Influencers In The Video Surveillance Industry?

Not talking about 'thought leaders' or the Chinese government...

There is a fascinating new Wired article, "Inside the Pricey War to Influence Your Instagram Feed", that goes into great depth, primarily about the cosmetics industry talking about the rise of 'influencers' who command tens of thousands of dollars for covering / endorsing products. For that industry, these social media people have become arguably more important than traditional advertising and distributor / sellers.

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In interviews, more than a dozen people involved in influencer marketing expressed concerns over the ethics of the burgeoning industry, where brands routinely shell out well over $60,000 in exchange for one video review—or upwards of $85,000 to publicly disparage a competitor’s product. The activity is not confined to reviews. Influencers with a sizable following rarely have to purchase products in their niche. 

Curious about your thoughts on how this works in our industry.

We don't accept any advertising, sponsorships, etc. but there is certainly 'influence' to be bought in the industry. What do you think are the biggest ones?

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Perhaps the infamous MxInstaller would be an example?

Fake Journalist, Fanatic Marketer - MxInstaller

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MxInstaller was ahead of its time! As I mentioned 5 years ago in the post you cited, he was really good at marketing.

I do think, for 2018, the better business play is MxInstaller becoming a free agent, i.e., 'VideoInstaller' or 'SecurityInstaller' and they hype who is willing to pay them the most.

Could such an 'influencer' get enough followers? Would the manufacturers be willing to pay?

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His videos are still the defacto knowledge and training videos on YouTube and that speaks to the value/impact a Vlogger can have for a product.

 

I personally love technical reviews, unboxings, and issue highlighting content streams and I don't think I'm alone. Our industry has a very limited amount of content sources that are not manufacturer direct so that creates an opportunity to capture it for the right person. I'd hope to believe their impact would be lessened if that person is up for purchase. 

 

We don't need Kardashins in our industry that just spit out parroted garbage because they're paid to, or promoting products they've never used. That's what branded material is for!🤣

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Jake Voll is a pretty popular influencer in the residential intrusion space. People were lining up to get their pictures taken with him at ISC East this year. 

And, of course, IPVM is highly influential in the surveillance space. 

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I think Jake has done a great job marketing, building a following and, in particular, his Facebook group, which is informative.

Jake, though, has a more traditional and clear business model, he sells / distributes products:

I don't mean that as a negative. Indeed, distributors are clearly big influencers. Who do you pay money to in this industry to get an immediate increase in sales? ADI.

Likewise, IPVM 'influences' but we don't have profit / charge the companies we cover, which is different than today's 'social media'.

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Well thanks! And you're right, while I do genuinely care about my audience, I am in the security + smart home products distribution business.

That said, while I certainly do not meet the standards of journalistic integrity like the team at IPVM, I will not compromise my personal integrity to sell a product.

I want to sell stuff, but I'm not going to BS you about any of it.

In the words of Del Griffith, "Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get."

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Jake, though, has a more traditional and clear business model, he sells / distributes products:

Remove the lightbulb to see Jake’s message to unethical influencers ;)

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Hey Ari! Thanks for the shout out! The security + smart home market is changing so rapidly, I think the "alarm guys" are looking for a lot of answers and a little direction. I can't take any credit for the real influencers (new market entrants/changing consumer preferences), but I like to think I can guide them (or drag them kicking and screaming) through the transition. And of course, selling them stuff keeps my kiddo in those name brand diapers :)

 

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