I recently read posts by two business commentators and both of them referenced a familiar phrase, in relation to the approach that businesses should take;

The early bird catches the worm

I wrote back to one of the authors – Pascal Finette also known as The Heretic – and said that I believe there is a risk that businesses could create a market for others to exploit if they are the first to start pulling up worms. Pascal’s answer was brilliant (and proved that I had not really thought about the meaning of the actual words in the phrase);

There is a reason why it’s called “the early bird” and not “the first bird”…

There is a powerful message here that I believe relates to the world of influencer marketing.

As we have seen in the FreestakPulse survey that we are running, influencer marketing is becoming an ever more important channel for brands. But it is still a very new area. This means that there are huge wins available for the early birds who decide to take advantage.

But brands also need to understand that influencer marketing is not new. No brand that starts developing an influencer strategy now will be at the vanguard. The term ‘blog’ is nearly 20 years old. The people we refer to now as influencers are simply people who have adopted the technology that does away with the need for web development skills when it comes to creating content online. What started out as a very niche activity has grown over the past two decades so that it is fair to say now that everyone has the opportunity to become a publisher of content and by extension, an influencer.

So the first ‘birds’ have already been working with influencers for some time now. As they have been doing that, the number of influencers and the value they can bring has increased significantly. Brands that are now looking to develop an influencer strategy are not going to be the first, but if they develop the right strategy and execute it well, there are still huge gains to be made.

The good news is that there are enough ‘worms’ that brands really getting to grips with influencer marketing right now, can still be considered the ‘early birds’.


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