I've done my fair share of influencer marketing in my career. Hell, I've both been on the influencer AND marketer side of it (and written about it quite extensively in this column), so I can definitely extoll the benefits of working with online influencers over traditional advertising.
But here's the thing...influencer marketing is still just a short-term tactic when you should be thinking more long-term strategic about your online presence. It's a good part of the mix - like boosting (putting a bit of ad money behind) a great video or post - but if you are spending more on the influencers than you are on creating your own content, you are missing the bus...again.
In this week's video, I talk about the BIG advantage that owned media (creating your own content) has over earned media (having others mention you - more often aided by a budget these days than organic) and definitely paid media (ad dollars). And yes, it does mean more to a customer to hear an endorsement of a brand from a friend or trusted source (and there is plenty of data that shows that trust is higher for digital celebrities than traditional celebrities), but brands that do content right have also been shown to build incredible trust with their audience.
But if you really want to be convinced, look at the math. When it comes to any investment, you will want to know that - in the long run - that investment will grow. Paid influencer marketing is better than paid advertising, but not as good of an investment as creating your own awesome content. Don't believe me? Watch the video for the math. ;)
Truly Social is a web series that you can share with your boss or client when they're not really "getting" social. It's also the name of my company - where I work with clients on helping them develop their own web series.
I've been working on this social stuff for over 18 years and I've been a participant in the social web since 1992. My videos will come out every SUNDAY...with ~5 minute "lessons" on what are truly social practices (and what are NOT).