Do We Really Need More Flat Tummy Tea?

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Oh, influencers when will you stop? Everyday, our feeds are clogged up with ads for the same products that everyone else is promoting: Slimming teas, teeth whiteners, waist trainers, gummi hair vitamins, etc.

Your favorite reality TV star, fashion blogger, or lifestyle influencer posts something like this:

Love my #InsertProductHere. Use Promo Code “Annoying” to save 10%.

When will the madness stop?

CampaignLive.co reported that an anonymous Instagrammer told them, “Daniel Wellington watches had sent watches to pretty much anyone in exchange for a couple of posts…He branded the tactic ‘successful but annoying’ in terms of raising awareness of the brand. He claimed it may have backfired with fans of the influencers. There was a ‘massive backlash against that kind of in-your-face marketing.’”

But influencers have to eat and brands need to sell product, so why go overboard on promotion?

Because it works.

“In 2011, a Swedish startup, Daniel Wellington, was born. In just three years, they sold their millionth watch. In 2015, they earned $220 million in revenue, a 214% increase over prior year,” according to Meo.Social.

The companies employing this strategy are growing their sales but the influencers are slowly killing their brands.

Reality stars are the biggest offenders because they’ve got a short shelf life. Their show might not last so they’ve got to cash in quickly. They frequently take any deal that’s handed to them, so they can maximize their earnings.

Big influencers face the same problem. Perez Hilton told me, “Think back a couple of years. The really big YouTubers aren’t that big anymore. They’ve been replaced by a new crop.” So, the big guys need to offset their losses with new revenue.

So how can they pay the bills without annoying us and killing their brand?

First, they need to be more selective. It’s hard but look at the reality stars. When you see them shilling teeth whitener or slimming teas, don’t you look at them a little differently?

Second, they need to look at the other influencers that are selling the product. Are there hundreds of people promoting the same product? They might want to skip that offer.

Finally, they need to make sure the product aligns with their brand. Nothing is worse than someone selling a product that they obviously don’t use. People are smart and savvy when it comes to advertising. They don’t mind being pitched something if they believe the person promoting it really believes in the product.

Influencers shouldn’t sacrifice their audience, which most have grown over a long period of time, in order to make quick cash. If they form long-lasting, strategic partnerships with brands that they use and like their audience will support them every step of the way.

This article originally appeared in Forbes on October 6, 2017. Click here for full article.