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Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program

June 02, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Joshua Nite

What’s a marketer to do? We heard that influencer marketing was the next big thing. We heard about companies getting amazing results with it. But it seems you can’t go anywhere online recently without seeing headlines like this:

Influencer Economy

And this:

confessions of a social media executive

Note the social shares on those two articles: 242,000 for the first one and nearly 50,000 for the second one. If influencer marketing is burning down, that’s a lot of people standing by with marshmallows to roast.

But don’t panic. These two articles, and many more like them, refer to a specific kind of influencer marketing. Generally speaking: the bad kind. Specifically, the practice of writing massive checks to teenagers with a lot of followers on Instagram or Vine in exchange for product promotion. That particular economy, which converted cash to “influence” or “awareness,” was pretty much doomed from the start. You’re in trouble any time you convert real money to something fundamentally unmeasurable.

But it’s not fair to say that influencer marketing is dead, or in trouble, or collapsing because bad influencer marketing isn’t working out. That’s like declaring “Movies are dead!” because Gods of Egypt flopped at the box office. Influencer marketing works when it’s done well. At TopRank Marketing, we have achieved amazing results for our clients with the practice.

The only thing better than learning from your mistakes is learning from other people’s mistakes. So let’s take a moment to mourn the passing of bad influencer marketing—and then let’s perform an autopsy to see how we can avoid their fate. Here are four ways to make sure your influencer marketing stays alive and well:

#1 – Build Relationships

In a way, the Instagram and Snapchat “influencers” are just billboards. You stand here and hold this beverage/face wash/protein powder, we give you $500. You deliver the commodity of X number of eyeballs for the money. If a rival beverage/face wash/protein powder company comes along and offers you $550, you move on.

Good influencer marketing is more than advertising using someone’s social media presence as the billboard. It’s about cultivating an ongoing relationship that continually generates value for everyone involved. Influencer relationships should be built with care, personal attention, and respect. Yes, sometimes you may pay an influencer for their involvement, but that transaction takes place in the larger context of the relationship.

#2 – Produce Something of Value

Bad influencer marketing can be, at its worst, just a celebrity endorsement with a different kind of celebrity. The celebrity gets paid, and the audience gets… what? The vicarious thrill of seeing that they drink the same brand of face wash as that guy on Vine?

Good influencer marketing goes beyond endorsement to create something of value for the audience as well as the influencer and the brand. That’s why it works. For example, our Content Marketing World eBook series from last year rounded up advice from dozens of highly-skilled marketers. The eBooks promoted the event, …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog