Social Media Influencers: Keep it Real People
This week, YouTuber Marlena Stell disrupted the beauty industry with an exposing video – amplified by Makeup artist Kevin James Bennett on Instagram – about an ugly side of influencer marketing: brands paying for negative reviews of their competitors.
In a crowded marketplace vying for attention and ROI, this is especially concerning for the same reasons influencer marketing can help your brand. These trusted, native conversations that can help SEO and create measurable affinity for your brand can be used against you in a dark twist on negative product reviews.
As a consumer, negative reviews can often help paint a broader picture of a product – if the experience was negative for a reason that does not affect you personally, sometimes it helps to give strength to your own purchase and the authenticity of reviews. However, if the negativity is shared from a trusted source, it has the power to plant a seed in consumers’ minds and drive them to a competitor.
We salute the efforts to address this head on – these acts should be amplified further by FTC regulations as influencer are being paid for their ‘false’ content which is misleading to consumers. Establishing a clear value proposition and using reviews and influencers to demonstrate your brand strengths, rather than your competitors’ weaknesses, will ultimately triumph in consumers’ minds and for your bottom line.
– Sarah Hazan