“Influencers” is a lie
The term “influencers,” as often used, is part of a great lie.
As we use the term for marketing today, what we really mean is someone willing to share social media content for a fee. (Advocates work free.) We generally mean someone who has a blog, or a YouTube channel, or an Instagram account, etc. And we generally mean someone with a lot of fans/followers/subscribers on one or more of those channels. What we generally don’t mean is someone who can actually influence someone. And that’s a problem.
Reach doesn’t necessarily correlate with influence. It’s time to think about the best content producers as the true influencers. Not those with the biggest reach.
Reach is about exposure. Influence is about changing minds.
Balancing Reach and Authenticity in Choosing Influencers
Right now, lots of influencer marketing companies are selling reach. But reach doesn’t sell products. If it did, the Flowbee would be the hairstyling choice of America. But it’s not.
If you were alive during the great Flowbee revolution (starting around 1988), you saw this man cutting his hair with his magical, suctioning blades of fashion. So easy. So stylish. Even easy cleanup!
Flowbee marketers paid for incredible amounts of reach. They got additional organic reach in the form of people thinking it was hysterical. And yes, they even sold some Flowbees.
Influence, however, often comes in ones and twos…