The Product of Influencer Marketing is Passion – Not Views, Likes, or Sales
In a world of content, and with video by far the most-consumed content type, passionate content is more important than ever. In this article, I argue that content marketers need to enhance their content initiatives, whether for content marketing, affiliate marketing and sales, or brand marketing, by tapping into the emotion of increasingly niche audiences. To tap into emotion, we need to advance our concept of quality and begin focusing on passion to inspire engagement and direct response.
The Television Era is Done
In its heyday, television was a magical medium, pumping content into the homes of 100+ million American households. Show’s like All In the Family changed the way content fused fantasy and real-world events, shaping american culture in a unidirectional way. Our content migrated to nations who could not afford to create their own content, and our culture began to shape their culture in what some have called an imperialistic way.
But the internet and cheaper means of production is changing this with its ease of creation, whether it’s physical products or media content. In the television age, and when I share this with people today they are still somewhat in disturbed, the product of television is you. The product is the audience. Advertisers are buying an audience.
Internet is the Medium of Passion
Moving this model to the internet, and influencer marketing, the same concept still applies… kind of. When you do influencer marketing, which is contrasted with the purchase of only content production and the content itself with zero distribution, you essentially buy an audience. Yet, influencers marketing is more nuanced than traditional advertising. The barriers between advertising and content are blurring more than ever, and the pace at which content is created with these blurred lines between advertising is now faster than ever.
Mass media, and its unidirectional message to one audience, has lost its effectiveness in a big way – And it’s not just mass media, it’s niche media, it’s influencer marketing too. Unidirectional messaging to audiences do not stick. One reason for this may be a rise in emotional intelligence. With enhanced emotional intelligence comes the ability for receivers (audiences) to decipher whether communication is authentic, genuine, or false. When content is genuine, it’s passionate, and it sticks with the audience. When it sticks, it inspires. When it inspires, it drives engagement, views, likes and direct sales.
Passionate Content is King
As influencer marketers and as content creators, let’s remember one thing: When we do things we care about, when we love the relationships we’re in, the partnerships we’ve formed, and the products or services we sponsor or create, passion will win every time.
I attended a founders talk at Alpha Loft on entrepreneurship in my home state of New Hampshire recently. Founders like Jeremy Hitchcock of Dyn discussed how passion was the most important element of their creative success. Another example, and one of our investors, Tom Kuegler at Wasabi Ventures, built Wasabi Ventures Stables to reignite passion in the horse racing industry. In Boston, Eversound is solving a problem they’re passionate about: the problem of hearing loss in our older and assister living communities. And companies like Awato are being created to help youth and students identify what they’re actually passionate about, minimizing the countless years many spend in the open market trying to find their way.
Once we recognize that passion fuels greatness in industry, in our communities, and abroad, we will also recognize that passion must be the central deliverable in every exchange between business and social influencer for the influencer marketing space to see longterm viability. Passion opens a door to content that sticks, to content that inspires, to content that sparks emotion in the minds of the audience and leads the audience on a mutually beneficial path.