This blog post is probably going to end me up in hot water but fuck it. Opinions are like arseholes and all that.
Today, I’m writing about bloggers/insta bloggers and influencers and why I’m over them. Yes, I’m aware I am a blogger. Obviously I’m not counting myself in this blog post as I like to think I’m not guilty of what I’m going to be talking about, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
Let’s begin by talking about the whole trend of entitlement. I don’t know if it’s the generation that we are in at the moment but I noticed a huge shift towards entitlement around 2015. Something in the air changed. I don’t know if it was the realisation that people could make money off YouTube and blogging or if the new generation came into fruition, but suddenly people began to become proper grabby twats. I love the fact that blogging has become so mainstream now and it’s become so acceptable for people to have a different job other than office-based. But what I can’t get onboard with is the attitude of some of these influencers. They seem to think that the world owes them a favour. I used to work in influencer marketing and I’ve seen some things I can tell you. I’ve also worked in social media for over 4 years now and also worked alongside some top influencers and bloggers and some of them play by the rules, fair do’s to them. But some of them!? Wowzers.
It’s not unknown for brands to work with bloggers. I don’t know how many brands research the influencers that they are going to gift products to, as when I worked in the industry our research into bloggers/influencers took an insane amount of time. We put a lot of effort into finding a blogger with the right fit for us in terms of engagement levels, profile, good quality content, their view count on YouTube, analysing their media kit, etc. When you work with someone you want it to be a good fit. Some of the bloggers were happy with the gifting culture in exchange for mentions on social media and reviews and some of the bigger names required payment due to their reach and influence. (Think reality TV stars etc). The pricing amounts used to make me recoil in shock. I understand it’s their job, they get paid to advertise. Cool. However, when you start demanding items in certain sizes for your kids and asking for a 70% code for your close family and friends and then a further 20% code for your followers with commission on every sale, I start to get a bit wary.
This type of behaviour makes me think you aren’t in it to create a working relationship with the brand, you just want as many freebies as possible. You may think this is extreme but it’s really not. Also, does anyone ever question how many products these influencers actually promote? And how many adverts can they do? It all just seems so fake. Especially when you see everything on their page is an advert, one square after another. Ad. Ad. Ad. Ad. Ad. It baffles me how their followers stick with them. One day it’s hair boost tablets, next day it’s fake tan, then it’s an underwear line, then a tooth whitening toothpaste, then it’s a fabric softener, then bloody Hello Fresh. Jesus wept. That’s when I begin to lose faith. And if you’re going to tell people you love these brands and work with them at least remember what you’ve said. The lies make me howl. .
It’s just as bad as the whole gin culture. Remember when it wasn’t ‘on trend’ to like gin? I’ve been drinking gin since I was 19. My tipple of choice was a Tom Collins or a Gin, Lime and Soda. I loved those days, no one barely drank it and it used to cost abar 3 quid. Now it’s over £7 for one and it comes with half a herb garden. No ta. I’m probably still fuming because I didn’t get on the PR List for a gin event in Liverpool. Really made me fume, especially since I post a fair bit about gin on my insta. Despite the current price of it I still drink it 🤣 (and secretly fume at the price of it) but because I didn’t have over 1000 followers I wasn’t on the list. But people who didn’t drink gin went. Never seen so many fairweather gin drinkers at an event in my life. I’m not bitter at all. Honest.
I seemed to have moved from one industry where it was full of fake people to another. I can’t kiss arse just to get on a PR List, I cannot do it. I know you have to play the game. I don’t wanna play any game. I’m not bothered. I’m 36 and stuck in my ways. I want to be invited to events because they know that I give an honest review. I want to be involved with brands who are eager to hear the truth about their products. I want to go to events where they actually take care of you and not chase you for payment when you’ve accidentally gone over your 1 drink limit. Here’s a crazy thought, if I’ve had a free drink and you ask me if I want another and I say yes and it’s not free…tell me! (My GNVQ in mind reading hasn’t come through yet) I have money, I can pay my way.
And the whole Instagram community is just so fake. It actually baffles me. The follow/unfollow drivel drives me round the bend. If I follow someone on insta it’s because I actually like their content and want to engage with them, you know, talk, chat, actually get to know each other? Maybe I’m old fashioned or fickle here or maybe I’m just following the wrong people but I find it so rude when I get dm’s asking me to show some love on their latest post. Like, they don’t engage with my content at all but then they want me to show love on them? Why is that? It is because you’re working with a brand and you want as many likes on that post as possible so you can report your engagement levels to them when you next want a freebie?
There was a pregnant blogger recently who actually posted on her IG stories to say they won’t be accepting gifts for their new baby as they had everything like they wanted. They wanted brands to please stop sending them items and maybe to send them onto a woman’s mother and baby charity instead. I forget her name now sadly. But how great is that? And then you have the influencers who accept every single gift under the sun and make out like they use them all and it’s the best thing since sliced bread when the product is still in full packaging and clearly never been used.
Also the freebies, the bloody freebies! Why is everyone obsessed with getting shit for free? I mean people who just message brands/restaurants/salons/hotels and even bloody cake makers. If you’re from Liverpool you’ll have probably heard of the story of a producer of Britain’s Got Talent type show messaging a local cake company to ask for a free cake to celebrate Simon Cowell’s birthday when they were filming in the city. Obviously, she refused. The absolute cheek. Like I’m sure the TV show has got the budget for cake for god’s sake. Unfortunately, it happens a lot from celebrities to micro influencers. These people are usually well within their means of paying for shit. They ain’t on Universal Credit let me tell you.
Do not even get me started on the ASA rules. I praise the day that they came into place. I’ve no problem with people using affiliate links (my blog is full of them) but please let’s disclose it to our followers. Also, let’s stop hiding the #gifted or #paidpromotion under a gif on insta stories, cheers! Lust Living is fabulous at disclosing, so is The Anna Edit, Lily Pebbles was a bit shaky at first but she’s getting on board with it. I just prefer being told what they are getting paid to promote as I don’t know how much I can trust a #paidpromotion. Sad if you think about it but if it was done properly the first time around I wouldn’t be so weary I guess.
Just to touch on a positive note, incredible things happen when bloggers work correctly with brands. I’ve seen some great campaigns where they both contribute to the end result and it’s been a success for the blogger and the brand. I don’t mean to hate on the bloggers, it’s just I see it so much from that side rather than the brand side. I know some brands need to do better. I’m fully aware of cheeky brands gifting items for only a positive review. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to others that I know about and I will be covering that in a later post.
I’m going to stop here but I’ve got plenty more to say on the matter so this is going to be a series I think! Soz about the anger, rage, and general moaning of the blog post I had to get it off my chest!
Hope you enjoyed reading though despite the fume!
See you on the next one!