Firstly, let me clearly state that there is in fact no “versus”. It’s not black and white because there are so many factors and no true defined lines but at the end of the day it’s about who is actually looking at an influencer/blogger and going out and purchasing the products. Who is creating actual influence.

Not all bloggers are influencers and not all influencers influence. Just because you have a blog doesn’t automatically mean featuring a product is going to have any influence. That’s where trust comes into play. With millions of blogs out there what makes a reader actually take the time to read what you have to say and trust your opinion? There are countless reasons for instance being authentic, honest, transparent and many, many other factors.

Blogs are definitely not dying but the way in which readers connect has certainly changed. Some PR companies look at a blog and think “oh she only has a few comments, it’s not popular”.

Firstly, look at the stats and you’ll see many are and those stats keep growing. Secondly, the whole comment section has slowly disintegrated. When blogs first started people would get 100s of comments and it created a community aspect. The comments were insightful and questions. Then as more and more blogs appeared popular blogs were drowned in generic comments like “Great Dress, follow my blog xyz” (on a post with no dress featured). The true readers stopped commenting and starting emailing and direct messaging.

In my case I might get one comment on a blog post but over my social media platforms I’ll get 50 messages and emails. That trust is still there but it’s personalised. Readers are encouraged to ask perhaps more personal questions about a product than in a public space like the comment section. No one wants to admit to hair loss or struggling financially and wanting to purchase a foundation in their price range etc. Countless readers are standing in Clicks/Dischem with images of the product they’ve wanted and researched on a blog or several blogs and are now ready to purchase it. That’s influence.

Millennials especially crave information. A flashy advert on TV is not going to work anymore and endorsements by celebrities are also sliding away. Just like a model with 50k followers doesn’t translate into sales of a new face cream.

Lets get to the term “influencers”. What PR’s often consider as influencers tend to have high followings on social media, Instagram in particular. With such high numbers surely they must have great reach? Well, with Instagram’s lovely new algorithm most have decreased as have we all but that’s not the point of this.

With beauty products in particular one needs to make sure that the influencers chosen have a readership that’s actually interested in the products and what the influencer has to say. If there is a pretty picture of them in a bikini holding the product, I can guarantee you most people viewing aren’t even seeing the product. There are definitely great beauty influencers out there who do engage with their audience especially through Instastories and direct messages. If they don’t have a blog with plenty of information on the product then hopefully when featuring the product they will give information. Knowledge is key, especially with skincare.

I had a reader contact me saying she used some silver mask that she’d seen an influencer used and purchased it but it was completely wrong for her skin type and damaged the skin barrier.

She’s now sworn off the entire brand because of mis-information. Now again I’m not saying there aren’t excellent social media influencers out there but taking a selfie with a product and a caption that’s totally unrelated or “This is great” isn’t going to influence anyone and if it does it can have major repercussions for the brand.

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  1. This post is actually one that brands and PR need to read. Not forgetting the fact that many people bought their followers. Thanks for sharing

  2. This is so true! Not getting comments doesn’t mean that no one read your post. I used to feel like I’m not reaching anyone because I get 1 or 2 comments on a post (except obviously when it’s a giveaway post) But then people slowly started giving me feedback on twitter, instagram, my inbox and even some I became friends with so we discuss products on WhatsApp even. I’ve stopped worrying about comments and instead I’m working on increasing my Domain Authority and google ranking.

  3. What a brilliant post Abby. I honestly hope everyone reads this and understands it.

  4. This is a really great post Abby, I think real influence is way more important than number of followers. That is why micro blogging has really become popular, because of the loyal following and trust of the readers.

  5. This is amazing and definitely sheds light with the while influencer and blogger aspect. I feel like creation a community with people who loves what you do is more important.

  6. You’re so right about the more personal interaction. I chat to so many people on my DM’s, far more than comment on public social media or blog posts!
    More PR’s need to read this.

  7. Thank goodness someone has finally written about this. The age group I appeal to don’t really like to post a comment, so I get many e.mails asking me questions about products and general beauty advice and I know for a fact that they go and buy my recommendations as they can relate to me age wise & trust my 35years experience in the business of beauty, yet I get overlooked by brands because of my seemingly ordinary blog n low followers, what they fail to understand is my following is totally organic , they feel comfortable reading my blog, loyal and have a high spending power… I see it as the “The Brands Loss” not mine.

  8. Great post. Follow me on XYZ.

    Just kidding though…really a great post! I do feel some PRs do have that trust and insight….but they are far and few between I reckon.

  9. Hahaha I already follow you on xyz! But yes there definitely are some excellent ones but as a whole we need for them to differentiate in order to see the value

  10. This is my 21st year blogging. I miss the sense of community the most!

  11. Such a great read. You are absolutely right there are so many people who DM and talk to me personally. Besides number of followers should not decide the popularity of the blog. I spend so much time on social media interacting with so many and I have real followers not the ones I bought 🙂 Great post thanks for being so genuine and true.

  12. Thank you!! xx

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