Pride Month 2021 is Over, Now What?

“Pinkwashing” was one of the biggest buzz words of this year’s Pride month. Many global brands have been scrutinized by online comedians and memes due to their logos becoming ‘rainbow-fied’ temporarily for the month of June. Pride month originated in 1969 to commemorate the Stonewall riots in the United States and to celebrate, increase awareness, and promote equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Now, it’s seemingly become a month for brands to posture. Every June, we see websites and social media becoming rainbow-fied across many business sectors along with seasonal sales and rainbow-themed clothing, accessories, etc. Many consumers feel that companies are just taking advantage of this historic month to promote their own reputations.

In this article, Kingfluencers will examine the term “pinkwashing,” as well as highlights and missteps of this year’s Pride month, and do’s and don’ts for brands for Pride. 

Where Does Switzerland Stand on LGBTQ+ Equality?

The Swiss parliament passed a bill recognizing same-sex marriage in December 2020, several years later than most other western European states. Unfortunately, opponents of the law gathered the necessary signatures to call for a referendum. The federal chancellery will set a date for the vote, which would not be held before September. In a November 2020 poll by the LGBT umbrella organization Pink Cross, 82% of respondents expressed approval of same-sex marriage in strong or mild terms, which bodes well for the upcoming vote.

Switzerland is LGBTQ+-friendly in large cities and hubs of creative artists, similar to many nations. Travel guide Frommer’s states, “On the whole, Switzerland is tolerant and gay-friendly, especially in more urban and diverse areas. Zurich, Geneva, and Basel are the centers of gay life in Switzerland, although ski resorts such as Zermatt, Lenzerheide, and Arosa are also popular destinations (mostly in winter), even hosting gay ski weeks.” However, many rural areas of Switzerland remain conservative and less than friendly. This past May, 100 rainbow flags were torn down and destroyed in Buchs. A total of 61 cases of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes were reported throughout 2020.

What Exactly is Pinkwashing?

We’ve seen frequent cases of the term pinkwashing being used incorrectly. Wikipedia cites a New York Times article from 2011 in defining pinkwashing as, “the action of using gay-related issues in positive ways in order to distract attention from negative actions by an organization, country or government.”

What we’re referring to in this article is more accurately described as “rainbow capitalism,” or similarly “pink capitalism,” “homocapitalism,” or “gay capitalism.” Fem Magazine states, “Pinkwashing now commonly refers to the appropriation of the LGBTQIA+ movement to promote a particular corporate or political agenda. In other words, entities market themselves as “gay-friendly” to gain favor with progressives, while masking aspects that are violent and undemocratic…. Pinkwashing undermines efforts towards genuine justice, using divide-and-conquer tactics to individualize oppressions.”

“Karen Tongson, author and professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Southern California, defines Rainbow Capitalism as the ‘commodification of things related to LGBT culture, especially the concept of gay pride’.”

Scandals and Missteps of This Year’s Pride Month

Euro 2020 organizer UEFA banned advertising using the LGBT rainbow colors at the quarter-final matches in Russia and Azerbaijan, citing local laws. Additionally, due to the organization’s need to stay politically neutral, UEFA prohibited players and stadiums from showing support. After facing a backlash, UEFA’s new position became: “Every partner can decide on their respective messages, artwork and activation activities and their decisions to transmit a message of tolerance and inclusion is fully supported by UEFA.” There had never been a ban on rainbow flags in the fan zone.

The Drum states, “UEFA has faced accusations of supporting Pride messaging when it is set to make a profit, rather than taking a clear position from the outset of the tournament to back diversity and inclusivity in line with its own Equal Game campaign.”

Retailer Target offers an extensive Pride collection which received compliments, criticism, and a bit of incredulity. In a “Rainbow Rant,” Joy Ellison reviewed the Target Pride collection and stated, “I wonder if some queer Target designer carefully created a few products but then slowly started to wonder what exactly they could get away with.” The author wrote about the “mostly tacky” line that includes some “baffling products,” and described one t-shirt as, “Virtue signaling as a fashion statement.”

Joy Ellison continues to point out the numerous social and environmental costs to the “fast fashion” Target sells, including the fact that fewer than 2% of fashion sector workers earn a living wage. 

Do’s and Don’ts for Brands – For 2022 Pride Month + All Year

Campaign Asia-Pacific recently asked agency executives for advice on how brands can authentically celebrate the movement and avoid pinkwashing. The excellent assortment of tips included:

  • Make it more of a year-round effort (mentioned by multiple execs)
  • Use Pride as an occasion to celebrate what your brand has done to support the community every day
  • Start by looking at how you support your LGBT staff, or cast a LGBT role in your regular ads
  • Design a good product but also donate part of your proceeds to support a LGBT cause. (RED) by Apple which supports HIV/AIDS programs is a good example that shows launching a product can benefit a community
  • Gravitate towards unity over divide, focusing on the universal values that we all share 

In a campaign that’s an excellent example of both influencer marketing and honoring Pride month, Reebok is launching its Reebok Collective program and handed creative control to its influencers. The sports brand gave activist Lazarus Lynch free reign on creating a short film, a move The Drum describes as, “challenging the status quo of traditional influencer-brand relationships.” Reebok will also donate $75K to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in honor of transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex youth.

USA Today compiled a list of, “55 brands that are giving back for Pride Month 2021,” which included watch brand Fossil’s limited-edition Pride collection. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth.

The Allianz Group has admirable, and extensive diversity initiatives, such as the Global Diversity Council, which ensures that initiatives to promote equality are implemented. “These range from the development of women’s talent pools, LGBTIQ + networks and the integration of people with disabilities to the creation of careers for people over 50.” Allianz Group recognizes the positive effect of employees from different backgrounds, and mentions not only gender and sexual orientation, but also age, origin, education, and physical or mental handicap.

A recent article in Persönlich also highlighted Boston Consulting as a role model. The business placed a full-page advertisement in the NZZ together with other companies, and illuminated their office in Pride colors at night during Pride week.

And Now the Don’ts

Examples of hypocritical, alleged support of LGBTQ+ rights abound. In 2020, American video game publisher Bethesda Softworks was called out for changing their regional Twitter account logos to rainbow versions… with the exceptions of Bethesda Middle East, Russia, and Turkey. This year, the brand changed the primary corporate account, but none of the regional accounts such as @Bethesda_IT and @Bethesda_DE, presumably expecting to avoid backlash. The same selective regionalization has been noted among numerous companies.

Brands with questionable global business practices, such as weapons manufacturer Raytheon and investment management firm BlackRock, seem to just invite additional criticism with their pinkwashing efforts. As Jawaharal Nehru  wrote on Twitter, “American LGBTQ people should have the right to oppress LGBTQ people in other countries just like everyone else!!”

Another highly questionable choice was British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer’s new “LGBT” sandwich, named for the fillings of Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, and Tomato.

Conscious Influence Hub

The Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) shows solidarity with the queer community and aims to set an example and promote respect, tolerance, and empathy on social media with the campaign on the idahobit-day. The CIH podcast, “Conscious Talk,” recently recorded their first episode on the topic of discrimination and hostility towards the LGBTQ + community, with a discussion between Zeki Bulgurcu and Anna Rosenwasser.

The global infusion of rainbows that occurs in June can be affirming for queer and trans people. But executed poorly, Pride-themed marketing can make queer and trans people feel as though they’re being exploited, having a negative impact for brands. Like all messaging and campaigns, a well-structured approach is necessary. An agency like Kingfluencers can help, so reach out now if you’d like to discuss your approach.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

How to Use Social Media to Connect & Engage

Sharing content is a core component of social media use. There’s certainly nothing wrong with posting selfies, but ideal use of social media involves building a relationship with your communities. Here are top tips for using social media to connect and engage.

Know your Audiences & Where to Find Them

There is no one “best” platform, influencer, or campaign format. You must invest time in researching options and making the selections that best help you achieve your objectives. Accurately identifying your target audience is a critical first step, followed by determining the best platforms for reaching them. Check our previous blog post about the evolution of social media platforms here.

For younger people interested in dance, TikTok is a given. 60% of users are Gen Zers and the two most followed TikTok accounts are young dancers.

Keep It Relevant

Consider what most of the users are doing on that platform. Your chances of successfully engaging increase if you provide the type of content audiences on the platform are actively seeking and consuming, such as video gaming on Twitch. The platform has over 9 million active broadcasters and all of the top 5 are gamers.

Drive relevance even further by segmenting your audience within each platform. For example, on Facebook, you can generate a custom list of people who have previously messaged your business and reengage prospects that have fizzled out.

Make Campaigns Interactive

Social influence marketing provides an agile, real-time communication channel with consumers. When doing IM, like social media in general, brands should engage with consumers and aim for effective two-way communication. Too often brands push out a stream of content to their audiences without bothering to also listen. But interactive campaigns lead to increased engagement, brand advocacy and likability, as well as more conversions and better customer loyalty.

Social media provides brands with the unique opportunity to make campaigns interactive and collaborative. You can turn campaigns from brand monologues into conversations by encouraging participation and interaction, as well as incorporating user-generated content. The close connection influencers have with their communities is ideal for engaging audiences in conversation and making campaigns interactive. Influencers can generate interaction in various ways, including:

Challenges

Contests

Polls

Q&A Sessions

Leverage the Latest Technologies

Technically, the concept of virtual reality (VR) isn’t new, but with the release of the Oculus Quest in May 2019, it has expanded in popularity. VR can enable people to interact with others across the globe, which is particularly important considering the ongoing need for social distancing. Facebook is leveraging the Oculus VR platform to beta-test a virtual world that allows people to explore, connect with others, and play games

Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) is even more accessible, since it doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone. AR filters can be used to encourage fan interaction and promote new products. 

For example, popular chocolate brand Kinder’s “Jump into Africa” campaign enabled consumers to discover animated 3D safari animals while in the aisle of Tesco supermarkets in the UK.

Stay Up to Date on Your Chosen Social Media Platforms

Be sure to stay up to date on the various offerings of social media platforms since things change fast. Following Kingfluencers can help you stay current. For example, on 25 Feb 2021 Twitter announced paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets. “YouTube Shorts,” considered to be a rival offering to TikTok, launched in the US on 18 March 2021.

“The YouTube Shorts product itself was first introduced in September and has been beta testing in India over the past several months, where it has since seen adoption triple.”

And TikTok has launched “TikTok For Business,” providing tips such as info on various elements of brand-building, including notes on creative elements, ad strategy, and key trends. Among the tools for brands is TikTok Ads Manager, a simple, self-serve tool where you can create and launch your ads directly into the TikTok feed.

Prioritize the Human & Use Stories

Human interest stories help the audience relate to your brand and drive engagement. Show people using your product, rather than photo or videos of the product alone. Stories can be powerful in creating emotional connection with your brand and driving purpose. A SocialInsider study found that images in Stories have a 5.65% higher tap-forward rate than videos. Imagery of people using your product within relatable situations can help users connect. Those humans could be hired actors, paid influencers, or happy customers – all of which are beneficial.

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say user-generated content (UGC) is authentic compared to brand-created content. Additionally, your employees at all levels are likely advocating your brand already. You should channel and grow that enthusiasm. The people who build your product are highly credible sources.

Humans also like to see human faces. Research published in the Journal of Advertising Research shows, “Ads featuring human faces and ‘face-like’ (i.e., pareidolian) images capture greater attention and preference than other ads in short time lapses.”

Display your Values 

Consumers want to support brands that embody their own values. As written in Inc., Gen-Zers, “want to see authenticity in marketing, including proof and a culture to back up claims of strong company values.” 67 percent agreed that ‘being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool,’ and they feel the same about brands.

74% of respondents in a Twitter survey want brands to showcase acts of kindness, and 77% feel more positively about brands that try to support society during this crisis.

While it’s tempting to focus on stats such as follows and likes, remember that engagement is a two-way street. Interacting with your community also helps build trust and credibility. 

Follow Kingfluencers for more tips on making your social media campaigns engaging.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Nestlé x Kingfluencers: Holistic collaboration for Garden Gourmet Switzerland’s social media

Social media is just an addition to a brand’s marketing mix. False. Social media management matters for brands.

There is very little doubt or discussion about that among marketers and business decision makers. Communicating to and with their target audiences on social media is one of the most cost-effective and impactful ways for brands to connect with existing and potential clients. When done properly, it is a highly effective communication and nurturing channel. From keeping customers up to date about new product launches to staying top of mind as the number one brand with whom they established a relationship, an engaged social media following is the way to go.

But achieving this objective requires effort, dedication, expertise, and continuity, among other things. In order to continue to be successful, some requirements must be met. Among the most important ones are the following:

  • A clear strategy and approach, including choice of channels, content types, posting frequency, tone of voice, etc.
  • A structured channel-specific content framework and planning, including themes and topics 
  • An efficient and continuous content production flow  
  • The right foundations set up beforehand, including processes and systems 

Once all the above is in place, the day-to-day detailed activities needed to keep social media profiles thriving should not be underestimated. It is a lot of work and often it makes sense to outsource this activity, especially for relatively small or globally centralized teams who want to safeguard and strengthen the connection to the local consumers.

Being Locally Relevant

This is one of the main reasons that prompted the Garden Gourmet Switzerland management team to reach out to Kingfluencers to take over the management of the brand‘s social media platforms. One of the core objectives was to purposefully localize and use the content provided to the local markets by the global Garden Gourmet team, as well as create captivating new content for Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

The Kingfluencers mandate includes activities such as: Creating the monthly content calendar, localizing global content, writing multilingual captions focused on the Swiss audience and creating fresh visual and animated content. Staying in tune with consumers in a multilingual country like Switzerland can be challenging as it ideally requires addressing the audiences in their first languages. People generally engage more with content provided in their native language, including local cultural references and humour.

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“It’s a real pleasure to have started this collaboration with Kingfluencers, since they took over Garden Gourmet’s social network management, we see a very clear dynamism, and this allows us to start getting closer to our consumers. Thank you to the whole team for their dedication and creativity. I look forward to continuing to see the evolution of the brand on social networks.”

“It’s a real pleasure to have started this collaboration with Kingfluencers, since they took over Garden Gourmet’s social network management, we see a very clear dynamism, and this allows us to start getting closer to our consumers. Thank you to the whole team for their dedication and creativity. I look forward to continuing to see the evolution of the brand on social networks.”

“It’s a real pleasure to have started this collaboration with Kingfluencers, since they took over Garden Gourmet’s social network management, we see a very clear dynamism, and this allows us to start getting closer to our consumers. Thank you to the whole team for their dedication and creativity. I look forward to continuing to see the evolution of the brand on social networks.”

“It’s a real pleasure to have started this collaboration with Kingfluencers, since they took over Garden Gourmet’s social network management, we see a very clear dynamism, and this allows us to start getting closer to our consumers. Thank you to the whole team for their dedication and creativity. I look forward to continuing to see the evolution of the brand on social networks.”

“It’s a real pleasure to have started this collaboration with Kingfluencers, since they took over Garden Gourmet’s social network management, we see a very clear dynamism, and this allows us to start getting closer to our consumers. Thank you to the whole team for their dedication and creativity. I look forward to continuing to see the evolution of the brand on social networks.”

From influencer marketing agency to social media powerhouse  

In 2016, Kingfluencers started its journey to become a pioneer in the area of influencer marketing, professionalizing the sector in Switzerland. Numerous successful projects later, the agency has evolved into a full-service social influence agency offering not just influencer marketing but also turnkey social media and social selling services, including consulting and strategy, operational social media management, concept ideation and creative content production services. 

It is an absolute joy to work with the Garden Gourmet team and learn from them as well. They have a ton of amazing content, from recipes to visuals and social media storyboards that we can use in the mix to create a diversified and engaging social media feed. The level of professionalism within Garden Gourmet is absolute top. Furthermore, working with such an appealing brand that consumers really love is always a joy and we get a lot of great feedback from clients which makes it extra rewarding to be part of the brand’s story

Yoeri Callebaut CGMO at Kingfluencers. 
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The Magic Mix

For every brand there is that magic mix that helps their social media efforts become successful. For Garden Gourmet Switzerland these are some of the elements if its recipe for success:

  • The high relevance of their content, especially the recipes. That makes the brand and its products more real, approachable and relevant.  
  • The colorful visual approach and use of animated visual assets also helps create high impact with the posts.   
  • Involving Swiss influencers providing tips, tricks, recipe advice and more as part of the posts and stories. This adds an extra dimension to the content / posts.  
  • Engaging the audience with mini quizzes, two-way communication and contests is another way to keep people connected and furthermore grow the brand‘s follower base over time. 

Going crazy during the lockdown? Our influencers share their exclusive lockdown survival tips!

As the world grapples with a second (and in some cases even third) COVID-19 wave, many people feel stuck, defeated and hopeless due to the numerous lockdowns they have had to endure in the space of a year. Switzerland imposed a “semi-lockdown” on 18 January 2021, causing many shops to close their doors once again since the end of the first lockdown in March. Kingfluencers, therefore, asked a few Swiss influencers to share tips and tricks to not only cope better with the situation but also to grow personally in this lockdown.

Wednesday, January 13th 2021: The Swiss Federal Council has announced that from the next Monday on, the nation will set yet another semi-lockdown in place at least until the end of February. Millions of sighs of frustration from the first lockdown last March were exhaled at that moment. Here we go again, many thought. Within just a few hours, information spread like a digital wildfire and the nation knew what to do starting Monday and streets and malls were crowded nationwide over that “final weekend”.

Now it’s been four weeks since the semi-lockdown and we have survived the first lockdown back in March. Nevertheless, many are left feeling frustrated, confused and lost since the announcement of the semi-lockdown. To help you not only survive the lockdown but also thrive in it, we have asked our influencers to give us their survival tips and tricks in their areas of expertise.

DIY and hobbies

Doris Flury presenting her fluffy freshly baked bread: All home made!

One of the few things many of us can make the best of is the extra free time. Even if you are lucky to be healthy and still employed, you may find yourself with nothing to do in the evenings whereas pre-pandemic you were normally out with your friends, colleagues, family or life partners. Take advantage of this and try out new things or reconsider your old hobbies that you never seem to have time for. Austrian-native food blogger and mother of three Doris Flury has made home-made bread during the pandemic:

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread.

Sustainability blogger and actress Anina Mutter also recommends “learning a new instrument or singing”.

Harmonie Matthey proudly posing with her home-made octopus toy that she made for her daughter

Harmonie Matthey, Neuchâtel-native blogger and founder of decoration and interior online shop Au_numero_9, had a fun DIY idea. Her daughter wanted a stuffed two-sided, flippable octopus that would indicate one’s mood. One side would show a happy face and the other a sad or mad face. “I could order it in two clicks,” said Harmonie, “but we took the chance to produce it at home! Making your own is a great way to be active and avoid contributing to worldwide mass productions. We found a DIY guide on Etsy, re-created it and posted the result. We have a really cool octopus at home now.” She also values the experience in creating the toy: “Making it at home also was a fun experience. Not only is this a new, home-made toy for my daughter but is now also a great memory for us!

Steven Epprecht has taken advantage of the free evenings since the first lockdown to re-discover his love of reading.

You can also spend this lockdown to try out new hobbies or even re-discover old ones, like reading. Many of us have lost interest in reading over the years due to numerous reasons, including model, event host and blogger Steven Epprecht. He has grown fond of reading again since the first lockdown back in March 2020, especially since he was always out and about in the evenings pre-pandemic.

When you’re at home more often on the weekend, you get the chance to read. I also find it good for switching off.

Netflix: Our influencers’ favourite binge-watching series

For this article, we have asked our influencers which series they binge watch or are rewatching at the moment. If you are looking for new series to binge watch, see if you find something of interest for you. Two shows that came up multiple times as all-time favourites were Netflix originals Narcos and Lupin.

Moreover, most shows that influencers mentioned were ones that they either rewatched or finally were able to start watching even after they ended because they finally had enough time (especially in the evening) to catch up. The shows that were named were the following:

  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • Revenge
  • Friends
  • The L-Word and The L-Word: Generation Q
  • Suits
  • Cable Girls
  • Breaking Bad
  • 24
  • Vikings

If you are seeking on-going shows, beauty, health and lifestyle expert Frieda Hodel highly recommends Netflix Originals Ozark and The Queen’s Gambit. TikToker and Virgin Radio co-host Younes is also a fan of Riverdale. Geneva-native TikToker Carly Réveil also recommends The Queen’s Gambit and Umbrella Academy.

Carly Réveil and Younes Saggara’s exclusive TikTok tips

There is no doubt that TikTok has boomed globally since the first lockdown back in spring 2020. According to Sensor Tower, they crossed 2 billion downloads after the best quarter for any app ever. Nowadays, the viral short video social platform has over 1 billion active monthly viewers, as Wallaroo Media reported recently. Since the first worldwide lockdown, not only did TikTok’s users increase their average watch times, users of all ages also started posting their own TikTok videos. From participating in viral dances and challenges to posting their own cooking, financial, study or fashion tips, a TikTok user has access to many genres of short videos that can be either entertaining or informative.

When it came to tips for current or future TikTok creators, we reached out to two of Switzerland’s many popular Tiktokers, Geneva-native Carly Réveil and Virgin Radio Co-Host Younes Saggara.

Carly Réveil recommends posting dynamic TikTok videos over posting longer ones.

Carly is especially fond of TikTok “because lots of people take pleasure and invent new trends as crazy as each other.” Here we list his exclusive tips:

  1. “Be regular and post at least once a week, because people need to get into our universe.”
  2. “Be effective in the dissemination of content. You don’t have to make long videos but they have to be dynamic and you also have to ask yourself: If I came across this video and it wasn’t me, would I still like it?
  3. “Have the urge. You don’t have to make content to want to be a star but to have fun and pleasure. If we don’t have fun, we can’t stay motivated and keep making quality content.
Younes Saggara’s TikTok top success tips: Be yourself and spontaneous!

Younes has further TikTok tips to add:

  1. My biggest tip is to be yourself because there’s only one of you and that’s something nobody can ever take away from you.
  2. When a cool idea comes up, just do it right then and there. As long as you don’t break any of TikTok’s rules, don’t think of what others might think. Just film and post it.
  3. Let yourself be inspired by other TikTokers — That’s what TikTok is all about.

Steven Epprecht’s exclusive skin care tips for men

Men’s skin needs love and care too. SSteven Epprecht agrees!

One conversation that we have seen come up often since the pandemic is of women worldwide agreeing that we finally have time to pamper ourselves and indulge ourselves in at-home spa days, whether solo or together with the people we live with. But what about men? Their skins need love too! We therefore asked Steven Epprecht for exclusive grooming and skin care tips for men.

We have to start early with our skin care routines,” says the model and blogger/influencer. “Us men should definitely pay more attention to our skins to prevent premature aging”. He has repeatedly shared his daily skincare routine on Instagram and is happy to see comments and messages of male followers showing interest and asking for more tips. His own simple and quick routine which he follows every morning and every evening is as follows:

  • Wash face with a foaming cleanser
  • Apply serum and moisturizer
  • Gently apply eye cream
  • Occasionally: apply a mask (because why do only girls get to enjoy masks?)

Needless to say, we need to see our skin care beauty routines as complemential to drinking enough water, eating healthy, exercising regularly and reducing stress.

Mental health

According to the Swiss Corona Stress Study which was conducted by a study team of the University of Basel, “the share of people reporting maximum stress was about 11 percent during the April lockdown,” which then “rose to 20 percent in the second wave in November.” Moreover, the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms has increased dramatically over both lockdowns:

“While the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms was 3 percent before the pandemic9 percent during the April lockdown, and 12 percent during the May lockdown, it rose to 18 percent in November.”

According to a Swiss Corona Stress Study conducted by the University of Basel, 29% of Swiss 14-to-24-year-olds experienced major depressive symptoms in November 2020 (source)

It is therefore important to not only keep our physical health but also mental health in check. This is also an especially crucial time to check on othersFrieda Hodel states the importance of looking after others in this difficult time:

Notice which people in the environment are strongly affected by the pandemic without perhaps disclosing it from themselves, be it from an economic or private point of view — and motivate and cheer them up with sensitivity!

Frieda Hodel agrees that we shouldn’t only keep our own mental health in check but also look after others in these difficult times

Anina Mutter also recommends appreciating the little joys in life, going through these extraordinary times

step by step, with lots of self-love and acceptance for our own and everyone else’s human-ness

and putting things into perspective:

“Fresh air, exercise, cooking, reading a good book, a gentle and inspiring routine, playing guitar, gardening. All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Anina Mutter: “All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Younes also recommends meditating and writing in a diary. Not sure what to write in your diary? In his diary, Younes writes about how he is feeling, what is going on currently and his manifestations for the future.

It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.

Younes Saggara takes the time to reflect and write down daily entries in his diary. “It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.”

Moreover, spending time with loved ones has been a luxury for many but it still is crucial to stay connected in this lonely situation. With social-distance-friendly apps like Zoom, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Telegram and other social media platforms on the rise since the first lockdown, many have thought of and shared creative ways to stay connected with each other while still following social distancing guidelines. Online drinking games, Zoom Friday night drinks, simultaneous movie nights, live study sessions etc. were activities that we have only ever done together with long-distance friends, family and/or partners.

Now it seems like we are trying our best to overcome loneliness, one of the numerous secondary issues ensued from the pandemic and necessary measures implemented by our government officials. Remember that you are not alone and even though you feel lost because you have no control over what is happening currently, you can change your perspective of the situation. As Frieda said wisely: “Learn to distinguish between things that you can change in life and things that you cannot influence”. This gives you inner peace and a sense of security!

Contact your loved ones, “the how is only secondary”, said Anina.

Takeaway message

This extraordinary situation also helps put things in perspective and perhaps also makes our pre-pandemic problems seem small. Many of us learnt to appreciate the things we took for granted. As Anina says, “happiness lies in the small things”. Here we list some takeaway messages from the influencers we have interviewed:

  • Harmonie: “We are privileged. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be home and to see how lucky we are. All the rest is only detail. We all learned a lot about ecology and gratitude.”
  • Anina: “Use this time to rethink your lifestyle and integrate sustainable changes into everyday life in small steps. Also, small acts of kindness like trying to be there for others, or smiling at strangers while walking, etc. can be so fulfilling.”
  • Doris: “Support local businesses and shop seasonally.”

Share your unique tips to prevent going crazy during the lockdown. Stay healthy!

Author: Sherriene Redha, Marketing and Social Media Officer at Kingfluencers

The Magic of Creativity and Authenticity in Content

We’ve known that “Content is King” for over a decade, but content must be creative and authentic to effectively captivate and engage audiences. By taking a creative, authentic approach, brands have the opportunity to connect with their audience and drive measurable results.

Authenticity is Vital and Consumers Notice It

Consumers want to support brands that embody their own values. They expect brands to be authentic in their operations as well as marketing. As written in Inc., Gen-Zers, “want to see authenticity in marketing, including proof and a culture to back up claims of strong company values.” 67 percent agreed that ‘being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool,’ and they feel the same about brands.

Additionally, brands must not only show authenticity but also operate in accordance with the values they espouse. “If a brand advertises diversity but lacks diversity within its own ranks, for example, that contradiction will be noticed.”, explains McKinsey and Company.

Connecting with authentic influencers is one effective way to engage audiences. Influencers can also help your brand to be more creative, bringing fresh ideas no one else inside your organization may have thought of before. According to the Swiss Influencer Marketing Report 2020, about half of the marketing managers surveyed estimate the return on investment of their influencer campaigns to date to be higher than with alternative forms of advertising.

Experiment and Determine What’s Most Effective

Experimenting is vital in the quest for authenticity. Marketers cannot just assume they know what people want to hear — they must get the facts. Test ideas and gather input from a representative sample of your audiences. As you test, vary not only the content of your message, but a wide variety of attributes, such as:

  • Channels: Email, social media platforms, Point of Purchase (POP) displays
  • Themes: Current events, holidays, leisure activities
  • Topics: Individuality, environmental sustainability, social justice
  • Media: Text, videos, images
  • Social media formats: lives, stories, IG TV, Tiktok and reels videos, interactive polls, forums

Step outside the box.

@thefashionfraction for Samsung Switzerland Campaign

The accessibility of measurable results enables marketers to shift gears quickly and further boost the most successful campaigns. Additionally, working with creative experts such as Kingfluencers can infuse additional creativity into your experimentation repertoire and boost your outcomes.

Highlight Sustainability

According to a Facebook-commissioned study of 11,300 people across 11 countries, 68% of Gen Z expect brands to contribute to society. Influencer marketing can be an effective medium for brands to highlight their positive efforts, such as environmental sustainability. Kingfluencers ran a campaign with Evian highlighting the brand’s sustainability efforts with the hashtag, #bottlesmadefrombottles. Posts from influencers including Elvira Legrand achieved engagement rates as high as 4.15%.

@elviralegrand for Evian Water #BottlesMadeFromBottles campaign

Patagonia, an American manufacturer of outdoor clothing, pays a “self-imposed Earth tax,” 1% of sales, to support environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land, and water around the globe. The company also leverages user generated content to build strong connections with consumers. As one Patagonia fan writes on Medium, “I love when brands use photos from their fans or ambassadors. I think it does a really good job of creating a relationship between the brand and the consumer, and makes them feel like they are appreciated by the brand… By posting the photos and giving credit to the photographer they [Patagonia] are not only getting breathtaking photographs, but also making their customers feel like part of the family.”

Make Campaigns Interactive and Collaborative

Brands that are more creative achieve better results, specifically:

  • Increased engagement
  • More conversions
  • Better customer loyalty

Social media, in particular, provides brands with the unique opportunity to make campaigns interactive and collaborative. By incorporating user-generated content and encouraging participation and interaction, campaigns become conversations rather than brand monologues.

For example, CoverGirl partnered with eight TikTok influencers to boost product awareness among Gen Z. The campaign encouraged audience interaction with the content by incorporating lip-syncing, one of the central engagement drivers on TikTok. The #CleanFreshHype branded campaign generated over 6.5B impressions and a 5.7% engagement rate.

User Generated Content and Other Sources

While influencers are an effective vehicle for connecting to your audience, they can also contribute their subject matter expertise and collaborate with you to develop creative campaign ideas. Creative ideation can be done either independently by an influencer or together with brands.

Additionally, social influence marketing includes more than professional influencers and content creators.

A wide range of individuals can contribute to your marketing efforts, such as employees, CEOs and other leaders, and consumers.

User Generated Content (UGC) from brand fans and advocates can be very valuable and boost community engagement.

Most influencers have a high degree of specialized expertise. Their dedicated focus helps them earn big followings. As subject matter experts, they’re uniquely qualified to bring fresh, creative ideas to your brand’s marketing.

Creativity thrives on many platforms such as TikTok, helping the most creative users rise to the top. By tapping into their creative energy, you can collaborate to generate content that hits the right notes and truly engages.

Influencers Can Generate Content, Connect with Your Audience, + Both

And, of course, influencers can serve as channels to connect with your audience, sources of content creation, or both. For International Women’s Day, Microsoft leveraged one group of renowned adventure photographers for content creation and another group of established social media accounts to distribute and promote the images. The campaign, which aimed to encourage young girls to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), featured photographs accompanied by authentic stories. The posts were sponsored on five of National Geographic’s Instagram channels, reaching 91 million total followers.

Kingfluencer’s own Chief Influence Officer Anja Lapčević, commented on the role of influencer marketing in making connections and forming relationships.

The nice thing about our work is that we always create relationships. The same principle applies here as in a love story: if the chemistry and values are right, the result is love. Love from the influencer for the brand and back results in the love message to the consumer. We want to work with this principle, and I look forward to many more love stories at Kingfluencers. But as it is in love, the way there is not always easy. Not every relationship has a happy ending and therefore we are constantly working on it. Because we believe that in the end every pot will find its lid.

Author: Yoeri CallebautChief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers