As we listened to Jayde throughout our last Sunday meet-up discussing influencers, it gave me great joy as I followed along that she reinforced for me my company is “doing social influencing right”, or at least as right as we can be within our industry. Or, at least I think we are?
After listening further, Jayde dived deeper into her power point and discussed the overview of the grey territory between “official” testimonials rather than “mentions” of the product by the influencer, which is how many celebrity influencers can get around the current red tape set in motion to showcase the fact that theirs is a paid influencer post. Most influencers still do, nevertheless, try to hide that it is an ad, and include the mandatory hashtag at the very bottom of their post, in whatever platform they are sharing the influencer content. However, even though you may know this is a blatant ad, influencer marketing is key to getting your message out there. They are targeted ads towards your customers, have severely high ROI, and aren’t subject to ad blocking software, which keeps out most other ads.
So, I began to think. At Lincoln Financial, we are lucky enough to have several influencers who are at our disposal due to our sponsorship with the Philadelphia Eagles (who luckily just won the Super Bowl against tremendous odds). Again, luckily, none of our posts have to have the word “ad” next to it due to our continued sponsorship with this team, and the fact that we create and brand the content that they are involved in. See below:
So, then I began to take a step back and thought, is this true influencer marketing? These videos and shares of content that these players participate in, mainly on our Instagram and Facebook pages, are all branded Lincoln content, so in the end does the audience actually believe the influencer (Eagles player)? My opinion after listening to the remainder of Jayde’s discussion, is no, Lincoln Financial is actually not doing any influencer marketing, but strictly paying for the marketing, even though the players don’t get paid themselves, we still pay for our sponsorship with them by paying for the field on which they play when they are at home.
My question to you is, is there any way to get influencer marketing that is not paid for in any way other than to have someone genuinely like and want to promote your product without you asking? What happens if your product is not something that people want to discuss in the social space, like insurance?