Give-to-Get vs. Pay-To-Play: Conquer Influencer Marketing By Doing Stuff That Doesn’t Scale

Banner blindness is the wrong name for how consumers behave today, because it blames a brand’s failure to connect on a format. We’d be better off thinking of it as “selling blindness.” If the consumer didn’t seek it out, they get good at tuning it out.

You can assume the same blindness will eventually apply to sales messages in pop ups, email blasts, “thought leadership” microsites and podcasts. If it’s pushing your agenda instead of helping them with theirs, they won’t see it, they won’t hear it and they won’t speak of it.

The same thing is starting to happen with influencer marketing via Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. The basic strategy is to use a talent agency to make a deal with a celebrity to insert your brand into their stream. It’s the modern version of the product placement.

But, like with banner blindness, influencer marketing is at risk of diminishing returns. A celebrity might have followers in the tens of millions, but at what point does that influencer stop being credible or truly engaging those followers? Consumers can become desensitized if that person is just hawking products, and influencer deafness will become the new banner blindness. There’s no word of mouth if people stop listening.

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