The Flip Side of Influencer Marketing


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Cunning, falsified accounts and unprofessionalism are all part of the hidden side of all instagramers, youtubers and other influencers.

One of the most popular strategies for companies and brands is influence marketing . This new way of thinking has revolutionized the way we promote the image and brand awareness of a brand, product or service to potential consumers.

However, although the companies that have chosen influencer marketing are satisfied and recover profits, many are denouncing the behavior and practices of certain influencers …

On Twitter you can find many business leaders and managers of organizations specializing in Influential Marketing campaigns that denounce the flip side.

Accept only black payments via Paypal, do not sign a contract, minors without the agreement of their parents, exorbitant requests, non-compliance with the agreement, or lack of investment in the campaign: all these situations are part of the gray area of brand collaborations with influencers.

The weight of parasitic influencers

In the aftermath of the culmination of influence marketing, there are many individuals who wanted to try their luck by becoming influencers. The more brands and companies showed interest in this communication format, the more amateur influencers appeared to want to take advantage of this Boom. Making videos in her room like EnjoyPhoenix in France or, regularly publishing on a blog like Maria Pombo in Spain, seems at first sight easily reproducible .

The negative point of all these “amateur” influencers who wanted to follow the trend is the appearance of an alternative position: that of those who use their power and influence to obtain maximum benefits for free . Such practices are common among those we call ” parasitic influencers ” who are already the protagonists of a few different cases.

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Many parasites have been caught calling for a hotel night or a dinner in a posh restaurant under the pretext of being “influencer”: behaviors that distort the market and taint the image of real influential professionals .

Professionalization of the profession and saturation of the market

Many of these behaviors come from a problem that has also arisen in many sectors with the arrival of the web. The fact that the Internet allows anyone with a voice has generated many opportunities but also the professionalization of various professions. A good example of this phenomenon are the communication professions, and particularly the professionalization of the publication of content …

True influencers have built an image, their success is due to long years of work that have led to a status of referent in their fields. Many of them are now seeing how the market is filling with new entrants looking for easy money and free products.

Parasites do not usually have the basics and the ethical sense of influencers that have been on the market for longer. They lack professionalism and make the job in the market difficult and saturating.

Long-time influencers can also have the same goals as some parasites: not all of them are the same, professional sense and ethics vary, no matter how long the individual has spent in the marketing world. influence.

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Hidden advertising

Finally, we find here one of the biggest marketing problems with influencers and, eventually, turns into a major problem for brands and companies that work with them. Advertising, in the world of influencers, is regulated with very vague standards …

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How can one distinguish an advertisement or a simple personal opinion in the content published by influential people? The presence of brands is almost continuous (usually for a fee) in all areas where influencers have their place. Fashion, video games, beauty, cooking … However, although compensation is known, assimilation by the public is sometimes complex . The visualized content contains advertising but the marks voluntarily indicate it imprecisely and unclearly .

Although influencers should be regulated by the same standards as advertising in general, this market lacks structure and often resembles a jungle where everything is allowed. For this reason, many requests for clear and specific regulation have been heard.

For the moment, some influencers use hashtags (like #pub, #ad) but, is this really enough?

The audiences of the influential characters are sometimes of the order of thousands but this does not mean that the actual audience.

What is the actual audience?

The problems of the market of influence marketing are not limited only by the way in which the content or the practices of the “parasitic influencers” are shared. Another difficulty is for brands and companies to quantify the actual audience of influencers and determine their profiles and weights.

The audiences of the influential characters are sometimes of the order of thousands but it does not mean that the actual audience will be of this order (audience purchases, account out of service, …)

A good representative example of doubt about the actual audience could be an “influencer” followed by a list of followers purchased online . This person can, in the current system, easily feed his Instagram account of royalty-free photos, gradually buy lists of “followers” and after a certain number, start receiving proposals from brands that ignore the tricks …

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Sharing values ​​for a good influence marketing strategy

Too many brands and companies are looking for influencers for their number of followers and numbers but, in a market so saturated, this strategy will be in vain .

Too many newcomers who run after the brands are waiting for a first contact to follow behaviors lacking ethics and professionalism.

For her interest, the brand should devote a good time to finding the right person . This is the personality of the influencer, but also the platforms used, the actual audience, the type of content, brands with which it is already associated …

The most important aspect to consider when setting up a marketing strategy of influence are the values ​​of the brand : the influencer must have the same values ​​as the organization to make sure it will transmit them to his audience.

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