Rise of the Mobile Influencer

Since you’re reading this site, you are aware of (or are at least curious about) running an entire business off of a smartphone. You have probably set some rules for yourself on how to make your own experiment work. Considering it is currently possible to code on a phone if you’re a self-identified creator, chances are this is all old hat to you as you take photographs of your lunch with a barfing rainbow filter. Today’s guest post comes from Joe Sinkwitz, CEO of Intellifluence, on how the worlds of influence and smartphone usage as primary devices have already collided, with the result being the mobile influencer reigning supreme.

The Intersect

Perhaps the easiest way to describe how the mobile influencer came to be the most powerful advertising force is to look at the intersection of growth among the demographics of smartphone users and specific social network uses.

Leading social networks
Leading social networks

Keep in mind that Snapchat, WhatsApp, Vine, and Instagram are effectively “mobile only”, not mobile first, which is what Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter have become. Not only is mobile set as a default to being more important, in some networks it is the only way to play, a chiefly important distinction considering that largest and fastest growing networks have moved in that direction.

Evolution of Influence

Discussed in significantly more detail here, the concept of influence is a very old one; effectively all advertising is influence. It is designed to play on different psychological triggers with the purpose of getting you take a certain action (purchasing a product being the primary use). Starting out as word of mouth, and moving through all forms of mediums, from print to radio to television to online forms of adverting to where we are now, which is an interesting crossroads since word of mouth has essentially begat digital word of typing fingers and snapped videos/photos.

Why Influence

The question becomes: why is influencer marketing now such a hot topic? There are a multitude reasons, but the simplified explanation is as follows:

      Ad blocking wars continue to heat up, of which influencers are currently immune to, providing a destination for ad dollars.
      The quality of customers acquired from influencer marketing is skewing better than traditional acquisition channels.

Quality of influencer graph
Quality of influencer graph

Smart brands recognize not only that authentic advertising can exist, but it can convert better, which helps to explain this trend:

Social media spending graph
Social media spending graph

Social media spend is poised to double over the next few years, which helps to explain why brands are flocking to it, and thus giving more power to influencers.

How much power? Check out this 60 minutes segment on influencer marketing – a lot of power.

So…Mobile Influencers, huh?

Yes. Mobile influencers. From the 60 Minutes piece and the trends referenced above, we can see that the majority of ad spend over social is skewing towards those that are created primarily using their phones. Ad hoc videos for Vine and YouTube at $200,000 a piece; Kim Kardashian’s Instagram of her life worth millions… The money is beginning to flow more towards these platforms than sponsored review blog posts, as the latter were more dominate 5 short years ago (though sponsored reviews are certainly not dying, and can also be created entirely using a smartphone). Should the trends continue we will likely see a future by 2019 where 80%+ of all influencer ad activity is created via smartphones, which will become and easier decision as phone choices continue to improve.

Mouse vs Productivity

A friend of mine sent me a quick note that I thought was worth sharing. In an effort to improve production vs consumption he has opted to forego a mouse entirely in his PC environment.

so an interesting thing I’m going to try is is turning off my mouse whenever I’m “working”. So doing anything focused like coding or whatever. Get to know my keyboard shortcuts better and hopefully be a nice way to reduce the temptations to get distracted

Obviously there are some times a mouse really aids in production. Drawing, or clicking through research to find the snippet of code (consumption for the purpose of production) or clicking on rich apps that have drop downs are all examples. Ironically, the lack of a mouse is one of my greatest pet peeves with the iOS environment because tab doesn’t work the way you’d expect it to in most apps. But this is an interesting take on improving productivity that I hadn’t heard of before.

Fan Review #1

I got a message from Peter Wilfahrt who is the first person to come forward to tell me they are using their smartphone as their primary work environment, like I have. I think it’s worth hearing it straight from his mouth:

Servus RSnake,

Thanks for inspiring me and others to try living by a smartphone. I challenged myself to use just a smartphone for 30 days even in my office environment.

That’s a bit tricky because as a consultant I’m doing a lot of presentations and on office days writing for strategic papers and advisories, statements and comments for government and enterprises. Besides the normal pen-testing and development work.

Therefore I’m using a lot of “Pages” for writing or better “Mail” with a minority of formatting and sending the info to our communications department to pimp it up for marketing and CI.

For tech work I’m using “Serverauditor” because it’s one of the SSH apps I found that can work with port forwarding and ssh keys.

What I found and what’s a bit challenging is that the iPhone hotspot is not routing through a VPN. Just connections from the phones itself but no tethering .

Keep on your writings, I’m looking forward to some cool tips!

Peter

I think Peter has some great points and I’ll definitely be diving into all of this at some point. With regard to the hotspot, that isn’t something I’ll necessarily ever have to deal with, since I don’t intend to use laptops (maybe other people will, but for me, this is a non-issue). Either way, this is really exciting to see others taking up this rather difficult but fun challenge. The photo of this post is his, and shows his setup, which is almost identical to mine. I’m sensing a theme here, maybe there are just some set-ups that work best, and we’re already getting close to finding them!

Big thanks to Peter for sending this over. If you have similar stories, please share them with me and I’ll post them if they’re interesting.