When I answered her questions I figured it she would use them for a blog post and that would be that. A few days later, the company published this post 5 predictions about Influence Marketing…and an accompanied with an infographic.
There it was – my mug right next to the mugs of Brian Solis, Kevin Dugan, Arik Hanson and Roxane Papagiannopou – all folks I’ve gotten to know in some way shape or form over the last five years or so.
The infographic caught me by surprise – but it struck me as clever content marketing and an effective way to repurpose content.
Here’s the complete Q&A from my email exchange with Gina and the infographic is published below.
Why are influencers getting the attention of brands now?
There are several factors at play — the democratization of media (and subsequent pressure on advertising), the advent of self-publishing, or the simplicity of tracking word-of-mouth online — to name a few.
Once upon a time, the final word on any topic was complete, when a newspaper went to press, or a TV program went live on broadcast; today it’s just the beginning. The conversation around a topic can be examined in greater depth and breadth than ever before.
The web isn’t limited by time and space and there’s an increased level of awareness about the influence that one person has on another via good old fashioned word of mouth.
Is it an ‘influencers-boom’?
I don’t think it’s a boom, but rather a recognition of principles that have been around for a long time. Smart brands have engaged influential people for a long time as part of word-of-mouth campaigns.
The difference today is that it’s easier to spot, track and analyze on the social web — and the metrics make a case that even the most traditional of brands can recognize. Engaging influential people — those that lead opinions — is simply smart marketing.
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It seems content marketing is really linked to Influence Marketing, why?
It’s one path to influence marketing, but not the only path. Writing a bunch of blog posts doesn’t necessarily lead to influence and there is a range of other dynamics.
An outraged customer with a just a few followers can post a complaint on Twitter and that gets picked up by a major online outlet. There are those that do not write content but merely curate content on social channels that can be influential in their own right.
Brands need to study the spheres of influence, the relationship between people and analyze how content moves around the web. Influence marketing requires research, diligence and relationship building — those are time tested principles that have been fundamental to any effective marketing program since the post-industrial revolution. The web has just made it a little easier.
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