If you wonder why I’m so against the deplorable so-called ‘influencer marketing platforms’ here’s an example why. They’re about paying people to spread marketing puff while pretending they’re authentic opinions. Hat-tip to Ginny Marvin at MarketingLand.com for flagging this up. The full article’s on their site now.
Not surprisingly Microsoft pulled the plug as soon as they realised what was really going on.
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Influencer Campaign Backfires: Another High-Profile Example Of Why Details Matter
marketingland.com · by · June 18, 2014
Another case of poor marketing campaign execution is making waves this morning, with news that an agency has been soliciting paid posts on behalf of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, posted asolicitation from advocate marketing agency, Socialchorus, to:
“collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer… If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addition to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels. Compensation for this post is available…”
The problem for Microsoft could be in the lack of details here. Nowhere in the program instructions does the agency include requirements for bloggers to use “nofollow” attributes in links to Internet Explorer content to signal to the search engines that Microsoft is not seeking credit for the link.
Passing links from paid posts is against Google’s and Bing’s (Microsoft’s own search engine) policies. Trying to pass link credit through paid sources can get a site demoted or even banned from ranking on the search engines. Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, has already made it clear on Twitter that his team is looking into it.
In Socialchorus’s program overview for the “RethinkIE Blogger Network”, bloggers are instructed to use the hashtag #IEbloggers when sharing their sponsored posts about Internet Explorer. A quick look at Twitter for #IEbloggers brings up a few tweets using a Socialchorus URL shortener that redirects to various IE content. Here’s one example: