Don’t blame the influencers for corrupt influence marketing efforts – Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}

I admire Unilever CMO Keith Weed. He has done an admirable job over the past few years calling BS on fluffy marketing practices, holding agencies accountable, and calling out the crisis in executive marketing education. He also has magnificent hair. But I digress.

However, I believe his latest shot across the bow has gone astray, a criticism of corrupt practices in influencer marketing.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Weed claims he won’t do business with influencers who buy followers and blamed the influencers and social media platforms for corrupting influence marketing. I don’t think he’s placing blame in the right place.

To be sure, influencer marketing is red-hot but has lost some of its shine after numerous reports surfaced about fraud that exists from influencers who buy followers and use bots to make it look as if there are more people engaging with their posts.

The WSJ article said that mid-level influencers—those with between 50,000 and 100,000 followers—often have about 20 percent fake followers. In essence, brands pay influencers millions of dollars each month to reach follower that are fake.
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