Are the influencers valuable? We found the undercover.

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If you sell anything to the public, you’ve heard about Instagram influencers – the hottest topic in advertising, because advertising is good. As social media began to replace television, newspapers and magazines as the main source of entertainment, companies had to find new ways to make their products present in the eyes of coveted young people. Of course, companies can buy ads for Instagram to slide into their user photo feeds. But young consumers are very good at ignoring this.

Related: influencing the future of marketing: 2018 and beyond.

The ideal solution would be to infiltrate the streams that are not ads, but to infiltrate the sound of familiar, trusted friends – and that’s exactly what drives entrepreneurs.

So, naturally, it became a member of Instagram’s influence. A man usually young and attractive social media created a rich fantasy life, they will happily for their products to provide a compelling reference, in return for free or a small fee. This allows you to create an AD for a business owner without having to hire a model or a photographer. It also allows your potential customers to see your product not in the glare of a studio, but in the presence of a real person.

Everybody wins!

In addition to being different from advertising companies or traditional media, influencers usually don’t go beyond appealing online roles and a large number of followers. There are very few criteria for interacting with influential people, and small scaffolding is set up to prevent someone from sending you the invoice after you send them a free candle.

“I would say we get about five or six requests a week,” said natalia makov, founder of Markoff, a pr agency that represents about a dozen small luxury retailers. She said that most of the publicity requests that Mr. Markov had received began to be casual. “They say, you know, ‘I have an Instagram account. I am an influencer. I love you products; Can you send me some? ‘then, there were about three or four emails, and after I had sent out their products, they would give me a price list. ”

Shameless is not the only trap. Fraud is also widespread: advertising is so false that the federal trade commission recently threatened legal assault on people; False followers; False lighting; Ridiculous demands on money and products and things, things, things. Evan Asano, chief executive and founder of Mediakix, a social media marketing agency, says: “anytime you can get money into the platform so quickly, that’s the gold rush. Like any gold rush, it seduces decent people and abandoned people.

However, this does not mean that you should write off the booming corner of the advertising economy as a scam. All the shortcomings of Instagram are very influential. As of September 2017, the site had 800 million users, 80 percent of whom were focused on the business, with more than 60 percent saying they had found new products on Instagram. As for the impact market, according to a recent estimate by Mediakix, it is worth $1 billion in 2017 and could double in the next few years. This is a multi-billion dollar company that may be spending on the “stars” of the entrepreneurial single band social media, hoping it will help their bottom line.

But will the payment influencer lead to actual sales? If a photogenic, 22 year-old eye approaches you and asks to represent your handbag/coat/sweater/hotel/restaurant on Instagram, will you be ripped off? To get answers to these questions, I decided to go undercover and infiltrate the Instagram economy. I called some successful influencers, created a fake design guru, bought a bunch of fake followers, begged for some free products, and started to influence them. That’s what I learned.

Michelle Williams is a great influencer. She is a former public relations executive who runs a blog, Instagram’s complex coffee and champagne, with 116,000 followers. It is clear why she has succeeded in this regard. Pleasant and the forthcoming, she posted a compe Mexican flavor sandwich, stunning ice cream donuts, such as dress, before the war and her black hair brown faces, mused in all kinds of the Windows of the cafe. As a full-time freelancer, Williams earned from her blog about half of the money, the other half from them, and most of them by working with food companies production and filming new recipes. If a magician turns a Saveur magazine into a person, she will get something.

When I told Williams that I was going to pretend to be an Instagram economy, she told me it was much harder than the good times of 2014. At that time, you could take beautiful food photos and add them to the photo gallery. Today, with so many people trying to give up their daily work and become influencers, you have to have a good strategy to stand out.

“I told people to come up with their own visual skills,” she says. For example, some accounts publish only pink photos, or the published clothing is always displayed in a monochrome background. One of Williams’ favorite influencers is popular for shooting food from a bird’s eye view, so followers can see the boards and the owner’s shoes. According to the Instagram account, your schtick is your “aesthetic”, and as a business owner, the idea is to work with influential people whose aesthetic fits your brand idea.

“If you look at those who get a lot of” performance “, because we call them, some of our top executives is the originality of professional photographers, “AnNaHui, director of marketing communications and creators of experience, said the public pay, this is a matching service for the brand and the impact site. “We have labels that filter out our creators, whether it’s men’s fashion or food, or different categories of content or viewers.”

Related: 10 ways to make money on social media.

You can think of influential people as mini-magazines; You just want to place the AD in a crowd that suits your brand and appeals to your presentation.

For my aesthetic, I decided to choose an indoor design diet consisting mainly of candles. Why is that? Because it’s specific, it’s a niche for services, I like free candles. First, I bought several candles and arranged them in one of my bedroom apartments to make a satisfying short film. My plan is to make almost believable luxury candles inside each room of a virtual house on the beach. I will ask small businesses to give me free candles for future photos. And then I’ll see what happens.

This strategy proved unsustainable. I ran out of content very quickly. One thing they never told you about being an Instagram influencer is that you need a lot of content. Mr. Williams releases one or two photos A day, as well as the material of the plot, which is A real-time A/V feed of the daily discussion of the influence of Snapchat, which was added to Instagram in 2016.

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