I don’t believe that influencer targeting is an efficient and scalable advertising strategy. Influencer theory holds that for each campaign or product, the brand should seek to convert thought leaders to use and evangelize its product. The challenge is that for every product or message, you need a different pool of influencers.
If you’re selling a toaster, you need to find and convince 20 home appliance bloggers of your product’s features and benefits. Then when you’re selling a LCD TV, you need to find and win over 20 home AV pundits. (You also need to make sure these influencers appropriately disclose paid relationships, etc.)
For this reason, I’m, instead, a believer in making great and varied creative and letting the wisdom of the crowd carry the message. I believe that if you create great messages that find appeal with some portion of a large and random sample, the message will spread. Let some portion of a real, non-handpicked-audience choose to share the message.
Rather than finding 20 “number of jellybeans in a jar guessing experts,” I prefer to let a random sample of thousands of people guess how many are in the jar and take the average. This creates efficiency, because when it’s peanuts in a jar, I can use another large random sample, or even the same sample, instead of needing to find “peanut in a jar guessing experts.”
“If you recruit enough people who, on average, influence just one other person, you could get a much better return on investment if you aggregated them and altogether paid them a tenth of what Kardashian gets [to do a branded tweet].”