The point of working is to make money and be successful as long as it is legitimate. Right?
Abimbola is a Social Media Influencer and Fashion Blogger. She states that being an ‘Influencer’ is a real job that comes with tasks, deadlines, campaign direction(s), pivots, research and overall hard work. Just like any job, there’s competition and the need to stand out and be among the top influencers a brand or company chooses to work with (whether for a one-off project or an ongoing campaign). She hints that being an Influencer might even be a little risky because of the inconsistency in payments – “Oh, did I mention how you have to wait 30 days or even two months before you get paid?”
She does state that there are influencers out there who are fake and only care about the money; who don’t actually trust or believe in the product(s) they’re recommending/promoting to their audience base.
Overall, am I impressed?
Yes, actually. From someone who’s been interning at a PR agency for the last 11 months, I’d say Abimbola is very knowledgeable (I’m sure) in what a partnership looks like for her and what it could look like for the brand/agency she’s working with. And it looks like she’s already made headway in paid sponsored content (see screen grabs above) and living her best “Instagram” life.
Is there more to uncover, beyond her blog?
Oh yeah. I’m sure she meant every word on her post – but I do feel like she’s approaching it from an “I’m a starving artist” standpoint. In addition, YES – from an agency POV, an entire marketing/PR campaign works when you are pitching the media, running social, managing paid ads, etc. however, what they don’t tell you is that these campaigns have been in the planning stages for months maybe even years. In these cases, how effective and necessary are influencers? And most importantly, brands want to know how reliable these Influencers are.
There are a lot of gray areas when agreeing to these kinds of partnerships. More often than not, brands know what they want and can give more content direction, but sometimes it could flop if you let an influencer get too creative. For example, Tiffany Mitchell (@tifforelie), an Influencer with over 200k+ followers on Insta posted a photo of her mid-accident after crashing her motorcycle. In her lengthy post about the accident, there’s an image that clearly shows a bottle of Smartwater. Because her post came off as staged, she received a ton of backlash. (Yikes)
Brands shouldn’t have to rely on Influencers.
I believe that if a brand’s story, mission or vision is top of mind for everyone at their company (meaning all employees practice and demonstrates the company’s core values) then there would be no need for Influencers whatsoever – I strongly believe that the greatest assets a company or brand has are its people: the employees, their families, their corporate responsibility partnerships, etc. A brand should want to rely on these folks to be their number one advocator and not someone they randomly found through an Insta hashtag.