The shame of so-called ‘influencer marketing platforms’

I sometimes wish people had to pay a small amount of money every time they used the word ‘influencer’. Then maybe they wouldn’t overuse it so much. More importantly, they wouldn’t shamelessly jump on the bandwagon of everyone’s favorite marketing word these days.

‘Influencer Marketing Platforms’ are a red rag to me. They’re nothing to do with influencers. They’re about brokering deals between marketing freelancers, willing to write about anything, and marketing depts. willing to pay them for under-cover endorsements. It’s desperate on all sides.

I was reading about one such ‘platform’ a few weeks back. I wont even put a spin on their words. This is what they say on their website.

“Are you an influencer that would like to work with brands to create content, generate income and engage your readership? We offer a cloud-based application that enables you to connect with brands and participate in influencer campaigns.

We believe that if an influencer’s powerful, authentic and independent voice makes money for a brand; you should be compensated for your hard work. Generate content about products, services and websites you love and let the brands reward you financially.”

A million miles away from our own understanding of influencers.

How can anyone be authentic, independent .. and yet secretly paid? Is this the honest and transparent marketing that I thought the world was meant to be moving to? Or is it just a logical step for those formerly working in advertising?

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