Pay per post: influencer marketing’s answer to the one-night stand

If your influencer strategy consists of one-time posts with unvetted accounts, then it's inevitably going to fail, writes Social Soup's Sharyn Smith.

The federal government’s recent ‘influencergate’, where some unfortunate choices of influencers blew up in the mainstream media again highlights the need again for clients to think longer term with their influencer work.

Put simply, ‘pay-per-post’ models are influencer marketing’s answer to a one-night stand: gratifying in the short term, but if you are not selecting your partners carefully and thinking long term you could be jumping into bed with the wrong people and damaging your reputation.

It’s like any relationship: if you know somebody and invest time in them you are likely to know more about them, know how they work, what they believe in and value. This makes a more meaningful connection and things are much less likely to go wrong.

Done well, there is a lot of science that goes into influencer marketing – from the selection and validation process we need to use the numbers to get us to a pool of likely partners. We’re looking for partners with a real and engaged audience, genuine influence with that audience and the content we want them to post has relevance and likely impact.

The good influencers are looking for partnerships too, they don’t want to be an ad channel with every second post spruiking a different brand and sometimes competing brands. If they are good and authentic influencers who are not paying for their followers and engagement, they know over-commercialisation with too many brands will damage their precious audience and diminish their value to brands. Influencers who are in it for a quick buck are likely not very influential at all, and therefore the ones you want to avoid. Steering clear of the pay per post model gives you a good indication that you’re probably going to avoid the kind of influencers you don’t want as part of your campaign.

We need to remember we are buying influence as part of influencer marketing – the most effective type of marketing there is – we know the most impactful channel in marketing is a recommendation or endorsement from a trusted source. If someone is just posting a pic with a brand one day and their followers never see it again does it seem like a genuine endorsement? Compare that to the world of long-term partnerships where followers see their trusted influencer posting about a brand a number of times and across different occasions they are more likely to believe it, trust it and therefore be influenced by it.

The pay-for-post model does our industry and our brand partners a disservice – as the federal government knows now from bitter experience, a long-term committed relationship really is much more satisfying for everyone concerned.

Sharyn Smith is the founder and CEO of Social Soup.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.