Usually, we use this blog to showcase our best articles, interesting campaigns and cool collaborations. But today we have some good news to announce ourselves: As of the 1st of September 2021, the company will be newly led by a woman and a man. Anja Lapčević, who has been with Kingfluencers for more than a year as Chief Influence Officer, will share the role of Co-CEO with Yoeri Callebaut who started as a Chief Growth and Marketing Officer in July 2020.
Belgian Yoeri Callebaut has worked in several countries around the world where he has been a strategist and marketer for over 14 years. He has worked for various corporations and start-ups with a focus on branding and digital transformation.The new Co-Managing Director Anja Lapčević comes from the former Yugoslavia and started her career in the Swiss banking world. With her experience as a social media manager and marketing consultant, she founded the Conscious Influence Hub, which promotes respect, tolerance and empathy in social media. At Kingfluencers, Lapčević will be responsible for Operations, HR and Creativity as well as for all influencers. Callebaut will be responsible for financial planning, marketing, clients and technology.
Our goal as a team is to get the most out of social media and to do it with heart, real people and creativity
Yoeri Callebaut – Co-CEO & Chief Growth and Marketing Officer
Kingfluencers’ successful strategic direction is joined by new faces
The previous CEO, Benny Schiegg, has decided to start new projects abroad together with his wife. We would like to thank Benny for his commitment as the CEO and wish him a lot of joy and success in the new phase of his life.
The new strategic direction initiated last year towards a creative agency of digital storytelling with the core competencies of social media and influencer marketing was successfully implemented with the management team Schiegg, Lapčević and Callebaut. While the industry grew by 30 percent in H1 2021 compared to the previous year, Kingfluencers was able to increase by almost 70 percent – in terms of revenue.
With Benny’s departure, the company will be additionally strengthened with concentrated female power in the management as of September. Myriam Djela, who was formerly with Ipsos, will take on the role of Head of Consulting, and former Jung von Matt Project Manager Andrea Müller will be the new Head of Campaigning. The proportion of women at Kingfluencers thus rises to over 65 percent!
We pride ourselves on truly embracing diversity and continuing to drive one of the most diverse agencies in Switzerland
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 is our Kingfluencers Co-Founder, Fabian Plüss 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.
Anja Lapčević, Kingfluencers’ Chief Influence Officer, has a vision to encourage conscious behavior in influencer marketing. Working with Barbara Fry, Anja recently co-founded Conscious Influence Hub (CIH), a non-profit NGO. Kingfluencers’ Content Contributor Megan Bozman spoke with Anja about the new organization and conscious influence in general.
The Growing Importance of Social Media as communication medium
Anja explains her vision,
We need to be aware of the relevance of social media — both professionally and privately. What started as a fun and exciting platform is now one of the most relevant communication channels for not only individuals, but also companies and politicians.
As social media grows in importance, so do the dangers that come along with it and the responsibility we all share towards our communities and society as a whole because the information or content we share can have real consequences, including people‘s decisions and mental wellbeing.
I realized that over the past few years, and especially 2020, social media has become an important and serious medium, especially for younger generations. It’s not just about posting selfies and showing your world how you want it to be perceived. Many of the topics frequently discussed are very serious, such as politics, mental health, and racism. It is more crucial than ever to be aware of the impact and consequences of our words and actions.
Responsibilities of Influencers
As soon as you’re active on social media you have a degree of responsibility, and as your community of followers grows — which can be an important goal for some people — , that responsibility becomes even more important. It might not seem as such, but at any moment you’re talking to your community as a role model, especially as an influencer. When people start turning to you for inspiration or advice this is even more the case. Every person then has the choice to make on how you want to use that influence and which example you want to set. One choice can be to use it for good. One recent example of using influence to help others is the Family of 5. The Travel Blog recently offered support to help promote the many small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Unfortunately, there are many issues where people and companies are left without guidance, such as the protection of children’s privacy, and dealing with bullying and disinformation. The lack of guidelines and standards for how people should use social media prompted Anja and Barbara to build a nonprofit organization.
Building an Influencer Code of Conduct
As the first influencer marketing agency in Switzerland, Kingfluencers recognized this issue and reacted by establishing the first code of conduct in summer 2020. Working with this new association, we will take additional steps and create a new Code of Conduct that includes best-practice guidelines and examples, posted on the Conscious Influence Hub.
Our goal is for the organization to function like a think tank, a place where you can ask questions and hopefully get solutions to guide conscious behavior on social media and online in general.
Therefore, it’s very important to have the involvement of both influencers and experts in various fields. Our advisory board includes university professors, as well as people from NGOs and for-profit companies. I find the connection between the academic/ theoretical and practical worlds is often missing, and it’s very important to have the input of both. We’re working together to establish a strong foundation with the best of both worlds.
Affecting Not Just Jobs, But Lives & Society
Anja pointed out that the topic doesn’t just affect our jobs, but our entire lives, our society, and our children.
Becoming a mom was an extra motivation for me. In a few years, my child will face these problems, so I want to be part of the solution and luckily organizations like Kingfluencers and our founding members and advisors make that possible ? We can’t close our eyes; we have to be proactive looking for solutions. The association will hopefully be a part of a better future.
CIH’s goals include building an online tutorial and fostering a community with many influencers. After reviewing the tutorial and Code of Conduct, anyone who shares these values can join for free and connect with other community members. CIH will also participate on Instagram and LinkedIn, potentially adding other channels depending on the rate of growth.
Selecting Advisors & Influencers
When asked how advisors were selected, Anja explained that CIH sought reliable people who could serve as role-models. Commitment and desire to enact change were very important.
We would talk first, to hear if they share the same values and if they want to work together. Advisors are not paid. We need people who are motivated to work for a nonprofit. Our slogan is, ‘We Share the Responsibility.’ All of us have a responsibility in life, but especially on social media.
Additionally, it wasn’t important how many followers you have on social media. We wanted to work with new faces, rather than limiting ourselves to a few big stars. Many people are influencers because they influence people with messages and content. I also wanted to work with influencers who work on a variety of channels, addressing different topics and generations. The result is a diverse mix of people including influencers in sustainability, LGBTQ lifestyle, and food, a YouTube trendsetter, and someone from French-speaking Switzerland, so we represent all of Switzerland.
Co-founders Anja and Barbara also sought diversity in selecting advisory board members. The board includes representatives from a corporation, an NGO, and a university, along with a lawyer, an author of a book on ethics, and an influencer dedicated to fighting racism in Switzerland.
Anja stated, “I’m super proud of the association because I think we’re a colorful mix of people. I was so surprised to encounter so many people who are also very passionate about it. Although they’re busy people, I didn’t have to convince them, they were super committed.”
The Importance of Handling Mistakes
When asked about the possibility of conflicts arising among members, Anja replied,
I’m very much looking forward to having more people join and contribute to the discussions. Of course, you always have that risk of conflict. People aren’t like machines; you can’t program them. They make mistakes, and one of the most important topics in the Code of Conduct is handling mistakes.
It’s important to learn from each other how we handle mistakes. People don’t have to be perfect. Social media is changing all the time, we have to also develop guidelines and work on ourselves. We all have emotions and lives with real stories, and that’s the beautiful side of it.
A united force for positive change
Of course, it is also a prime goal of the Hub to raise awareness for a variety of themes and use our influencer network as a powerful force for positive change, not just by setting the example but also by pro-actively investing together and pushing good causes to the top of the agenda and increase people‘s awareness and participation in building a better society together. Over time we will set up campaigns aimed at tackling key issues like bullying and using the voices and platform of our members to inspire everyone to do better, turning social media more into a beacon of light where we can unite, learn and improve together.
Brand Indicator Switzerland — the first brand survey to include influencers
The “Brand Indicator Switzerland” (BIS), which was developed together with the renowned advertiser Frank Bodin, the insight platform deeptrue, and the social influence agency Kingfluencers, contains two innovations: Most brand studies focus on parameters such as trust or image. In comparison, the recently published BIS measures two brand factors that are crucial to the actual success of a brand, namely relevance and emotionality.
While most brand studies depict the present, the “Brand Indicator Switzerland” also reveals an outlook into the future. This is done by comparing the opinion of the entire population with the view of influencers. Because influencers are ahead of their time and constantly impact their followers, the opinion of these creators is a good indicator to predict the future success or failure of brands or even industries.
The digital influencers are reliable trend barometers because, thanks to their forward-looking nature and pronounced brand sensitivity, they use the social media on a daily basis to make themselves increasingly heard among the “normal” population. Influencers are trend-conscious and very close to brands due to their jobs. They often also reflect a somewhat younger and more future-oriented perspective. The 280 interviewed social media experts were interviewed anonymously for the BIS so that they could act really independently for the study.
The future will be more digital
Swiss people love traditional Swiss brands: Apart from top-ranked WhatsApp, YouTube and Google, the Swiss brands Migros, Coop, Lindt, Toblerone, Zweifel, Ricola, Ovomaltine, Emmi and Rivella are all in the top 16. However, the future is likely to look different; more and more digital brands will push their way into the top positions and replace traditional stars of today. The speed with which new brands such as Netflix or Spotify are conquering the world and thus Switzerland is striking. Frank Bodin comments: “If you analyze the age segments, you can see that Swiss society is currently experiencing a “digital divide” among the 30 year olds; this young population will increasingly take on leadership roles in the coming years and thus fundamentally change the brand landscape.
Recommended actions for modern marketing
The aim of the “Brand Indicator Switzerland” is not so much to provide with a brand ranking but to offer brand managers a tool that helps them make the right decisions: Concrete recommendations for action in marketing and communication can be derived from the results of the comprehensive study. A total of 240 consumer brands from all sectors were integrated into the study and evaluated. The BIS shows which brands are relevant and popular among influencers and which brands will therefore tend to perform better or worse in the future.
Study reveals further important findings
Based on the opinions of both the interviewed consumers and the influencers, the study uncovers a number of other valuable insights. For example, the BIS provides indications that some brands and industries are already undergoing change. The BIS results also show how strongly brands are able to differentiate themselves and position themselves at the top or rather at the bottom of the league.
With the help of the “Brand Indicator Switzerland”, brand managers are now able to react immediately. For example, with better communication, which brings out the emotionality of a brand and thus improves the public image of the brand.
Example telecommunications industry
The BIS not only shows how the brands are developing individually but also points out interesting industry dynamics and measures the degree to which the industry players differentiate themselves from one another. One example is the telecom industry. There, Swisscom and Sunrise are clearly ahead of the pack. The market position of both UPC and Salt is less impressive, despite all efforts. In the eyes of the general population and influencers, the Wingo and Yallo, which appeal to a younger target audience, perform rather poorly. Without fundamental efforts on the part of those responsible for the brands, it is possible that these brands may find it difficult in the future in terms of their competitive position or market share.
The current BIS Power Brands among the population
The future BIS Power brands among Influencers
The current top 100 BIS Power Brands
Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers