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There’s a reason we’re seeing renewed interest in influencer marketing. We’re every one of us peppered with ads to such an extent that we’ve developed selective blindness to them. You don’t need me to tell you this, there is a constant stream of articles supporting the premise; here’s one of the latest: It’s the End of the Line for the Ad-Supported Web.
Dylan is particularly apt in remarking on the dilution of value in impressions: “As web use goes up, people see more web pages, and that means publishers are delivering more impressions. As the number of impressions approaches infinity, the value of those impressions approaches zero.”
Just how is a marketer expected to compete? My friend Luigi Tiano over at Koodzo.com and 1CoudRoad.com gives us an insight: social platforms. Per Luigi, search must evolve dramatically to keep pace with content discovered and consumed via social platforms. That’s not to say that search isn’t still powerful, but Luigi’s words should serve a warning that its dominance is currently eroding, and that that erosion is likely to accelerate as today’s underage consumers mature.
What Luigi points out is that those social platforms serve as his route to discovering content that he previously would’ve found via a search engine (Google being the prevalent force at present). He’s still seeking long-form content with an analytical bent to it; it’s just that he’s just no longer arriving at o his destination by the same route as often these days.
And it’s here that Luigi makes what’s both an obvious and profound statement: “…consumers care more for content than they do for context specific ads or banners … People don’t share ads, they share content!”
How does this lead to influencer marketing? Simple, really: content marketing is SEO. Just re-read Luigi’s statement above and you’ll see it reflects everything we need to know about good content: It’s inherently viral. What’s more, it’s evergreen, in that it lives on after publication, awaiting a social share or relevant search. You cannot say that about an ad campaign, the efficacy of which dies the moment it’s turned off.
In a word, content is organic, as it meets all the criteria of “social utility.” IOW, it offers interactivity: It’s discoverable, by containing logical keywords. It’s engaging and share-worthy. It’s self-sustaining, in that it reproduces yet more of itself. And it has intrinsic value, in that it communicates some combination of information, diversion and/or provocation.
Criteria at which ads fail endemically.
No wonder the renewed attention toward influencer marketing.