I guess it had to happen. I was directly emailed on Friday by one of the ‘influence marketing platform’ companies. And my view on them went from very bad to even worse.
On opening the mail I assumed I was about to be harangued for so criticizing them in the past. I think the whole notion of these ‘platforms’ is terrible – they’re just databases linking vendor marketing depts. with freelancers willing to post about that vendor for payment. Can you imagine any credible individual, with real buyer authority, ever being willing to trade that hard-won credibility for a few under-hand payments and a new line in “Am posting this while snacking on some delicious new cappuccino Oreos”?
Their email actually said that they’d identified me as ‘a marketing thought-leader’, that they had tracked this blog’s subject area and that as a result, I might like to consider using my ‘undoubted influence’ (oh the irony of it) to earn additional income by partnering with brands they represented to share my ‘positive thoughts’ on those brands. It said other ‘influencers’ were earning ‘considerable’ amounts through this process. And it gave me a link to their online ‘partner’ form.
So if I didn’t know it before, I’ve now had it confirmed that no-one at this firm is actually reading the blogs & tweets of those ‘influencers’ they’re approaching – they just have bots sucking up relevant words and phrases and then a mass-mailing app which spams them. I can only assume they’re not telling their clients their ‘influencers’ have been so poorly selected.
Would you want those individuals really influencing your prospects to be treated like that?