It’s become a popular word – “influencer”. And now the term “influencer marketing” has entered the marketing vernacular, in case you need a new buzzword for a meeting.
It’s not really a new term though. In my school days when I was well behaved, a mother thanked me for being such a positive influence on her son. Then a few weeks later, a teacher called me out for being a disruptive influence in the class – it’s no wonder I’m cynical.
Influencer marketing is the process of contriving authenticity and false expertise by publishing content – most of which is not original – to grow a “following” online.
There are all sorts of tricks and guides to grow your alleged influence and the beauty is, you don’t need any real subject knowledge or track record of success in your field. You just need the ability to connect to people online and use marketing automation tools to publish content – mostly reworked from other alleged influencers, or borrowed from real experts (and usually without credit).
You can even outsource to content farms on the subcontinent or South America to create your expertise. If you’re a shrewd promoter, it’s not difficult to position yourself as an alleged expert.
Influencer marketers abide by what I call the Dory Principle of Marketing – “just keep bluffing, just keep bluffing – bluff, bluff, bluff.”
There’s rarely original thought published by these influencers. The real sad part is the volume of young marketers believing much of what is being peddled as expertise.
Some alleged “influencer marketing experts” have synthesized words to brand themselves with ridiculous titles such as Linkfluencer, or Social Influencer, as if this somehow casts magical wisdom upon their being – change hands please.
That’s not to say there aren’t some genuine experts using content to educate and further their reputation. But they do so with legitimate credentials and history of success, rather than trying to punch above their weight using implied knowledge and sheer volume of content.
Recently a British marketer Dan Bond, published his list of alternate marketing influencers (as against those who practice influencer marketing). This humble blog you’re reading is on the list, with some rather esteemed company.
All the writers have a bit of mongrel in them and are refreshingly honest, which is why I read their stuff as much as I can. Check out their blogs here.