What to Do When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong

Full disclosure: we’re a marketing services firm specializing in social media and influencer marketing. As such, we are convinced that influencer marketing is an authentic, innovative, and forward-looking form of advertising which suits many brands. More than advertising, it is a storytelling approach that generates real impact. 

But we’re not going to pretend sh*tstorms never happen. Instead, in this article, we’ll cover how to avoid problems, and what to do if they occur.

Avoid IM Landmines by Making Influencer Matches as Perfect as Possible 

The ability to select specific influencers provides exceptional targeting capabilities. Influencer choice must align with your brand’s message and values, as well as your campaign objectives. When you conduct due diligence, also be on the lookout for influencers who might have the potential to offend your audience, or who are prone to impulsive or deliberately shocking actions. 

Authenticity is always a good best practice, and by working with credible influencers who use and genuinely like your products, you can avoid backlash due to compromised trust. Many questioned the fit and authenticity of the 2005 Carl’s Jr ad featuring the very thin Paris Hilton eating a huge hamburger for example. Makes sense! Often common sense already goes a long way as well. There must be a clear link between your brand and the person in order to keep your IM campaigns real. People connect with people, not logos. So the more the audience can relate to the person, the higher the engagement factor.

Snack brand BiFi worked with Donna Adrienne in what was considered one of the most embarrassing influencer campaigns of the year 2018. One Instagram post featured the Heidelberg medical student naked in a bathtub, covered in bubbles, smiling while eating a mini salami. A Horizont article satirically stated, “Because it is so obvious and convenient to tear open a sausage pack during a relaxing bath and eat an oily salami.” While this is an example of influencer marketing gone wrong, it was not a paid promotion. BiFi sent Donna Adrienne free samples in response to her inquiry, but the promotion wasn’t discussed with BiFi and therefore didn’t align with their marketing strategy. Nevertheless as the audience and critics did not know this BiFi and Donna Adrienne were criticized for not indicating that the content was advertising and thus in violation of the guidelines surrounding influencer marketing. The lesson is to be very careful and apply the rules correctly at any time. When in doubt, rather take the road of caution and indicate that a post is part of a collaboration – independent of the exchange behind it. 

influencer marketing wrong

Additionally, with long-term collaborations, you establish an enduring relationship of trust between your brand and selected influencers. This creates real value by giving a credible face to your brand, such as Mujinga Kambundji, the fastest woman in Switzerland and Nike. By associating liked people to the brand, people feel closer to the brand and connect more to it, ultimately building positive brand preference.

As your relationship with the influencers grows stronger and they come to know the brand in detail, the risk of mistakes gets lower. Be aware however that at the same time these influencers become such a part of your brand that missteps can cause little shockwaves. It is thus important to continuously keep managing the relationship with your brand ambassadors and assure that they are aware of what is happening with the brand as well as the role they play in your success and how to play that role to their best abilities.

The closer you work with them the more positive the outcomes of your collaboration will be over time. Get the most out of these relationships by investing the time and effort, because it’s worth it.

Fit with Former Collaborations

In addition to the fit between a brand and an influencer, problems can arise when a single influencer promotes multiple brands with contradictory values.

For example, a health-conscious influencer might be a good fit for a campaign against alcohol, but make sure their feed doesn’t have a previous promotion of beer. A sustainability app such as Greenpeace might want to avoid influencers who’ve previously collaborated with non-sustainable brands.

An Experiment to Determine if Influencers Will Do Anything for Money

Recently, Marvin Wildhage, a German Youtuber, created a fake skincare product, Hydrohype, complete with a fake PR firm and attempted to convince influencers to promote it. The face cream was actually made out of personal lubricant and listed with fake ingredients, like uranium, asbestos, and “pipikaka seed oil.”

An Experiment to Determine if Influencers Will Do Anything for Money

Spoiler alert – he succeeded, and a few well-known German influencers promoted Hydrohype in their Instagram stories. Martin told the story in a series of videos, with more to come.

It’s easy to dismiss these influencers as gullible and greedy, but we shouldn’t be too quick to condemn them for accepting payment in exchange for promoting a product. One solution is for influencers to work with an agency, that can protect them from this type of scam since professional influencer marketing agencies conduct extensive research prior to doing business with any brand. Rest assured the vast majority of influencers are highly trustworthy professionals adhering to clear ethical standards and taking their job very seriously. But for the few ‘rotten apples’ in the basket you can rest assure that industry professionals will shield you from those. Top agencies know exactly who is who in the influencer ecosystem and have a tested working relationships with influencers they engage with. 

Negotiate & Write Contracts Carefully

Like service agreements with any vendor, contracts with influencers must be written carefully. Of course, contracts must include details like payment terms and content rights. To help avoid disaster, also include clauses within the statement of work, such as: 

  • Process for approving posts for quality control before go live
  • Steps to take if they make mistakes, resulting in a negative backlash
  • Provisions and pricing for any re-work needed

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but still include crisis management procedures in your contracts in case the sickness should strike.

Give Influencers Creative Freedom, but Monitor Campaign Details Carefully

Kingfluencers consistently advises letting influencers do what they do best. Don’t use influencers strictly as a vehicle for connecting to your audience, but instead leverage their subject matter expertise and collaborate to develop creative campaign ideas. Give them a precise briefing and direction (including a creative concept for consistency and guidance), but as much freedom as you can at the same time.

Give Influencers Creative Freedom, but Monitor Campaign Details Carefully

That being said, once they bring fresh, creative ideas to the table, approve those posts prior to going live. While we encourage brands to resist the urge to simply tell influencers how to do their job, we do encourage you to supervise and grant final approval before messages are communicated out to your audience, at least for influencers you do not have a long standing relationship with yet.

Invest the time to monitor if you want to spot errors. Influencers must include many things in each post such as hashtags, swipe up links, tags, and tracking links. It’s a lot of work to check it all. Careful campaign management is another way in which an agency can be particularly helpful, such as providing quality control for posts and approval of content before it goes live.

When Precautious Fail & You’re Facing Backlash

Expect the best, but plan for the worst. While no brand begins an IM campaign expecting a crisis, it’s important to make plans and be prepared. Working with people always means mistakes can be made. No one is perfect, don’t forget that. Crisis management plans should include:

  • Affected stakeholders
  • Type of crisis
  • Crisis levels
  • Designated crisis communicator
  • Who to contact
  • Procedures, including reach out, remove the post, and apologize (if relevant)

Outline steps influencers must take if any content generates negative backlash, such as for example apologizing and engaging in activities necessary to remedy the damage, such as making additional posts.

  1. Delete the offending content
  2. Don’t pretend it was never online. Denial can lead to additional backlash!
  3. Own up to it and apologize where needed
  4. A statement from the influencer can also go a long way in smoothing things over 
  5. Determine the necessary actions and take them, this might include separating the influencer and terminating the working relationship
  6. Post an update letting your audience know the status

Even if the mistake was entirely on the influencer side, know that as a brand you always should pick up responsibility. That also means that trashing the influencer will not help in times of a crisis and might actually make you look bad. Keeping a positive and constructive posture always works best. Never go low as it could affect the way your brand is perceived. 

When Precautious Fail & You’re Facing Backlash

Based in Switzerland, the Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) is a non-profit NGO that encourages conscious behavior in influencer marketing. Working together, Kingfluencers and the new CIH recently launched a new Code of Conduct for influencers which supports them in acting with respect, empathy and transparency. 

Some of the guidance which can help both brands and influencers avoid problems includes, “Stay factual and check your sources. Credibility is your greatest asset. Be honest and transparent. Respect the rules of the analogue world online.”

Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn

It’s important to remember that mistakes are also opportunities to learn and grow as an influencer and a brand. It can help you challenge yourself and your business, and make improvements. It is harmful to not learn from one’s own mistakes and those of others and simply carry on as nothing happened. Instead, one should draw lessons, define actions, and share the results. This is how one remains credible and human.

Work with Experts to Navigate and Remediate Safely

An agency like Kingfluencers has the expertise to help you navigate influencer marketing, work to avoid problems, and react quickly and effectively to mitigate damage in the event of an issue.

Having experts to rely on is always helpful, but particularly in a stressful crisis situation.

CIH Campaign

Zeki, one of the largest influencers in Switzerland, made fun of an attack on LGBTQ TikTokers which occurred earlier this year at a train station. Due to Kingfluencer’s reaction, he realized his mockery was wrong, and responded by apologizing and creating content for the CIH to raise awareness. This showcases how professionals can help guide the industry to its maximum potential and assure that social influence remains a source of information and information and a force for good and positive outcomes for brands and consumers alike.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Managing Metrics – How to Know if Your Social Media Efforts are Working

It’s now possible to measure marketing more precisely and efficiently than in decades past. Measuring outcomes is also much less expensive. No need to bring in consumers for focus groups. Social media platforms and Google Analytics give you insights for free.

So how do you know if your SoMe efforts are successful and why/not? Figuring out how you are doing and what is working and what isn’t is important to get the most out of your social media activities.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and social media “success” is in the judgment of the brand. There is no single set of benchmarks that explicitly define success, but Kingfluencers has provided some frameworks and guidance below.

We’ve seen too many brands, even established, global brands, lacking a real strategy for their social media. The execution of tactics, such as making posts, doesn’t imply the presence of a strategy behind them. Instead, the tactics are often ad hoc and random, sometimes even outdated and detrimental, leading to negative consequences and missed opportunities. But brands can move in the right direction by leveraging expertise to establish objectives and build structured plans to achieve targeted goals. 

Consider Your Goals

Measure SoMe results against your unique goals. You may want to drive a specific and measurable action, such as email signups or purchases. On the other hand, your social media campaigns may be driving awareness and thus your goals may be impressions and reach.

Consider the Platforms

If your content naturally lends itself to amusing posts and you’re targeting a younger generation, you may find more success on TikTok. For example, Ceylor Switzerland, the most popular condom company here in Switzerland, uses humor accompanied by pop music to inform the public of the importance of safe sex.

However, if you offer something that’s inherently visual, such as fashion or home decor, Instagram might be your best fit. Instagram is also used more heavily by women, making products such as makeup more likely to thrive on the platform.

This is not to say that you should eliminate other platforms from your efforts. Rather, make a distinction between your core platforms on which you focus investment, and moderate your expectations for any ‘add on’ platforms that don’t align as closely. 

Consider Your Peers

Metrics. Consider Your Peers

If you’re a clothing boutique with a single location, don’t compare yourself to a large chain like H&M, Chicorée, or Tally Weijl. If you’re a niche kitchen tool, such as the AeroPress, don’t compare yourself to a mega-brand like KitchenAid. Look for benchmarks for your particular industry, and consider what most closely matches your business. In the end, monitoring progress is the most important thing. Gather data to establish a baseline so you can begin to measure changes.

Compare Yourself to Yourself

It is always important to track your metrics over time and see where you are heading. If your metrics are trending in a positive direction in response to your efforts, then you should feel good about that progress and if possible reinforce the factors that contributed to this. Trends and progress are extremely important metrics of success and tell you that your efforts are having an impact.

And when you view trends moving in the opposite direction, investigate and look at the whole picture. Maybe your reach declined, but if the engagement went up, that could be a success. It simply depends on your goals. Of course, it could indicate a failure, such as a message that didn’t resonate, but even then, you’ve gained real-world data to back up your hypotheses and know what to avoid moving forward. The crucial aspect here is not just understanding in which direction you are evolving, but especially why and what the impact on your business is likely to be. Once you understand those things you can take corrective action when needed. 

Sometimes it also helps to look back at past successes and failures and see if perhaps you have seen certain patterns before and what you were able to learn from then or how you were able to take control. 

The Wrong Metrics for Social Media

Metrics. Consider Your Peers

Kingfluencers’ contributing author Megan Bozman gave us a great example to illustrate this point: “One of my clients paid a SoMe consultant who was regularly getting their Twitter account locked due to following and unfollowing large quantities of accounts. Twitter places technical limits on how many Twitter accounts you can follow.

“That seemed like a red flag, so I dug deeper and discovered that, despite posting on behalf of a B2B tech firm, she was following accounts as varied as adult nightclubs, individuals selling soap, and accounts dedicated to political rants. While these ‘follow for follow back’ techniques did indeed increase the number of followers on Twitter as well as Instagram, this couldn’t reasonably be considered successful. And that was clearly revealed when I suggested we look at engagement and click-through rates.”

The moral of the story is quite simple – When you measure the wrong metrics or measure the right ones but from the wrong point of view, for example by focusing on quantity versus quality, it really does not tell you much about your performance. In fact you might believe you are on the right track while in fact you are doing the opposite or even causing damage to your brand. 

The Need to Align on Proper Metrics

There are many other facets of marketing in which the wrong metrics can masquerade as the correct ones, and thus fool businesses into thinking marketing activities are advantageous. For example, when considering website traffic, total visitors is indeed important, but also consider metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, returning visitors, and pages per visit. A high and growing click-through-rate is also important, but additionally look at subsequent conversion rates. It’s not so great to have many people clicking your ads if none of them ever buy.

SoMe teams can’t merely tick the box of “followers.” Make sure you measure success based on metrics that actually have an correlation with and impact on your relevant business performance. Often absolute numbers or topline metrics like ‘followers’ or ‘website visitors’ tell you very little about how you are really performing. A more nuanced measurement is required involving qualitative and quantitative angles combined. 

Metrics You Might Not Have Thought Of

We’ve already mentioned a few of the most common social media metrics that are definitely worth monitoring, including:

One of the most important metrics here is definitely engagement. Although one might argue that engagement is over-used and ask what it really means, chances are big that when a person has actually engaged with your content they have absorbed the message you were trying to get across or at least part of it and hence the content has created a ‘moment’ between your brand and the person. Those moments matter because the more positive moments you achieve, the more people will feel connected to your brand. 

But we suggest you also consider a few different Key Performance Indicators to assess social media performance. Some are difficult to quantify, but still worth monitoring. Here are some suggestions: 

Follower Community Composition: Consider the composition of the follower community. Ideally, they’ll closely align with the target audience you want to connect with and nurture, so they’re likely to ‘convert’ to customers or donors, in accordance with your goals.

Platform Customization: As noted, while some platforms might be a better fit, you don’t need to abandon those which don’t align perfectly. Are you customizing your content to adapt to each platform where you post?

User-Generated Content (UGC): It’s great to have loyal fans, but are they engaged and how many are mentioning your brand? Are you making use of UGC? Content generated by brand fans and advocates can be very valuable and boost community engagement.

Campaign Results: Evaluate standard metrics, but on an individual campaign/contest- basis.

Creativity & Variety: Evaluate your efforts for variety and ensure it’s not all one-note. Are you experimenting with a wide variety of attributes, such as:

  • 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
  • Interactivity: Engage audiences through challenges, contests, polls, debates, etc.

Brand Consistency Across Channels:  Are you staying consistent with your brand values and messaging, including when taking other channels into consideration? Research shows that keeping your brand message consistent across channels increases brand trust and purchase intention significantly. The importance of brand consistency is often very wrongfully understated. 

Agility and Alignment: Are you successfully synchronizing social media with your entire marketing mix and channels (e.g. newsletters, website, events, promos, etc.)? Are you responding swiftly to new trends and incoming comments? Are you repurposing content to maximize value? Are you effectively executing new campaign ideas within a reasonable timeframe? When done properly social media can greatly reinforce your marketing activities in other areas, such as boosting sales and conversion campaigns. Maintaining a holistic view has many benefits by exploiting naturally occurring synergies between marketing areas. 

Internal Participation: How many employees are advocating your brand publicly? CEOs and other leaders are part of the face of your brand. You should channel and grow their enthusiasm.

It’s All About Perception! 

You might ask yourself, ‘why do these things really matter? What is the consequence of all this when I get it right?’ There are a bunch of reasons but probably the most important one is that all this has an effect on how your brand or organization is perceived online. Do you generate a positive perception of your brand? Are consumers’ perceptions of your brand in line with what you’re communicating? Are your social media efforts perceived as authentic? Brand perception is key to making sure people respect and trust your brand and ultimately intend to buy it. By getting the points above right chances are that you will create the brand perception that reinforces your desired positioning and helps you get your message across. Once that is achieved, a big part of your marketing task is achieved and your social media activities are actually generating real impact for your business. 

Some Extra Tips to Meet Your Objectives 

Once all the above is settled and you are measuring your performance in the right way, it’s time to evaluate how your social media efforts are really performing and where you might need to improve. If you see that your social media activities are not reaching your goals, you can take a series of actions to improve, such as: 

Some Extra Tips to Meet Your Objectives 
  • Establish a clear and diversified social media content strategy and calendar 
  • Use the right content formats in order to capture people’s attention
  • Tell a story – don’t just post stuff, tell stories, create storylines and keep them going over time. Involve customers, employees, people in general, and bring in some emotion where possible
  • Work with variety of content creators that can boost how your brand is perceived, including social media takeovers by influencers and content creators
  • Have a purpose and be vocal about it – support society and local communities
  • Boost content so that even people that are not yet within your direct reach see your content and feel inclined to follow you or find out more about your brand
  • Work with a social media agency to achieve your goals in the most cost-effective and hassle-free way possible

Create a Framework for Your Brand and Team

One way to evaluate your social media performance using the right metrics is by creating an evaluation framework for your organization. Don’t know where to get started? Below is an example that can be used to do a first topline qualitative evaluation of how you are doing and where you might need to improve, before diving into the nitty-gritty numbers. 

Increase Revenue & Strengthen Consumer Loyalty While Driving Excellent ROI

A variety of social media analytics tools are available to help. Social media marketing, and influencer marketing in particular, are powerful tools that can empower your brand to forge emotional connections, increase revenue, and strengthen consumer loyalty. With a structured approach, you can optimize each part of your campaigns and drive excellent ROI. Working with an agency such as Kingfluencers can boost your efficiency by accessing expertise and innovative technology.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Evolution of Social Media Part III: Social Media Tribes & Clans

In the Evolution of Social Media Part 2, we talked about innovations in social media technology, along with the battles among platforms. In part 3, we’re addressing how human evolution has impacted social media use. Specifically, tribalism… and the other way around, how social media is shaping the tribalism of the modern world.

Humans are Tribal in Nature

Saul Levine M.D., writes in Psychology Today, “We humans are a social species, tribal by nature. We’re given to gathering and communing in familiar groups. ‘Belonging,’ our capacity and need for empathy, compassion and communication, is in our DNA.”

Social media only amplifies this tribal nature.

Dr. Levine writes about the “dark side” we also have, consisting of tribal animosities. (You don’t need us to tell you that social media amplifies that too.)

What Do Your Social Media Habits Reveal?

Social media users often make posts revealing their values, interestings, and views. But what can we learn about users based purely on the platforms they frequent, without even looking at the content they post and engage with? Are instagrammers more lifestyle oriented, are twitchers cool nerds, and are TikTokers free minded cultural challengers? 

Forget the horoscopes or traditional personality tests. Tell us what platforms you’re on and we can identify some of your key traits. This is particularly useful for brands who want to reach and activate their user communities. Most platforms offer detailed demographics and interest filters that enable brands to effectively reach their target audiences in order to optimize spend. But by thinking beyond demographics and thinking ‘culture’, ‘mindset’ and ‘community’, a whole new world of consumer targeting opens up.

Increasing Segmentation

With the proliferation of platforms, there’s something -and somewhere- for everyone. Influencer Marketing Hub published a list of 103+ social media sites you need to know in 2021. As the sheer quantity of platforms continues to rise, social media audiences become increasingly segmented. This segmentation is increasingly based on mindset or social behaviors, making social media ‘tribes’ less about age and more about beliefs, lifestyle, values, and interests. Yes, mindset over demographics.

For example, Untappd gives beer drinkers a platform where they can rate beer, share pictures of beer, and review tap lists from venues nearby, and ReverbNation, which is dedicated to musicians and helps them build careers. So what if you run a brewery or supply musical gear? What better place to reach your community? 

Content Houses Combine Influencers into Clans

To drive additional value from content creators, some brands have launched “content houses,” in which influencers are given a luxury residence for a set period of time so they can use a product and create content. 

Gen Z fashion brand Finesse creased a house in LA from April to July, and esports team FaZe Clan was formed back in 2010. “Content house marketing can boost reach and also the relatability of branded content, says Tim Armoo, founder of Gen Z talent agency Fanbytes and the Byte House, the UK’s biggest TikTok house with up to 90 million views a week across its six creators.” 

Taulant, Simone, Eric, and friends

Kris, Malwyn, Franny and friends (Youngsters)

Aditotoro, Stucki, Nathi, and friends (the Youtubers)

Carly, Leo, and friends (Western-Switzerland)

Zeki, Rash Jr, Goustav, Ivan (the Comedy-Club)

Battle of the Generations? 

There are numerous memes mocking millennials and of course, the famous, “OK Boomer.” This is one of our favorite mockeries of the trend. Gen X seems to be forgotten in the middle, something we’re generally just fine with. Then there are claims that, “Generations are fake and it’s time for the industry to change this way of thinking,” as written in Talking Influence.

Still, there are some trends we can observe according to age. For example, App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report includes, “In the US and UK, Gen Z had the highest affinity for Snapchat and Twitch, respectively.”

Generation T (for TikTok, Of Course)

But there is one platform that is challenging this more and more. When it comes to TikTok, “Generation T is age-agnostic.… on TikTok, mindset trumps generations.” Talking Influence defines Gen T as valuing community building and having a thirst for knowledge along with an interest in connecting to subcultures. Although the TikTok audience is overwhelmingly made up of younger people, with 65% of users in Switzerland being between the ages of 13 and 24, other generations are also becoming more active on the platform. TikTok is investing actively to become seen as an age-agnostic platform for everyone. One is example is the growing mother community on TikTok with content focusing on cooking, household tips, children, or even leisure tips and much more. 

Generation T

With TikTok in the lead, they’re undeniably setting trends. According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report, “TikTok’s average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed, including 70% in the US and 80% in the UK – surpassing Facebook. TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021.”

The Social Media Clans in a Nutshell  

Instagrammers can be described as the selfie taker clan, focused on appearances, posting photos that make their face, hair, makeup, and physique all look flawless and pore-free like a Barbie doll. This “appearances clan” also carefully curates photos that make their lifestyle appear glamorous and fun.

The narcissism prevalent on platforms like Insta has given rise to a new platform, Poparazzi, which strives to be the antithesis of the selfie-obsession, maintaining the positive attributes of social media while eliminating the negatives. “Poparazzi is an app where you can’t post photos of yourself. Instead, you have to tag a friend. Selfies are persona non grata… While you can react to Pops with a range of emojis, the app takes a firm stance against the popularity competition. Profiles don’t show how many followers someone has.” Additionally, you can’t edit your pics.

TikTokers want to entertain and display their creativity. Many of the top TikTokers post dance videos… but no popular accounts post technical critiques of those dance videos. The focus is enjoyment and entertainment, not technical proficiency.  

While the population of people who “use” YouTube in terms of watching video encompasses practically everyone who has internet access, there are some similarities among YouTubers who actively create content. Many are educational, with tutorials on everything from improving your skills cornering on a mountain bike, to makeup, to building a guinea pig cage. If you can dream it, you can find a video tutorial for building it. One member of our team has uploaded choreography ideas for teaching step aerobics and cardio kickboxing.

For many users, Facebook retains a greater connection with the “IRL” world. Many users view and share local events, photos with friends and family, and discussions in community groups. Two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business page weekly.

On Twitter, only the bravest speak. Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product at Twitter, stated, “A lot of people are terrified to tweet. A lot of people don’t use Twitter for the creation side at all. They’re here to consume.” Data from Pew Research backs this up. “Adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public in the US for example. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets.”

Our Most Important Tribes are Online

Facebook recently worked with researchers from The Governance Lab at NYU to provide new insights into the importance of online communities. “Facebook groups are used by over 1.8 billion people every month, with more than half of all the people using Facebook now members of five or more groups. There are also 70 million people leading these groups as admins and moderators.”

To rank relative importance, respondents were asked whether the most important group they belonged to operated primarily online or offline, or both. “Overall, 77% of respondents indicated that the most important group they’re a part of now operates online,” either primarily or in combination with offline operations.

Clans for Good

Based in Switzerland, the Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) is a non-profit NGO that encourages conscious behavior in influencer marketing.

Working together, Kingfluencers and the new CIH recently launched a new Code of Conduct that includes best-practice guidelines and examples. Initiatives from CIH included a pro-LGBT campaign and collaboration with major Swiss brands such as Zeki to use influence for good.

Translating to Revenue

Brands need to make choices about where they should be active based on where their audiences are. Investing in promotions and influencer marketing in the places your target audience frequents most will make your campaigns efficient, lowering costs. 

When building social media campaigns, consider the various clans as you make the following choices:

PlacesWhere: When deciding what platforms to use, review the demographics of each platform to see where your target audience is most active. “The Evolution of Social Media – Part I,” includes stats on the average ages of different platform users. Also consider what most of the users are doing on that platform. While it’s possible to stream a workout video on Twitch, clearly users expect video games. Your chances of building a following increase if you provide the type of content audiences are actively seeking and consuming.

Approaches: After selecting platforms, continue to consider the typical mindsets of users on those platforms. Comedy works best on TikTok, while style and glamour are a great fit for Instagram. On LinkedIn, appeal to authority is popular. The top two influencers are Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and posters often share the commentary and insights of such business thought-leaders.

Formats: Consider what each clan prefers and post accordingly. On Instagram, inspirational quotes, food, landscapes, and human faces (or the back of human heads with an arm pulling the viewer forward), are all popular content. On TikTok, people enjoy dance videos, lip-syncing, and challenges.

Resources: Ideally, brands both create their own content and partner with influencers, and in all cases, creative ideas are needed. You can then commit resources to adapting those ideas to each of your chosen platforms. Take a theme such as a “share your best summer experiences,” contest and encourage submission of imagery on Insta and funny videos on TikTok. All the while, always stay true to your brand values, be authentic, and prioritize the human.

Goals: Always start with a strong foundation, which includes clearly defining your messaging and setting goals, such as:

  •  Visibility and awareness
  • Increase social media followers and engagement
  • Increase website traffic
  • Conversions, such as email sign ups
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Generate revenue, and social selling

Social influence marketing delivers reach and real impact on consumer decisions. Rather than being blinded by vanity metrics such as big numbers of views and followers, remember to consider the quality of the connections within your target audience. Remember that influencer marketing can enable you to succeed with secondary or tertiary goals, such as generating press coverage.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Influencers support the city of Uster in the fight against littering – Press Release

With the help of well-known content creators, such as T_Ronimo, Joung Gustav or Nathistyle, the third largest city in the canton of Zurich, together with Kingfluencers, wants to make young people aware of the littering problem.

With the support of influencers, the city of Uster wants to take action against the thoughtless littering of public spaces. The “Cleanfluencers” campaign aims to reduce littering incidents at various Uster hotspots and at Lake Greifensee.

Deputy Head of Waste Management and Environment of the City of Uster.

The TikTok and Instagram stars Joung Gustav and T_Ronimo, among others, were recruited for the special awareness campaign. Taulant Gashnjani, better known as T-Ronimo, who used to drop or leave litter somewhere out of youthful recklessness, is now clearly against littering: “I really can’t understand people who litter nowadays and they just make me angry,” says T_Ronimo with more than 77,000 followers on TikTok.

Littering is not cool

“The campaign is important to me because hopefully, we can show the younger generation that littering really isn’t cool,” says Joung Gustav, who is followed by over 156,000 people on TikTok.

This isn’t the first informational campaign we conducted, nevetheless our Kingfluencers Co-Founder, Fabian Plüss is pleased that “the influencer channel is being taken more and more seriously as an adequate means of communication by the public sector as well”.

For the city of Uster, this is the first information campaign to be accompanied by influencers. For those responsible, it is important that a “culture of not throwing things away” is anchored among the young and that peers influence each other. The third-largest city in the canton of Zurich wants to get about 140,000 impressions in a first step with the help of content creators. Find out more about our social media and TikTok services.

Succeeding as an Influencer – Tips from Successful Swiss Influencers

Having had the opportunity to speak with multiple successful Swiss influencers, Kingfluencers complied their top tips, along with an influencer best practices checklist. Our featured contributors are: 

  • Antonella Patitucci, Actress, Presenter, Coach, Content Creator
  • Steven Epprecht, Founder @ Strategy Leaders, Consultant, Content Creator
  • Younes Saggara, TikToker & Creator, Morning Show Host @ Virgin Radio Switzerland
  • Loredana and Kilian, Content Creators known as Saturday & Sunday
  • Carly Réveil, TikToker, Creator & Comedian
influencer.

Put the Work in and Be Passionate

First, we asked our influencers what the most important requirements are to being an influencer, which included, being passionate as well as putting the work in. Steven noted that it looks easier than it is. Be passionate about your main topic on your account and let your community be part of that. 

Carly said, The magic formula is determination. You should not go there at random, but know the trends and your community.”

Younes’ recipe for being a successful influencer is, “Just be yourself, be open and it’s better to be funny than arrogant because this leaves a better impression. There are many who are trying to be serious and professional but sometimes people prefer if you are not that serious. It seems much more authentic.”

For Loredana and Kilian, not seeing yourself as an influencer is important for success. “We are just a normal family, with the small difference that we share our lives with a lot of people online. 

At Kingfluencers, we’ve noticed that successful influencers are genuinely passionate about their topic. Letting that enthusiasm shine through attracts audiences, contributing to their success.

Pick the Right Platforms

Kingfluencer’s recommends selecting which channels to be active on, taking into consideration different media types, then having a strategy to be present there. “I speak a lot and I know my community likes to listen,” said Antonella.

Loredana and Kilian use TikTok because it’s a hugely creative video platform.

“We both graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multimedia production, so we find this platform one of the most exciting. Meanwhile, however, Instagram has also introduced Reels (copy of TikTok), which we also love to do. We love the Stories on Instagram and our viewers like being so close to everyday life.”

Create Value for Brands

Influencer marketing has proven to be an efficient way for brands to reach target audiences while achieving best-in-class ROI figures. Kingfluencers supports brands in leveraging this powerful tool to get even closer to consumers. We asked our influencers about their specific approaches to creating value for brands.

In creating value for brands, the first and most important is that it’s a match. You have to use the product. I believe all the people in my community could feel if I just did it because someone offered me money or if I really use the product.

Antonella Patitucci

The value is in telling your own story and putting emotion behind it. Give the product a face and so people can relate. Share your unique story and opinion. A product alone is a picture, but with you and your story, it’s like a movie.
Antonella Patitucci
Also, have longer-term collaborations rather than making just 1 or 2 posts. Brands get the most out of campaigns when they’re a longer-term partnership instead of one-offs.
Antonella Patitucci
The most important benefit an influencer has for brands is that we can reach our community on an emotional level, which can be difficult for brands with traditional media campaigns.“Influencer stories are a credible way for brands to communicate, and influencers can serve as real brand ambassadors. We give the brand a different approach, rather than copying and pasting the media and marketing strategy to another channel. The influencer is in touch with the brand and products and makes up their own story on implementing it in their daily life.
Steven Epprecht

Influencer stories are a credible way for brands to communicate, and influencers can serve as real brand ambassadors. We give the brand a different approach, rather than copying and pasting the media and marketing strategy to another channel.”

Loredana and Kilian recommend, “Talk about goals with the partner. To make campaigns interactive and gripping, we think first and foremost about the expectations and wishes of our viewers. The focus is on the added value for viewers.”

Safeguard Authenticity and Engage with Your Community

Another commonality of successful influencers that Kingfluencer’s has observed is building a relationship with their community. Your community wants to somehow be part of your life, so interact and engage with them, which also helps build trust and credibility.

All of our influencers recognize the importance of staying authentic, which includes only doing campaigns for products they actually use.

Antonella added, “Be yourself, stick to your opinion. If you make a mistake, apologize, and change your opinion. I was against TikTok at the beginning and I made an official statement that it’s shit and just for kids, and I made fun of it. But TikTok approached me and wanted me to do it. I looked at the statistics and saw that the audience is older than I thought. I researched and changed my opinion, I wrote in the caption, ‘First I hated it, then I laughed, now I’m copying.’ Then you stay authentic, but you have to be honest, and share with the community, even your mistakes and ups and downs.”

Younes advises, “You should not forget that you earn your money because of your followers. So always interact with them.”

What Responsibilities Do Influencers Have?

Younes suggests influencers make the internet a better place by supporting one another. “Also, be aware that you are a role model, whether you like it or not. You have to be aware of the consequences when you don’t act correctly.

“Now, when I see especially young kids follow me and see me as their role model, it’s like a wake-up call for me to be conscious of what I post and how I act. Especially now, for the younger generation, influencers are the new stars.”Always think before you post something. You don’t know what people are going through at the moment. Always be open in general and open for new things/ideas, especially if someone has a different opinion than you.”

Steven added, “If I collaborate with a brand, it’s crucial that I can stand behind the product, and it’s not just for the money. There are people doing it like that, which contributes to the negativity about influencer marketing.

I have a responsibility towards my community. It’s like a relationship with a friend. I consider if I’d recommend this to my mom or a friend. They trust you and you have credibility and shouldn’t play with that, otherwise it won’t work out in the long run. Only do what is you.”

The Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) is a non-profit NGO that encourages conscious behavior in influencer marketing. Working together, Kingfluencers and the new CIH recently launched a new Code of Conduct for influencers which supports them in acting with respect, empathy and transparency. 

The Concern of Fake Followers

Most influencers don’t consider fake followers to be a problem. Loredana and Kilian said, “I think you can recognize the real online personalities very quickly if you take a closer look at the profiles.” Younes agreed that it’s easy to tell if someone has many fake followers.

Carly, on the other hand, replied, “I am very afraid of fake followers. It messes up the stats. I prefer few real subscribers rather than several fakes.”

Kingfluencers advocates that influencers and agencies work together to keep the industry clean, for example, by establishing guidelines, monitoring stats, and only engaging in legitimate organic growth strategies.

It’s important for influencers to move with the trends, including interactivity. Social media enables consumers to get more involved and interact, resulting in trends like brands hosting polls or soliciting consumer feedback on issues such as new product development. Employees using social media can also serve as brand ambassadors.

Social media platforms are continually releasing new features like live emissions during which consumers can make purchases. Kingfluencers recommends that brands and influencers alike consider using these cool new features to engage audiences and provide what they like. 

What Not to Do

Loredana and Kilian suggest not to:

  • Cooperate with a partner just because they pay a lot of money
  • Only post advertising content
  • Constantly change partners. E.g., a new car every month. No one has a new car every month, that’s not real. That doesn’t do anything for the partner or their own channels.

Younes finds it very annoying when influencers flood their stories with discount codes.

Influencer Best Practices Checklist

  • Be passionate about your main topic
  • Find out what kind of influencer, select your channels, and stick to your decisions (as long as they make sense)
  • Interact and engage to build a relationship with your community
  • You have a responsibility to your community. Treat it like a relationship with a friend.
  • Remember you are a role model, whether you like it or not
  • When promoting brands, tell your own story and put emotion behind it
    • Don’t just copy and paste the brand’s marketing strategy
    • Keep the focus on the added value for viewers
  • Be authentic, maintain trust and credibility – only promote brands you truly stand behind
  • Always interact with your followers
  • Aim for long term brand collaborations
  • Be yourself & stick to your opinions 
  • If you make a mistake, acknowledge and apologize

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Free Ebook – How to make influencer marketing work for your brand

With influencer marketing showcasing best-in-class ROI figures, it is becoming increasingly attractive for companies. IM has proven to be an efficient way to reach your target audience, and a powerful tool to help your brand get even closer to consumers.

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. Influencer- and user-generated content are among eMarkterer’s transformative developments that ought to be on your radar in 2021.

Influencer marketing can make people feel closer to your brand and develop a strong preference for it.

  • 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than any form of advertising
  • 87% of consumers made purchases based on influencer recommendations

How to make influencer marketing work for your brand

Interested in learning practical tips on how to make influencer marketing work for your brand? Download our free ebook below!

Downloadable Content

Creator Portraits – Bad-Vibes – 20min collab

In collaboration with 20 Minuten we created a series of creator portraits: influencers come from different backgrounds, have different stories and operate in various niches, from sustainability bloggers, to TikTokers and YouTubers. Check them all out below and stay tuned for more!

Meet sustainability blogger Anina Mutter

Meet TikToker Kirs8an

Meet YouTuber Nathistyle

Meet TikToker Almost.Cesca

Click here to find out more about our influencer marketing.

TikTok in Switzerland

According to Statista, TikTok’s user base in Switzerland amounts to around 1.7 million users in 2021 and is growing fast. The platform is known to be the place for brands to reach and connect to Gen Z audiences. We’ll cover best practices and what successful brands are doing.

What is TikTok?

Considering TikTok was the most popular and most downloaded app globally in 2020, and so far in 2021, you’ve probably already heard of it. TikTok was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016 and became available worldwide after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, on August 2, 2018. As the world’s most downloaded app in 2020, TikTok is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users. TikTok users are younger, with 60% being Gen Zers. About one third, 32.5%, of U.S.-based TikTokers are 10-19 years old.

TikTok has been strategic in recruiting and compensating content creators, knowing that they’re key to the success of any platform.

TikTok has recently created a $1 Billion Creator Fund. This money will be paid by TikTok directly to its creators in an effort to further solidify its relationships with influencers.

TikTok’s Swiss Audience

tiktok switzerland. Swiss Audience.

The Swiss “import” most of the content they consume. Swiss creators account for only 23% of all video views in Switzerland.

Why TikTok for Brands?

TikTok empowers brands to communicate with younger generations in a way that captures their attention: through creative short videos. TikTokers are highly engaged. 

TikTok for Brands

Some good news is that the high engagement rates include brands as well. Incoming engagement on brands’ social posts has increased during the pandemic, and TikTok users are increasingly active when interacting with brands online. The following average increases have occurred across all networks and industries:

  • 44 more engagements received per day
  • 7.3 more engagements per post per day

TikTok users are also 31% more likely to engage with brands than users of other platforms. 

TikTok‘s unique algorithm allows it to tailor content to the users‘ preferences in a detailed and accurate way. Among the 4 key reasons TikTok will grow and broaden its appeal in 2021, it’s the easiest platform algorithm for users to train to feed them content they love.  

Some excellent news is that not only are people present and active on TikTok, they’re not shying away from ads. According to Adweek,

Fortunately for advertisers, Gen Z doesn’t mind being advertised to—as long as campaigns demonstrate inherent entertainment and brand values they can get behind.

Not a day goes by that TikTok isn’t in the news. TikTok is also growing substantially, having grown 37.5% in the year 2020. The social media powerhouse is constantly releasing new features and functions.

What Can Brands Do on TikTok?

TikTok is the new battleground for the hearts and minds of consumers, now and for the future. While the platform may be particularly popular with a younger audience, brands of all kids are still striving to connect, including Porsche. 

TikTok is also the first digital entertainment platform to sponsor the UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship. “TikTok is looking to cement its position as the home for football fans to share their passion for the game, following a number of football clubs across the world signing up to the platform and creating content for its fans.”

For brands looking to connect and engage on TikTok, many of our social media tips apply, such as:

Keep it relevant

Make campaigns interactive

Prioritise the human

Display your values

How are Brands Getting Creative on TikTok?

For brands which are inherently visual, such as fashion or makeup, coming up with ideas for posts can be straightforward. But what would a bank post? Well, PostFinance, one of the largest banks in Switzerland, which belongs to Switzerland’s national post service, has found success on TikTok. They share a mix of funny home office videos and short videos showing their services. PostFinance has also shared many HR marketing videos, displaying their work environment, which should help position them as a sought-after employer. 

Ceylor Switzerland, the most popular condom company here in Switzerland, uses humor accompanied by current, pop music to inform the public of the importance of always practicing safe sex. This creative brand makes posts that are clear to non-German speakers that there’s no reason to avoid using these condoms because they might be too small.

How Can Brands Drive Conversions & Sales on TikTok?

In a recent study, about half of users said they discover new products through advertisements posted by a product or brand.

Brands Drive Conversions & Sales on TikTok

A large audience is great, and a large, engaged audience is even better. And best of all when the platform makes it easy for that audience to act and convert to customers within the platform <- That’s a formula to surpass other leading social media platforms.

The platform is investing heavily in its social commerce and features to help brands advertise. The TikTok Pixel, a small piece of code that you place on your website, helps you find new customers, optimize your campaigns and measure ad performance.

On 27 October, 2020, TikTok announced a global partnership with Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems, to help merchants create and run campaigns geared toward TikTokers. The partnership makes it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, be discovered, and optimize their marketing campaigns.

Some Surprising TikTok Trends

While TikTok’s largest demographic is Gen Z, older users are becoming increasingly active. TikTok shared new data on this growing trend. “Every day, millions of parents, teens, grandparents and in betweens come to TikTok to share snippets of their day-to-day life. Here’s what’s unique: often, the whole family participates together—even teens don’t shy away. It used to be a challenge getting everyone to sit still for a photo; now we see perfectly choreographed dance routines from the whole family, including grandma.”

TikTok also notes that parents are sharing “tips, tricks, and in-depth knowledge.”

How Can Brands Get Help? Kingfluencers’ Full-Service Approach

We are here for you – from strategy to execution and optimization, including: 

Kingfluencers makes great brand + influencer matches, drives successful campaigns such as Joung Gustav posting for Samsung Switzerland’s #Samsungs21 campaign, achieving 346K views. Mimoza Lekaj shared a fun dance video for Dosenbach, retailer of trendy shoes, accessories, and budget-friendly sportswear, reaching 54K views.

#Samsung21 Campaign

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Grow your Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Brand with Digital Product Sampling

We’re pleased to open this article with some good news for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands, along with ideas for leveraging digital product sampling to engage and delight consumers in the absence of traditional product sampling. 

Ongoing Opportunities for FMCG Brands to Grow

Since the start of the pandemic, half of consumers are cooking more, and one in seven are watching more television as a form of self-care and snacking while they do it. New or increased consumer behaviors, such as cleaning and cooking more often, have contributed to a 14% increase in household grocery spending. It’s always nice to read some good news, and for consumer-packaged goods, these expanded purchasing rates are expected to continue.

Altered Shopping Experiences

There are many ways in which our shopping experiences are no longer as enjoyable post-pandemic. One change we might not have thought about was the small joy of getting free samples. Our local grocery store gave out cookies most days, and I had to remind my children not to sprint past the produce to see if any were available.

But free samples, like handshakes, are largely a relic of the past. Consumers miss out on the fun, free food, and opportunity to sample something new before committing to a purchase. FMCG brands also miss out on the opportunity to share their new offerings with their target audience and win over new customers.

When Traditional Offline Sampling Is Not an Option

People most often buy new products or special editions after hearing or seeing something about them in a very direct way, or having the opportunity to try them. That is one of the main reasons why sampling is so effective in successfully promoting new FMCG products. (Yes, on impulse, I grabbed the Lady Gaga Chromatica Oreos. The shimmery, hot pink package was quite eye-catching!)

Consumer Goods. Lady Gaga Chromatica Oreos.

Unfortunately, FMCG brands have also lost many other promotional opportunities such as festivals and bars. In some cases, these promotional events were great fun, such as Red Bull’s sponsored and created events and publicity stunts. Even when traditional sampling is possible, there are still disadvantages, such as the expense, lack of wide reach, and inability to accurately target your audiences.

But FMCG brands need to keep innovating, both developing and sharing novelties. People expect new tastes, variations, and flavors on a regular basis. Fun new products, and even limited-edition offerings, drive impulse purchases and revenue growth. 

The Need to Find New Ways to Launch Products

Brands that fail to inspire curiosity, pique interest, and delight consumers will lose to those that do. But launching new products or product variations is not enough. There is a long way to go between launch and success. Without the right approach, there is a high likelihood that your product innovation could be a commercial failure, no matter how exceptional the product itself is and how much it meets consumer tastes. This puts companies in front of a challenge.

Like most brands, consumer packaged goods have to get creative and find new ways to connect with consumers

So, with these very important marketing tactics currently unavailable to brands, what can they do to close the gap? Spending a fortune on traditional advertising is one option, although the effectiveness of this method has been dropping, especially for advertising-averse Generation Z. There are better, more cost-effective options, however. 

Get Your Product Noticed with Digital Sampling

Digital product sampling involves shipping your (new or improved) product to selected influencers, providing them the opportunity to try it and share their experience with their community. This not only puts it on the radar of people whose opinions often guide others, but also leverage the influencers’ networks.

Digital product sampling is a cost effective, inexpensive way to promote new products. When you can’t go to bars and supermarkets, it’s a particularly important tactic to include in your marketing mix. Digital sampling enables you to get your product noticed without spending as much money as hiring Lady Gaga, along with the following benefits:

Influencers provide reach and scale up product awareness. One sample can generate awareness towards thousands of consumers, both online and offline through word of mouth.

Influencers are trusted by their communities. Their product endorsements make people view the product favorably and can generate direct sales.

You can target audiences more precisely as well as reach communities that are otherwise hard or even impossible to reach.

 Influencer-based sampling campaigns are not limited to a narrow scope of physical locations and lack expensive operations and set up costs.

When trustworthy influencers like and promote your product, they can inspire and engage others to try it too. According to an FMCG study by Bazaarvoice, 57% of consumers say they bought certain products only because they first heard about them on social media.

6 Tips for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods to Get Digital Product Sampling Right 

Digital product sampling is effective, but not necessarily simple. The most common challenges to a successful product sampling campaign are:

1

Influencers

2

Briefing

3

Information

4

Logistics

5

Follow-up

6

Tracking

  1. Finding the right influencers
  2. Creating a great and inspiring briefing 
  3. Finding the influencers‘ information to send the products
  4. Logistics (shipping out products, keeping track, etc.)
  5. Follow up with influencers to maximise uptake (yes it helps to have a relationship with them already)
  6. Tracking results

It takes a coordinated effort to overcome those challenges and succeed. Kingfluencers has written more on selecting the right influencers to connect with your target market. Consider micro-influencers, who may have a smaller quantity of followers, but a more engaged community. You can also achieve a good reach by leveraging a higher quantity of micro-influencers in your budget, and zooming in on your target audiences, delivering an excellent cost-benefit ratio.

Kingfluencers’ Hassle-Free Digital Product Sampling Service

You can engage Kingfluencers to manage your campaign so you can stay focused on creating and marketing products that delight your customers. Our full-service approach makes the entire process effortless for your organization, while assuring the best results.

Kingfluencers has an extensive network of influencers, empowering us to help find perfect matches for your brand. Based on our ongoing relationships, influencers are interested in hearing our proposals for new opportunities. Next, we can work with your team to define the sampling package content, create influencer communications, and manage logistics. Kingfluencers also responses to Qs from influencers and presents you with reports on campaign outcomes.

Kingfluencers can get your campaign up and running in a matter of days. Contact us to see if we can help give your brand a quick boost, or check out our Digital Sampling page for more info on the service.

Level Up

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing