In this day and age, sponsored posts and media influencers are everywhere, using their name and follower count to help promote brands and products. Some posts are way more obvious than others, but there is a reason why brands have had to hop on this influencer marketing train if they are going to keep up with getting people’s eyes on what they’re selling.
I’m personally not a fan of when people refer to me as a “blogger”. Yes, I have a blog, but I like to think of myself as a content creator, not a blogger. I don’t have a specific focus, I only post things I’m interested in or do that I find there is value in writing about and yes, have turned down opportunities to work with businesses and people because of some of their tactics when it comes to this.
Why? I have a disclaimer page on my website that lets people know if I was hired to feature something and get paid in free products or money. I also post this in the actual post! The rules around this have been quite blurry in Canada for some time, but recently the Canadian government has started cracking down on people and organizations who are not disclosing this kind of information and the fines can be quite large. You can read more about how brands can adapt to these rules on Cision’s blog here.
One thing I love about the new age of influencer marketing as a sales technique (because yes, in the end, it’s all about your ROI and business goals), is that social media has allowed traditional marketing techniques to develop from one way communication of just pushing and driving message to convert into sales, to a two-way conversation. People have their say, opinions, comments, and ability to share (positive or negative) their views giving brands an opportunity to engage with their customers creating a relationship.
I don’t have any secrets on how to become an “influencer”, but social sharing is something everyone does, that’s one of the reasons as to why social media exists. The internet is a very big place and we all know that Google has the answer for everything and since everyone has different interests and ways of how they like to communicate reaching your target audience as a brand can be trickier than ever. Don’t let big follower numbers fool you either, you never know how much traction you can get when you do your research. But the one thing you should always look for whether you’re an influencer, brand or consumer is authenticity. It is easy to see through posts these days and frankly, consumers want nothing to do with it.
Shopify featured a great article about social media marketers in a variety of different sectors and their insight as to how they are working in the digital sector and the common theme all the featured influencers had in common was that the social media landscape is a constantly changing one and can be very unpredictable.
Have you ever purchased something or attended an event based on something you saw on social media through an influencer? It’s nothing to be embarrassed by, these people are selected for a reason and I can fully admit to falling for this new sales technique.