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What are the limits of influencer marketing? Are influencers or brands just fed up?

Following #BloggerGate, in which an influencer was publicly shamed on Facebook by a hotel owner in Dublin, one main question is being raised: Are influencers taking it too far, or are brands just fed up?

To recap the facts, YouTube vlogger Elle Darby asked the Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin for a free stay for her and her boyfriend in return for publicity on her YouTube channel and Instagram account.

The owner of the hotel took to Facebook to publicly reply and go on a ‘rant’; sharing multiple answers to the vlogger herself and to influencers in general, saying that the 22-year-old lacked “self-respect and dignity” for daring to make such a request and went all the way to completely ban influencers from his establishment.

Without blaming the vlogger for asking or blaming the hotel owner for answering the way he did, we do wonder whether influencers are taking it a step too far, or whether brands are fed up of an ever-changing industry that ‘nobody really understands’.

What does it mean?

The influencer industry has grown a huge amount since its ‘creation’ 5 years ago, taking the advertising world by storm with brands realising the effectiveness of it for a much smaller price than classic digital ads.

Influencers have been raised from part-time bloggers to internet celebrities, earning more money by the day and gaining huge privileges in such a short period of time. Therefore as a result, certain scenarios that are seen as normal for them can appear as arrogant to others.

The fact that such practices (hotels stays, restaurant meals, free clothes) have become a banality for most influencers on a daily basis is still very strange for most brands and for the general public. And whilst influencer marketing works very well that way for a lot of brands, it is not very efficient for other brands that might not have the same objectives or audiences. Making this hotel owner’s frustration fully understandable, even if the way he answered could be seen as questionable.

This is why it is more than likely that yes, influencers are taking their privileges too far, but concurrently some brands are getting fed up of offering ‘free stuff’ to some rare presumptuous influencers feeling entitled.

The main problem here actually comes from targeting and analysing. Influencers in this example would have contacted every ‘cool’ hotel in Dublin hoping for one to accept. On the other hand, a brand will usually contact a lot of influencers without really analysing who they are contacting or who they should be contacting.

To have a successful influencer marketing campaign, without ending in a social media fiasco like the one above, it is vital for brands as well as influencers to really analyse and spend time finding the right person to work with for the right reasons.

Therefore, with the right outreach manager and influencer agent, influencer marketing can be a very successful and a promising way of advertising without causing social media storms. ●