Influence marketing is bullshit

Test time rate: What is estimated to be worth $ 5 to $ 10 billion by 2020 and is (at least, in my humble opinion) a lot of shit?

Answer: Influence marketing.

Okay, let me clarify something. The idea of ​​paying people with huge amounts of money to advertise your products is not stupid. Celebrity endorsements are something and are known to make wonders for brands. Think about Nike's $ 1 billion LeBron James deal, or George Foreman with the homonymous poor, average, fat-burning machine.

Influences on the other hand, on the other hand, are a different fish kettle.

Lord, let's run your tongue. Influences. It's one of those words that sounds really dirty, is not it? Looks a little phalanges, or dongle. I do not know about you, but the idea that someone is mostly identified with their ability to influence other people just misses the wrong way.

The thing is, it is very rare really influential. At best, most are only real photogenic. And the whole industry serves as a tool for segregating brands without secrets from their marketing budget.

Bloggers or blaggers;

Social media services have always shown a surprising ability to increase the profiles of their most productive users. MySpace, for example, gave us Jeffree Star, which now owns a real cosmetics empire.

Similarly, platforms such as Snapchat, RIP, Instagram and Twitter brought countless more people to the attention of the world. Along the way, many realized that they could make money from their accounts or use their profiles to get free products and travels.

Some of these blugging is actually quite lively. Earlier this year, an Irish hotelier received an email from vlogger Elle Darby, who wrote:

"My partner and I plan to come to Dublin for a weekend early on Saturday, and I found your amazing hotel and I would like to feature you in my YouTube videos and recommend others to book in exchange for free accommodation."

Obviously, the hotelier published the email on his Facebook page, which immediately went more viral than a nasty swine flu case. Things blew up and faced their own reputation, Darby published a teardrop video where she "put the record straight". Unfortunately, this has since been deleted, but the internet never forgets.

At that time, Darby had about 87,000 YouTube subscribers, and most of her videos at that time were on average about 15,000 impressions.

Let's do some lessons behind the napkin. Dublin is a well-known expensive city, with a shortage of hotel rooms. In addition, Darby was looking for a stay during the busy Valentine's Day, which pushes the average night rate higher.

So suppose it is looking for about £ 750 worth of free stay, which translates to about $ 1,000. Divide this by the average of the videos that were taken at the time and the hotel is looking to pay £ 1 (or $ 1.30) for about 20 views of a video that says it.

That's pretty bad. For the environment, you can fly about $ 7 in the YouTube ad system and get about 2,000 impressions.

In general, online influences do not represent good value for money. And that really happens. Very often, they get the product and the cash, leaving the signals high and dry.

This is something that is full. According to a 2017 study by Sway Ops, about 15% of the influences that agree to promote a product take the item but do not produce content around it.

This trend affects both small companies and huge global brands. Recently, Snap, PR Consulting (PRC), the public relations firm, paid an actor and personality to Instagram Luka Sabbat for the Spectacles.

Sabbat first took $ 45,000, plus $ 15,000 after the deal was completed. Here is what he was expecting, according to TechCrunch:

He had contracted to make a feed of Instagram and three stories with himself wearing Specs, as well as being photographed by wearing them to the audience in Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks. It is supposed to add uplinks to two of these Post Story, will have all posts approved with the PRC and will send them detailed measurements for their performance.

Obviously, she did not get close enough to this, and now the PR company wants her money back.

Fraud, glorious fraud

In general, marketing space affects fraud. It's like Herbalife and Amway had a boy of love and the baby insisted on talking constantly in a camera.

Last year, Sway Ops found that almost 50% of the fraudulent interactions at Instagram took place in places labeled #ad or #sponsored. I guess this is to convince brands that their advertising spots perform better than they really are.

With brands more willing to spend their valuable advertising dollars on the influential ones with the highest accuracy, the influences are motivated to play dirty. In general, this is manifested by fake fans, and bots leaving comments and likes.

The good news is that brands are increasingly aware of this. In June of this year, Unilever's marketing manager, Keith Weed (who is his real name), said the company would refuse to cooperate with anyone using these tortured tactics.

"The key to improving the situation is threefold: to clean up the ecosystem of influence by removing misleading involvement, by making brands and affiliates more aware of the use of dishonest practices; and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure the impact, "explains Weed

"We must now take urgent action to rebuild trust before it stays forever," he added.

But, unfortunately, some are still caught. Earlier this year, the Mediakix marketing agency created two fictitious Instagram accounts with a focus on travel and lifestyle, respectively. The experiment was to see how far you could get a fake account.

Both accounts had a healthy amount of fans and dedication – they were paid, of course. In the case of the travel account, Mediakix was bold enough to simply use stock photos of exotic local sites cut off from other parts of the internet.

It did not take long for the brands to start sponsoring contracts. The absolutely fake travel account, for example, is assured dealing with an alcohol brand, as well as a national food and drink company.

It is worth noting that this embarrassment is not limited to Instagram. Twitter, for example, is filled with accounts that boasts hundreds of thousands of fans, while at the same time hundreds of thousands of fans follow.

If you've ever followed an account, only to take seconds later, chances are high that the individual uses a script designed to inflate their fan numbers.

What is the influence anyway?

I suppose that my greatest suffocation with the offenders is not its eccentric nature, nor the fact that many accounts are finely masked tools for fraud, but rather the fact of how acute and cloudy the term is.

What is an Influencer?

An explanation creates two separate camps, with Zoella and Logan Paul in one segment and "micro-influences" in another. These are people who have over 15,000 fans, which is the limit to be seen by some brands for sponsorship deals.

But what about the tens of thousands of people who identify themselves as influences, despite having only a handful of fans? You do not have to look away.