As more and more brands realise the value that influencers can bring, it is increasingly important that marketers understand one big difference between bloggers and content creators and media channels. Here are our thoughts on how promises can make or break a potentially valuable relationship.

We have written before about one of the key differences between influencers and other channels that brands use to get their messages out to consumers;

“Influencers are people, not media outlets”

That simple principle is sometimes overlooked by brands, so used to owned, rather than earned, media and it can have wide ranging implications.

Promises are important

One problem that can sometimes arise is when brands don’t keep their promises to influencers or at least they are inconsistent. We hear time and time again from influencers who are promised products or opportunities by brands, only for the promise not to be kept. Indeed as influencers ourselves we often experience this first hand.

In most cases, influencers understand that the people making promises are busy. Marketers in sports and outdoors brands have myriad tasks vying for their attention and it is easy to forget that an influencer was promised an item of apparel or an invitation to an event.

The difference between media and influencers

However, unlike magazine publishers or outdoor advertising media owners, influencers are people. They look forward to whatever a brand has promised and they are understandably disappointed if nothing is forthcoming. In the case of media businesses, the relationship is usually based on payment – the ‘promise’ is a contract or a purchase order that results in an invoice which goes through well established channels. And if a brand does promise to send something to a member of staff at a media owner and doesn’t follow through, that doesn’t usually result in a feeling of being slighted (and in many cases brands pay PR agencies to ensure that media owners do receive their products or invitations to their events).

When it comes to the influencer economy, a promise is important. A brand’s relationship with the influencers that it engages with is not purely financial – in fact it is often not financial at all. In which case, keeping the promise is essential. This is one of the reasons we have built the Freestak Influencer Marketing Platform; to help brands manage the relationships they have with influencers (it does much more besides – if you want to know more, please drop us a line).

istock_00Promises: Their Importance in the Influencer Marketing Economy

Tips for managing influencers

  • Be clear with what you are able to offer influencers so there is no ambiguity
  • Set a realistic time frame for whatever you are offering the influencer
  • Think about how influencer marketing can fit with your other marketing activity
  • Try to make whatever you are offering an influencer relevant to them rather than one-size-fits-all


Whether you have one or an army of influencers advocating for your brand or you have just bumped into someone you think can help you get your messages out there, keeping your promises is important. That is one of the things the Influencer Economy is built upon.



  • October 26, 2016, 1:26 pm  Reply

    Great article. Saying this as a (self professed) influencer, you could argue that those points could also be directed at the us (influencers) too. We need to be clear about what we are giving in return for the product/service/cash we receive and then to keep that promise. It needs both parties to play the game for it to work.

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