Lets be honest, it’s getting harder to trust any form of review on the internet these days.
Bloggers are the new medium various brands reach out to, to get their marketing done.
Whether it be free products in exchange for a review, or a fee per amount of times a post about that product is made- both sides of the party are gaining something.
So how do you know who to trust? Which reviews are actually honest? What products should you actually buy?
Well, in general, whenever you are looking to take someone else’s opinion into consideration, it is important that you don’t only rely on that one.
Make sure you do a good amount of research on the product you are interested in. Some ways you could do so include:
-Head to the brand’s website, and be well aware of how the product functions and how it was made.
-Compare various reviews, from various sources. Youtube, Amazon, Reddit, as many as you can think of!
-If possible, walk into a store that carries that product, to get a demo and feel of it.
-Borrow or try out a friend’s if they have one!
As a blogger myself, I feel like I can say that we are a good source for you to discover trending and new products in various industries. However, be sure you do your homework and make sure that those products are a good fit for you!
Brands pay us to mainly bring attention to their products. There are only a few companies that actually force you to use certain text to accompany your posts.
I take being real and honest with my readers extremely seriously. Whenever brands reach out to me, I make sure to do my research on the company before accepting their offer. I also let the brands know in advance, that I will use my own words in my reviews, and say how I really feel.
This is why, I am super excited to introduce Vinod Varma, Shop and Shout‘s CEO and founder. This platform connects bloggers and brands in a way that there is full transparency and clarity at the start of the deal.
For instance, if I am interested in trying out a product, I will be given all the information about what the brand is about and what they will require from me (an Instagram post, a blog review post, etc.), and if i accept- they will provide me with a free product in exchange.
It is innovative platforms like this that will allow our cyber worlds to be one that we can trust.
Let’s jump to my conversation with Vinod now:
1. What inspired you to start Shop and Shout?
The effectiveness of Influencer campaigns.
I was fortunate to work for one of Canada’s multi-billion dollar retailers companies who strategically used influencers to drive brand awareness, new product launches, and more promotional activity. It was highly effective, and the results – although difficult to relate directly to sales – were clearly seen.
Such a simple, effective concept. I tend to find beauty in simplicity…or simplify beauty…call it whatever. After researching the influencer marketing concept, from different angles – I concluded one thing…it wasn’t easy for anyone lol.
For brands, it used to cost time, money, and significant resources to manage multiple influencer campaigns.
For Influencers, it’s a waiting game sometimes to find the right content, it’s also often awkward to be approached by some brands. There’s no real place where it’s “their choice”. We find giving them the power of choice leads to better, more passionate content for the brands.
It’s something I always plugged away at, in terms of doing research and seeing what options were available to brands and influencers alike. I couldn’t find anything that made sense to me.
After discussing this with my partner Laura, we conceptualized the “influencer marketplace”. Similar to any online retailer, only with the idea that the “currency” would be social exposure. A safe, easy place for brands and influencers to unite.
Shop and Shout was born.
2. If you had to choose one thing, what is it that makes Shop and Shout special in particular?
That it’s an open marketplace. Everyone knows what the requirements and expectations are. If you meet them, you’re free to CheckOut if you choose! We don’t force any influencers to do anything unauthentic. We don’t act as an agency – we don’t want to control people. Influencers are awesome, and when you let them be creative – good things usually happen.
It’s also really cool to give everyday people the means to monetize their social media, and smaller brands (that wouldn’t otherwise be able to coordinate) access to this highly effective way of marketing.
3. Ideally, what do you hope to see in the future for this brand?
We’re going to grow our Influencer base so to accommodate more brands all over the world. As we grow, I see us being able to accommodate multiple brands – from local single locations, to multi-nationals. We want to be the place where influencers from all over the world come to find brands that mesh with their audience. Influencers will have the option to work with a wide variety of brands, from the local ones near them, to large multi-nationals. Brands come to us to streamline their social media, and influencer marketing efforts.
We will be THE marketplace for Influencers and brands to interact easily and efficiently with one another.
If we stick to our values of transparency, and efficiency – I think we’ll do quite well.
4. Why the name “Shop and Shout”, is there a crazy story behind that?
Nope, www.shopandshout.com because – you shop, and shout!
5. Any tips for influencers/bloggers to maximize their experiences whilst using this platform?
Tips – read the how it works section to get a better understanding of the process. Once you use us once, it’s really very simple.
Requests – talk to us! Give us feedback, we want to build on the feedback of those who use us and find us valuable. We’ll build our marketplace experience around that. So more of a request then tip 🙂
Psst! Don’t forget to enter Shop and Shout’s sponsored giveaway on my Instagram page. You can win 2 $50 gift cards to Original Joe’s. Yum!
Hope that was a insightful read!