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Why do Influencers want stuff for free?



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Why do Influencers want stuff for free?

Elle Darby is a blogger/influencer that recently came into the spotlight of worldwide news articles because she contacted a hotel's owner asking for a free room for a specified period in exchange for promotion. The hotel owner then made the request public, and everything went viral because if this.
Why do Influencers want stuff for free?
Elle Darby got a lot of hate, but also support, and in essence, this controversy made her known a more popular. Same thing happened to the hotel she got into this dispute with, a lot of exposure, the hotel owner, got a lot of support from people agreeing that influencers and bloggers should actually get a real job instead of "beg" for free stuff in exchange of questionable "promotion" services.

What exactly are these "Influencers" we hear so much about lately?

Online Influencers had to start to take over the online marketing trends and campaigns for a few years now. In the last two years, real explosions of influencers started to flood online marketing campaigns as well as marketing trends.

I think it all started with the growing popularity of Instagram. At first big names with millions of followers started to promote various brand and products in their pictures, a lot of brands made a lot of money, and from there, everything exploded, and the marketing community went crazy over these "influencers".

To achieve influencer status you don't necessarily need to activate on Instagram, you can also have a following on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, and still, be labeled as an influencer. Anyone with the power to influence a group of people online for commercial purposes is basically an influencer, and that includes bloggers and people doing podcasts.

Where is this trend going?

Well, in the past the only online influencers were people with popular blogs, they were called bloggers and were actually highly tech savvy and knew a lot about online marketing.

2016 and 2017 saw the birth of a new type of influencers, the social media influencers. Who naturally develop a following on social media platforms until they grew large enough that brands started to take them into consideration in their online marketing campaigns.

I believe the last two years was the golden age of influencers. Even micro influencers (people with much smaller followings) got a piece of the action. Basically, they were flooded with gifts, money and products, all in the name of online marketing!

The main problem was: few delivered tangible results. Sure, there are a lot of success stories out there of brands making huge sales after running influencer-based marketing campaigns. But the problem is the end user started to notice all of this, the "commercial" type pictures and the push towards certain products.

Therefore the big influencers started to have lower conversion rates. This was when brands started to move to smaller influencers until they've reached nano influencers (people with 10k or fewer followers). I believe this trend will continue throwout 2018 which will probably be the peak year for influencers, especially smaller ones.

Are the influencers here to stay?

I don't think so. At least not in this form. I believe this is a marketing trend that will eventually fade away. Brands will flood everyone with ads, and by contaminating the nano influencers, users will move away to something else, something real and helpful, away from sponsored products shoved down their throats.

So why are influencers constantly asking for free stuff?

Coming back to our main question and subject I think the answer is self-evident if you've read the above story.
Because they've got used to it, the attention, the money, the free products, and services.


All of this reminds me of a South Park episode where Yelp reviewers where asking for free stuff and best tables just because they had the power to write a bad review. Eventually, restaurant owners stopped caring about Yelpers.

It is the same with influencers. They are so used to people making offers and accepting their offers that they began to use the "influencer card" everywhere. It was just a matter of time until brands and services started to get fed up with Influencers and their demands and offers. I believe the Elle Darby case is only the begging and this push against Influencers will continue.

Eventually, the market will settle, and a new breed of Influencers will survive. The ones that can hold their following while providing good ROI for brands they promote, keeping it real and not selling themselves to the highest bidder giving no thought about the audience and their needs.

Comments

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AmieBotella

If you're an effective influencer, i don't think you need to beg for freebies. This just demoralizes your job as a whole because it feels like you're pushing someone to purchase your influence when it's not asked to. The hotel owner knew how to get that influence too. He posted it online and it made him popular in a sense because it went viral and garnered views and it is highly likely it turned into profits too. Demand for something when you're asked to do work for them, but unless your services aren't required, then you should not demand or beg for freebies just because you can influence people.




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Corzhens

You are right with the benefits of an influencer that you should not be asking for it. An influencer is like a celebrity who can help in promoting anything. Some influencers don’t charge a fee but they are choosy with their endorsements. I know that we cannot discount influencers who want the perks like the freebies that you had mentioned and also the fee. If you need an Influencer’s service you just have to be discerning.




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Soulwatcher

I don't think its just influencers that want something for free, its today's society as a whole. They all want something for free people feel entitled to everything for free. But the thing with influencers is they have the following to be able to demand things for free. Because if they have 50k+ followers, and say its a gaming blog. A developer gives them a free $60 game and they review it. That's 50k+ people that they just advertised to for $60. Having said that I think the reason why companies are starting to get fed up is that there are so many influencers out there wanting something for free that they don't have to give everything away for free anymore. If they don't get it for free and they want to keep their blog relevant they are going to pay for it.




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overcast

The thing is many people are doing this for free. I mean getting bot followers into 1 m and then demanding things for free is not hard. I have seen people doing this and getting a lot of things for free. And many manufacturers may get bad rep for supporting such type of influecers. So this is a bad busienss approach now a days.




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Judas2018

As an influencer and brand ambassador myself, I get free gifts and 'swag packs' from time to time. But it is very poor taste and very bad decorum in our community to beg or plead for FREEBIES. Especially because people are already paying us to promote their products. Most of the time when you are provided with items for free from a company or brand, it is because they expect you to spread the word and bring them some new business. If you're having to 'ask' for these things, it means that you haven't hit that 'elite level' yet. Even then, many companies don't give out stuff for free to bloggers or influencers. They simply pay a fee to have their stuff promoted on your site or social media. Sometimes, if the campaign is a success and they're satisfied with the results, they may slide a free gift or service, or major discount on an item - your way. But influencers should focus more on their craft of promoting and advertising, instead of receiving gifts. At the end of the day, your income as an influencer along with your reputation, is only gonna grow based on sales and results. Focus less on freebies, and more on selling your services to the right people. Long term buyers who buy big, and buy often. That beats a free hotel room any day.




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Adesuwa08

Come on, who won't want a free meal, everyone does, this is like a normal phenomenon in the society so deal with it. If they really got enough influence as said then they deserve the free products that's if you aren't paying them for their services, on another term you can/might dp both that's if their influence is top notch.




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Cristian

I believe the profit influencers can bring to the table far over-valued. Most don't have the "influence" necessary to make it worth their asking price.

This is not about a free meal. I've seen influencers with 20k followers (with at least 10k being fake bots) asking for outrages sums of money for just one post on Instagram.
Brands had been too eager to pay them big bucks and are just now slowly realizing that most influencers out there aren't worth the price.




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Judas2018

Yeah the bot thing is beginning to come to light now with a few well known celebs, politicians and sports figures being outed for purchasing fake followers. I think buying followers is NEVER a good thing. The reality about social media is you're going to get followed by a fair share of bots of fakes. Just the nature of the business. The trick is, to not attract or engage them as if you want them to be a part of your social media universe. Meaning, don't willingly buy them.




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vinaya

Whether you are an influencer or no influencer, free is always an attraction. I have done a lot of book reviews and I received money or book for free. One of the primary reasons why I reviewed the books was because I received something free. If you are trying to market your product or services through an influencer, they need compensation. No one wants to work for free, people always want something for the work they do.




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Corzhens

I think I have seen the news about that blogger who asked for free accommodation of 5 nights in a 5-star hotel. And when she was refused, she cried. That incident went viral in the internet so I’d say poor hotel, it is surely affected negatively. And with the countless of influencers from bloggers to social media influencers, it is not a good trend that they are acting like VIPs in requesting for freebies. I have seen a post in a forum where the comment is actually a threat that if his request is not given then he will blog about it. That stuff is blackmail and that blogger is showing his bad side. Swollen head?




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vinaya

My sister's husband is a reviewer associated with a highest selling newspaper in the country. Businesses and companies pay him cash and also offer freebies to review their products and services. Recently, he reviewed a resort. For doing this review, he received two days family holiday package in the resort for free. He also received cash rewards.
If you have the power to influence the mass, you can earn a good money through marketing and promotion. You have the rights to ask for freebie. However, if you are refused, you should never make a scene, this is so unprofessional.




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overcast

I think free products, free stay in hotel and free food is not reasonable. All business should respect other business. The influencer instead can ask the financial compensation. You can see that many are just trying to do the social shaming as a way to attack business. So it's reasonable to say that influencers need to be serious about business. And should not ask for the free samples and stuff.




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Judas2018

That's pretty much how the transaction works. A business, person, brand or company approaches you and they explain that they are in need of someone to promote their products or services. You give them a number depending on how many hours they need you to work, or how many digital ads they want to buy. After the number is agreed upon, a payment is made - and then you go to work. All of these handouts and stuff are not necessary, and should only be accepted as a courtesy or show of kindness from the buyer. They are not required, nor should they be demanded - to provide such things. After all, they've already paid you for your services.




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overcast

Yes and a lot of time the influencer industry is not much calculated and harder to say it worked. Unlike ads you can see it is not easy to make it work. I'd say on that note you can surely say influencer marketing is like shot in the dark. And that makes such industry less likely to have any form of impact.




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Judas2018

Influencer marketing actually works quite well. The reason why it doesn't work for some is they buy into the wrong market. Meaning their products don't like up with the audience they're pitching it to.




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overcast

True. That seems to be the case. I have found out the clothing and the food industry working out with the influencers. But I am not sure about many other industries. And that's why it'd be reasonable to test out the assumption. Hopefully we can work around those things.




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Judas2018

If you're going to buy influencer marketing or social media advertising, you should make sure you're advertising products everyone or most people can use. That expands your options as a buyer. If you however are selling for example, products related to tobacco or firearms, then you really have to find an influencer who is deep within your market.




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overcast

Yes that seems to be a good approach. Something like soap, clothing, hair oil and other everyday stuff. Those seems to be much better to sell through them. I guess it;s like relatively cheap ads. I'd say on that note it would be different for each one of us.




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vinaya

This varies on influencers and businesses. Some businesses offer freebies, some businesses pay cash and some businesses offer freebies as well as financial compensation. Everything should be agreed beforehand. I think asking for freebies is ok even if you are already being compensated with cash. Since you have a power to influence the mass, there is nothing wrong with asking. However, if the businesses disagrees, you have two choices, either accept the businesses terms or just opt out. There is no need to create a scene.




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aeon

Well I think people always wanted the free stuffs. but the way the he did, it's looks like another form of marketing. by promoting the company just to get something in return, which actually not good I think. If you are a blogger you should try it on your own, you should experience the situation and write something about it. because it's looks like a blackmail if you asking something in return.




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Judas2018

Freebies are a compliment. If someone gives you something as a compliment for your services, so be it. But at the end of the day, and as I have stated previously in this post - you're getting paid a sum of money to promote for a client. You've already gotten your reward - and if you knock it out of the park, the client will re-up with you later on. Perhaps purchasing a larger advertising package. That's really how this works.




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aeon

Yeah, you're right. but not in that kind of situation. The influencer was asking for the free room in exchange of promotion. I think the freebies is not compliments. If the hotel's owner didn't agree, it's easy for the blogger to destroy their reputation.




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cmoneyspinner

OK. This is just me. I think it's wrong for an “influencer”, “celebrity”, or whoever thinks that they are Big Deal … to contact a hotel to ask for a freebie. You're not a Big Deal. You're a cheapskate! A conceited cheapskate!

I've heard that sometimes a company will offer some “special perks” in exchange for the publicity. But that's the company's call. That means that the company recognized you as a Big Deal.

If you have to tell somebody that you're a Big Deal and they should give you something for free, then … maybe you're not all that!




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