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Calling BS on the "influencer" market

Calling BS on the "influencer" market

Old May 12, 16, 5:39 pm
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Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: 'We threw too much money'

Some parallels to how credit card marketing has been conducted perhaps?

Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: 'We threw too much money at them'
“Influencer” is the biggest buzzword of the moment. An entire ecosystem has evolved around these social media stars, but there are cracks in the foundation. The relationship between brands, agencies and influencers is starting to get rocky. In this edition of Confessions, a social media executive lays out how this relationship soured...
<SNIP>
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Old May 12, 16, 8:41 pm
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Wait, so massive money was thrown around by those who didn't understand at those who made false promises about RoI?!?

Is anyone really surprised??
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Old May 12, 16, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
at those who made false promises about RoI?!?
Do you really think in these cases any promises - false or otherwise - were made? I think it was more a question of false assumptions on the part of those throwing the money around.
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Old May 13, 16, 6:04 am
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I think it's like all new marketing tactics though. They see the rest of the industry throwing money at "influencers" and try to find some of their own. If they miss they for sure don't want it to be because they didn't spend as much as their competitors so they throw probably too much money at influencers without defining a) the criteria of an influencer ("Casey Neistat is huge, find me another one! And send him 18 of our thing to see if he shows it!") and b) how to measure the ROI from it.

It's not dissimilar from the credit card companies giving affiliate links out to everyone during the beginning of our little hobby and, now that they've been able to get some more analytics around everything, have curtailed it to very few bloggers who send them the most profitable customers.
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Old May 13, 16, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by jspira View Post
Do you really think in these cases any promises - false or otherwise - were made?
Yes.
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Old May 13, 16, 6:52 am
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Here's the thing though. Online, the biggest issue (for publishers) is that you CAN measure ROI.

If you book press, radio, influencers then the best you get is a good feeling that the money kept your brand front of mind and drove some untrackable sales.

Online, you get advertisers complaining that they spent $x with you and only tracked $y of sales, and all considerations about brand building, 'front of mind', sales driven through other channels as a result of the ad etc disappear.

I turned down an ad booking for Head for Points yesterday because I knew, given what was on offer, it would never cover its cost in direct sales and I couldn't be bothered with a lengthy autopsy afterwards. I will stick with AdSense in this case and get a fair % of the money with zero hassle and zero payment delays.
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Old May 19, 16, 11:46 am
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Calling BS on the "influencer" market

http://josidenise.com/dear-mommy-blogger/

Swap "travel" in for "mommy" and there are some stark similarities.

ETA: See also, this guy who didn't even figure out how to do the ad caption correctly.

Last edited by sbm12; May 19, 16 at 12:03 pm
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Old May 19, 16, 1:31 pm
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Hard to argue with success (and apparently lots of M&P AND mommy bloggers still make dough), but my company moved from 'social media influencers' to 'experiential marketing' about 10 months ago. Still pretty heavy into social media and especially pre-roll digital ads though.

But paying off bloggers to write about our stuff wasn't getting the ROI our marketing folks were looking for anymore because of the glut of them.

<shrug>
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Old May 20, 16, 7:17 am
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With the BIG exception of Youtube (with its actionable pre-roll), I think social media advertising is pretty weak at best, unless it is a titan within the field. Using TPG to hawk the Sapphire and Ben to hawk the SPG makes perfect sense. They both have newbies that trust their "status figure".

Those two and maybe MMS I would partner with.

Paying 2nd tier bloggers any kind of money is just throwing bad money. Travel Codex, Wander Armenian, among others. Their reach is not strong enough not to mention AVgeeks / maximizers are probably the worst kind of customers banks / airlines want. They are smart and know when a deal is not a good one.

The CC affiliate links drying up are an exact result of this.
Why anyone pays for ads on Dan Deals beats the heck out of me

Never heard of this "mommy blogger" checked her stats, very weak. 93% of traffic comes from "social networks" which is quite odd, seems a bit manipulated. Seems like she was living in a "fake influencer" world.
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Old May 20, 16, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by YoungSoloTraveler View Post
Never heard of this "mommy blogger" checked her stats, very weak. 93% of traffic comes from "social networks" which is quite odd, seems a bit manipulated. Seems like she was living in a "fake influencer" world.
She admits as much...
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Old May 20, 16, 1:07 pm
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I'm actually hanging out in SLC today while my wife attends a conference for bloggers and social media influencers (not travel related, though some topical overlap with the mommy bloggers), so I'm more than a little biased on the subject. It does feel like some brands are spending a lot for what they get from bloggers. I wonder if our readers really pay much attention to the posts we do for big consumer goods brands relative to our non-sponsored content.

One of the interesting things about blogging in the lifestyle space, which includes the mommy bloggers, is that the bigger you get the better sponsors you can get - and better sponsors in turn help you grow (or at least turn off fewer readers). Nobody really wants to be locked into writing utterly transparent ad copy for big box stores or frozen food, but smaller bloggers (and I mean in the 20-100k monthly pageviews category) are generally willing to work for the rates you'll get from, say, Social Fabric, to promote game day snacks at a big box store. If you do enough sponsored posts to squeak out a poverty-level income with a blog of this size, you're certainly not producing enough original content to build your brand - leaving you basically stuck in the second tier. The people who do well in the long run are those who have some way to support themselves through a couple years of full time work while they build traffic and content before rushing to monetize.

In contrast, bloggers hawking travel related credit card signup links have a bit more license to create quality content about their trips as long as they can somehow work in the plug for the card at the end or in a sidebar. Indeed, with TPG/Bankrate and MMS locked into the top positions on Google, the only real hope of eventually making a living out of the miles-and-points side of travel blogging this late in the game is to focus on quality content.

Getting back to Josi's post that was the original topic of this thread - she speaks a lot of truth. Bloggers liking and sharing each other's posts aren't true fans or loyal customers. But if Coca-Cola's marketing division doesn't care to tell the difference, so what?

(Coca-Cola, incidentally, is the one major sponsor that we will never accept a post from. They make bloggers working through Collective Bias sign a document pledging that they have never criticized "corporations or big business," and that is definitely not us!)

Originally Posted by YoungSoloTraveler View Post

Paying 2nd tier bloggers any kind of money is just throwing bad money. Travel Codex, Wander Armenian, among others. Their reach is not strong enough not to mention AVgeeks / maximizers are probably the worst kind of customers banks / airlines want. They are smart and know when a deal is not a good one.
I've had this thought myself. Surely there must be some way for the banks to tell which affiliates produce the most profitable customers and adjust payouts accordingly. Or maybe they're working with third party "influencer agencies" that intentionally muddle the data?
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Old May 20, 16, 4:13 pm
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I wrote a post about this people can read if they want to, but I'll sum up- as someone with toes in both worlds mommy bloggers make CC bloggers looks like paragons of transparency.
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Old May 20, 16, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by YoungSoloTraveler View Post
Why anyone pays for ads on Dan Deals beats the heck out of me
Welcome to FT YoungPadawanTraveler
Saks Off 5th is advertising on my site today for the 5th time and they'll be back again for good reason, it's profitable for them to do so
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Old May 20, 16, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by lonelycrowd View Post
Surely there must be some way for the banks to tell which affiliates produce the most profitable customers and adjust payouts accordingly.
There is and they do.
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Old May 20, 16, 8:22 pm
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and yet... these kinds of posts drive traffic... hipster cynicism sarcasm style...
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