How should companies work with "influencers"?

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oneleglance

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So I know there are a few folks here with youtube channels, with Instagram & Facebook accounts and they might be doing it all for fun or might be trying to go for a side gig.
Some companies like Trails Offroad are a great way to get tax writeoffs for doing a bit of work while on the trail.

But when it comes to "sponsorships" and "influencers" it would be good to hear from everyday folks...

I just wrote a little blurb on our Peg Leg Garage about how impressed I am with Heatshield Products and their method for working with "influencers".
Heatshield buy back.jpg

If I can't afford to pay retail then how am I going to afford to do anything I promise for them? There is more to the form I filled out (qualifiers for each thing and all that) but the risk is on me not the company and I am willing to bet if I prove myself they will be happy to do more.....but either way I can at least get 100% refund.

As consumers are you every really "influenced"?
Of the 5 videos and 3 instagram/facebook post which one should get the credit?
Do you prefer a discount code or what?

How should companies avoid risk and yet let influencers have support?
 

natematos

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I can't believe an installation video is so high. I've worked on the corporate side before (never reached the 10k+ that most brands require myself) and would value to the 8 posts, each reaching 100k+ more than the video.
 

1Louder

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Too many people think they are influencers and want free stuff.

With that said doing actual work for a company and being rewarded is the way to go. If a company wants to give away product for free that's up to them. Many do trades for content like professional photography. Lots of folks post about products they like without any compensation. Those that have 50,000 plus followers on YouTube and the gram probably do have the opportunity to influence consumers. Some random folks with a small audience can too but not at the same level.

I have supported Gaia GPS for 6 years. Folks can signup for a membership through my site and I get a couple of bucks. No way is it equal to the time I have spent supporting them but that's ok. A few extra bucks is nice. They are great people and I am happy to support them as best I can, time permitting. I am also an Ambassador for Off Grid trailers. Willing owners help with sales and trailer demos and are compensated if someone buys a trailer through them. Also fair IMHO.
 

bgenlvtex

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Honest review? Great.

Shill? Nothing I hate more, and they are easy to spot, particularly the ones trying to get their "audience" established
 
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rgk401

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I hate it when a someone is sponsored or got a product for free and they talk so highly of it,when it’s junk. Like the tires I just bought,everyone I talked to on line said they was awesome,rode great,easy to balance, but in reality they are the worst thing Iv wasted money on!! I hate sponsored people for that extra reason. If a product is shit say it’s shit. Don’t drum up sales for a shit product because people like me believe that and end up wasting $1500 on a set of tires!!
 

oneleglance

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I hate it when a someone is sponsored or got a product for free and they talk so highly of it,when it’s junk. Like the tires I just bought,everyone I talked to on line said they was awesome,rode great,easy to balance, but in reality they are the worst thing Iv wasted money on!! I hate sponsored people for that extra reason. If a product is shit say it’s shit. Don’t drum up sales for a shit product because people like me believe that and end up wasting $1500 on a set of tires!!
Save the rest of us grief.....which tires? Thanks in advance
 

redneckcrawler

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I hate it when a someone is sponsored or got a product for free and they talk so highly of it,when it’s junk. Like the tires I just bought,everyone I talked to on line said they was awesome,rode great,easy to balance, but in reality they are the worst thing Iv wasted money on!! I hate sponsored people for that extra reason. If a product is shit say it’s shit. Don’t drum up sales for a shit product because people like me believe that and end up wasting $1500 on a set of tires!!
Save the rest of us grief.....which tires? Thanks in advance
Agreed, which tires? I just bought all of my suspension parts and tires are next on the list.

As for influencers, I can't stand them. I've stopped watching certain channels because it was obvious they were promoting a product and didn't disclose that they were sponsored by that company. I also have bones to pick with people when they want you to pay for gps coordinates. I could rant all day about a lot of crap when it comes to the youtube and the gram, but I've been accused of being an angry little man.
 

KonzaLander

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I generally go out of my way to avoid buying a product or service that an "influencer" is pushing. I'll also quit following someone who has transitioned from a fan to an "influencer", like the folks with Expedition Overland. This is more or less my personal social media policy, but it ties in nicely with this topic.

Reviews by real people are the influences that convince me to buy a product. It is real easy to pinpoint reviews that are not genuine because they all read the same, have the same hidden links in text or video and have way too much enthusiasm for the product or service. Vendors and fabricators who pour their heat and soul into the product and the community their product is intended for get my immediate support.

A squirrelly bearded guy telling me how wonderful Product XYZ is on a neat table in a YouTube video embedded with links usually steers me clear of said Product. If the squirrelly bearded guy asks me to 'follow' them in any regard, that solidifies my opinion of Product XYZ and is a sure fire way to loose me as a customer and/or follower.
 
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1Louder

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I also have bones to pick with people when they want you to pay for gps coordinates.
If those selling the GPS tracks have researched the trails and have provided detailed information which can save you time then I think it is fine. Most of the popular overland trails have free GPX tracks somewhere on the internet. You just have to search. You may have to join an exchange where you have to upload at least one track in order to download tracks but they are out there.

There is the AZ Peace trail in western AZ. The tracks are free but they also sell maps and guide books. Lots of work went into creating this route. It's great they offer the tracks for free but if you want to show them some love buy a guide book.

The one example I support is Trails Offroad. They do a very good job detailing all of the trails on the website. You can clearly get a idea of how easy or difficult a trail is, camping options, nearby trails, etc. I find that worth paying a few bucks. If others don't that's fine. I have done plenty of discovery trips which ended up in many dead ends but eventually some nice spots. I don't sell them and I generally don't share them. They are spots which I share amongst friends. I am sure others know the same spots and do the same. Afterall I have come across many a fire pit which I don't think people established hundreds of years ago.

But hey has you mentioned you don't have to pay them. Discover on your own or try to find free alternatives on the internet.
 
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MidOH

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Just a bunch of shills. Give them nothing.

They just make your companies look stupid. I'm not impressed that your spokesperson is a 98# dork, with a lumberjack beard and capri pants. If you can't change a tire, or drive sober, shave.

This newb was an ''influencer'' with a strong youtube following. Ripped someones leg off going whisky throttle, lost control of the jeep for about 50 yards of travel. Then had the audacity to blame the pedestrian he almost killed in quite possibly the dumbest off road crash of all time. (brake pedal is the one in the middle yo)



I think I'll avoid taking advice from cracker jack ''influencers''.
 

MidOH

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If you ever make it to mid Ohio:

".....for tonight we dine in hell.''

(it's actually a nice biker bar)
 
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redneckcrawler

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Just a bunch of shills. Give them nothing.

They just make your companies look stupid. I'm not impressed that your spokesperson is a 98# dork, with a lumberjack beard and capri pants. If you can't change a tire, or drive sober, shave.

This newb was an ''influencer'' with a strong youtube following. Ripped someones leg off going whisky throttle, lost control of the jeep for about 50 yards of travel. Then had the audacity to blame the pedestrian he almost killed in quite possibly the dumbest off road crash of all time. (brake pedal is the one in the middle yo)



I think I'll avoid taking advice from cracker jack ''influencers''.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA. This guy is getting torched and absolutely deserves it. I understand that he can't admit fault until insurance or court or whatever happens, but he blamed the girl, the spotters, EJS, and even Jesus for not taking the wheel.
If those selling the GPS tracks have researched the trails and have provided detailed information which can save you time then I think it is fine. Most of the popular overland trails have free GPX tracks somewhere on the internet. You just have to search. You may have to join an exchange where you have to upload at least one track in order to download tracks but they are out there.

There is the AZ Peace trail in western AZ. The tracks are free but they also sell maps and guide books. Lots of work went into creating this route. It's great they offer the tracks for free but if you want to show them some love buy a guide book.

The one example I support is Trails Offroad. They do a very good job detailing all of the trails on the website. You can clearly get a idea of how easy or difficult a trail is, camping options, nearby trails, etc. I find that worth paying a few bucks. If others don't that's fine. I have done plenty of discovery trips which ended up in many dead ends but eventually some nice spots. I don't sell them and I generally don't share them. They are spots which I share amongst friends. I am sure others know the same spots and do the same. Afterall I have come across many a fire pit which I don't think people established hundreds of years ago.

But hey has you mentioned you don't have to pay them. Discover on your own or try to find free alternatives on the internet.
I like maps and guidebooks. Trails Offroad sounds like something I'd support. Hell, I'm more apt tp support someone who gives the coordinates out for free because it does save me time.
 
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MidOH

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If I did that to one of ya'll, I'd never touch a jeep again. This guy already has a new Rubi.

The complete lack of remorse......... I guess you can't instagram that?
 
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rgk401

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Agreed, which tires? I just bought all of my suspension parts and tires are next on the list.

As for influencers, I can't stand them. I've stopped watching certain channels because it was obvious they were promoting a product and didn't disclose that they were sponsored by that company. I also have bones to pick with people when they want you to pay for gps coordinates. I could rant all day about a lot of crap when it comes to the youtube and the gram, but I've been accused of being an angry little man.
Milestar Patagonia is a cheap shit tire. The tire place couldn’t get one balanced,so I went to another shop and they couldn’t do it. Iv called,emailed,and blasted milestar on Instagram,Facebook and they blocked me!!!!!! Avoid this tire. I have 5 in my back yard waiting to be taken to the dump!!!
 
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bgenlvtex

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Milestar Patagonia is a cheap shit tire. The tire place couldn’t get one balanced,so I went to another shop and they couldn’t do it. Iv called,emailed,and blasted milestar on Instagram,Facebook and they blocked me!!!!!! Avoid this tire. I have 5 in my back yard waiting to be taken to the dump!!!
I've never had any of them, but as a standard course of action you can expect Chinese tires to suck. Some suck more than others.

There are some products that Chinaman does pretty well, tires are not one of them.
 

MidOH

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That is the downside to cheap tires. Why bother even balancing them?

If you're rims are lug centric, make sure you torque them in the air, not on the ground.
 

grubworm

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Even the Amazon reviews are getting taken over by shills. I used to trust the reviews years ago, but now there are many products with reviews by multiple "customers" that all have the same broken english and bad punctuation and all are 5-star reviews. Also a lot of the good reviews now have people saying they received the item for free. I guess they have to disclose that, thank goodness...now I know to pass over them. Its like DECEPTION is the name of the game now.
 

MidOH

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If Fiat gives me a 2 dr Rubi, 2.0, in dark grey.......

I promise to make some excellent review vids.
 

MazeVX

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Y
Milestar Patagonia is a cheap shit tire. The tire place couldn’t get one balanced,so I went to another shop and they couldn’t do it. Iv called,emailed,and blasted milestar on Instagram,Facebook and they blocked me!!!!!! Avoid this tire. I have 5 in my back yard waiting to be taken to the dump!!!
Haha yes this tire is subject to varying opinions... Some call it heaven some hell...

Just like bfg who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on promoting their tires... Makes me a bit suspicious.

As for influencers, as long as they give clear statements about the relationship to the company its ok for me.
If someone is really convinced with a product or brand and presenting it on his social media presence and reaches many followers he should paid in some way by the company.