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  • I’d like to announce a new music festival that I’ve put together. I’m calling it L1T FEST, and it’s going to have all the best acts. I’m talking Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Beyonce’s unborn child in the form of a hologram that uses AI tech to predict what the kid will look like in 18 years, a live taping of SNL, and not Ja Rule. It’ll take place in the warmest part of Iceland under an aurora borealis. Lodging will consist of heated luxury igloos that surround a profile-pic-friendly penguin petting zoo and polar bear selfie photo area.

    I know what you’re thinking. Why would you believe me? Here’s why. I got all the famous Instagram influencers on board. Just look at this endorsement by this influencer (with over 7 million followers)…

    Social Media Influencer post for L1t Festival

    Joke over.

    In case it wasn’t clear, L1T Fest isn’t happening. You will not be able to take a selfie with a polar bear.  That Instagram endorsement by model and influencer @abigailratchford isn’t real (here’s the actual post). This whole exercise was a ruse to make even more fun of the failed Fyre Festival, and to bring up a discussion about influencer marketing.

    The idea behind this post was inspired by this NY Times article about Fyre Fest titled “The Rise and (Maybe) Fall of Influencers.”. Did Fyre do some damage to the influencer marketing trend?

    Short answer, yes (at least a little). Longer answer, keep reading.

    What is Influencer Marketing?

    Back in the day, you had to be on TV to be famous enough to be a product’s spokesperson. Now, you just need a large social media following, confidence, and a polarizing personality to attract the attention from brands.

    The tactic of influencer marketing is as old as time:

    • Find a celebrity
    • Get them to flaunt your product
    • The celebrity’s fans will be influenced enough to buy your product

    The only difference between influencer marketing and hiring a movie star to be your spokesperson is the wording and the fact that there are A LOT more “celebrities” up for grabs. Some influencers charge a giant stack of bills (Kendall Jenner got paid 250k for a single Instagram post plugging Fyre). Other’s charge as little as a free product, a deep discount, or $50.

    The range of influencers goes from Kendall Jenner (attractive to national brands with deep pockets) to Miami food blogger Burger Beast (attractive to local South Florida businesses). If Kendall Jenner drinks a Pepsi and you’re a fan, you might be influenced to drinking Pepsi. If Burger Beast says your donuts are good and you’re a fan of his food blog, you’re going to try those donuts.

    This made me chuckle as I was writing this post… the recent influencer marketing movement is still new enough that WordPress thinks it’s a typo when I write out “influencer”.

    Influencer is not a recognized word yet

    Influencer marketing’s effectiveness relies on trust

    A spokesperson can only be effective if they’re believable or trustworthy. It’s why the Instagram influencers that Fyre paid to promote the fest have tried to detach any connection to the festival– their fans need to believe them so that they can continue to get paid to influence.

    At least a portion of the Fyre ticket buyers were persuaded to shell out the big bucks because of the Instagram models– no doubt about it. Now that they feel like they’ve been duped, they (and countless others) won’t make the same mistake. Fyre’s demise went super viral, so you better believe that an increasingly amount of consumers will begin to question the authenticity of an Instagram model’s product endorsement.

    So influencer marketing is dead?!

    Nope. Far from it.

    However, the relationships between influencers and brands might be changing. Don’t be surprised to see more and more influencers stick with brands for years, rather than one-off social media posts to promote a product.

    It’s content marketing 101. First build trust by being useful, resourceful, entertaining, and giving away free stuff. After that trust is built up, then you try to sell. Content marketing converts because you’ve built a relationship with the consumer before they’ve become a paying customer.

    This can and should be applied to influencer marketing.

    Questions about influencer marketing?

    Do you want to make fun of Fyre? Do you have questions about social media or influencer marketing? Reach out by heading to our contact page, commenting below, or calling 866-999-4736.

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