What works in influencer marketing – and what does not

Influencers use the brand, not necessarily the sale

The international symbol for influencers could be the swipe-up gesture. This is how we know the referral machines: keep products in the camera and link Instagram stories like posts to the online store. Influencer Maria Astor (@masha) doubted in the panel whether followers really shop directly when products are advertised by her. She thinks people will need to go back to the store before they buy and look at the product before deciding to buy it.

Many other industry experts agree: influencers are not a sales channel, but rather branding, awareness and content creation. How this is to be measured is tackled differently. Collabary by Zalando has developed its own KPI, which they call “share of voice” – that is, how many people talk about the brand, postpone it, interact with it after the influencer campaign.

The agency LA RED approaches the cost calculation. A large part of the budget flows partly into their fees in the case of influencer campaigns, since agencies hand over content creation to the influencers and only act as mediators. With all presented models it stands out: The exact value of an influencer campaign can not yet be specifically calculated and the justification for it still sounds vague. Nevertheless, everyone agrees: Influencers have become a solid pillar in the marketing mix and bring very clear benefits for brands.


You might also be interested in how Instagram influencers earn five-digit sums with their own photo presets

Influencer Marketing Day3
Panel with ApeCrime, Moritz Garth, Maria Astor and Silvi Carlsson (Photo: Lisa Geiger)

Influencers have to be paid, at best even with Media Budget

As a questionable practice, it is generally the case to send an unsolicited message to an influencer without expectation. Just like the mails from influencers for free services or products. The stray-fire strategy of brands to send out as many products to smaller influencers can cover providers such as INFLURY. Influencers and brands can register via an online platform, processing is completely automatic. This is more suitable for micro-influencers who sometimes give a product recommendation without payment. Where also a small fee makes sense, as a performance (photography, copywriting, range) is provided, which would have cost a little in-house.

With real social media stars agencies and brands should deal directly and extensively. The creators of ApeCrime report that the best campaigns with brands have come in hours of brainstorming. Even years later, their fans remember epic productions for which the brand had more budget than the usual ApeCrime videos. Cengiz says: “We do not want to make advertising bold.” So really meaningful, entertaining content for affluent fans that benefit all parties.

Nicole Buck, Client Partner Facebook’s Transformational Retail and Fashion DACH, clearly shows that organic content should only be a small part of the influencer campaign. The larger part consists of branded content, which of course is based on Facebook, media budget. In practice, it looks like this: the influencer is not only paid for his performance, but for the published content and media budget is also planned. For this purpose, Facebook already provides tools with which brands themselves can take over the control of these ads on the influencer platforms, including the desired targeting. Thus, the content produced with effort and passion is given the reach it deserves and the brand uses it maximally efficiently.

Influencers also have to report negatively to be authentic

Nobody wants to go on running advertising columns. Nevertheless, many so-called influencers naturally tend to praise a brand that pays them money. Followers see through this, however, in the long term and an influencer who always praises and never says anything critical, is not really authentic. Because a friend who makes a recommendation would also mention a negative aspect.

Influencers Maria Astor and Silvi Carlsson have become increasingly critical of their environment in recent years, not just talking about fashion, but also about politics. The success proves them right: The followers are sensitized and demand real opinion leaders in the literal sense. To do so, brands must give up control and even expect their influencers to critically address their issues and products. Because then the recommendation is really authentic and maybe drives one or the other followers into the online shop.

You might also be interested in this: The perfect influencer briefing

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