Sunday, 10 March 2019

Should paid reviews exist?

I had been coming across this question from a lot of people. I never thought I'd have to write on this but an incident made me think on it. A fellow author friend contacted a xyz blogger for a review for which she was charged a good amount over usually it is. So my author buddy asked that blogger about how she was going to promote her book. The answer was the thing that shocked me, she'd just post a nice review without even bothering to read just because she was getting paid for it. Now, that thinking is problematic for sure.

The reviewing world is having a huge question these days surrounding on the advent of paid reviews. The only answer to this question is neither black or white. It's totally gray. With the advent of PR and marketing, a new section of marketers often called reviewers popped up.

A reviewer being someone who'd actually try the product/service and share their opinions. If you look at it that way, it's not much different than your average consumer sharing views on something for which they had paid for. But in every society there existed a person who used to spend on a ton of stuff as well as talked about every single product or service that arrived in the market.

For Marketing agencies this was a good chance to influence the people by providing that one person with free services and let them speak about their business. Slowly and gradually this section of people started calling them as reviewers or nowadays in the world of social media they're called as influencers.

There's totally nothing wrong in being a reviewer or influencer. It's a simple barter trade where you enjoy something and just give your honest opinion about it. Slowly, some started making this, i.e. talking about the products their way to earn bread. Now issue doesn't arise here. It started become issue when some sneaky ones decided to be lazy and started talking about things without even testing anything themselves, taking money in return. The issue arose with fake review and marketing.

Now, coming back to our topic. Should paid reviews exist? For that my answer is yes, because many influencers work day in and out to produce good quality marketing content and generate traffic for businesses whereas there are some who just join the bandwagon to get free goodies and have zero knowledge about what they are doing.

So what should we do about it? I know this question would be bugging the most of you. Influencing runs on attention. We should know who is really doing something and who is just talking after getting some money. It's really evident as someone who talks openly about anything which it isn't in real, can be easily identified. As businesses, you should be aware if that person/entity is able to generate good reputation as well as sales for your business. There might be some random person, with a million of followers charging you heavily for just a product placement but ask how they're going to work out.

Support and look ahead to those influencers who actually show the genuine content instead of just targeted marketing via any means possible. This will be going on until people actually start posting reviews and talking about what they really feel about anything. Also, it is not totally wrong to talk about a new product or something which might have been approached to you as in influencer but ethics are the primary thing which should be considered before doing anything. if its not ethical then its of no use.

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Also, a minor headsup.... Obsessed is free to read on Kindle Unlimited! Do check it out. I'd be glad to read your reviews!
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