It's time for my daily scroll through Instagram and I'm noticing a lot more paid sponsorships and advertisements on my home feed.
Now I'm all for collaboration between individuals and companies. I understand that the new trend for brands to reach out to consumers is by aligning themselves with popular influencers to not only raise brand awareness but to create a loyal customer base. If anything, it's a clever way of promoting your brand without directly talking to your target market. People tend to listen more to an influencer that the brand itself - it's somehow more credible. But is it as credible as it sets out to be?
The debate between truth and doing it for the money
So there has been much discussion regarding the ethics of sponsored advertising. Are influencers merely promoting brands for the money or do they truly like the product/service? As consumers, we need to be more informed about how we perceive such ads and the extent it influences our decision making. For example, I tend to look at the frequency and range of brands the influencer is promoting. If every second post is a sponsored post from a different brand, I tend to be suspicious and consider the influencer as a less credible source. However, if it is consistent throughout the feed, the integrity of both the influencer and the brand is enhanced. Take, Whitney Simmons. It is obvious she is a brand ambassador for a gym brand called 'gymshark'. Her photos and workout videos boasts her wearing the brand and it is clear that she genuinely has a love for the brand. This is the perfect example of effective and successful influencer marketing. However on the side of the argument, people would see that being offered free gym wear and benefiting from gymshark's numerous PR events and holidays may have attributed to a biased perspective.
I believe the relationship between brand and influencer is a two way street.
The most important thing influencers need to do to become successful on social media is by remaining authentic to their audience. That's why influencers do need to take into account the brand they are promoting. Building a loyal customer base stems from being truthful to your followers and not bombarding them with inconsistent sponsored posts. It is also crucial for influencers to ensure their posts are integrated and blended seamlessly into their original feed to enhance the follower experience, and reduce the likelihood of unfollows.
What do you think?
BTW, incredibly sorry about my absence on this platform. I haven't been taking any pictures or feeling inspired lately... but will hopefully find my creative juices soon :) Thank you to those who are still following me, i truly don't deserve followers like you <3 really appreciate all the support