The term ‘Influencer’ is thrown around so easily and in my opinion…I hate it. Influencer seems too much like you’re getting your moneys worth out of a reader that is browsing your heavily sponsored content, after all, influencer, in marketing speak means ‘a person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others’ which to me is a little bit tacky. I myself am a blogger and content creator…nothing I do is trying to influence readers and quite frankly my blog doesn't often pay me at all.
With influence comes value and with some brands paying tens of thousands to ‘big influencers’ to simply snap an Instagram picture with their product, it’s no wonder so many bloggers are trying to gain influencer status.
Unfortunately, I believe this is where the true value of bloggers is lost and it’s all down to one word…bots.
Sadly platforms such as Instagram are yet to block bots from liking and commenting on pictures on a user's behalf. If you’re not familiar with a bot, put simply you can ask it to like all photos that are published with certain hashtags. Some ‘influencers’ use this to its full potential, growing their audience by liking all manner of pictures (seriously, from sausages to knitting, it's pretty laughable), all because they might feature a hashtag such as #lifestyle or #mensstyle. It’s such a poor way of running a social media account and shows lack of understanding of best practice, sadly for the honest blogger it means some colleagues are commanding high prices for sponsored work…all because their sly social tactics have gained them 40k followers.
It’s a riddle to me how brands don’t work this out, picking an influencer that has gained 30,000 followers that are of no worth whatsoever is surely worse than working with a content creator that has 1,000 followers that engage regularly? It will ensure better ROI, better impact and importantly, better engagement rates. It’s a real shame that brands see numbers as the way forward when true, engaging content is what the internet is craving right now…it’s about time brands started to look a little deeper at how many influencers use these techniques to gain followers, and also to have a little browse of the account before sending the collaboration email.
On the most part, the blogging community is made up of honest, creative and individual creators, something I love to see as a creator myself. Sadly the industry is so overrun with people wanting to get rich quick, get a verified social media account and have their 15 minutes of fame that they don’t focus on the now.
This isn't me slating, people do what they’ve got to do and I have no qualms with people making money off their blogs, I myself have been paid for content…not that it blurs my views or opinions because as you’ll know if you read the blog regularly, my honesty is pretty clear (not going to apologise). I just wish some creators were more honest, with some, I feel like we see so much of what they’re paid to do and say that we’ve lost the true person behind the account. That’s such a shame to me.