In 2014 LinkedIn featured 514 recruitment posts for ‘Influencer Marketing’ or ‘Influencer Relations’ positions. That’s up from 289 the previous year. 206 of the 514 were from marketing agencies looking to fill roles within their agency, leaving 308 ‘in-house’ positions. We then looked at what criteria were most commonly cited as being requirements for the position. The three leading criteria, in order, were: Experience of social media outreach & engagement, Proven ability to apply metrics to activity, and Ability to integrate influencer outreach into broader marketing goals.
No wonder Influencer Marketing has gone so off-track. The LinkedIn data proves that those recruiting the positions are now seeing it as social media-based and those fulfilling the roles are themselves wishing to focus on social.
I’m wondering where the ‘understanding of the customer and what influences them’ comes in to play – if at all. I don’t see it in the ‘social media engagement’ because I’m pretty sure that’s all about the level of retweets / comments and shares. And I don’t see it in the ‘integrate outreach into broader marketing goals’ because that’s likely about the number of eyeballs reached and turning outreach into email addresses and Facebook profiles.
So as the incoming generation of influencer marketers bring with them their interest and focus on social media metrics, I think we’ll just have to look elsewhere for a greater understanding of the customer and their buying behavior.
Time for a step-change in what we’re doing.