good post this morning on the entire sponsored blog debate. He makes three excellent points:
1. Real interactions between real people
2. Trust is non-transferable
3. You can't buy trust
I believe where a lot of the debate stems from is that fact that we aren't really sure how to view blogs as part of the media landscape.
With regards to 'social media' platforms, as marketers we set objectives like moving opinion. But what happens to the model when we aren't "influencing influencers" with our brilliant product, service, and/or marketing idea and instead, we are actually trying to just buy them? If money can't buy you trust, that leads to the question, what CAN money buy you, if anything?
IMO, money can buy you awareness. And maybe that's what's happening here. As mass media options continue to be disintermediated, marketers are trying to find new ways to get their messages out. Buying media remains one of the easiest ways to get that message out. In digital, this often means banner ads...and now within the blogosphere, it also can mean 'paid posts' with the 'transparency disclaimers'.
As a marketer however, you have to be sure that what you are trying to do is get awareness of your message and not gain influence on your product and/or service - because influence implies that you have somehow earned that recommendation or blog post. As the reader the blog post in question, I now perceive that piece of content differently and therefore how you are impacting my purchase decision is equally changed.
Ultimately, there is likely some influence on every level of the tactics that you choose to employ but if it's influence you want and not just awareness, that simply cannot be bought.
To paraphrase Mitch, money can't buy you trust.