Arguably, the biggest benefit of influencer marketing for both brands and consumers is that real influencers produce authentic content. Because of these truthful endorsements, potential customers trust brands more, which means that brands are forced to ensure quality products in order to receive these positive testimonials. However, there are three main culprits who are damaging the reputation of influencer marketing.
It should be noted that some celebrities really do believe in the products they support. However, the Kardashians shouldn’t be fooling anyone at this point. While their Instagram accounts would like you to believe otherwise, the plumping creams, eye treatments, and hair accoutrements that show up in their photos probably aren’t actually used in their daily lives.
Then, there are fake influencers. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for content creators to artificially inflate their followers, likes, and even comments. For about 20 bucks, you can buy a thousand or so followers, and according to New York Magazine, for about $1.75 you can buy up to 200 likes from a vending machine in Russia.
Insta-fakers are also getting good at manipulating stock photos to look like original content. Sites like Pexel, UnSplash, and Stockey offer beautiful license-free images that are great for decorating websites, but can often trick brands into believing an influencer is well-traveled, photogenic, and camera-savvy.
Many brands waste money on influencer marketing by trying to pay influencers to fake it. Paid endorsements eliminate what is arguably the best benefit to influencer marketing: trust. That’s why ApexDrop focuses on trade collaboration, wherein brands send gifts as opposed to cash to earn an influencer’s endorsement.