Creators Who Have (not) Sold Out

Loving Something Authentically vs. Being Paid to Love It

As consumers… nope, loathe that word… as humans with the freedom to choose what we spend our hard-earned money on, we love an authentic demo on how a product works before we make the decision to buy it, don’t we? Remember when influencers were a brand new thing? You could google a product and immediately find a social media post with a real live person using it, someone who looked like you and shopped like you. They’d be so excited to be demonstrating it (remember “unboxing?”), raving about how much they loved it, and letting us know if it was a good choice. We learned the term “UGC” and we were all in. Real people showing us what we didn’t even know we needed.

Sometimes we even watched influencer videos for merch we weren’t interested in. Why? Probably because it was so refreshing to see real-time marketing that wasn’t cringey commercials, too-good-to-be-true popups, or high pressure fear ads from some dude yelling about how we need this item ASAP or we’ll be tragic losers forever. And we could tell that guy had never even used the item he was trying to convince us we needed. We knew he didn’t love it, could live without it, and was an actor paid to tell us what the manufacturer wanted us to hear.

Influencers made us feel like we were getting suggestions from a friend, like we weren’t being tricked by advertisers into buying something we didn’t need, like we were all in this together. User generated content revolutionized our shopping experience. Our influencer marketing era began, and we loved it.

But something’s changed.

Is it just us, or have most influencers begun posting lots more paid sponsorship promotions over organic content? How many ads and DMs do you get daily telling you how easy it is to make big money posting glowing reviews on products you’ve never heard of, never tried, and would never choose on your own? We see them constantly, and it makes us curious. Are there any genuine, “I love this product and you will absolutely love it too” influencers left… or has everyone sold out? 

Wondering if every influencer post is just them building one of their “endless passive income streams” makes us jaded. The influencer becomes a paid actor rather than the originator of an authentically linked connection between a product and a person who genuinely and organically loves that product. 

In a study by Stackla, 86% of consumers (that basic word again) said authenticity is important in deciding which influencers to follow. So if you’re an influencer, this matters.

In a study by, only 32% of shoppers said they’re likely to make a purchase based on a sponsored post, while a whopping 80% said they were likely to make a purchase based on an organic post. So if you’re a brand, this matters.

Is there a win/win/win choice for influencers, for brands, AND for the audience? A space where brands and creators can link organically and generate an experience of:

  • Trust & credibility for both the brand AND the creator
  • Enjoyable audience engagement & a quality social media experience for ALL
  • Balanced Organic vs Sponsored social media posts
  • Naturally aligned brands & creators resulting in profitability for ALL

YES. There is. We’re it.  ILOLA™ Linked Organically | Loved Authentically.

At ILOLA we have over 7000 organic collaborations to date. And we’re looking to add many more. 

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