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Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones by Joseph Jaffe

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SPONSORED CONVERSATIONS ARE HERE TO STAY

What some might call “influencer outreach,” analysis and research firm Forrester calls “sponsored conversations.” Contrasting sharply with paying people to explicitly write positive posts about brands, sponsored conversations leverage the new generation of content creators and, with a few key provisos, recognize their ability to create content for their respective readers, viewers, listeners, or community. On one level, it’s no different than the New York Times tech journalists receiving loaner products of the latest releases to review in their upcoming columns. On another level, it’s completely different because the people in question are not journalists at all.
Content creators are not usually on staff, nor do they have salaries, perks, or other incentives considered to be standard operating procedure in the corporate world. Under these conditions, should they not get paid? And is it really such a travesty for them to at least get to keep the product?
You’ll hear the words “disclosure” and “transparency” used in conjunction with one another these days when it comes to sponsoring or sponsored conversations. There are already several key best practices when it comes to sponsored conversations. For example, content creators are not necessarily obligated to blog, post a video, or create an episode of their show about their product or brand experience. But if they do, they absolutely must share basic details of their situation with their ...

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