One of my favorite advertisements became a "catchphrase" at the time. "No Luton airport". The ad was for the drink Campari. There is a link to the ad here .
In the "old days" the way you sold products was pretty simple, you paid a couple of celebrities, in this case, Lorraine Chase and Jeremy Clyde . The comical adverts were filmed in exotic locations with Chase having drinks with an elegant, sophisticated gentleman suitor. Upon his romantic question "Were you truly wafted here from paradise?", Chase would declare in her full cockney accent "Nah, Luton Airport!"
It seemed to me that things haven't changed much. If you want to sell product you give the product to celebrities, but this time you put the photos on Instagram. It would seem that in 2017, we seem to call it "Influencer Marketing".
Putting Lipstick on the Advertising Pig
I've also been approached to put a brand's tweets out over my twitter stream.
One company, (via their PR agency) wanted to pay me to put a "technical IT message" out over my twitter feed. Even though I explained that while some of my 175,000+ followers may work in IT, a technical IT message wasn't why people followed me.
Again, this is just "buying" ad space, using Social Media to post ads is putting lipstick on a "1950's broadcast marketing" pig.
If I don't have an IT following, why would a PR agency want to pay me to put an IT message out over my Twitter stream? This is true throwing mud at the wall and hoping it will stick.
Our view here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) is that a Social and Digital approach to marketing can get you front on mind (FoM) of more people (than advertising) and at lower cost. But of course we are biased.
Influencer Marketing to me is a Little More Subtle Than That
Content Marketing has now become the defacto way to market in the digital world and with that, we are helping more and more companies with their inbound marketing approach. People don't look at adverts, they want content that excites and informs.
In my book , Matt and I spend a chapter discussing "influence" how you can move it around. Especially how you can create influence for you and your brand. I often tell people I got 30,000 followers on Twitter purely by retweeting other people's tweets.
Everybody has influence. If anybody has asked what you thought of the new Star Wars movie or a car or restaurant, then you have influence.
We also have "secondary" influence by being on sites like TripAdvisor or writing reviews on Amazon. You might may book a hotel because a friends, friend (who you may not know) has reviewed it. On the basis that you trust your friend, then surely their friend must also be trustworthy?
The Definition of Influencer Marketing is...
I've seen influencer marketing done badly. Many brands want to create "instant influence" a bit like old style PR. If we take something or somebody and put it "on the line" it will go viral.
At a previous company, somebody with five Twitter followers was announced to be was going to be an "influencer", it probably helped they were a VP. It seemed strange that somebody nobody was listening to, suddenly had influence. By the way, they didn't, somebody isn't suddenly an influencer.
What is an Influencer?
Influencers are people that are listened to. This may not mean they have large followings or high Klout scores. But when you see them online, not just broadcasting, but engaging with active communities.