Influencer Marketing: It’s Got a Long Way to Go

Influencer marketing is certainly getting a lot of attention. This post is prompted by a recent article I read on Media Post by Stephen Reily. “Influencer Marketing for Boomers: It’s About Experience, Not Marketing.”

As I read the numerous how-to articles and white papers out on the interwebs I’m struck by how much Influencer Marketing is turning into an ad buy in content strategy. When the majority of services that tout influencer marketing are offering aggregations of bloggers and Instagram heavy weights who have followings but are bought and sold like banner placements, I’m just not sure about the return on investment.

Influencer marketing should absolutely be about experiences. The products and services being promoted with thoughtful posts by bloggers and social influencers are seeing success in these channels due to the dismal performance of other types of ad buys. It’s not going to take long for people to know they are being gamed by social influencers steered to platforms that make their audiences in some way valuable.

The most authentic influencer marketing would not have a traditional paid mechanism driving it.

“In a perfect world, product or service alone should be the only reason someone mentions a brand. “

This method of influencer marketing should be the standard by which all campaigns are measured. If you paid a blogger, writer, or social media influencer to say something or promote your company, I’m all for it. Just call it out like it is. That’s what regulators are actually attempting to do with guidelines around disclosure.

What kind of influencer marketing tool could be leveraged so influencers, micro influencers and others could get on board with excitement and genuinely offer recommendations and provide true virility to a brand?

In the old school tradition, I remember the small box of Tide detergent that would show up in the mail once or twice a year. This powerful method is off course expensive but so are any other number of methods and campaigns. Today’s tech would allow one to gamify the recipient’s first week with the box of Tide. One could imagine a campaign that measured social shares, pics of clean laundry, pics of before/after washings and other creative ways people would figure out how to build influence. Through certain available technologies, the person most capable of sharing profitable exposure for a brand could be almost 100% accurately identified.

In the new school/current method of influencer marketing many companies are using tools like to download an entire Twitter following of a Twitter account. One then does some work with excel pivot tables and you end up with worthy intelligence on whom you should build relationship with as you launch your influencer campaign. Many more examples of tools will be shared in future posts.


On the topic of compensation for influencers. There are a myriad of ways to provide influencers better reasons to work with you than money.


Two things we know about Influencers.

  1. They seek things that will make them more influential.
  2. It’s almost impossible for an influencer to share something with someone that is not very similar to them. Homophily is the term used in social science.

I contend that the most effective influencer marketing programs will be authentic at their core. They products or services promoted will be successfully shared due to the true love of the brand by those sharing.

In future posts, I’ll demonstrate how technology may be used to assist you and your company in establishing real connection with a community that leads to social sharing and marketing by influencers.

Sherman Mohr, CEO of Shared Spirits

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