Influence Marketing Buzz. Have We Got it All Wrong?

Influence Marketing Buzz. Have We Got it All Wrong?

The buzz about influencer marketing it skyrocketing. Earlier this year, I wrote about Google Trends for the phrase influencer marketing and it’s gone up faster since.

With any marketing fad, you’ll see successful people from traditional businesses telling you what’s wrong with the new ideas… even if the “new idea” is just a new term for a proven strategy.

This is certainly the case with Influencer Marketing. (for the record. I say any noun used as an adjective before the word marketing is just someone hoping that it’s a way to be more successful at marketing. Marketing is the process of selling goods and services and is the basis of business.. so you can call it whatever you want.. it’s just marketing).

This time, it’s different. Some of the pop-up stars of influencer marketing are just blessed with getting in early on the fad, or born beautiful, or a star from something unrelated. There really no professional influencers. We are all influencers and the industry is still trying to buy people like they’ve bought #oldmedia.

So when a guy who isn’t getting overpaid see someone who is. They are shocked and write a post about the death of influence marketing.

Influence marketing mistakes are just marketing mistakes. The vast majority of marketing is not creative and uses the dead paradigm of thinking that pushing out content will overwhelm any shortcomings in your message.

That’s the mass marketing paradigm of the last century.

Approaching “influence marketing” or “content marketing” or “wear blue shoelaces cause it’s Tuesday marketing” (or anything that supposes a word before marketing makes it something else) will just get more of the marketing we’ve all come to hate.

Stop making the kind of marketing you hate

The future of marketing, selling, business, and life will be found in us moving beyond the commodity based paradigm and serving the interests of our audiences. Listen to your customers, engage them and the people who they look up to. Find out what they want and see that they get it.

My guess would be that the tea used in the example here is being sold to women. The photos of a fit young woman with the tea are attractive to women who want to feel like they could have that body themselves. BUT, they also know that the cute young thing in the photo isn’t quite full grown and likely isn’t struggling with weight.

Such advertising has worked in the past. And some of the stories are true. I’ve met MLM hustlers who really lost 100 pounds and when you hear them talk, you feel their stories. We can also feel the difference when they start touting a drink/wrap/lollipop that isn’t their authentic story.

I may be wrong about a dozen details here, but I know that a connection with a passionate user of a product beats any advertising or marketing copy. As we work out the ethics, tracking, legal and moral issues of influence marketing, I am sure that people will still want to buy from those the know, like and trust. If my friend gets paid by a company with a wonderful new product, I don’t care. I want my friends to do well. Pay them, cajole them, whatever. as long as you can get their attention and not turn them into shills, I’ll buy that cool item my friend likes.

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