Last year I contributed a guest post to the SMRA (Social Media Research Association) titled Influence Marketing – 2019 Awards. I awarded Sephora Influence Marketer of the Year. Consequently, I further decided to conduct an experiment and follow two fashionista/beauty influencers.
The two influencers are female, appear to be in their twenties, one macro from Phoenix, AZ and one micro from Nice, France. Key learning:
- Both are Instagram Masters, posting on a regular basis complete with an overabundance of hashtags, plus broadcasting their new posts on stories. Consequently, they have respectable vanity metrics – likes and engagement if you count emojis as engagement.
- Not sure how they are compensated, but they both endorse a strong portfolio of products. Travel must be part of their deal given all the different places they visit.
- Outside of the occasional car ad, my Instagram feed of sponsored advertising for skin creams, the latest shoe fashions, distressed jeans, sunglasses, etc., is significantly off the charts. No surprise given Sephora spokespeople indicated their influence marketing movement led to a gold mine of consumer data. Remember, I am conducting an experiment with Instagram owned by Facebook, data to generate marketing revenue is the engine that drives their platform.
Now for the spine of my post. Is influence marketing a sound brand strategy long-term? Recently, I read a great point, counter point article in Ad Age between two marketing C-suite executives detailing the pros and cons of influence marketing. Both articulated their thoughts clearly. What resonated for me? The quote below by the individual who believes influence marketing is dishonest and wasteful:
“I think the art and science of marketing has been lost in recent years. I worry that there is a new generation of marketers who think that running a Facebook campaign or partnering with a lifestyle influencer makes them a marketing pro.”
I apologize for being candid – old school thinking. The art and science of marketing has not been lost; it has been morphing. Regardless of their level of experience, marketing professionals continue to realize they have to utilize a combination of tools to reach their target audience. Younger generations feel comfortable receiving their information via social media. Therefore, it is important for smart marketers to familiarize themselves with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, etc.
In closing, I will continue analyzing the benefits of influence marketing, thus continue my first 2020 marketing experiment. However, since I believe it is important to utilize a combination of tools (a.k.a. omnichannel marketing), in my subsequent post I will be addressing what I envision the next big movement in marketing, Personalization.