Influencer Marketing – Is It Really a Thing?

Online MarketingIf you’re like me you find yourself inundated on a regular basis. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we’re checking email, social media and our preferred websites regularly, sometimes TOO regularly. I don’t know about you but I consider myself relatively immune to what I’d consider ‘traditional’ marketing. I’ve got most pop ups blocked, I ignore spam emails with the best of them and my unsubscribe game is strong.

So… if there’s a bunch of people out there who are don’t respond to traditional marketing how are brands reaching their target audiences? After all, I’m still buying stuff and I’m sure you are too. Enter Influencer Marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing you ask? Simply put it’s when the folks you follow tell you about the stuff they like. The larger the following they have the more people they ‘influence’. If someone has a large follower list, have strong engagement metrics and have an audience that listens and values what they say… guess what… they’re an influencer.

There’s a slew of ways you can be an influencer. The size of your audience and which platform(s) you’re using will determine how you can get the most bang for your buck.

Twitter can be a cesspool of arguing about politics and tribal lines but there’s also a ton of influencers there in the business and digital marketing space. Guys like Gary Vaynerchuk  and Ashton Kutcher spring to mind here. They’ve built huge businesses on the backs of their Twitter accounts.

Instagram is all about the visuals and depending on your particular tastes you can rest assured that there’s someone out there doing sponsored posts that are tailored to your liking.

TikTok is a relatively new social network but based on the amount of screen time my kids spend with that app it’s no surprise the reach that influencers are getting there.

Don’t forget about traditional websites or more accurately blogs (like the one you’re reading). The term ‘blog’ seems to have fallen out of favor over the past several years but there’s still a TON of blogging (or vlogging) going on. You can’t underestimate the reach these have.

Social Media

For my money the grandaddy of em all though is YouTube. I can’t tell you how many hours I spend watching and listening to long form conversations from the likes of Joe Rogan or a zillion gamers thats I couldn’t pick out of a crowd. And while I don’t ‘know’ these people I listen to what they have to say and respect their opinions… that is influencer marketing whether I like it or not.

Podcasts are a close second to YouTube. I’m a big fan of long form podcasts for one reason – I can consume them while I’m doing other things like driving or working out. It’s the one form of ‘media’ that you can be doing multiple things at once and not really lose much of the context – for this reason they’re incredibly powerful. I’ve been threatening to start a 406 podcast for years now. Who knows, maybe 2020 is the year it’ll stick?

So, while I consider myself ‘immune’ to traditional online marketing I have to admit that influencer marketing is something that I’m not immune to and the reality is that it’s here to stay.

Now… if I could only get my phone to stop listening to my conversations and tailoring my Facebook ads and friend suggestions. Guess I’m not really immune to it after all… it’s just that ‘traditional’ marketing has shifted to something that doesn’t look all that traditional.

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