When the first inklings of what we have come to call influencer marketing emerged in the late 2000s, Instagram, TikTok and SnapChat didn’t exist. Facebook was actually barely a thing at that point, because only college-tied emails initially earned access to the platform. YouTube existed, but web video was still complicated and cost-prohibitive for the masses. Influencer marketing back then was primarily focused on blogs and Twitter.
IZEA was the first company to force the issue on turning social media content into sponsored-message opportunities. The first iteration of its company name was actually PayPerPost. It launched in 2006 and offered bloggers everything from gift cards and free product to cash payment in exchange for a written post about experiences with its clients.
In 2009, IZEA launched Sponsored Tweets, and the world of online content creators taking money for social media posts was off and running. The social media pundits didn’t like it. And I was one of them.
I’ll explain why and how the conversation produced a philosophical spectrum for influencer marketing in today’s commentary.
I first wrote about the influencer philosophical spectrum on Entrepreneur.com.
This episode of Winfluence, the podcast, is sponsored by Julius. I mention that software more than others in my book because it’s the platform I’ve been using for a few years now to find influencers, engage with them and manage campaigns. Julius has powerful filters that let me drill down find just the gardening influencers in New England. Or the people who get excited about brick oven pizza. But it certainly also gives me the mega influencers and celebrity influencers I might need to help promote anything from stationery to toothpaste.
And in most cases, it has contact information so I don’t have to go fishing to reach them.
Oh, and they have their own audience health score to help you weed out ones with suspect audiences or engagement.
All the elements of campaign management are in the software, too. I love the fact I can assign a purchase price or value to every single social deliverable that is a part of campaign, automatically track it based on the influencer using our campaign hashtag, and get an ROI report for each element.
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Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand is available now in paperback, Kindle/eBook and audio book formats. Get it in the medium of your choice on Amazon or get a special discount on the paperback version of the book by clicking the button below, buying on the Entrepreneur Press bookstore and using the discount code FALLS20. That earns you 20% off the retail price. Read and learn why we’ve been backed into a corner to think influencer marketing means Instagram and YouTube and how reframing it to be “influence” marketing makes us smarter marketers.