The Sample, where we whirl the dial on the interwebs, hit record and sample what we hear. The topic of this issue is Influencer Marketing and here are some of the best beats we’ve picked up this month.


The Thrill Has Gone?

According to this article in The Drum by Imogen Watson, as the great B.B. King once lamented, the thrill has gone for B2C influencer marketing as they report that 96% of people do not trust influencers on social media, according to research conducted in the UK by YouGov and Grey London.

However, all may not be lost, as they speculate how transparency and advertising regulation might bring trust back and include this quote from Grey London’s chief exec Anna Pańczyk:

Trust is the most important part of any relationship ­and for consumers and brands it’s essential. Brands have worked for years to build public trust in the ‘real world’, therefore it’s vital they ensure public distrust in social platforms doesn’t affect them by proxy.

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It’s Serious

The fakery that we touched on in this issue just got serious, as reported in the UK Financial Times (no less!) that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in the US has taken action in two cases, one of selling fake accounts and another using them.

The FTC fined a Florida businessman $2.5m in the first lawsuit involving the sale of fake indicators of social media influence and accused Sunday Riley, who runs an eponymous skincare brand, of posting fake reviews of her products on Sephora.com, the cosmetics retailer.

Peddling fake followers to vainglorious influencers who want to appear more popular than they actually are is unlawful

The Federal Trade Commission / Financial Times

Besides the fact we love the word “vainglorious” here in the Rockstar CMO penthouse and will try and use it more, you fakers best lookout. As Alexander O’Neal once sang:

“You’re a fake, baby, I’ve blown your cover. The jig is up ’cause I discovered..”

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A Legal Matter

There is a lot of good advice in this article from the respected Data & Marketing Association in the UK, much of which our writers have covered in this issue. But, continuing the vibe from the FT article above, the reason why we are featuring this here is their dive into the legalities of all this:

If you are paying an influencer or giving them a freebie, and you have control over the content that they create (including just final approval), the influencer’s content will be deemed as your brand’s ad. This means it will become subject to the UK advertising code (the “CAP Code”), which is upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”).

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Opportunity

We’ve sampled the serious stuff, but as The Pet Shop Boys once sang “I’ve got the brains you’ve got the looks, Let’s make lots of money” – is there still an opportunity in influencer marketing?

Well, this article on the Global Web Index blog certainly suggests that in retail it’s a very viable marketing tactic, including a nice case study from Adidas and their focus on micro-influencers.

The brand’s latest initiative was The Tango Squad FC show, which followed some of the best street footballers, the first “social media football team” over two seasons. Using Instagram’s to highlight behind-the-scenes content, that was shared across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, racking up 41 million views across the platforms. 

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My Way

close up of microphone, in focus, with blurry crowd beyond

In my day job, I’m a B2B marketer and I recently shared a bit about my process for Influencer Marketing in the industry publication CMSWire.

In many ways, B2B marketers (especially in technology) have been doing influencer marketing for years. Only we called it “Analysts Relations” as we woo Gartner, Forrester, IDC and a host of other smaller folks that have influenced the buyer. It’s the same in many other B2B segments, where analysts, trade press and various intermediaries have held influence over the buyer.

Here are my suggested 6 steps for B2B Influencer Marketing.


That wraps up our little bop around the interwebs, get some more insight on Influencer Marketing from our Rockstar CMOs in this issue.

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