No, Gen Z doesn’t Equal “Gen TikTok”

If you’re a casual observer of social media, you might believe the common myth that “TikToker” and “Gen Z” are synonymous. The myth is common among many marketers and brands and seems to be widespread overall. Googling, “TikTok Gen X” yields results about… Gen Z. (I had to confirm I’d typed in the right term!)

To be fair, the platform was initially more popular among the group born between 1997 and 2012, currently aged between 12 and 25. But the truth is that the popularity of the app is increasing among a range of demographics.

Being most popular among Gen Z is decidedly not the same as being not popular with other generations. The percentage of users might be highest in Gen Z, but plenty of others still love it.

Just because Gen Z may have led the way doesn’t mean other generations haven’t also moved to embrace TikTok.

TikTok is the first non-Meta app (and the fifth app of all time) to surpass 3 billion downloads. In 2021, the platform remained the most-download app globally, with 656 million downloads.

Source: Forbes, 2021

No app grows to this phenomenal level of popularity by having a narrow appeal.

For example, some popular Swiss TikTokers on the cusp of GenX and millennials include _ohheyvivi_, who posts about fashion, beauty, food, sports, and being a mom, and soleil_fatima, who posts about sports, women’s issues, health, and fashion. Jonny Fischer shares his attempts at trends enjoyed by younger TikTokers, as well as amusing juxtapositions between youthful partying and his godfather role of Manu’s young kids aka his comedian partner from famous Cabaret Divertimento. Doris Flury posts healthy recipes, including vegan and gluten-free cookies.

Millennial TikTokers are among our “Swiss Influencers & Content Creators to Keep an Eye On.” Eric Lüthi creates comedy content on his own or with his friend T-Ronimo, where they often present two female characters, Bresha and Selina, in funny situations.

The hashtag #genX has 6.6B views and includes posts on parenting teens, nostalgic memories from the ‘90s, and aging. Popular GenX posters include Jack Black, a comedian whose WAP dance earned more than 5 million views. Finance expert Marie shares line dance tutorials and recreates ‘80s and ’90s dance moves with her friends and family, including her Gen Z and millennial kids.

TikTok Plays a Role in The Lives of Gen Zers

TikTok appears to be the go-to search engine for Gen Z. Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organization, said, “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

Stanford scholar describes Gen Z as a highly collaborative cohort that cares deeply about others. Their social justice advocacy extends to TikTok. A coalition of top Gen Z TikTok stars is pledging to cease all work with Amazon until the company meets the demands of the Amazon Labor Union. The group of 70 TikTok creators boasts a combined following of over 51 million.

Different Generations Use TikTok Differently

Plenty of older people also enjoy dance videos, and who doesn’t love a silly animal video? My Gen Z son showed Gen X me this funny parrot one recently and I very much enjoyed it. AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) outlined some ways in which use for older people may differ. “Some older adults join TikTok to bond with their kids and grandkids… TikTok is full of diversions that may help older folks, or people of any age, feel less bored or lonely.”

According to the Deloitte Digital Media Trends Survey 15th Edition, 84% of all consumers say they use social media platforms, although there are generational distinctions. 27% of Gen Z likes to watch TV shows and movies via social media, as does 23% of Gen X. However, only 25% of Gen X listens to music, whereas 44% of Gen Z does.

Older generations use social media differently than Gen Z… but they still use it.

TikTok, in particular, is used by 10% of Gen Xers, and 5% of baby boomers, according to a study conducted by Fortune and SurveyMonkey, but is rising fast. 40% of Baby Boomers view social media as an essential part of their lives. Engaging on social platforms is a top 3 entertainment activity for 17% of Gen X and 11% of Boomers. Kingfluencers has also worked with numerous influencers including and beyond Gen Z, such as CorEstilo Style, to build successful collaborations for L’Oréal.

TikTok is About Communities & Connection

NPR recently wrote that Facebook is making radical changes to keep up with TikTok. “TikTok’s got one fundamental thing that Facebook doesn’t have, TikTok is cool. And it’s very hard to recreate cool,” said Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, and analyst.

As users continue to spend a lot of time on the app, TikTok promotes a variety of positive, uplifting activities. TikTok also offers extensive support to content creators – even those creators who author content that’s consumed outside of the platform. Most recently, TikTok has partnered with Barnes & Noble and their creator community to launch the #BookTokChallenge, which encourages people to read new books and authors, and then share their reactions.

Even TikTok ads are enjoyed by a wide audience. Kantar’s latest Media Reactions Report ranked TikTok #1 for “ad equity,” a measurement of the audience’s attitude and preference towards ads. “TikTok’s branded solutions aren’t perceived as just “ads” by audiences. In fact, TikTok tops the list for delivering branded content that actually resonates with online consumers.”

Building a Strong TikTok Presence

Back in May 2021, TikTok was insisting that no platform has that reach without “something for everyone”  while pitching marketers and looking to shake up perception that it’s a Gen Z phenomenon. TikTok’s continuing growth in global popularity reveals just how untrue it is to claim the platform is the exclusive domain of Gen Z.

Kingfluencers works with brands to build a strong TikTok presence. Contact us to get started developing and implementing a successful TikTok strategy that will generate multiple benefits, today and in the future.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Influencer Marketing: The Certain Marketing Solution Especially in Uncertain Times

We are all aware that we’re living in economically uncertain times, which often lead to budget cuts. But marketers know economic downturns are times to rethink to reduce the risk of lost revenue and get ahead of competitors. Not only, but now even more in these uncertain times, influencer marketing (IM) with Kingfluencers is a certain solution thanks to four key attributes of IM. 

1. Affordable

Influencer marketing campaigns can be launched without huge budgets.

For some channels, even the thought of planning hurts – for huge campaigns or classic TV spots only the production of the ads takes several months and is very expensive! With print ads, it’s difficult to reach a sizable portion of your audience without a big budget. But with IM, it’s possible to get a lot done even with a relatively low budget, particularly in Switzerland. Swiss influencers earn fair compensation while remaining an affordable marketing channel for brands of all sizes.

Spending on influencer marketing has increased continuously over the past few years and is estimated to reach around €477 million in Germany. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the period from 2019 to 2024 is around 23 percent (only direct payments to Creators are taken into account here, the actual market value is even much higher). 

Globally, advertising spending in the influencer advertising segment is estimated at around €24.59 billion in 2022.  

Just recently we implemented campaigns where we reached so many people with a small budget. One campaign started with a budget of 5k (3.8k base budget + 1.2k boosting budget) and reached over 230k people, an engagement of 11.4%, and more than half a million impressions! Another case also showed insanely good results with a budget of 15k and 5k boosting budget – the campaign reached over 1.7 million people and impressions of over 2 million.

2. Fast

Influencer marketing campaigns can be executed much faster than most other forms of advertising. With Kingfluencers, your campaign can be designed and executed successfully in a matter of a few weeks

While we’re already in the last quarter of the year, it’s not too late to launch a campaign that can help drive additional revenue for the remainder of 2022. IM is an ideal solution for struggling marketers to navigate these challenges.

For example, Sympany, one of the leading Swiss insurance providers, decided to run an end-of-year influencer marketing campaign to generate additional new leads and customers. Kingfluencers managed the entire project, which took 5 weeks from ideation to finish. 21 influencers across multiple social media platforms made posts consisting mostly of videos. The campaign achieved an engagement rate of 3.4%, a reach of 1.229M, and generated 3,025 qualified leads.

Last year, Kingfluencers worked with Uqoniq Chefs, a premium culinary delivery platform that connects iconic chefs to food lovers around the world. The project kicked off on December 3 and less than three weeks later, the campaign was already live and generating an impact. A variety of influencers was chosen, including nano-influencers, and all created high-quality content. The results show the community was interested in Uqonic and exceeded all forecasts, including 654.4k impressions, 202.6k reach, and 2.6k clicks, a full 100% above forecast.

3. Agile

In addition to getting up and running fast, influencer marketing campaigns can be adapted quickly.

Once you’ve started a campaign, you don’t need to stay locked in, committed to every choice for months down the line. Some marketing channels require large commitments upfront, but IM remains flexible. You can continue to move fast, reallocate budget, and make changes as desired or boost with some budget to generate an even higher reach.

Of course, some planning is necessary, such as onboarding influencers and scheduling their time, but IM delivers unbeatable speed and agility. Kingfluencers IM services also take a data-driven approach, enabling us to make quick improvements to optimize your campaigns and maximize ROI. Kingfluencers launches successful campaigns, making our clients heroes in their company.

Eyeglasses maker AFFLELOU works with Kingfluencers to expand brand awareness in French-speaking Switzerland and generate new customers. Influencers were selected to inspire the audience with cool looks and give the brand credibility and familiarity. The campaign achieved a total engagement rate of 3.72% so far (the campaign is still running).

4. Effective

Influencer marketing is an excellent way to connect with your target audience. Studies indicate that every 1 Euro spent on IM generates 5.2 Euros in return/sales. IM achieved 11X the ROI of banner ads. According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 90% of respondents believe IM is an effective form of marketing. A recent Statista survey shows that around 60% of Swiss companies and organizations already rely on influencers.

Traditionally, advertisements have been a deviation from the content audiences want to consume. Ads and content were distinct. IM breaks this paradigm. IM is a different game altogether, and not just another media channel. Influencers are real people within settings that people relate to. 4 in 10 millennial YouTube subscribers say their favorite influencer understands them better than their friends. By launching IM campaigns that earn a high ROI, you can prove your expertise as a skilled marketer contributing to the top and bottom lines.

In today’s highly volatile world, marketers need to be extra agile and balance a budget-conscious approach with the need to keep communicating in an impactful way. Influencer marketing gives brands a strategic and effective solution to this challenge – a solution that also works on a tactical level and with the caution needed today.

“As marketers, we know that in troubling times, it is even more crucial to keep getting the message out. This can be done very effectively without huge budgets or months of planning with creative IM and influencer content repurposing via TV ads and performance marketing.”

Khartoon Weiss, head of global agency and accounts at TikTok recently described the app in an interesting manner during her keynote at the Gathering marketing conference. “The audiences that love and build and create and connect with TikTok, they say they check Facebook, and they check Instagram and they check Twitter and they check Snap and they check things. But they don’t check TikTok. They tell us they watch TikTok.” Weiss argued that “you can’t TikTok and…” meaning users aren’t able to simultaneously TikTok and text, Zoom, watch TV, etc. —in contrast to Instagram or Twitter.

Numbers released in October 2022 show a 14.6% increase in TikTok ad reach year over year.

Recognizing this paradigm, TikTok advises, “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks,” inviting brands to be more creative and authentic, and create content that truly speaks to people. Apparently many brands heed this advice, achieving great success. Kantar’s Media Reactions Report ranked TikTok #1 for ad equity, topping the list for delivering branded content that actually resonates with online consumers.

24% of those surveyed in Germany bought at least one product or service in the last year because it was advertised by a YouTuber, and 19% as a result of advertising by an influencer on Instagram. Even ads placed on social media platforms don’t have the authenticity of influencer content.

Build more trust, and ultimately brand love

People trust and connect with other people… even ones they don’t know. According to Nielsen, 92% of those surveyed trust people more than brands (even if they don’t know the person!) Additionally, as published in Forbes, people are significantly more likely to trust a company whose CEO and senior executives are active on social media.

Spread the love by including more credible authentic voices. Enrich your brand advocacy with powerful tools such as user-generated content, cool creators, and corporate ambassadors. Elevating multiple voices that present different angles and narratives boost not only the visibility but the credibility of your brand. IM is an effective tool to generate awareness and drive revenue, while also contributing to the much larger goal of brand equity. As consumers grow to love your brand, they share that love in a self-perpetuating cycle.

Expand your Reach & Connect with your Audience… Even with Budget Volatility 

Thanks to its effectiveness and high return on investment (ROI), IM enables you to achieve your goals without a huge budget. More than 50% of marketers surveyed in the Swiss Influencer Marketing Report, find companies that make use of IM compared to other forms of advertising realize a higher ROI.

With well-managed campaigns from Kingfluencers, you can target the right people on a large scale without a large budget. Ad spending in influencer advertising is projected to reach US$94.29m in 2022, with the Statista analyst opinion concluding, “influencer advertising has become more important than ever for connecting a brand with consumers and driving sales.” Reserve some budget for IM, and you can achieve the same or even better results for each marketing franc spent.

Maximize ROI with Efficient Use of Content

Influencer marketing itself is an effective market tactic and Kingfluencers has many tools to optimize outcomes. But with an omnichannel approach, you can repurpose existing IM content to achieve your goals while also saving money.

You can build on the effectiveness of IM to generate yet more effective marketing.

Boost your stories across various, additional channels to expand and amplify reach. Leverage content you’ve already created with various influencers and amplify outcomes with the best-performing assets. Using IM takes your ads from boring anonymous promotions to relatable content people respond to and interact with.

Combine the Power of Video, TV & Influencer Marketing

With “Influencer TV Spot” as a new exclusive advertising format, Kingfluencers, and Admeira give all brands the opportunity to broadcast your influencer marketing content as a TV commercial. Merge the power of TV with the trustworthiness and appeal of IM to gain unbeatable reach at an accessible cost.

The first Influencer TV Spot premiered on July 13, 2022, on SRF2 with content from Ochsner Shoes. According to Frank Zelger, CEO of TV marketer Admeira, “this new form of advertising was able to optimally extend the social media campaign and also generate additional reach with a high purchase intention.”

In Uncertain Times, Influencer Marketing is a Certain Solution

Because influencer marketing is an effective, affordable tactic, you can rely on it in good times and in bad. Economic sickness and health. Uncertain and stable. Kingfluencers pulls it all together in a way that’s impactful for your brand. While it might be more difficult to get budget approved for larger initiatives with high price points and requiring commitments of multiple months upfront, IM is accessible and agile. When senior management is contemplating cutting your marketing budget, IM is an excellent line item to retain– or even increase. Contact us if you’d like further support justifying budget, including projecting campaign outcomes. We furthermore have exciting insights and successful case studies that can give you an even deeper insight!

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Television: a Powerful Device for Connection in Today’s Digital Landscape – Part 2

In part 1, we answered the Q, “Just what is TV,” examined the growing popularity of TV, and how it remains a powerful medium for connection. In part 2, we’ll explore how TV and influencers make a powerful combo for brands, then consider innovations that could be on the horizon.

Crossovers with TV & Influencers

Crossovers with TV & Influencers

We may think of TV stars and influencers as two distinct types of celebrities, but there is overlap. Some influencers first stepped into the spotlight through means other than social media, then leveraged that fame to grow a social following. For example, Patric Haziri from The Bachelor, and Sara Leutenegger from Germany’s Next Top Model. The same is true for comedian Jonny Fischer, model, and former Miss Switzerland Christa Rigozzi, and singer Linda Fäh. Lina Senn is one of several influencers Kingfluencers has worked with on an ongoing basis to build successful long-term collaborations for L’Oréal. Lina also hosts the TV show, “First Dates Switzerland.”

Crossovers are also predominant amidst screens and programming. With YouTube integrated into new smart TVs, audiences consume social media on their large, wall-mounted TVs, while also watching TV programming on their mobile phones and tablets. Consumers seek quality content that resonates, and they consume it through a blend of channels and devices.

TV + Influencers = Powerful Combo for Brands

As we wrote in, “Influencer Marketing vs. Legacy Advertising,” traditional ads are a deviation from the content audiences want to consume. Conversely, influencer marketing fuses ads into the desired content. Influencers are seen as trustworthy opinion leaders and their content as authentic, unlike traditional advertising. People relate to influencers, and their recommendations are imparted with relevance and credibility. To their community members, an influencer can feel like part of their friendship circle, helping drive high levels of engagement.

Partnering with influencers is a powerful tool for brands to create engaging and authentic video content, build trust, and connect to consumers in order to fuel growth. Meanwhile, television in general remains the video channel with the widest national reach. With our new Influencer TV Spots service, Kingfluencers combines all this into one effective and efficient advertising format.

Working with Kingfluencers, influencer content can be broadcasted just like a TV commercial in the style of a social media story, such as a TikTok or Instagram Reels, lasting for up to 15 seconds. Repurpose your existing influencer marketing content for a second lifecycle on television. Promote your stories in new ways to increase campaign reach and maximize ROI. You also have the option to place fresh, new ad content on the sides of your spot to fill the TV frame. By embedding trackable CTAs like QR Codes with scan-to-shop features, discount offers, and integrated contests, you can generate direct engagement.

Through our exclusive partnership with Admeira, Kingfluencers is the only influencer marketing agency to offer this unique cross-media synergy between social media and TV in Switzerland. Reach your target audience on channels such as SRF 1, SRF 2, Swiss 1, TF1, RTS1, or more. Frank Zelger, CEO of Admeira, told Werbewoche, “With this new form of advertising, the digital campaign is optimally extended and generates additional reach thanks to the power of TV.” Then Admeira TV is in the top 4 behind YouTube, Instagram, and general TV – and still 4 places ahead of TikTok in terms of Swiss reach. In total, 5.29M people can be reached weekly via the Admeira TV channels, which is more than 60% of the Swiss population.

What’s Next? A Look Ahead

TV continues to be a powerful medium in the lives of people of all ages, worldwide. We may see linear (live) television events merge with the connective power of the metaverse. With virtual worlds, TV viewers can transcend merely “viewing” to achieve the feeling of physical presence during exciting events of global significance, such as expanding space travel.

Incorporating the metaverse can drive more intense experiences and drive a variety of deeper connections on a global scale. Reality TV programming, including contests, no longer need to be limited by physical borders. Dr. Alen Lipuš, PhD, R&D Manager @ Pro-Bit, stated, “There’s nothing better than physical touch, but the metaverse is the next best thing.” We might even just sit down on a virtual couch, ‘together’ in the metaverse to enjoy a soccer game.

In 2017, Netflix began offering “interactive” shows in a “Choose your own adventure” style. Fusing such viewer participation with the sense of togetherness the metaverse brings could generate fresh, new immersive experiences.

Having started in 1927, TV may be nearly a century old, but it’s far from a dying format. Kingfluencers’ Influencer TV Spot merges the power of TV with the trustworthiness and unmatched appeal of influencer marketing to gain unbeatable reach at an accessible cost. Contact us to learn more about this unique offer or to book your exclusive advertising package.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Television: a Powerful Device for Connection in Today’s Digital Landscape – Part 1

Electronic television was first successfully demonstrated in San Francisco on 7 Sept, 1927. In Switzerland, television transmissions first commenced in 1939. In 1963, TV surpassed newspapers as an information source for the first time.

Considering the medium could now be deemed “ancient,” is it still relevant? What role –if any– does it play for modern brands?

Just What is TV?

Maybe that sounds like a strange question, but with the broad landscape of digital media, we do need to provide some clarity. While it’s clear that video ads on platforms such as TikTok and Facebook are social media ads, there’s much overlap. For example, many people watch shows on their wall-mounted television set via YouTube. Is that “TV”?

Yoeri Gabriel Callebaut, Co-CEO and Chief Growth & Marketing Officer, Kingfluencers, said, “I only watch streaming services like Netflix, Disney +, Apple +, or live CNN.” It’s the same for Kingfluencers content writer Megan Bozman, whose family “cut the cord” back in 2017, eliminating cable services for exclusively streaming, accessed via Roku.

Without live TV, are we actually watching “TV”?

The Changing Landscape: TV Defined

We’ll start with some definitions, taking insights from StackAdapt, a self-serve programmatic advertising platform. “Linear TV is essentially live television…It’s called ‘linear’ TV because of how the content is consumed. Viewers can only watch programming at its scheduled time, and via a specific channel.” Linear TV includes broadcast (free) as well as cable.

Regarding advertising, “Connected TV (CTV) includes any ad that plays before or after the streaming of content on connected TV devices, whereas linear TV ads are delivered during the commercial breaks of traditional TV programming.”

“Over-the-Top (OTT) is the term that describes the delivery of TV content through the internet and over the standard, closed TV system. 

CTV is a subset of OTT. OTT is the method for delivering video content, and CTV is the device on which a viewer sees that content.

For our purposes in helping brands generate meaningful connections, Kingfluencers will refer to all of the above as “TV.”

The Historical Growth of TV Advertising 

TV has had numerous, varied impacts on history. Kingfluencers writer Megan recently watched, “The Food that Built America,” which aired on the History Channel. (Yes, she’s a cord-cutter. The History “Channel” is available via streaming on Hulu.) The Swanson company had 260 tons of frozen turkey left over after Thanksgiving and dreamed up the “TV dinner,” a frozen-meal on a tray. In 1954, the first full year of production, Swanson sold ten million trays.

In this case, TV influenced not only the explosive growth of the product through advertising but the very creation of the product itself. The fictional series Mad Men is dedicated entirely to the lives of executives at ad agencies creating such campaigns.

The Rise – and Fall – of Cable TV

From 1980 to 1990, the number of cable networks grew from 28 to 79, fragmenting the TV landscape. The early 2010s has been described as the golden age of cable. In October 2010, over 105 million U.S. TV households were pay-TV subscribers, a penetration of over 90% of TV homes. By 2013, the average TV household had over 189 channels. Considering they watched only 17 of those 189, the frustration over bundles is easy to understand. Consumers in all industries want to avoid being forced to pay for things they don’t want. In Switzerland the rise of cable TV implied many different programs, considering that Switzerland speaks 4 different languages, whereas regular broadcasting began in German and French, but also Italian and even a few Rhaeto-Romantic channels were introduced. Apart from a few local attempts though, the SRG long held a monopoly-like position as a provider of Swiss television channels. For a long time, self-produced entertainment was almost exclusively limited to show and quiz programs, while fictional offerings came mainly from (neighboring) countries or the US.

Unsurprisingly, streaming has had a significant effect on cable TV, in the same way cable TV had on broadcast TV decades ago. Streaming is now leading to a decline in cable subscriptions. Cable companies have long fought to keep the profitable “fat cable bundle” business model intact, but in 2015, began paring down bloated bundles to stem the tide of cord-cutters.

A 2017 TechHive article outlines multiple events that “portend disaster for the bloated TV bundle,” as cable subscriptions decline and an intertwined set of forces are ripping apart the TV bundle. Meanwhile, streaming services are taking extensive action to win – and retain- consumers’ attention. In 2018, for the first time, streaming platforms such as Hulu and Amazon Prime delivered more original series programming than broadcast and cable networks.

The Growing Popularity of TV in Switzerland

TV viewership among Swiss people aged 15-29 has increased 57.7% since 2020. According to IGEM, 6.3 million Swiss people (94% of the total population) watch TV, and 65% of the Swiss population watches television every day (excl. streaming services). On average, Swiss people aged 15-29 watch 108 minutes of TV daily. This number is even higher for older age groups. Classic television has more than twice as many viewers as Netflix (2.8 million / 42%). Compared to YouTube (4.6 million, 68%), TV has 1.7 million more viewers.

Globally, the number of TV viewers has continued to steadily increase and is set to reach approximately 5.68 billion people by 2026. This year’s Tour de France attracted the biggest TV audiences for European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Members overall in terms of hours viewed since 2015.

Recognizing these opportunities, media organizations are making a variety of increased investments. Sky Studios is targeting a “significant increase” in drama and comedy investment and will be producing 200 originals this year alone. The pay-TV giant recently hired Academy Award-nominated producer Tobias Rosen in the newly-created role of Vice President in Germany. 

TV is a Powerful Medium for Connection

The role of TV in the lives of people far exceeds mere entertainment. TV keeps us informed worldwide, beginning decades back with events such as the first moon landing and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

TV builds connections across borders, as well as within towns and living rooms. Watching our favorite local sports team, we can celebrate (or mourn, as the case may be) alongside our neighbors. We can watch expectantly to see who The Bachelor gives a rose or who doesn’t dance well enough behind Lizzo and gets kicked out of the house.

People can enjoy these events together, whether we’re sitting on the same sofa or not. When combined with the power of social media, we can discuss programming in real-time, on a global scale. A quick glance at platforms from TikTok to Reddit reveals numerous TV-related posts — sometimes rebelling against the show creators with hilarious outcomes.

In part 2, we’ll explore how TV and influencers make a powerful combo for brands and take a look at what could be next on the horizon.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Impacts of TikTok’s Global Presence

As TikTok is driving a new wave of entertainment, is the platform reflecting culture or creating it? Or both? The worldwide ubiquity of TikTok has myriad impacts, including fascinating and unexpected benefits to society.

Here are a few insights into the Swiss audience

  • 1.7M monthly active users
  • 5.2M monthly creations
  • 8.7B monthly video views
  • 70 minutes spent daily
  • 16 daily open times

There’s No Denying the Significance of TikTok

Overall, TikTok has been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times. It is the first non-Meta app (and the fifth app of all time) to surpass 3 billion downloads. In 2021, the platform remained the most-download app globally, with 656 million downloads. The second-place app, Instagram, is rather far behind with 545 million downloads, making TikTok downloads more than 20% higher than Instagram. In the first fourt months of 2022, TikTok was downloaded more than 175 million times. TikTok is available in over 154 countries and has over 1 billion monthly active users, who spend an average of 52 minutes per day in the platform.

TikTok is Conquering the World

TikTok trends proliferate worldwide – and quickly.

Globally, TikTokers are united in their enjoyment of these new trends, driving a sort of global unity. Are people worldwide benefitting from this connection? 

TikTok takes credit for the impact the platform makes globally. “Beyond music, our platform and community impacts culture and generates trends that start on TikTok and permeate everywhere.” On 5 December 2021, The New York Times echoed this sentiment, referring to the platform as, “2021’s central vehicle for youth culture and online culture generally.”

But more recently, on 3 June, 2022, The New York Times published, “a lot of stuff posted on the platform is so goofy and weird that searching for meaning in it can feel downright idiotic.” To declare the platform as both goofy and idiotic, while also serving as a central vehicle for youth culture doesn’t bode well for the future. The scope of opinion on the platform is clearly broad, and there’s also no shortage of controversy surrounding it.

Trends – Conformity + Originality

Trends typically refer to changes towards a prevailing tendency. What’s “trendy,” is popular and becomes widespread. More people adopt the latest trend, from low to high rise jeans, verbal expressions, or types of social media posts.

Many creative influencers put their own unique spins on the latest trends. The trend merely serves as an inspirational jumping-off point. As Hootsuite writes, “Users putting their own spin on trends is the best part — and they often get rewarded (by the algorithm) for breaking conventions.” From moving moments, to experiences up to comedy and recipes, TikTok sets constantly emerging trends in various directions. Currently, the song by Lana Del Ray – young and beautiful is a trend, to which people on TikTok share fulfilling and beautiful moments with their community, whether it’s experiences from trips, vacation days at the beach, or good times with their loved ones. But also yummy recipes have made it into the trends, currently a recipe with pasta, butter, lemon and parmesan in particular is also going viral. But next to TikTok’s originality, it’s the inspirational side we do really like the most about TikTok, don’t we? It’s so much more than a trend machine, but really offers deep, meaningful, touching and emotional (in a good way) content.

TikTok’s All-Knowing Algorithm

It’s important for social media platforms to have an appealing interface and deliver an excellent user experience. A critical mass of users and content creators are also vital to keep users coming back.

But the algorithm is a massive source of differentiation.

For good or bad [or both] algorithms are powerful tools that drive the impact of a platform and shape users’ experiences. TikTok is no exception. Arguably, TikTok does a better job of this than all other platforms, as evidenced by its popularity.This all-knowing algorithm has also led to some interesting outcomes, including one social media manager who wrote, The TikTok Algorithm Knew My Sexuality Better Than I Did. Smart brands are able to harness this power and leverage the platform to connect with their audiences.

The Vital Role of Creators

TikTok has been strategic in recruiting and compensating content creators, knowing that they’re key to the success of any platform. In July 2020, TikTok launched a $1 Billion Creator Fund, through which “creators will be able to realize additional earnings that help reward the care and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas.”

TikTok has grown to be an authority on what’s hot. From songs and artists to fashion and products, the platform serves as a popularity stress test. And rewarding the creator community with creator funds is another way in which other platforms have followed TikTok’s lead, including YouTube Shorts, Meta, Snapchat, Twitter Spaces, and Pinterest.

70% of TikTok users say they feel like they’re part of a community. Beyond posting videos, creators can build and enhance community atmosphere by engaging with their audiences through tools like Stitch, Duet, Reply, and comments. Among our list of “Swiss Influencers & Content Creators to Keep an Eye On” is TikToker Julie Riess, who posts “Get Ready With Me” videos and shares with followers her decision-making process putting together outfits.TikTok promotes a variety of positive, uplifting activities. TikTok offers extensive support to content creators- even those creators who author content that’s consumed outside of the platform. Most recently, TikTok has partnered with Barnes & Noble and their creator community to launch the #BookTokChallenge, which encourages people to read new books and authors and then share their reactions.

How TikTok is Changing Marketing & The Value for Brands 

As we wrote in, “Influencer Marketing vs. Legacy Advertising,” traditional ads are a deviation from the content audiences want to consume, whereas influencer marketing fuses ads into the desired content. Recognizing this, TikTok has long advised, “Don’t make ads, make TikToks.” 

Many brands have been following this sage advice and achieving excellent results. Kantar’s Media Reactions Report ranked TikTok #1 for ad equity. “Ad equity measures the audience’s attitude and preference towards ads across media channels and premium media brands. In other words, TikTok’s branded solutions aren’t perceived as just ‘ads’ by audiences. In fact, TikTok tops the list for delivering branded content that actually resonates with online consumers.”

According to Kantar, “TikTok ad formats have the highest positive sentiment among consumers. This means that users are more receptive to TikTok ads than other media platforms.” “Of the 13 major digital platforms that Kantar compared, TikTok is credited for offering the least intrusive and most innovative ad formats.”

According to a TikTok-commissioned study conducted by Kantar, 72% of those surveyed agree that ads on TikTok are perceived as inspiring. “With innovative ad formats such as the Branded Hashtag Challenge, brands on TikTok now have the tools to become part of culture, enabling their audiences to create trends based on branded sounds, actions, effects or brand-related storylines that can travel freely across the TikTok community and beyond.” 

Kingfluencers TikTok services help brands harness this value with our unique holistic approach combining social media services, influencer marketing, and performance marketing.

Check out our blog and follow Kingfluencers for our upcoming articles.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Metaverse Part 4: Does Metaverse = Decline of Interaction & Connection?

Withdrawing from Socialization, Escaping into Online Worlds

The COVID lockdowns beginning in 2020 were likely to exacerbate growing tendencies for people to remain in their homes, eschewing socialization in favor of spending time online with social media, video games, and streaming entertainment. As written in Scientific American, COVID threatens to bring a wave of hikikomori to America. “Hikikomori, a syndrome of extreme social isolation originally found in Japan that described primarily young men who confined themselves at home rather than attend school or go to work.”

Video games, social media, and TV are all popular pastimes for the Swiss as well. In Switzerland, a total of 65.4 percent of the population played video games at least several times a year in 2021 – almost a third of the Swiss play several times a week or every day. 

The Continuing Trend of Living Life Online

Living life online has been a growing trend, particularly for young people. Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has been researching generational differences for decades. “Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states… The allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents.” Jean describes how teens are substantially less likely to date, drive, and work for money outside of the digital world.

Is the growth of the metaverse merely a continuation of the decline of in-person socialization? Are we on the path to where virtual worlds will dominate our existence?

In the movie “The Matrix,” machines enslaved humans. Unbeknownst to most humans, all of their experiences occurred only in a sophisticated virtual world. Will the metaverse be similar, with the exception that people voluntarily forsake reality for a virtual world? I must confess, I find the idea repellant.

Is Virtual Socializing Actually Socializing?

Simon Hohler, technical consultant at Ewasoft, explained that the metaverse, “Can be a medium of connection. For example, when people can’t visit loved ones in person, either due to distance or illness, the metaverse can provide users an experience of presence that is deeper than a mere phone call, or even video chat.”

Dr. Alen Lipuš, PhD, R&D Manager @ Pro-Bit, stated, “There’s nothing better than physical touch, but the metaverse is the next best thing.”

The question “Is virtual socializing actually socializing?” was examined in a two-year project led by the University of Exeter. Researchers found that, “training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being.” Participants engaged more in social activity, and particularly enjoyed connecting with friends and relatives via video chat and email.

When Virtual Reality is Real

Virtual reality is often considered not “real.” Virtual events and meetings refer to interactions taking place online via video conference. From knitting classes and book clubs, to dance workouts and happy hours, virtual events proliferated during 2020.

Remote participation in meetings has been a valuable option prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and remains a key tool for business collaboration. Many businesses hold remote meetings with potential new clients, land the account, serve the client, and earn revenue all without ever meeting in person. (On a personal note, I’ve been collaborating with Kingfluencers’ Co-CEO Yoeri since 2018 and have never met him in person.)

The connection and value delivered are no less “real” for the meetings having occurred virtually. Likewise, when seeing the smiling face of a dear friend via Zoom, the love we feel is no less real and powerful. The intentions behind our interactions are the same, as are most of the outcomes.

Should Brands be in the Metaverse? (If it Actually Exists…)

A recent article in The Drum made the case that the metaverse doesn’t actually exist (and emphatically so, I might add.) As we wrote in The Metaverse Part 3, metaverse is defined as, “a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.”

The author repeated the point that such virtual reality spaces do currently exist, but within games, and therefore “the metaverse” as a distinct entity does not exist.

Picture Source

What Should Brands Do? Balance the Innovative with the Accessible 

Dr. Lipuš recommends brands, “Try to do something meaningful and practical, and don’t just follow some buzz.” Buzz can distort both the real opportunities and the risks. This may be the case with NFTs.

While it’s tempting to want to make use of novel technologies to thrill customers with unique promotions, there can be downsides. In particular, blockchain and NFTs are still complex, and many consumers aren’t ready to overcome the hurdle. When considering an innovative promotion such as NFTs, you should also know how familiar they are with that tech.

Mr. Hohler states, “There’s still a high barrier of entry for users and using NFTs is somewhat difficult. Users must come to a site, install their crypto wallet, and make purchases with crypto currency on an exchange, which includes doing ‘Know Your Customer’ identity verification. However, this is all changing very fast, on a daily basis. We advise brands to make their promotions easy to understand.”

Mr. Hohler predicts that the role of NFTs will grow. “I believe in the future we’ll all prove ownership of items such as real estate and cars by owning an NFT in our bitcoin wallets.”

Frontrunners and Trendsetters

Brands, consumers, and influencers can build new and endless variety of interactions in the metaverse. Hospitality businesses can offer VR excursions and fashion brands can sell virtual accessories.

Far beyond B2C and B2B businesses, the metaverse can be used by NGOs and healthcare organizations. Interactions during tutoring orvirtual therapy can be enhanced with the deeper connection the metaverse can deliver.

Set a Positive, Healthy Direction Now

With the current state of the metaverse, the risks we’ve addressed remain theoretical. Although looking at other parallels, we should expect these risks to grow, but there is time to prepare.

Far beyond B2C and B2B businesses, the metaverse can be used by NGOs and healthcare organizations. Interactions during tutoring orvirtual therapy can be enhanced with the deeper connection the metaverse can deliver.

Now is the time to take steps to build a healthy environment, impeding the growth of the negative.

Organizations and associations, such as the Conscious Influence Hub (CIH), can play a role in setting the direction and advising. Based in Switzerland, CIH is a non-profit NGO with a mission of “promoting the core values of respect, empathy, and transparency in the social media influence sphere.” Working together, Kingfluencers and CIH launched a Code of Conduct with best-practice guidelines, including being a role model for empathy and respect, and dealing with sensitive issues in a particularly responsible way.

Finding Balance in the Future – Anything in Moderation

Human beings require physical exercise to stay healthy, as well as some doses of sunlight. Remaining indoors, particularly sedentary, seated in front of a screen, is a recipe for a myriad of illnesses.

However, embracing the metaverse doesn’t have to mean abandoning other active pastimes, any more than eating a cookie means we no longer eat vegetables. Additionally, unlike traditional social media platforms, people can engage physically with the metaverse, with activities such as standing to ride a surfboard after sipping a Corona beer. Physical movement can provide health and fitness benefits to users, while also deepening the connection with brands.

Balance is key.

With a mix of the metaverse and reality, we will have the capacity to live life more intensely, making a variety of deeper connections on a global scale. The distinction between online and IRL will become smaller as people strive for balance.

Check out our blog and follow Kingfluencers for our upcoming articles.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

How Can We Fix Toxic Beauty Standards on Social Media?

Ogilvy UK will no longer work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces for brand campaigns in a bid to combat social media’s ‘systemic’ mental health harms.”

While this rule is undeniably well-intentioned, it still permits influencers to alter their appearance through numerous other mechanisms such as contouring makeup, push-up bras, false eyelashes, and hair extensions. Therefore, I wonder how effective it will be in making substantive progressive towards the goal of reducing unrealistic beauty ideals.

Most agree social media promotes unrealistic, toxic beauty ideals which negatively impact people’s mental health. What can be done about this complex issue? Who should do it?

Well, we have some ideas.

Growing Recognition of Social Media’s Mental Health Impacts 

“As a Gen Xer, the beauty ideals of my childhood in the ‘80s came from MTV (look it up, kids) and magazines. I have clear memories of the thin legs of the women in ZZ Top’s “Legs” video. My own legs have never been so thin, but I’ve learned to love them and appreciate their ability to cycle up steep hills in the woods,” says Megan Bozman, Content Creator at Kingluencers.

Body dysmorphia and depression certainly aren’t new developments that arose solely from social media. However, a myriad of research reveals social media use increases the prevalence of such maladies and worsens the conditions. 

The BBC states, “using social media does appear to be correlated with body image concerns.” The impact is especially pernicious with adolescent girls. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote, “The subset of studies that allow researchers to isolate social media, and Instagram in particular, show a much stronger relationship with poor mental health. The same goes for those that zoom in on girls rather than all teens. Girls who use social media heavily are about two or three times more likely to say that they are depressed than girls who use it lightly or not at all.”

People are increasingly seeking medical interventions to permanently alter their faces, inspired by touched-up or filtered photos of themselves. A 2020 survey of American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) members reveals, “a surge in surgical demand not seen in recent years,” followed in 2021 by, “catapulting demand for facial plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures.” 

Does Low Self-Confidence Drive Increased Beauty Purchases? 

Do beauty brands benefit from these toxic beauty ideals? It’s certainly possible that women who have a negative self-image might spend more money on beauty products. Are brands therefore incentivized to run campaigns that damage self-image?

Of course, top line revenue shouldn’t be marketers’ only objective, and we hope most brands wouldn’t want to deliberately make people feel bad. But the issue is worth addressing since for-profit companies must prioritize shareholder value. 

The good news is that ethical behavior doesn’t harm revenue (at least in this case!) Some studies show that women with lower self-esteem use more makeup, probably to hide imperfections. However, women with higher self-esteem can also use makeup to attract attention.”

In the long run, no one wins from toxic beauty ideals.

Where Does the Responsibility Lie?

If, as a society, we want beauty ideals to shift towards natural depictions and an inclusive appreciation for the diversity of human appearance, how do we get there?

Much like with the battle against misinformation, tackling this challenge requires multiple entities taking more responsibility. Each group should play a role and serve to compensate for the shortcomings of the others. 

Social Media Marketing Specialist at Kingfluencers and Influencer Ha Vy Nguyen said,

“As an Influencer, this topic weighs on my shoulders, as one of our responsibilities is to be inspirational and set examples to our community. And if you heavily edit your photos, you’re contributing to the problem. At the same time, I have the pressure to present the perfect version myself and look a certain way. If I don’t deliver that, my engagement wouldn’t be as strong or my account wouldn’t grow as much. I would welcome a mandatory declaration, in the caption for example, stating that the photo has been edited. But to ban all photo editing I think would make too much of an impact, and not necessarily a positive one.”

Government Efforts to Combat Toxic Beauty Ideals

Conservative MP Dr. Luke Evans introduced a bill in the UK Parliament calling for advisory labels on images where influencers have digitally altered their bodies. Dr. Evans said people were “caught up in the arms race for the perfect selfie,” which was impacting mental health. He hopes “we can foster a society that aims for body positivity without physiques that are literally impossible without digital manipulation.”

A well-intentioned goal, to be sure.

But there’s a common phrase about where a path “paved with good intentions” leads. I’m not sure I agree with Dr. Evans assertion that his Digitally Altered Body Images bill is not an example of the ‘nanny state’ in action. Enforcement will be complex and multiple questions arise, such as if editing for artistic purposes would be permitted.

Brands Promoting Healthy Beauty Ideals

Brands should be trendsetters, taking the lead and setting a positive example. Revisiting the example at the beginning of the article, “Ogilvy UK will no longer work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces.” Dove only works with influencers that do not distort their appearance on social media, and has created campaigns that celebrate no digital distortion.

Dove has also launched a “#DetoxYourFeed” campaign, which includes a downloadable “Confidence Kit” and “Parents’ Guide” with academically-validated resources and tools. 

Influencers Embodying Natural Beauty

Like brands, influencers can also strive to set a positive example. Influencers can also put our below tips into practice, including partnering with other influencers who vary in appearance.

Anja Lapčević, Co-CEO & Chief Influence Officer, Kingfluencers, said, “This topic should also be addressed by agencies. The issue of ‘false’ beauty ideals is not a new phenomenon, nor is it unique to social media. It is a social problem that has been with us for years. On the one hand, social media intensifies this problem, but at the same time it can also be a solution. Despite all the retouching, you can find unedited, exciting faces, and unfiltered stories on topics such as beauty mania, mental health, and sexuality.

“Banning something usually doesn’t solve the problem. Put more emphasis on transparency. Divulging edits and discussing the issue are the only ways we can develop awareness and move forward together as a society.”

One of Kingfluencers clients said, “I personally welcome these developments. I believe that the prevailing situation, with selfies that are heavily edited, puts many people under pressure to meet unrealistic ideals and can be detrimental to mental health.”

Another Kingfluencers’ client said, “As the Eau Thermale Avène brand, we want to encourage everyone to feel good about their skin. Our slogan, ‘Healthy skin is confidence,’ illustrates this. For over 30 years, our skin care products have been developed by scientists and dermatologists dedicated to the life of skin, especially sensitive skin. Soothed, protected and repaired, people with sensitive skin can trust our dermatological expertise to help them regain self-confidence. Our manifesto includes the fact that imperfections are what make us unique. That’s the beauty of life.”

A Code of Conduct to Guide Responsible Influence

Based in Switzerland, the Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) is a non-profit NGO with a mission of “promoting the core values of respect, empathy, and transparency in the social media influence sphere.”

Working together, Kingfluencers and CIH launched a Code of Conduct that includes best-practice guidelines and examples. Preventing the dissemination of unrealistic beauty ideals aligns with CIH’s guidance to influencers, which includes being transparent with your community. 

France has required retouched advertising images to be marked as such since 2017. A new law in Norway will also require social media influencers to declare if they’ve modified their photos on paid posts. Swiss influencer Nives Arrigoni supports the law, ” In general, I’m for more reality on Instagram.”

Switzerland does not have such a law, although in 2019, the Swiss Compliance Commission (SLK) introduced the following in the regulations for fair and honest advertising, “It is unfair to use computer-processed images of bodies and body shapes in a deceptive manner in commercial communications in order to claim an effect or result that cannot be achieved.” The SLK has not yet received any complaints about it.

Top Tips for Brands to Promote Healthy Beauty Ideals

1. Work with influencers who vary in appearance.

It’s well known that women may use filters and digital editing to make alterations such as plumper lips, thicker hair, larger breasts, and smoother, wrinkle-free skin. Of course, plenty of women naturally have such attributes. It doesn’t help to ban digitally altered images if you then work only with influencers who naturally have the exact appearance everyone’s striving to recreate digitally.

Give the smaller-breasted lady a chance. Partner with the influencer with wrinkles. Let the short-legged woman model your dresses. Everyone likes to see themselves represented as people are so individual and special in their own way and come in all shapes and sizes.

2. Be transparent about your policies.

Make it clear that you either ban or at least discourage significant “face-tuning.” Clarify your position on using models and influencers who vary in appearance.

3. Reveal the power of non-digital visual alterations.

Makeup, lighting, and posture can all have significant impacts on people’s appearance. Show some “before and after” to give people a behind-the-scenes glimpse. Such transparency adds further authenticity to your social media presence.

4. Actively encourage mental health & wellness.

Encourage your community to take steps to improve and maintain their wellbeing, such as spending time in nature, exercising, and socializing in person. Back up words with actions. For example, make monetary contributions to charities such as Girls on The Run, or give staff a paid day off to volunteer building parks. Be part of the solution.

Cultivate Positivity and Brand Love for Longterm Revenue

Consumers aren’t eager to patronize brands that obviously strive to get their money via any means necessary, including deliberately making them feel bad. Fortunately, brands can clearly stand in opposition to this approach, and influencer marketing is a powerful tool for building such positive connections.

At Kingfluencers, we believe effectively matching brands and influencers drives value. Brands benefit from partnering with influencers who focus on positivity and realness, and who build a sense of community among their followers. Done well, influencer marketing can contribute to consumers feeling as though a brand adds value to their lives and understands them. Ultimately, cultivating positivity can drive brand love, resulting in long term revenue growth. 

Take the high road. Not only does it feel good, it benefits the bottom line.

Next Steps for Brands?

If you need influencers to represent your brand while authentically demonstrating uplifting beauty standards, contact Kingfluencers. We can help you select influencers and design campaigns so you can be part of the solution, while simultaneously achieving your business goals such as increased reach.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Metaverse Part 3: The Opportunity to Take Connections to The Next Level

Welcome to part 3 of our dive into the metaverse. In part 1, we covered what the metaverse is and how it changes the social media landscape. Part 2 explored what it means for brands, consumers, and society. Today, we’re looking at the metaverse’s impact on marketing overall, including changes for influencers and brands.

Metaverse is defined as, “a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.”

Brands Can Leverage the Metaverse to Build Deeper Connections

With its immersive qualities, brands can leverage the metaverse to build deeper connections with consumers and boost loyalty. Metaverse activities can encourage people to engage physically, such as standing to ride a surfboard after sipping a Corona beer, further deepening the connection with brands.

Additionally, interactions in the metaverse enable brands to gather more expansive insights by monitoring details such as what users look at the longest. By gathering and analyzing these deeper insights into consumers’ preferences, brands can drive improvements in product development as well as advertising.

Furthermore, the metaverse also removes geographic boundaries. Virtual events, such as concerts, enable hospitality brands to expand their potential customer base to the entire world. 

Opportunities & Threats for Influencers in the Metaverse

Influencers can benefit from many of the same advantages the metaverse bestows on brands and consumers, including the ability to build deeper connections and engage with consumers worldwide and be ‘present’ anywhere at any time, joining their communities in a range of events in the Metaverse for example – something that in the real world would be absolutely impossible.

Influencers should embrace this amazing opportunity and allow their imaginations to run wild. Take the best of you and amplify it as your digital avatar. Engage with your audience in any way that you find thrilling, such as flying over the forest. Promote products not only in new ways, but offer entirely new types of promotions, including new digital goods and events. 

The metaverse lets us be anywhere, at any time, and offer anything, so dream big. 

Virtual influencers are already growing in popularity, with the richest virtual influencer, Lil Miquela, reportedly earning 10 million Swiss Francs a year. But in the metaverse, all users participate as avatars, eliminating the distinction between traditional and virtual influencers. Without this point of differentiation, current influencers may have additional difficulties competing with CGI Influencers.

In an interesting twist, existing virtual influencers are now facing competition from brands, who are launching their own computer-generated avatars. Additionally, virtual influencers will need to tackle new challenges, such as character management if they choose to interact live with fans in the metaverse. 

Although NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are already being sold on existing social media platforms, interacting in a virtual world should increase demand for NFTs, presenting influencers and brands alike with an opportunity to increase revenue.

Growing Chasm Between Engaging & Annoying Advertising

In part 1, we stated that the chasm between the metaverse and other platforms will be a much larger distinction than the current differences between Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. We expect to see yet another chasm within the metaverse itself: between modern and legacy advertising.

The metaverse can change advertising dramatically. Rather than being concerned with having nice banners, brands need to change their game completely. One early innovation is Justin Bieber’s partnership with entertainment company Wave to provide an interactive, virtual event merging gaming, real-time motion capture, and live musical performance. General Mills introduced a new way to tailgate with the launch of the virtual “homegate,” which brings the gameday excitement straight to fans at home, through an interactive virtual kitchen and backyard.

In the metaverse, advertising can be more thrilling and exciting. TikTok advises, “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks.” Similarly, rather than making ads in the metaverse, brands should make immersive experiences. With limitless options, things that were the pure domain of science fiction and fantasy can come to life. Yes, it’s a “virtual” life, but users can experience these collaborations.

We hope that more marketers will go in a different direction and embrace these new opportunities to create value. Give your audience immersive experiences instead of stalking them with text to read.

  • PREDICTION: Brands will be challenged with accepting the opportunity to provide something better. Innovative brands can rise above competitors and build customer loyalty, even brand love.

An Escape from Phobias

This freedom could also enable users to escape the burden of phobias. People with fears of social interaction could overcome their anxiety and engage socially in new ways. Likewise, common phobias such as heights, public speaking, or spiders may have less power to constrain interactions. Perhaps the opportunity to ride a giant spider galloping along a cliff’s edge can help reduce the power of phobias upon returning to reality. We’ll stop short of making a prediction, but it’s an interesting theory to ponder.

Brands Dream Along with Consumers as Partners

The metaverse enables people to be whoever they want to be and do anything – all without having to face their fears or doubts. Many social media users portray a carefully curated life that doesn’t accurately reflect their personal reality. The metaverse enables people to continue this practice while inhabiting their online persona more deeply. In the metaverse, users can become who they fantasize they could be, while abandoning the awkwardness of pimples or bad hair days.

  • PREDICTION: The freedom the metaverse provides will be very popular, particularly with young people. Savvy brands will embrace this creative freedom, with offerings such as NFTs for unique clothing and accessories.

As Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “the metaverse will not be created by one company.” Brands, along with consumers, influencers, and tech companies, all have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the metaverse. Forward-looking brands should start thinking now about who they want to be in the metaverse. Brands have the potential to shape consumer experiences, progressing toward the goal of having consumers see your brand as part of their lives.

  • PREDICTION: Winning brands will dream along with consumers and become their partner in helping them achieve the metaverse identity they want. In doing so, they’ll build even stronger relationships both within and outside of the metaverse.

Influencers in the Metaverse 

Influencers must also consider who and what they want to be. In the metaverse, there are no limitations based on what you were born with. Influencers have the freedom to stick with the identity they’ve already developed on legacy social media platforms or build an entirely new one. Influencers could exist with only a digital persona, and never reveal their actual identity in the real world.

The explosion of options for everyone results in more opportunities for creative influencers, as well as increased competition, making it tougher to stand out. These decisions can also be made repeatedly, as influencers could create multiple avatars and compete with themselves.

Like brands, influencers must also reevaluate who they want to be and how they will add value to followers and brands. They will have to decide how to interact with their communities and how to exert real-world influence in the digital world.

  • PREDICTION: Similar to today, strictly digital influencers will exist, and some may gain great popularity. However, authenticity will reign, and most influencers will retain their same real-world identity.

The Metaverse is considered the next milestone in digital transformation – contact Kingfluencers to learn how your brand can benefit from using virtual reality. 

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Free Ebook – Connecting the Dots: Guide to Omnichannel Digital Storytelling for Brands

Although the term “storytelling” is (over)used non-stop in marketing circles, it sometimes feels like a mythical creature many talk about but few ever really see. One thing we know is that stories work.

In our Ebook about Omnichannel Storytelling, you will find every important aspect to step up your storytelling game to connect even more with your audience.

Downloadable Content

E-Book

Connecting the Dots: Guide to Omnichannel Digital Storytelling for Brands

Click here to find out more about our influencer marketing and here for our social media services.

Swiss Influencers & Content Creators to Keep an Eye On

Switzerland is filled with innovative, fascinating influencers who create informative and entertaining content every day. Kingfluencers has had the pleasure of working with all of the following, and we’d like to highlight some particularly fantastic examples for you to keep an eye on.

Swiss Influencers Who are Leading Trends

Kingfluencers recently published, “13 Social Media & Influencer Marketing Trends to Look For Now,” and we’re categorizing our top Swiss Influencers according to who’s excelling at a few of selected trends. Download the eBook for an in depth look at all the trends.

More Love For Nano and Micro Influencers

For influencer marketing campaigns, brands focus more and more on engagement rates than other metrics, such as total followers. According to a report from Later and Fohr, nano and micro influencers (<25K followers) have the highest engagement rate, averaging 7%, which is more than double the benchmark of 3.21%.

Professional soccer player for FC Basel Alayah Pilgrim is a micro influencer who posts about fashion, fitness, and soccer, of course. She also shares a TikTok account with her boyfriend.

Picture: Alayah Pilgrim

Video is Dominating

Over the next 18 months, video content will continue to increase in relevance and importance. As video becomes the dominant medium, other formats are even less likely to be noticed and brands will have to produce more video content to share.

Alessandra Spataro is well known for her professional and creative videos on TikTok. She often shows ‘behind the scenes’ how she created her videos, and also shares ‘fails’ when things go wrong. Alessandra’s videos have great variety and stunning visual appeal, such as the popping of water balloons with different color dyes.

The success of TikTok is accelerating the move towards video. TikToker Julie Riess frequently posts a variety of videos and is relatable in exhibiting authenticity. In addition to TikToks about food and thrift store shopping, Julie posts “Get Ready With Me” videos and shares with followers her decision-making process putting together outfits.

Creator Economy Will Boom as Content Becomes Currency

The growth of the value of content is driving numerous trends. In particular, more people will try to capitalize on their content, opinion, and voice, making everything more crowded. Brands as well as social media platforms will be actively seeking and soliciting content creators.

Kingfluencers has frequently worked with Fabio Zerzuben, a creator who puts a lot of emphasis on his content and creativity. Fabio is famous for his creative and captivating reels.

As influencers are pressured to create more content even faster, they’re also staying active on multiple social media platforms, as well as traditional media. One of Switzerland’s biggest influencers, Xenia Tchoumi, posts on Instagram about beauty, fashion, and travel. In addition to social media content creation, Xenia wrote the book, “Empower Yourself,” and has given 4 TEDx talks. Swiss comedian Aditotoro is active on TikTok as well as Twitch and YouTube. This prolific content creator has recently become more well known outside of Switzerland.

Influencers Face Increasing Pressure to Innovate

Leo Monferini created a character with funny glasses which went viral on TikTok. As one of the biggest TikTokers from Romandie, he is very popular and Kingfluencers’ clients like working with him. His humorous content is what people are looking for on TikTok.

Consolidation in Influencer Marketing

The influencer marketing industry will experience increasing consolidation in technologies, agencies, and service providers. More influencers are teaming up to form clans to promote their services to brands. 

Founder of the “SKRR SQUAD,” Dario Scheurmann is known for portraying a wide variety of Gen Z situations in a fun way. His TikToks exhibit a sense of childlike whimsy and humorously portray the different ways women and men do things like answering the phone and getting into the car to drive. 

Jean Carly Réveil posts humorous videos on TikTok, often collaborating with numerous other TikTokers. Frequent themes include interactions between couples and friends. Laura Bante creates comedy TikTok videos, with themes such as beauty and fitness, and often collaborates with her friend Margaux Seydoux.

The Headz Agency represents numerous influencers who put a lot of effort into constant content creation, including Simo Bonito who makes funny videos, some of which feature his Italian “Nonno,” whom he plays himself. Ericwdrae also creates comedy content on his own or with his friend T-Ronimo, where they often present two female characters, Bresha and Selina, in funny situations. T-Ronimo posts about soccer, cars, and work, in addition to humor, and sells merchandise such as t-shirts and hats.

Long-Term Partnerships Between Brands & Influencers

To retain credibility, it’s important for influencers to work only with brands they genuinely love and ideally, engage in long-term collaborations, which benefit both brand and influencer. Many of Kingfluencers’ brands conduct year-long campaigns with influencers. For example, we’ve done many campaigns with Minea Jud, who we view as “our sunshine.” She is always smiling and creates high quality lifestyle, fashion, and beauty content.

Kingfluencers has also worked with the following influencers on an ongoing basis to build successful long-term collaborations for L’Oréal: Dilara Tortumlu & Fatjona Muji, Margaux Seydoux, and Jean Carly Réveil, who has also had a long term collaboration with skincare brand CeraVe, plus Lina Senn, who is known for creating humorous lifestyle content and funny relationship situations with her boyfriend, Leonard Stucki, also an influencer. Additionally, Lina hosts the TV show, “First Dates Switzerland.”

All About Gen Z

The existing focus on Gen Z as a coveted demographic will continue, particularly as they’re entering the workforce. Beyond their status as a significant spending group, Gen Z will set new cultural trends in multiple areas such as music, art, work, and ethics.

Also represented by The Headz Agency, Zimmi is a popular Gen Z TikToker who often posts funny skits involving interactions with teachers. The majority of Gen Z are still students, making the education settings highly relatable.

Gen Z TikToker Emma makes funny posts about relationships, school, beauty, and caring for her horses.

Keeping an Eye On Rising Stars and Important Trends

Brands and influencers alike are benefiting from increased opportunities to connect with audiences and generate revenue. Unfortunately, these opportunities are accompanied by the challenges of increased complexity and competition. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on trends and news, and contact Kingfluencers for help building coordinated campaigns.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing