Is Influencer Marketing a temporary fad that is destined to fade away? Or is it a service that will continue to grow and flourish for years to come?
Recently, I had an opportunity to discuss this question while participating on the Media People Podcast with Victor Genova. Here is the question posed by Victor…
“You are obviously very bullish (about Influencer Marketing), but a lot of people are very pessimistic. When you are going out and pitching Influencers, it’s not the same as Search Engine Optimization, which was a very well established tool or method when you worked in that industry… Do you bump into a lot of people that are pessimistic about Influencer Marketing? Or are they on board with what you’re saying?
Here was my answer…
“There’s definitely some people that think Influencer Marketing is a fad, or that they haven’t had the best experience with it, but here’s the undisputable truth… Influencer Marketing is as old as time, it’s just going under a different name now. It’s simply celebrity endorsement, but the real question is, what are celebrities these days?
300 years ago, this is how people used to sell product at local markets. They’d get someone from the community that was well known and respected to promote it on their behalf, because people trust people – not brands.
So why does Nike use Lebron James to sell shoes? Or any major company, they are using people to sell their products. They are using celebrities – but the definition of celebrity has changed. Celebrity used to be people on television, or people on radio, or actors, actresses, or musicians. And so, we used to rely on the traditional gatekeepers of media to provide us with our “stars.”
But nowadays we are selecting our own stars because social platforms allow us to pick them. So the definition of celebrity has changed, and now the definition of celebrity endorsements has transitioned to Influencer Marketing. So if you think Influencer Marketing is not going to work, you are really betting on people not being interested in other people – and you are betting against the oldest form of advertising to stop working.
I think it just requires a little bit of a shift in mindset that this is really celebrity endorsements, but nowadays, celebrity exists on social.”
So there you go… The Influencer Marketing industry is going through a maturation process, and some brands and agencies have experienced growing pains. But those pains are a sign of growth, and smart agencies are applying critical thought and diligence to refine the industry.
It is no longer acceptable to select Influencers based on reach alone. Nowadays, there is a much more advanced criteria:
When the right Influencer is selected for the right brand, in the right market, with the right message – very good things happen.
"At Universal Music, we are frequently tasked with launching new albums and products with little to no notice which can prove challenging for traditional agencies.
The team at the Influence Agency have proven time and time again their ability to be both nimble and efficient at delivering influencer campaigns that are strategically targeted, creative and most importantly impactful with our artists audiences."
"The Influence Agency is phenomenal. They’re incredible outside-the-box thinkers and we’re a great alternative to the traditional marketing efforts taken for the NFP I work for. We worked directly with Stephanie and Tom, both who had a high level understanding of the industry and a completely professional approach to social promotion. Looking forward to working with their team again!"
"As a creator, it was so easy working with The Influence Agency. They've put me forward for a number of awesome campaigns and have given me full creative control to execute them. I can't wait to work with them in the future!"
"The Influence Agency has been a huge part of our success for The Rose Picnic!! We love working with the team and look forward to many more great years together!"
"The Influence Agency is by far one of the best agencies I've worked with in Toronto. They provide so much value to each and every one of their clients, and I've had the pleasure of working with them on many different campaigns. Not only are they professional, but very personable. They are a delight to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone interested in growing their brand or business in an meaningful and creative way."
"Having blogged for 10 years and having worked with a plethora of agencies, The Influence Agency team has been one of the top agencies I've connected with. Their ability to both balance creator relations and interests, while maintaining the priorities of their brands is incredibly impressive. As a creator, the team is always supportive and responsive and truly makes developing branded content seamless! I always look forward to working with them!"