The topic of influencer marketing has come under a lot of scrutiny lately, especially around the notion of paying influencers to write content positive towards your brand. I think it’s important not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater here and not consider all influencer marketing to be equal.
For example, take a look at this approach VMWare Code takes to making influencers feel a part of their brand:
- These folks all have some relationship to the brand. They are either customers or partners to VMWare.
- Most of them have built their own personal brand on social media, which the page highlights
- As the page points out, these are not necessarily paid gigs for influencers: that only happens over time
- I found the page via a paid social ad with a focus on one of the speakers and their photo – a great example of humanizing a paid social strategy
Bottom line here is that at its core, influencer marketing is about building relationships. The way you build relationships can range from thoughtful to sporadic to overly-commercialized.
Just as with any business relationship, you need to engage in a way that reflects you and your brand.