It's been a slow slog after summer vacation fun and getting back on the running track has been challenging. I was getting into it this morning feeling great, dripping with sweat with a bright crimson face when near my finishing line I encountered a gang of photographers, models and production extras doing a photo shoot. I was obviously in their line of vision and walking straight into their camera angle (it's easy to tell the face of an angry director - I've been on many sets before). It was a blogger doing a shoot with a cast of thousands behind the camera. Of course it was all made to look natural and spur of the moment. But this is the trick and beauty of influencers. They are rehearsed and professional. Image is key. Influencing you is their aim - because they get paid for it!
Influencers are really no different to the Admen on Man Men; they are selling you something. Don't be duped into thinking they are your bestfriend convincing you that this amazing product was something they just stumbled upon. Reality TV and influencers are so heavily scripted they make the Kardashians look natural. In the world of marketing, selling has just moved back from a mass sell, such as a tv ad spot to a third person in an unobvious paid scenario. This sneaky influencer method makes it feel intimate which is a great concept when people are so over mass marketing.
There is a perceived trust there - regardless if you know this influencer at all. Someones first-hand experience in this online world. Things have really gone full circle and we can think back to the days before TV and radio where the referral, or word-of-mouth was the best method of promoting a product. One of my PR textbooks (yes I went to Uni pre-Internet) likened word-of-mouth advertising to Jesus and his follows. The first great PR man. Selling his message amongst his people since the 1st century with now over 2.4million followers. Not bad statistics (would like to see his return on investment). Just like newspapers and TV ownership - you need to check who is selling the message and what their motivation is. Most likely - they are getting paid. Question it. Research it. Find the truth.
I think silly thoughts and musings about the world of marketing, as a marketer, then publish them on my blog because Social Media doesn't give me enough space to rant. Karen Montagu, thats me and these are my silly thoughts and observations.