Written by: Jimmy Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING
I am a student of influence marketing. I am constantly evaluating what constitutes a trustworthy influencer. It has been months since I posted an influence marketing article. The last one was back in June on my company’s blog titled Virtual Authenticity? I detailed the emergence of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) influencers, specifically “fashionista” Miquela Sousa https://smartketing.com/2019/06/04/virtual-authenticity/ @lilmiquela. How authentic is a digital/virtual avatar posting pre-scripted content?
This past month, I read several articles about human behavior, specifically emotional connectivity. As a result, I am now beginning to question whether marketers can truly identify, thus connect with brand advocates who are at the epicenter of their influence marketing movements.
Case in point: The term authenticity has grown in popularity. Recent studies indicate authenticity is driven by the different core values of consumers and the emotional trust evoked by their online engagement. Sound deep? Definitely! However, in an era of flash digital engagement (a.k.a. social media) and questionable online product/service reviews, how deep is our understanding of the core values of the people with whom we engage?
Also fueling my current confusion is the new book “Talking to Strangers” by renown author, story teller Malcolm Gladwell. Mr. Gladwell advocates we tend to be too trusting of people with tragic results, thus suggests we need to approach strangers with caution and humility. Malcolm’s hypothesis was achieved via numerous anecdotes detailing how we evaluate other people.
How well do you know and trust your brand’s advocates?