The Future of Influencer Marketing

seen_barkley_influencers_mytake5_sxsw2015.pngAs the marketing world has become more complex and daunting, we have developed an insatiable desire to have ‘plug and play’ tactics. The graveyard of automated influencer marketing tactics and products is large and growing. Why are these automated influencer marketing solutions failing to produce meaningful content but still continually drawing money and attention from marketers?

There are deep structural reasons contributing to the rise of the new wave of influencer marketing. Time is of the essence for overstretched marketers struggling to compete on multiple social and traditional channels. Content and media have been democratized, so the power to choose which channel and which message you want to pay attention to has placed the power in the hand of the consumer. This has left marketers scrambling to be everywhere at once with innovative and interesting messaging. There is no longer the stop and start lines that advertisers are used to in TV, Radio, Print, etc. As technology has blurred the lines of where content is consumed, so has blurred as to what, where and when is the right place to talk to customers.

It’s a critical step to remember that on all three sides of the program (brand marketer, influencer, consumer) are humans, who want to be treated like humans. As we consider the relationships we are trying to develop and enhance we can understand the dating dance that goes on to create trust and comfort. The new wave of influencer marketing ushers in the opportunity for marketers to leverage technology and automation in specific stages of an influencer marketing program. But something important is lost if the whole process is automated. The human element is neglected, which is the whole point of running influencer marketing campaigns to begin with— to lend a human perspective to an impersonal thing like a product or brand.

When great strategy meets real relationships, truly influential content is born and audiences are moved.