The Influencer 'Network' is Overrated

Posted by Brian Zuercher on Mar 25, 2015 11:00:00 AM

In Influencer Marketing, Snapfluence

Are you ‘Tindering’ with your influencer programs?

instagram_influencers_dating_site_comparison

Over the last few years I have tried to listen close to the questions that marketers are asking as they inquire about SEEN’s influencer marketing software and our influencer network, Snapfluence. The questions have a massive range of sophistication and intrigue, which seems to be reflective of how confusing the content and social-influencer marketing world is. The parallel to online dating sites began to emerge to our team as an analogous experience that we expect consumers of that industry face. Here are some of our observations…

 

Too much value placed on ‘size matters’


As dating sites emerged, many touted having ‘the largest’ network. Similarly we hear our clients often ask questions like, “how many influencers are in your network?” The issue with the quantity question is that it has little or no impact on the outcome.

The theory is pretty simple in most peoples minds; “if there is a lot of something, then there is a likelihood of a match!” That is a practical and logical approach, but this theory ignores the fact that daters, like influencers, sign up for multiple networks at a time. Thus the more relevant question to ask is “do you have the ability to deliver a match that makes for a great relationship?”

We believe that the quantity question is born out of some fear of not having the ‘right’ people get matched. Our counter to this question at SEEN is to produce a transparent process that shows how we can produce the best-fit content creators. The question to replace the ‘size’ questions, as many dating sites are doing today, is “How are you going to create a match with a chance at marriage?”

 

Niche driven networks produce clunky results

We’ve all probably snickered at the long tail of dating sites names and companies that have come out. Farmersonly.com, purrsonals.com and so many others have evolved. The presumption is that a network that is dedicated to a very tight sliver of an interest or category will make a more meaningful match. We see these types of influencer networks as distracting to the overall premise of identifying great content creators.

Remember, most influencers describe what they ‘like’ themselves. We often see great content creators say, “I love to travel, hike and bike”, but they have built an audience about healthy eating. This conflict of interest versus audience highlights what we call the ‘mirror mistake’.

The ‘mirror mistake’ arises when marketers confuse their brand’s target audience with the profile of the influencer. Circling back to the niche dating sites, we see that those have the ‘mirror mistake’ often involved, but are attractive to people because it brings them to a familiar place, themselves.

 

Personalization takes time, but bats a higher average

The reality of dating and identifying influencers that make a great relationship happen is that it takes time. A dating site is going to need to learn your personality and preferences over time. The first date may go well, but a refinement or two can make all the difference to creating better results.

The same iteration process applies to an influencer network relationship. At SEEN we need to understand the brand, the content that performs well to attract customers, and how it is evolving over time.

Because what we’ve learned from working with a variety of brands and agencies is that marketers aren’t trying to search through an influencer network like you would a dating site, they’re looking for a “Hitch” (Will Smith movie…) to understand them and guide them through the influencer marketing process.

We are beginning our conversations with marketers focused on how the brand is being built, it’s emotions, the visualization of that brand and how they want to move that brand along to another level. If you are planning on investing in a process with the goal being to spend the rest of your life with someone, it’s probably worth spending time on that process. Hey, Tinder works, but we all know where that goes in the long run. Be skeptical if your partner for influencers isn’t interested in learning about your brand.

 

Learn more about the process of building a successful influencer marketing program on Instagram and download our guide to influencer marketing bliss

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