise that Influencer Marketing is receiving greater investments than display”.
The author of this piece Lucio Ribeiro, is a co-founder and lead strategist of specialised Social Media agency Online Circle Digital. His formula for such a successful “Influencer Marketing” campaign is:
Before you embark on an Influencer Marketing campaign, keep in mind the following tips.
- Set your goals: what do you want to achieve? Why are you partnering with an influencer? Who do you want to target and why? Which message do you want to send? Critically, how will you measure success?
- Choose an Influencer that resonates with your target market and ensure your brand aligns with the Influencer’s overall voice, objectives and followers.
- Be transparent about your expectations: do you want to drive traffic to a website, spark engagement or generate sales?
- Be prepared to give up control on content. Influencers will represent brands in a way that resonates with their audience.
- Track results. It’s important to measure the efficiency of your campaign. There are five metrics to pay attention to: Impressions, Engagement, Conversion, Brand Mentions and, Content Quality.
Sound advice? Maybe, but first let’s examine some of the terminology he espouses.
Lets start with Ad Blocking. Ad Blocking is removing or changing / altering advertising content on a web site.
Given this advertising can exist in many different formats from pictures, audio and video presentations, animation, pop-up windows, pretty well all the web browsers have ways of targeting these pesky little rascals. They employ various software tools that target the very things that deliver the ads to the URL’s. There is a whole raft of reasons why ad blockers make some sense. They save time they block junk or spam, some even block viruses. It really all depends on whether you have the software in your computer that enable’s the blockers to work. A lot of people do but a lot of people don’t.
I believe the biggest question mark in Mr. Ribeiro’s argument is the lack of real accountability ie. how can any net activity be linked to actual sales and be measured accordingly. Oh, make no mistake, if you trawl the net, you will find page, after page, after page, of sites that tell you that they have the ultimate measuring software tool. If you commit to them by purchasing their services your product is sure of success. But really is this true? Tangible, demonstrative figures are almost impossible to come by. Sure they can tell how many people have visited your site, but how many sales came from that?
So what to do? There is no doubt internet/social media is growing, especially with the younger demographic. However caution and the avoidance of hysterical hyperbole is most likely the best solution.
I would suggest the advice given by Mr Riberio is in the main, not new. Good marketers have been setting goals, using influencers (sports stars, academics, etc), identifying target markets, stating communication objectives and putting in place success measuring devices for fucking eons.
Strangely enough they have also thought of choosing presenters (let’s call them what they really are) who resonate with their target audiences.
They have traditionally transparently and sometimes with a great deal of emotion stated in no uncertain terms what their expectations were.
Track results? Gee never thought of that, but I suggest one metric is missing. It’s called sales.
Mr Riberio has a point on content. Most marketers will be delighted to give up control of that.