Are influencers being taken advantage of?

street shoot

The way brands advertise has changed massively in the last 10 years. Influencers and content creators now play a huge part in how brands promote their new products. However some brands are starting to take advantage of influencer marketing and using creators in a way which is becoming an issue in the industry.

Earning Potential

Influencers have the potential to earn a really good income through promoting brands. There are lots of ways to make money, for example – through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or becoming brand ambassadors. For the more well known influencers with a large following, they have the opportunity to be taken on all expenses paid brand press trips in return for promoting the latest products. You will also see them creating ‘edits’ with fashion brands as well as creating their own designed collections. These sort of campaigns not only give the influencer a large pay check and commissions through sales, but also generates a massive revenue for the brands.

Read all about it..

For a brand to place an advert in a magazine it can cost thousands of pounds – even tens of thousands depending on the magazine. This is a big chunk of money for any business. Brands now realise the potential that content creators, bloggers, and people with a large social media following have. Using influencers to promote their products for them not only helps them to spread the word really quickly, it also helps to encourage others to go out and buy these items. We live in a world now where reviews can make or break a business and influencers have already gained the trust of those who follow and engage with their content so they are perfect for showcasing products to everyone.

A brand has no way of easily being able to quantify how may people saw their advert in a magazine and how many sales were generated because of it. But an influencer is able to provide a brand with statistics showing exactly how many people liked their post, how many commented, liked, saved or reposted it. If the influencer shared a discount code or a link these can also give the brand an indication of how much interest the viewers have in their product. This sort of data is hugely beneficial for a brand.

street shoot

street shoot

The issue with “gifting”

There are a lot of people that want to be an influencer or a blogger as a career choice and the market has become saturated. Because of this, brands are able to have their pick of the bunch. They have a huge amount of choice and a lot of people hoping to break through and be noticed are more willing to accept free or gifted products from a brand rather than asking them for any form of payment.

Creating content is time consuming – Writing blog posts, shooting the products, filming, editing the photos or videos all takes a lot of time, work and effort. You wouldn’t go to any regular job and expect to put in hours of work without being paid so this should be no different. A free item doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day but a lot of brands will now only offer this to influencers and where so many are willingly accepting this, it is making it more and more difficult to receive actual payment from brands.  For example, to send out a few free items of clothing is such a tiny cost for many companies and so they prefer to do this rather than actually paying the influencers.

So for any aspiring influencers/bloggers reading this blog post, always ask a brand what budget they have available if they contact you asking to collaborate on a project. A brand that tells you they don’t have a budget is not always being truthful. All marketing departments have a budget whether they are a small business right up to the large corporations. It’s time for bloggers to be given more credit for their worth. Of course it’s completely the decision of the content creator if they are happy to work on a project on a gifted basis only and agree to not accept payment for their work. I myself still do this if I love the brand and am passionate about their products. However, unless bloggers/creators in the industry stand together more on making a positive change about being paid more regularly by brands as opposed to purely working on a gifted basis, we are far off from this being resolved.

In this industry there isn’t a set standard on how much you should charge for your content and there is a massive grey area with this, adding to brands being able to take advantage for this.

Leave a comment below if this issue has affected you. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with blogging and receiving payment for your content.

Image @Pinterest

Outfit featured in today’s blog post

Love heart Jumper :  I saw it first

Denim Petite Lockett Handbag  : Jimmy Choo 

Sunglasses : ASOS

 

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