Marketing Under the Influence

Cosmetic and skincare companies give millions of dollars of free products and spend sizeable amounts on launch events -all in hope of getting a favorable review on a beauty blogger’s website.  Which sites? According to one industry professional, every and any blog that can be found within a ten page Google search. That’s a lot of beauty swag.

A smart question was asked today by one of the audience members at Social Media Week NYC at “Click Here for Beauty” – hosted by Saatchi & Saatchi.

The guest wanted to know how one determines if a blogger has enough “credentials” to review a product/treatment or service.  He wasn’t asking about Klout, (influence) he was asking about their qualifications, achievements, knowledge, degrees, awards, – that sort of thing.  Note – this question doesn’t relate to just beauty, its for all brands looking for earned online media coverage in a variety of industries.

We apologize to Tim Ferris for posing this question today, as we love his shortcuts to success– read “8 Steps to Getting What You Want Without Formal Credentials” here.

However, this is an important question. One that seems to rattle the nerves of those who have been writing for big publishing houses like Time Inc, Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith.

The panelists including @abmarkman and mediator @sharonmandler  agreed that credentials do matter (not when reviewing a new YSL lip gloss so much as when answering a question about implants, veneers, diet, nutrition, skin care, etc)  and these credentials will matter even more in the future. Why? So the consumer is ultimately receiving educated answers by seasoned professionals who have hands-on experience and real knowledge.

We don’t believe that everything can or should be peer-reviewed.

A few examples of websites with real cred – the ability to inspire belief in others 🙂

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen created in July 2011 as the first website to explore the link between beauty and health in a fun, factual way.
  • Wendy Lewis has spent her professional career meeting with well-known surgeons, dermatologists, nutritionists and beauty professionals building her trusted site here.
  • Polly Blitzer, a former InStyle Magazine editor has created Beauty Blitz, a beauty site with celebrity editors and working industry professionals.

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