We have noticed some restrictions, but TikTok still remains the place to connect. But what is really going on behind the hotly debated #TikTokBan?
Currently, a “TikTok Ban” is on everyone’s lips, especially in the US. Montana recently became the first US state to talk about banning TikTok on personal devices. TikTok is suing Montana, arguing the ban violates the Constitution by limiting the company’s right to host and distribute user-created content. TikTok is asking the court for an injunction to block the ban, which, if granted, would allow the app to conduct business as usual in the state while the courts sort out the relevant issues. Additionally, five TikTok creators filed their own lawsuit against the state, arguing that the Montana ban violates the First Amendment.
Like the TikTok company itself, Kingfluencers is closely monitoring current events. While a ban is less likely to occur here in the DACH region, we’re exploring what it would mean.
Why is TikTok Being Banned?
The concerns driving TikTok bans are:
Accessibility of dangerous content
Personal data being transferred out of the EU
The Chinese government could access sensitive user data, like location info
China could use it to spread misinfo
In January, EU Commissioner for International Market Thierry Breton expressed concerns about the easy accessibility of dangerous content on TikTok, as well as journalists being spied on, and personal data being transferred outside Europe. Breton spoke with TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew and emphasized the need to comply with EU legislation including privacy laws and the new EU Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA, which will apply to major platforms on 1 September, is a set of sweeping rules that will require platforms to reduce harmful online content and combat online risks. “We will not hesitate to adopt the full scope of sanctions to protect our citizens if audits do not show full compliance,” Breton said.
Since TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, governments are concerned that may grant the Chinese government access to sensitive user data, like location information. The New York Times writes that these concerns are due to laws that allow the Chinese government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens for intelligence-gathering operations. TikTok has long denied these allegations. Governments are also worried that China could use TikTok’s content recommendations to spread misinformation. Chinese ownership seems to be the main issue, according to the New York Times. TikTok said recently that the Biden administration wants its Chinese ownership to sell the app or face a possible ban.
Where is TikTok Banned?
Numerous government bodies have recently banned the app from official devices, including the US federal government, Canada, the executive arm of the European Union, Australia, and the Parliaments of Britain and New Zealand. Again, these bans apply only to official government devices and have no impact on what private citizens choose to use on their own mobile devices.
India banned TikTok outright in June 2020, along with 58 other Chinese apps, to curb the perceived spread of Chinese influence in the country.
In late February, the Swiss Federal Chancellery told RSI that there are currently no plans to ban TikTok in Switzerland. The federal administration could ban the use of individual apps at any time, but at the moment such a ban is not intended for TikTok. Mauro Tuena, SVP national councilor and head of the security commission stated that the security of user data should always be the top priority, although a nationwide ban would go too far. Some elected officials believe a TikTok ban should be discussed if the platform repeatedly failed in protecting user data.
TikTok now has more than 150 million monthly active users in the US. With a total population of 332 million, that’s approaching half! Clearly, the app is popular with Americans, making a ban highly unpopular.
How is TikTok Responding?
If EU governments were to begin debating a ban, we would expect TikTok to adjust guidelines voluntarily in order to remedy the concerns and allay the need for a ban.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has fired four employees who illegally accessed the personal data of two journalists on the platform. The company has stated that it takes data security “incredibly seriously”. Regarding the EU ban on TikTok on official devices, a TikTok representative said: “We are disappointed with this decision, which we believe is wrong and based on fundamental misunderstandings. We have contacted the Commission to set the record straight and explain how we protect the data of the 125 million people in the EU who use TikTok every month.”
I do not believe that TikTok will be banned in Europe. European governments may apply pressure and they will come to an agreement in the end. Should TikTok be banned, there would be some eager replacements on the market very fast. While that would be exciting to see, I don’t think it will come to that point.
Brands value access to their target audiences as well as high engagement, and TikTok influencers deliver both. TikTok now has the highest engagement rates of any social media platform, 5.69% per post, compared to Instagram’s 0.47%. A TikTok ban would mean creators would lose the audiences and engagement they’ve spent time building.
Additionally, TikTok emphasizes discovery, enabling posts from users with a small following to go viral. This makes the platform an excellent venue for new creators to achieve success. A TikTok ban would of course be detrimental for creators and brands alike, although other platforms, such as Meta, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, could benefit as audiences shift.
How Can Brands & Influencers Mitigate Damage in this Unlikely Event?
There are a few things creators can do to mitigate the negative impact.
Diversify Your Online Presence
Work to build an audience on other social media platforms. You can upload your videos to YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat’s Spotlight while continuing to make TikToks.
The content creator and food blogger Jey Cis (@cookingwithjey) also follows this strategy: “I generally try to spread myself across several platforms and have now also started a blog. Because in these fast-moving times, you never know what’s coming next. You should always have a plan B at the start or diversify.”
Develop Various Income Streams
You can monetize your audience by selling physical and digital products or services such as Cameo.
Again, the ban seems very unlikely, but these steps can benefit creators in any case. Brands can also benefit by partnering with influencers who have engaged audiences on multiple platforms.
If it [the TikTok ban] should happen, then a change is also a new chance to develop and grow. But of course, it would affect and worry me, because a lot of love and hard work was invested to create such an engaging account and community. Even if many out there still think that I “only make videos”.
TikTok is still THE place for brands to reach and connect with Gen Z and, but also older generations. Working with dozens of leading TikTok-centric content creators, our expert team delivers and implements high-performing TikTok ad strategies or influencer campaigns. Developing and implementing a successful TikTok strategy will generate multiple tangible benefits, today and in the future.
While there are distinctions between the B2B and B2C decision-making processes, digital influence remains a powerful tool for both. Influencers can bring your brand’s values and core messages to life and create stronger connections with your audience, moving your brand from supplier to ‘friend.’
B2B Versus B2C Influencer Marketing
Although the core principles of influencer marketing are almost the same for B2C and B2B, there are some differences that warrant a distinct B2B approach.
B2B sales processes are often more complex and require more information on both sides
The sales funnel consists of multiple, distinguished stages
Numerous people are typically involved in the decision-making process
Building a trusting relationship with the vendor’s representative is much more important
1. B2B Influencer Marketing is Impactful for Business and Will Move the Needle
B2B influencers deliver credibility, focus, and purpose. Multiplying these key attributes delivers real impact for your business, making it an important addition to your toolkit.
Credibility: B2B content creators and thought leaders have recognized expertise in their field. Their opinions are highly valued by their peers.
Relevance: When a professional decides to follow a B2B influencer, there is usually a very high interest in that influencer’s content and opinions, so followers are attentive (often higher than B2C).
Focus: Their content is often very focused on a specific topic, with the aim of providing guidance to fellow professionals.
Reach: B2B influencers can connect with your target audience, particularly at crucial times when they’re actively seeking info about the solutions you offer.
Understanding the important role of content creators, the Amazon Web Services Heroes Program “recognizes a vibrant, worldwide group of AWS experts whose enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing has a real impact within the community.” As the Marketing Director at a serverless security startup, Kingfluencers’ writer Megan Bozman reached out to several Heroes, including Yan Cui and Forrest Brazeal, who participated in our podcast.
Named a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2020 and 2022, Zurich-based Selma Kuyas also works as a resume coach and LinkedIn learning instructor. Also based in Zurich, Bertrand Blancheton, currently works as Head of Marketing at Braavos Crypto Asset Management, and writes about the metaverse, Web 3.0, crypto, decentralized finance (DeFi), and NFTs, including participating in LinkedIn Audio.
B2B brand ambassadors bring a lot to the table, including a unique point of view that can resonate strongly with your target audience. Original thought leadership makes your brand more visible and more desirable, positively impacting your target customers’ decision-making process.
94% of B2B marketers who’ve tried influencer marketing feel it’s highly effective. Swiss B2B marketers indicate that B2B IM is higher on the agenda for 2023 than webinars (55%).
2. B2B Influencer Marketing Audiences are Highly Engaged
Marketers need to not only reach their target audience but engage so their messages are received and understood.
Professionals decide to follow a B2B influencer due to an interest in that person’s opinions, making followers very attentive. This increases the impact of B2B IM content, making it particularly effective. This is especially the case when the thought leader’s content is sought after as part of the research phase in a decision-making process. You can overcome even more difficulties by working with an agency. 9 out of 10 B2B companies prefer to let an agency manage their B2B IM efforts with a main focus being on content creation (55%).
3. B2B Influencer Marketing Integrates Very Well With Your Existing Marketing Initiatives
62% of Swiss B2B marketers say IM is high on the agenda for coming years, higher than webinars for example. 57% of marketers plan to fully integrate influencer relations into their activities by 2023.
B2B influencers are also relatively more likely to have in-person contact with their communities by speaking at conferences, trade shows, and local business and networking events. Their authentic professional credibility can help provide answers to your audience’s pain points and boost consideration and conversion.
B2B IM can even result in synergies, boosting other marketing initiatives such as SEO. You can repurpose content you’ve already created with various storytellers to amplify outcomes. For example, the content generated by influencers from IM campaignscan provide additional value with secondary or tertiary goals, such as increasing awareness.
IM content can enrich traditional content across various channels, such as owned communities or other advertising platforms such as webinars. Repurposing existing content enables you to achieve your goals while also saving money. 74% of B2B marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand. Kingfluencers can help you tie it all together with a holistic approach.
4. B2B Influencer Marketing Can Generate Competitive Advantages
B2B IM may be on your agenda as a hypothetical future possibility, but now is a great time to start. As the leading full-service social influence agency in Switzerland, Kingfluencers has established the tools, processes, and resources to do B2B IM efficiently.
Partnering with influencers is a marketing tactic many of your competitors may not be leveraging yet. Getting started now can generate unique competitive advantages for early movers. Most B2B organizations (85% of respondents to a study with TopRank Marketing) are planning influencer marketing campaigns. Additionally, the professionals, platforms, tools, and processes for IM are already well-established, lowering barriers to entry for B2B brands. B2B brands should capitalize on this opportunity and take a page from the well-established B2C playbooks in order to achieve similar successes.
Kingfluencers Delivers a Hassle-Free, Full-Service Approach
Our services guide B2B IM in a synchronized way, from strategy to ongoing community management. We help you develop your true potential social influence, building on every element that defines the true impact of your brand and message. Contact us and we’ll take a holistic approach to develop your brand voice and give that voice a positive impact, generating digital influence that goes beyond (B2B) influencer marketing.
More than 85% of the Swiss population can be reached on social media and 40% follow influencers. Can they be influenced to make purchases through these channels? Our study on where and how Swiss consumers find inspiration and information about products and brands today, with an added focus on influencer marketing and the luxury industry, says yes.
Influencer and advocacy marketing can nowadays be identified as Influence Marketing producing the pinnacle of purchase decision drivers, electronic Word of Mouth or eWOM. eWOM is impacting consumers through recommendations that feel as relevant as those of a friend or an expert. It’s therefore no surprise that, according to our data, every third inspiration via a social media channel or influencer leads to a purchase in Switzerland.
We address the ongoing debate about authenticity and marketing power of influencers – do consumers trust them? Can they really sell products? We found that in the lifestyle and luxury sector, 78% of Swiss consumers who noticed paid influencer ads were inspired by them, and 40% stated they’ve made a purchase because of them. In other words, influencer marketing is a powerful form of marketing in Switzerland where authenticity and commercial opportunity co-exist.
In our Consumer Study Report about “The Power of Digital Influence”, you will find profound insights into online channels, platforms, and content creators that inspire Swiss consumers and act as key decision-making levers in the purchasing process.
If you have missed our exclusive summary of the study in our public webinar with marketing.ch, where key results and insights have been presented by our CEO Yoeri Callebaut and Chief Strategy & Digital Influence Officer Eric Amstein, you can find the full recording here.
Free Consumer Study Report – The Power of Digital Influence: What inspires and influences Swiss consumers
What trends are we now seeing within this new, broad scope of retail?
Merging the Point of Inspiration with the Point of Purchase
With the inclusion of social commerce and even AR, brands aren’t selling to distinct, separate audiences with isolated tactics. New retail involves connecting with your audience in innovative ways and merging the point of inspiration with the point of purchase.
The third trend includes a blurring and blending of physical and virtual worlds. “It is certainly true that some consumers who shopped online in 2020 and 2021 are likely to return to brick-and-mortar stores, and that the store of tomorrow will look very different… And what may be surprising is that people of all income levels and generations are interested in shopping for real-life products in virtual worlds.”
39% of consumers have had a consultation in a virtual or augmented reality environment on topics from health and wellness to DIY projects. In agreement with our own guidance, Accenture advises, “The metaverse has arrived, and the best thing that retailers can do today is starting to experiment.”
Deloitte also emphasized the need for cohesion. “Social commerce trends are not only reshaping consumer shopping experiences, but unlocking new opportunities for platforms, brands, and creators. Social commerce success depends on collaboration and integration of key players in the ecosystem.”
Deloitte provides social commerce services that solve operational and technical challenges, including architecting technology stacks to integrate brand and retailer e-commerce systems with platform systems.
Influencer Marketing Success Case
Cohesive integration of marketing campaigns between brands and influencers is equally important.
Kingfluencers recently executed a campaign in which influencers discussed how to start your day successfully with SUPER SHOTS by hohes C, while taking their communities along for the day. The communities showed high qualitative interest with an engagement rate of over 5%, and the influencers received many questions on where to buy the SUPER SHOTS. In addition to indicating high trust in the brand and the creators, this reveals how social campaigns can drive purchases from brick-and-mortar stores.
Fusing Digital & Physical Experiences
While we may think of ecommerce and retail stores as distinct modes of shopping, Deloitte’s 2022 Retail Industry Outlook describes the accelerating fusion of digital and physical experiences. “Over the next five years, leaders are buying into the prospects of digitization of the physical world, such as voice commerce, staff-free cashier-less stores, and the selling of digital goods.”
Burberry opened a shoppable digital version of one of its flagship stores. Customers can navigate themselves around the virtual store and purchase items by selecting digital icons.
Experiential Retail and Flagship Stores
To attract new customers and build loyalty, retailers are developing immersive shopping experiences and building innovative flagship stores. Athletic apparel brand On’s first-ever flagship store, On Labs, is situated beneath its Zurich-based headquarters and features a foot scanner that details your shoe size to within 1.25mm of perfection. Kingfluencers’ team was part of the flagship store launch, sharing the good vibes, sporty challenges, and benefits of joining the club for running lovers with content creators like HaVy Nguyen. The campaign achieved over 1.6M impressions and a 3.11% engagement rate.
Zurich is also home to the Freitag tower, made from used freight containers. The flagship store sells recycled, one-of-a-kind products, such as bags, smartphone cases, and wallets. Additionally, consumers can personalize their bags by becoming involved in the production process at the Freitag Sweat-Yourself-Shop.
Social Commerce on Instagram
Social commerce usually takes place on the move, i.e. via smartphone or tablet, as social media offers are preferably used via mobile devices. Brands can excel by building a social media strategy optimized to cash in on the movement and avoid losing out to competitors.
Instagram enables you to use real-time and pre-made content to create an interactive, visual shopping experience that deepens connections with your community. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. Product Tags let you highlight items from your catalog directly in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more.
As part of our Instagram marketing services, Kingfluencers can help make your products easy to discover on Instagram. Earlier this year, Mondelez launched limited edition Oreos in collaboration with Warner Bros and the brand-new Batman movie. Kingfluencers ran a campaign in which influencers showed how biting the new cookies in a creative way can lead you from a serious world into a playful one.
Some retail trends originally expanded in response to COVID-19, such as self-checkout, buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), and contactless payment. These technology-driven experiences remain popular for convenience and their ability to reduce staff, (plus the preference of antisocial shoppers!).
Retailers must also consider macroeconomic trends, including inflation. On July 26, 2022, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrote, “Several shocks have hit a world economy already weakened by the pandemic: higher-than-expected inflation worldwide – especially in the United States and major European economies – triggering tighter financial conditions.” Of course, inflation can lead to consumers buying fewer items and being more price-conscious about the items they do purchase. While many consumers worldwide are worried, CH inflation is expected to fall in the new year and Switzerland should avoid a recession.
Sustainability is Sought After
A 2022 report shows that two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for sustainable products, and nearly three-quarters value product sustainability over brand name. Interestingly, retailers are largely unaware of the strength and prevalence of these preferences, creating a greenfield for savvy retailers.
Buying and selling secondhand products, referred to as “recommerce” is also on the rise, enabled by platforms such as Poshmark. In addition to helping buyers save money, it’s a sustainable practice. Some great options in Switzerland include Depop and Secondhandkiste for clothes. Tutti, Ricardo, and Brocki.ch are popular Swiss sites that offer a variety of items.
Kingfluencers also had the pleasure of running a campaign for Ricardo focused on communicating the brand’s USPs through interactive campaigns. Influencers were given various challenges when putting together hiking gear on Ricardo. The total engagement rate was 5.1%.To further encourage sustainability and low-waste products, Brocki.ch also worked with Kingfluencers on a campaign to promote their thrift stores all over Switzerland. Impressions were 41% higher than forecasted, and the total engagement rate was 5.0%.
What’s Emerging and What Should Brands Be Doing About it?
Last year, we published, “13 Social Media & Influencer Marketing Trends to Look For Now,” many of which are still relevant for 2023. So, what new trends are emerging now, and what’s changing? Most importantly, what should brands be doing about it?
1. Social Media is More Deeply Intertwined with Life, as People Share Everything
While people have long used social media to share life’s fun (and sometimes not so fun) moments, posts were often carefully curated and edited.
Social media is now becoming increasingly entrenched in people’s lives, as people share everything in the moment, on the go. Users are sharing every second via video on TikTok, SnapChat, and BeReal in ways that are less pre-planned and polished than typically seen on Instagram. On the popular Netflix show “Emily in Paris,” the protagonist livestreams her visits to popular tourist destinations – free of edits. The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau posted where to find the main locations in the series to help people see the city through Emily’s eyes.
For Pro Juventute, we organized a campaign against cybermobbing in which three TikTokers, including Kris G, authentically shared their experiences with cyberbullying along with tips on how to deal with offensive comments and messages.
The Takeaway: Create brand content and select influencers who embrace this instant authenticity people crave.
2. Moving Even More Toward Everything Video
In our 2022 guide, we noted that video is increasing in relevance and importance, leaving other formats less likely to be noticed. As platforms adapt, they’re converging on video, specifically on-the-go storytelling. Sprout Social predicts that businesses will put more money behind video production.
PPCexpo states the video is, “The single most important content marketing strategy today.” Both video and authenticity continue to grow in importance. Social Media management platform Later notes video content is already shifting towards casual, off-the-cuff storytelling. “Even video editing is becoming more about telling a story, like using multiple apps to create clever edits.”
The Takeaway: Allocate sufficient budget to video production and select influencers with proven ability to create engaging videos. Also consider innovative use of your influencer video content with Kingfluencers “Influencer TV Spot,” a new exclusive advertising format that we launched last year, to take storytelling to a whole new level.
3. Performance Marketing Grows in Importance, as Brands Focus on KPIs
Many brands are still struggling to figure out how to monetize their social media presence. Brands want to ensure their initiatives, including IM campaigns, pay off, but tracking KPIs can be challenging.
As 2023 progresses, IM will be more tuned into sales and focused on conversion. Kingfluencers’ Head of Creative Strategy, Larisa Topalo, stated, “Conversion will begin to overtake awareness as the key goal.”
Eric Amstein, Kingfluencers’ Chief Strategy & Digital Influence Officer, stated, “Brands need to use every digital communication channel more and more strategically. Getting ahead of the narrative across all stakeholder interaction will be crucial to stay relevant and commercially successful. These investments will drive stronger results in digital brand building, digital reputation, positive eWOM, driving better performance of marketing activities and ultimately conversion rates.”
Fohr, influencer marketing agency and platform provider, also predicted, “Brands this year will be highly focused on ways to track conversion and their return on ad spend (ROAS).” In addition to a prioritization on conversion, Fohr predicts a rise in multi-touch attribution models that follow a longer customer journey.
The Takeaway: Allocate some of your campaign budgets to performance marketing (boosting organic content to reach even higher KPIs). Establish specific campaign goals and closely monitor quantitative KPIs, in addition to nuanced measurement with qualitative analysis. Consider multi-touch attribution models and use every channel more strategically.
4. IM Content Gains More Ground
According to a study from eMarketer, “Influencer marketing spend is projected to grow 23.4% in 2023 and 15.9% in 2024.” But we don’t expect IM expenditures to be restricted to traditional campaigns.
Instead, IM content will continue to spill over into other domains and serve as the basis for performance marketing campaigns. Brands will use the power of that content to convey their value, get attention, and further capitalize on their IM investments.
Larisa said, “We’ll see more influencers, more content, more platform changes. Integration of influencers into traditional marketing activities will continue, for example PR events, capsule launches, product co-creation, TV advertising. There is a lot of room for creativity, and we’ll see even more unusual collaborations, viral campaigns, and clever integrations.”
Influencer marketing will also continue to expand beyond consumer products, impacting B2B purchase decisions and integrating the influence of corporate leaders. We expect B2B influencer marketing to take off, but it needs the requisite tools and processes. It can be time-consuming and difficult to find B2B influencers, making the support of agencies that much more vital. (And yes, Kingfluencers is already part of this take off!)
The Takeaway: Allocate funds for IM as an integral part of your marketing efforts. Yoeri Callebaut, Kingfluencers CEO, advises, “Take the time needed to strategize, plan, and allocate budgets. IM can’t be an afterthought at which you throw leftover budget. It’s important for brands to have a diversified and smart approach to social media and constantly reinvent how they communicate, spending more time on content to stand out. The storytelling train is moving fast. You need to get on now and come with brand stories, characters, and room for influencers to be creative.”
5. Social Media Platforms & Creators Continue to Innovate… Beyond TikTok
Platforms have long been accused of copying one another, which we expect to continue. However, some innovative channels are still emerging and growing as they target unique niches, such as Twitch.
Larisa expects IM campaigns to become more creative, complicated, and elaborate. GoPro demonstrated their trust in the unbridled creativity of influencers at the recent GoPro Creator Summit. The brand invited 42 creators to a four-day, all expenses-paid jaunt to Interlaken, Switzerland, an experience one summed up, “A brand threw me out of a plane.” GoPro didn’t give creators any specific assignments or content mandates.
In collaboration with Street Parade Zurich, we created an exclusive Kingfluencers VIP Stage and shared the experience with over 250 influencers. Under the hashtag #KingfluencersXStreetparade, the influencers shared the unforgettable day live with their communities. The creators published a total of 71 posts on Instagram and TikTok, achieving over 1.8 M impressions.
The Takeaway: While it’s important to stay informed of the latest platform innovations, brands must move toward a community-centric approach. Focus on your target community and build an approach that includes which platforms to use to reach them. Think beyond Meta (Instagram) and TikTok and include other platforms like Twitch (especially for men), Pinterest (especially for women), and YouTube. Kingfluencers will continue to help you stay informed with our new upcoming study coming out mid-March with insights into digital influence on Swiss consumer behaviors like inspiration searches, purchase decision-making, and platform usage.
6. TikTok Remains a Driver, as Platforms Strive to be More Entertaining and Engaging
Fohr thinks, “TikTok will stay as a cultural engine, as the platform matures, creators could bring their communities elsewhere.” The agency and platform provider has seen reports of slower follower growth and fewer views on creator content, which means new opportunities for YouTubers, bloggers, newsletters, or live streaming.
TikTok has been banned in government agencies due to cybersecurity risks in several US states. Fear of TikTok bans persist, but restrictions are likely to remain limited to government agencies or individual corporations.
“In my opinion, other platforms now see the entertainment approach is working, and are launching more features to make the platform both more entertaining and more engaging. Impacted by TikTok’s success, platforms are striving to create community feelings and engagement, stimulating interactions with features such as chat, video calls, groups, and audio rooms. These are big factors that make people stick to the platform, contributing to the success of social media,” said Yoeri.
“Sparking connections between people over what they find,” is among Instagram’s priorities in 2023, alongside inspiring creativity, and discovering new things.
The Takeaway: TikTok remains a vital channel to connect with consumers, and don’t disregard the opportunities for engagement elsewhere. Entertaining content is great, but people stay when they can connect and interact in a community.
7. Focus on User Generated Content (UGC)
Nearly 80% of consumers surveyed say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions. Recognizing this value, brands are making increasing efforts to capture a greater variety of voices, such as consumers and employees. Through consumer advocacy efforts, they’re working to capture UGC and use it wisely, building a squad of voices to deliver a broad range of support.
Salesforce is one very impressive success case. The brand revamped their social ambassador program and turned 25,000 employees into social brand ambassadors in 21 months by leveraging Haiilo.
The Takeaway: Make plans to capture and leverage UGC. Don’t leave it to chance. Give your consumers creative freedom to showcase how your product can solve a key pain point of your community. The authenticity of such real stories makes IM powerful and can result in highly successful campaigns.
8. Scrutiny & Oversight of Platforms + Influencer Guidelines
Recent events at Twitter have unleashed many questions and increased scrutiny. Specifically, how do platforms really operate? How fragile are they? What impact do they have on democracy?
Social media is becoming a topic of geopolitical interest, amid growing concerns about the power and instability of platforms. We’ll likely see increasing demand for more oversight and regulation.
Greg notes that Twitter could become more interested in the creator economy to generate new revenues. While some brands have reduced their Twitter marketing spend, the platform still provides great opportunities. For example, Shakira sang about her ex Gérard Pique’s new girlfriend, “You traded a Rolex for a Casio.” Casio responded and has been having great fun on Twitter.
Anja Lapčević, Kingfluencers Co-CEO & Chief Influence Officer, stated that France is now another country that has planned to implement guidelines for influencers. “We will also focus on further developing the Code of Conduct and expanding the Conscious Influence Hub, in addition to recruiting more creators, agencies, brands, and individuals to work with association. We believe that as a community we can use the positive power of social media to strengthen digital togetherness.”
Sprout Social wrotehow brands talk about sustainability, specifically, will change, with many opting for a quieter approach amid fears of being called out for greenwashing.
The Takeaway: Contribute to social media as a force for good. Ensure public statements are always transparent and sincere.
9. Brands Will Hire Influencers to Run Their Accounts & Work Onsite
Shopify states, “If an influencer has a track record of going viral with their own accounts, chances are they can replicate the success for a brand.” In addition to their knowledge of what engages communities on social platforms, they also have friendships with other influencers that can further help brands extend their reach.
Kingfluencers manages Manor’s TikTok account, where our team also engages with their communities via the creators T-Ronimo and Ericwdrae. Another successful example is influencer lala who creates TikToks for the German grocery store EDEKA.
10. In-Store Influencers
Based on their global consumer study, the Qualtrics XM Institute has declared 2023, “the year businesses rediscover the human connection.” “But in the rush to digitize everything, and drive operational efficiency, many companies left their humanity behind. And now, they’re paying the price as consumers demand deeper, more human connections with the companies they buy from.”
Influencers can play a part in building more human connection. As published by Trend Hunter, “Brands are inviting influencers to their brick-and-mortar retail locations for more interactive and engaging partnerships. These collaborations are often realized as consumer-facing marketing resources, or a way for the brand to help influencers supercharge their social media content.”
Consumers are increasingly looking at influencers for insights into different products or services, as they are often shown in the moment or in use. Both, brand and influencers, ensure through in-store creator events to provide real, authentic experiences instead of putting the purchase decision in focus.
Some of our influencers participated in such a in-store creator event for the opening of the On Running flagship store in Zurich, together with other talented content creators. It was a fun (and sporty!) event, full of laughter, music, good vibes, and refreshing drinks.
Brands will increasingly focus on reviving brick-and-mortar retail experiences, especially with influencer opening events or visits, because that makes retail fun and more human-centric! Even employees can act as in-house influencers and become a crucial part of your branding.
The Takeaway: Consider enabling creators to manage your account or just take it over for a day. Give creators freedom to generate content for your brand. While influencers are often associated with social media, consider partnering with them for in-store collaborations.
11. Need to Compete with AI (Artificial Intelligence)
New use cases for artificial intelligence seem to occur on a daily basis. Launched in November 2022, ChatGPT is a chatbot that’s shockingly decent at creating unique content. Social Media Today writers suspect that many websites will use AI-generated content for generic overviews, helping cut down on SEO time. “The end result, then, is that people – like, actual, real humans – will be less and less engaged by the generic, which could open up more opportunity for better copy to stand out.”
AI may be progressing in creating text and imagery, but it doesn’t seem capable of making fun TikToks… yet.
Content, whether for SEO, email, or social posts, must resonate with people. As reiterated by many surveys we’ve quoted here, people crave authentic human connection. It’s crucial to share emotional, sincere posts from real people that consumers can relate to. AI can’t come close to achieving that vital depth of connection.
The Takeaway: Influencers will have to compete with AI in creating content. Brands should carefully vet influencers – especially writers – so you can be certain the content they’re creating is unique. Real people are needed for real human connection. But also consider including some fun, fascinating AI-generated imagery as a complement to your authentically human campaigns.
12. Preventing Burnout & Improving Mental Health Will Be Priorities
With all the new trends and innovations, it’s important to maintain a focus on wellness, both physical and mental. Behind every smiling face on social media is a person with doubts and problems. That’s why we’re introducing a new format on our channels: Monthly Mental Health Check-in. We at Kingfluencers want to bring attention to the topic of mental health and share very personal and close experiences. Our January topic was comparing yourself on social media and was extended in February with our #NoFilterFeb Challenge. In our 2nd part of the Mental Health Campaign, we highlight how social media distorts reality and provide tips and tricks.
Talking to The Media Leader, Phil Rowley, Omnicom Media Group’s head of futures, commented on the need for social media to positively impact mental health. “We love social media, but we hate it too, and we certainly can’t stop using it. So the only long-term solution is to find a model that scratches all of our itches but doesn’t make us feel terrible in the process.”
The Takeaway: Consider how your social media interactions will impact anyone who encounters them. Refer to the Conscious Influence Hub Code of Conduct for guidance.
Soon, But Not Now:
Live commerce is gaining ground worldwide, although it’s not yet common in DACH. The Drum reports a recent shift in understanding and engagement of live shopping in Europe.
Many platforms offer their own shopping features – with social commerce, brands can handle the entire customer journey within one platform – from the initial inspiration to the purchase of a product. This gives social commerce an advantage that traditional online commerce cannot offer and also increases the impulse of purchases. According to the Swiss Mail Order Association, which brings together more than 320 online retailers generating around 50% of Swiss B2C online sales, manufacturers and brands are investing heavily in their online format to increase sales and improve the customer experience.
Although the topic is still very young in Switzerland, it will become increasingly relevant and also be used more and more.
Metaverse and Web 3.0
Fastcompany says: “In 2023, the Metaverse is likely to grow exponentially, becoming more immersive and more expansive. With advances in technology, we are likely to see more realistic avatars—the figures that represent you in the Metaverse—that allow for more complex interactions in virtual worlds.”
At Kingfluencers, we expect the metaverse to grow significantly in 2023 both on the side of brands and users presence – although perhaps not at the speed sources like Fast Company predict just yet. In Switzerland and DACH, we assume that it might still take a little while and foresee the boom rather as of 2024-2025 for a number of reasons such as complexity for people to get involved in areas like NFTs (requiring NFT wallets etc) and general access to the Metaverse with multiple ‘Metaverses’ like Sandbox existing without any of them being the true leading one. We do believe that in the next 2 years clearer dominance of certain Metaverses will become apparent, which will help adoption as people and brands will know where to go – Metaverse-wise. Furthermore in order for Metaverse to become more popular and gain traction, access to Metaverse and Web 3.0 should be simplified and potential users need easily accessible guides and information or education concerning how to participate – from buying NFT’s to generation avatars and being ‘on the Verse’. Once how to gain access is more clear or simplified consumers and brands are likely to find their way to the world of web 3.0 a lot faster and the exponential boom can begin (much like it happened with social media in general).
The real trend we expect is that specialized stakeholders in this industry such as web 3.0 developers but also some leading frontrunner brands outside the web 3.0 technology zone will make access to the Metaverse and Web 3.0 easier or more attractive in order to stimulate adoption. This will be done for example by simplifying systems and procedures related to access and ownership of digital assets, so that more people will find their way to it without much ‘technology hassle’. Some of this will require real ‘reengineering’ of certain systems and processes related to these fields. Forward looking companies and brands will continue to invest in innovation in all areas as well as NFTs throughout the year and with good reasons.
Supporting Your 2023
If you have any more questions about the emerging trends listed or would like to chat about other trends on the horizon, feel free to contact us right away.
At a time when posting has felt so useless, we wanted to change something. And so, we came up with the idea of doing good with every post – together, for a better future. That’s why Kingfluencers has launched the #KFcares initiative. An initiative that aims to make a difference, and has been doing so since March 2022!
Now to the current situation, we have planned to help the people in need in Syria and Turkey with our #KFcares initiative. Not only have we dedicated the #KFcares initiative to the Austrian Red Cross (Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz), but we have also collected and already handed over donations in kind.
In this article, we would like to give you a little insight into our #KFcares initiative, show you how it works, how it is supposed to help, and how you can support it.
The founding story of the initiative
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February, every post has felt pointless and wrong. No matter what we posted or wanted to share, it didn’t feel right. We quickly realized that we would like to contribute to making the world a little better, not only, but especially in such hard times.
In March 2022, we launched our own project: the #KFcares initiative. From now on, each of our posts has added value and meaning – for a better tomorrow! Besides founding and launching the initiative, we also published a blog article on responsible posting about war and in times of crisis.
How does #KFcares work?
Since March 2022 we have been donating CHF 1 to non-profit organizations for every post, including all influencer campaign posts with the hashtag #KFcares. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story, a picture, a TikTok, or a LinkedIn post. Every month, we choose an organization that is close to our hearts – often related to current topics.
As of January 12, 2023, we have already donated CHF 2,521.
It fills me with joy to be able to accompany so many great people on their journey. I’m also very proud of our #KFcares initiative, which gives new meaning to our work and allows us to support important organizations every month.
Anja Lapčević, Co-CEO & Chief Influence Officer
The first #KFcares organization, that we chose to support, was the Ukrainian organization Voices of Children in March 2022. Since 2015, it has been helping children to deal with the trauma of war, providing psychological emergency aid, and helping with the evacuation process. Children should never lose their voice, but use it for a future and a better world.
In April 2022, #KFcares chose Essen für Alle (=Food for all) as its donation recipient. A charity in Zurich that provides basic food and resources to people in need.
For May 2022, our donation went to Unicef. Unicef advocates for the rights of children and young people in more than 190 countries, helping them to survive and reach their full potential.
In June 2022 we supported Pro Juventute and in August 2022 we donated to Caritas International. For October 2022, we have decided to donate to Syria and the organization Glückskette. We had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the Zurich Film Festival, where we watched the movie “The Swimmers” together with our creators – a story based on true events in which two sisters flee from the war in Syria to Germany. Swiss Solidarity focuses primarily on the survival of affected people on the site. With partner organizations, they treat the sick and injured and provide people with the food they need.
One of our donations we are very proud of is the Center for Human Rights organization, to which we donated in November 2022. The heartbreaking images and videos that reached us daily moved us to help the people of Iran. Since mid-September 2022, thousands of people have been demonstrating against the political leadership in Iran, which has made it mandatory for women and girls to wear a headscarf from the age of seven. People are taking to the streets, risking their lives, and fighting for women’s and human rights.
At the end of the year 2022, we made a donation to the children’s charity Petite Suisse. An organization that fights for the rights of all children for health, survival, and education, as well as protection, violence, and exploitation since 2007. With Christmas coming up, Petite Suisse has decided to make Christmas gifts from donations and give the children Christmas joy. We started the year 2023 with a fundraising campaign for the organization SOS Kinderdörfer for Education. With January 24th being the official World Education Day, we would like to contribute to the support of education.
A heart initiative that makes us proud
We at Kingfluencers are very proud to have started an initiative that gives a whole new meaning to our work. Having the feeling of doing something good through posts and motivating people to donate as well fills us with joy and pride:
“I think it’s so great that each of our posts can provide added value to people in need of help. One of the posts where I have the most fun preparing it for social media and sharing it with our community,” says Sandra Miletić, Junior Marketing Manager.
This is how you can support Kingfluencers’ Initiative
We want to encourage all helpful people and brands to also do something for a better future and a better tomorrow. That’s why we’re calling for you to join our #KFcares initiative for. #KFcares for the month of February goes to the people in need in Turkey and Syria, together with the Austrian Red Cross.
To do so, simply use the hashtag #KFcares on social media and tag @kingfluencers, because: each hashtag equals 1 CHF.
Kingfluencers also calls on companies to launch their own initiatives with their own hashtag, for example. Together we can achieve so much more and ensure a better future!
Retail, formerly the exclusive domain of brick-and-mortar stores, expanded many years ago to include e-commerce. New retail has expanded again and now includes social commerce and livestream commerce as well. Many attributes of Switzerland and the Swiss people make us an ideal audience to target with new retail initiatives.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce differs from social media marketing in that users are able to make purchases directly through social media networks, rather than being redirected to an online store. Social commerce makes the link between social media storytelling and revenue generation with clever shoppable features like:
Linked shoppable product catalogues
Temporary flash promotions
With well-structured campaigns, brands can leverage social commerce to engage with potential customers and drive revenue.
Social commerce capabilities and features are evolving and advancing quickly. Platforms and influencers alike are investing in social commerce and experimenting with new approaches. In July 2021, Pinterest announced its first set of tools to let content creators earn money with affiliate links.
TikTok introduced Shopping Ads, a new three-in-one commerce ad solution with new formats brands can adopt and combine: Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads, and LIVE Shopping Ads. Shopping Ads aims to simplify the media buying experience and include new automation features. Billions are spent annually on TikTok live-stream commerce in China. TikTok is still working through its livestream commerce integration, in efforts to increase uptake with western viewers, and published a new overview of the brand opportunities of TikTok Live.
The Washington Post recently wrote about how more Gen Z and millennial shoppers are turning to TikTok and Instagram to find and buy gifts. For example, TikToker Savannah Baron can make as much as $5,000 per month from affiliate links and brand deals. Jens Knossalla alias “Knossi” recently hosted a gaming event on behalf of Kaufland. The event, live-streamed on Twitch, also included his streamer colleagues Sascha Hellinger (Unsympathisch TV), Starlet Nova, SelfieSandra, Sascha Huber, Shpendi, and Aaron Troschke. The theme was that all guests are on Santa’s “naughty list” and must convince him otherwise in order to celebrate with Kaufland’s mulled wine. More than 661,000 spectators followed the event live.
Livestream commerce is a specific type of social commerce. With livestream shopping, consumers are able to interact with the host in real-time and make purchases directly through the live video promotion. With the immediacy of the interactions, livestream shopping helps brands connect with consumers and reduces barriers to purchase.
Livestream commerce is also on the rise. Surveys show more than 40% of European consumers are interested in buying electronics during livestreams on e-commerce sites or apps, and 34% are interested in fashion shopping via social media livestreaming. Amazon has begun paying a sales commission to influencers on products featured in its livestreams.
Swiss retailer About You is presenting the latest styles via regular live streams hosted by popular influencers. On 8 December, the “NIKE Gift Guide” hosted by Nardos also included a special Christmas surprise. Betty Bossi also features live shopping events with themes such as spicy cooking and grilling. According to Forrester Research, 70% of European shoppers are interested in at least one form of “shoppertainment,” defined as, “an emerging form of e-commerce that provides consumers with a more personal, interactive, and engaging shopping experience by leveraging pictures, videos, interactive games, and/or livestream events to ultimately drive transactions.” Social commerce and livestreams present an opportunity for additional revenue for brands and influencers alike.
Social Commerce in Switzerland
Switzerland is an ideal location for e-commerce and social commerce. As of 2022, the internet user penetration rate in Switzerland was 91%. Additionally, Swiss people can rely on the local delivery infrastructure. “In 2021, sales in Switzerland of Swiss online retailers continued to grow faster than those of their foreign counterparts. In total, Swiss residents spent CHF 13 billion ($13.35 billion) in local online shops in 2021, and around CHF 2.1 billion ($2.16 billion) in foreign online shops.”
Social Media is a Prime Purchasing Channel
A brand’s social media profiles have become some of their most essential storefronts. Among millennials and Gen Z, social media is becoming a prime purchasing channel. 97% of Gen Z consumers use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration. Additionally, data generated by social commerce platforms can also provide insights that can be used to optimize campaigns and improve performance.
Social Commerce on TikTok
“TikTok has invested more heavily in commerce capabilities, recently introducing tie-ups with retailers including Walmart that allow consumers to purchase products without leaving the app.” 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 to help merchants create and run campaigns geared toward TikTokers. Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products. The partnership makes it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, be discovered, and optimize their marketing campaigns.
TikTok stores are not yet allowed in Switzerland, although they are in the US. Check-out in-app is not currently available in Switzerland, but we expect it to be soon.
Social Commerce on Instagram
Instagram enables you to use real-time and pre-made content to create an interactive, visual shopping experience that deepens connections with your community. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. Product Tags let you highlight items from your catalog directly in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more. As part of our Instagram marketing services, Kingfluencers can help make your products easy to discover on Instagram.
Connect with your Audience via Social Commerce
With Switzerland being an ideal market for new retail, contact us to explore how Kingfluencers can amplify your brand messages, helping you generate revenue with influencer marketing.
2022 saw no shortage of innovations in social media! The biggest of which is the metaverse. We’ve written a series of 4 articles now. One key takeaway: it’s still early days, but the metaverse is currently a huge green field with many opportunities. We’ve predicted that a critical mass of users is still three to five years away, but brands should start thinking now about how to engage communities there. The guidance of experts and support from agencies will be more critical than ever.
Users have been wanting more authenticity in social media, and the hot new app BeReal is meeting that demand. BeReal has been downloaded millions of times, held the No. 1 position in the App Store, and received interest from investors.
Social media platforms have long copied one another and BeReal seems to be the one to emulate. Instagram launched a new ‘Dual’ camera mode, and TikTok announced the expansion of their suite of creation tools with TikTok Now, “a daily photo and video experience to share your most authentic moments with the people who matter the most.”In July, NPR wrote that Facebook is making radical changes to keep up with TikTok. Despite efforts to copy it, TikTok continues to dominate.
2. Social Media Platforms Emerge to Target Increasingly Smaller Niches
Our second trend is the one we admit we got wrong. Some influencers are focusing on increasingly smaller niches, making nano-influencers effective partners for brands to connect with their target audiences. We did also see platforms, such as BeReal, grow and expand, but that app was founded in 2022 and while it has a unique appeal, it’s not targeting a small niche.
However, 2022 didn’t see the emergence of any entirely new platforms targeting a small niche, so we acknowledge that this prediction was inaccurate
3. Digitalization of everything, including growth VR/AR & metaverse
We wrote about emerging retail trends, some of which fuse the physical and digital. With the inclusion of social commerce and even AR, brands aren’t selling to distinct, separate audiences with isolated tactics. New retail involves connecting with your audience in innovative ways and merging the point of inspiration with the point of purchase.
According to Accenture, 39% of consumers have had a consultation in a virtual or augmented reality environment on topics from health and wellness to DIY projects.
4. More love for nano and micro-influencers
Lauchmetrics found that micro- and nano-influencers made up the most Media Impact Value (MIV) in beauty. At Kingfluencers, we added 98 new nano influencers in 2022 into our creators’ community. Kingfluencers has run numerous successful campaigns with micro- and nano-influencers.
One highlight was Vacherin Fribourgeois. We ran a campaign to build awareness and create a sense of belonging to a community through the “Instants Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP.” Our concept encouraged influencers to talk about their different traditions while eating fondue and the secret ingredients they use to make it an even better experience. Over 3 weeks, 5 micro and 1 mid-tier influencers made a total of 69 posts on Instagram and Facebook. Total impressions were 232K, 60% higher than forecast, with over 1.239K interactions and a total engagement rate of 4.81%.
5. Creator content will become more widespread
The domain of influencers continues to expand beyond social media platforms. Kingfluencers was part of the opening night of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF). We welcomed the biggest Swiss content creators on the ZFF Green Carpet, including two of last year’s Swiss Influencer Award winners: Adrian Vogt and Brian Havarie.
As Fabian Plüss, our Co-Founder said, “We’re proud to see that the work of content creators is also recognized and respected by the ZFF. This shows that the festival has a diverse perspective on video productions of all kinds and thus welcomes the creators’ scene.”
For Pro Juventute, we organized a campaign against cybermobbing in which three TikTokers, including Kris G, shared their tips on how to deal with offensive comments and messages. The reach of the campaign expanded beyond social media, as it was also featured in an article on Watson.
6. Creator economy will boom as content becomes currency
One fascinating, innovative use of influencer content is the “Influencer TV Spot,” a new exclusive advertising format that we launched last year. In case you missed our “2022 Recap” article from 13.01.2022, we dove into this new exclusive advertising format in our, “Exciting News” section.
Video is dominating
Video is one of the most important formats on social media. PPCexpo states it is, “The single most important content marketing strategy today.” Video has revolutionized marketing across all channels. Landing page videos are able to increase conversion rates by 80%. 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with their social network, and over 80% of businesses say video generates a good marketing ROI. The number of digital video viewers is expected to reach 3.48 billion in 2023. With video content dominating, YouTube is now the second most popular website in the world.
Short-form videos are also an excellent tactic for informing and connecting with your audience, such as the Pro Juventute campaign against cybermobbing. Pro Juventute offers children and young people a confidential telephone line to talk about their concerns, as well as helpful tips on its website 147.ch. Six influencers, including Kris G, talked about their own experiences with mental illnesses in a total of 6 TikTok videos. Impressions were more than 866k with a reach of more than 598k, achieving a 26.7% engagement rate and 45.13% growth in followers. The campaign was also featured in an article on Watson.
7. Influencers face increasing pressure to innovate
TikTok released its Year on TikTok 2022 which included many innovations, such as a song set to Tariq’s, aka Corn Kid, enthusiastic description of his tasty snack. Among the breakthrough stars, “#SpaceTok opens up to a new dimension, thanks to European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who takes us on out-of-this-world adventures.”
Qualtrics spoke to more than 33,000 consumers in 29 countries to find out what businesses need to do to win their loyalty. The answer? Act more human.
Uster, the third largest city in canton Zürich, worked with Kingfluencers to emphasize the human impacts of littering. The campaign targeted young audiences to reduce littering in Uster and around Lake Greifensee. Comedy influencers communicated to their audience that littering is not cool under any circumstances. The curated content was very appealing to the audience, as shown by the immensely high engagement rate and the large quantity of positive comments. 3 macro influencers on Instagram and TikTok published a total of 12 posts (videos and stories) + 2 additional pieces of content. The interaction rate was 7.1%, and the engagement rate was 30.9%.
As influencers innovate, they must continue to be relatable and authentic. These attributes are what drive high levels of engagement. To their community members, an influencer can feel like part of their friendship circle. Partnering with influencers is a powerful tool for brands to build trust and connect to consumers, delivering exactly what consumers want – acting more human, and helping fuel growth.
8. Long-term partnerships between brands & influencers
Here at Kingfluencers, we’re thrilled to have ongoing relationships with influencers that are now stretching into their fourth year, including L’Oréal, Nestlé, and Mondelez.
Kingfluencers worked on campaigns to promote V6 chewing gum, a Mondelez brand. To highlight the unique health and well-being benefits of V6, the team chose influencers focused on health, nature, and an overall positive outlook. In one campaign, influencers shared a story in which they received the most beautiful compliment and why it made them smile, then encouraged their communities to share their own stories, achieving a total engagement rate of 3.9% on Instagram and Facebook.
Eyeglasses maker AFFLELOU worked with Kingfluencers on a campaign lasting 12 months, with the goals of expanding brand awareness in French-speaking Switzerland and generating new customers. Influencers were selected to inspire the audience with cool looks and give the brand credibility and familiarity. The campaign achieved a total engagement rate of 3.72% so far (the campaign is still running).
9. Heightened awareness of the risks of social media
Social media has had tremendous impacts that have reverberated throughout the year. We examined the complex issues around combating misinformation. Individual responsibility is vital. Stopping the spread of misinformation at scale is problematic. Algorithms haven’t proven effective at differentiating between criticism and advocacy.
As awareness of the potential downsides of social media increases, we’ve also seen a focus on the risks of toxic beauty standards. Governments have taken steps to combat toxic beauty ideals, while brands have actively promoted healthy attitudes toward beauty.
Unfortunately, no one is safe from fake followers, which can reduce your credibility on social media. Our article describes how to recognize them, how to remove them, and, above all, how to avoid them. Businesses of all kinds are aware of the many risks they’re facing. A PWC survey shows that more than 95% of businesses expect to face a crisis within the next two years. All of these issues reinforce the importance of crisis management, including ensuring your influencers know your contingency plans if things go wrong. While social media can be the source of a crisis, fortunately, it can also be a vital tool in managing one.
10. All about Gen Z
We predicted that the existing focus on Gen Z as a coveted demographic will continue, and recommended that brands should consider Gen Z in their campaigns. Kingfluencers is well-equipped to help our clients connect with Gen Z, as 37.5%* of our new creators are Gen Z (*of those Influencers who provided their birthday.)
Join us on a short trip down memory lane as we share some favorite moments from our fun and productive year. Kingfluencers started 2022 at our new office in the heart of Zurich. After the successful Q1, we not only redecorated our office rooms but welcomed over 10 new employees throughout the year.”
In 2021, Kingfluencers completed over 150 campaigns. Our total increased to 213 in 2022 (+40%). Implementing all these successful campaigns was only possible thanks to our amazing creators. We worked with 308 different influencers in 2021, which increased to 346 in 2022 (+12%).
While it’s difficult to choose our favorite campaigns, we’ve selected a few highlights.
We did a total of 46 campaigns for L’Oréal, and a campaign with Toblerone included a giveaway with Emma. For Pro Juventute, we organized a campaign against cybermobbing in which three TikTokers, including Kris G, shared their tips on how to deal with offensive comments and messages. The campaign was also featured in an article on Watson.
But also our wonderful clients shared their thoughts on working with us this year:
Tatiana Traulsen, Marketing Manager @Nestlé Cereals: “I have really enjoyed working with Kingfluencers for our two cereals campaigns this year. Everything went smoothly, even despite tight timings, thanks to very reactive and transparent communication, as always! Kingfluencers brought smiles and excitement and a perfectly managed successful campaign. Thank you for making it so easy.”
Rebecca Pohlmann, Digital Manager @Pierre Fabré Suisse: “We are very satisfied with the cooperation with you. You work very reliably and bring a very high degree of flexibility to fulfill our wishes. We are very much looking forward to presenting our brand together with you in the next year according to the current social media trends in the networks.”
Our Growing Creator Team
In 2022, Kingfluencers welcomed 579 (vs. 489 in 2021) new influencers to our team. In this section you will find a small mini-honor from Kingfluencers to the categories: Newcomers, Most reliable, Most creative, and OG Influencers.
Reflecting on the year past, our creators appreciated the nicely organized projects with pleasant and uncomplicated cooperation. Creator Alison Liaudat’s favorite campaign was watching the champions league finale with Just Eat in Paris, which included building brand awareness rather than specific product placement for a “natural approach.”
While creator Laura Bante struggled to select her favorite campaign, the Steampod launch campaign stood out for her. “I was able to closely experience the evolution of each generation and was able to test the latest generation before everyone else! This also contributed to the interest and curiosity my followers had to see what new features were in stock.” Fabio Zerzuben stated that, “all campaigns were unique and really cool. Especially Oreo (Batman), but also Generali were great collaborations.” Other highlights were the Rundfunk event and his visit to the KF office for an exchange “in real life.”
This year, Kingfluencers launched the “Influencer TV Spot” service, a new exclusive advertising format. Kingfluencers and Admeira give brands the opportunity to broadcast their influencer marketing content as a TV commercial. Merge the power of TV with the trustworthiness and unmatched appeal of influencer marketing to gain unbeatable reach at an accessible cost.
One of the first success cases was within the Ochsner Shoes yearly campaign which is based on seasonal events throughout the year, with influencers skillfully setting the stage for each pair of shoes. The Influencer TV Spot premiered on July 13, 2022, on SRF2, achieving a Gross Rating Point of 21.6% and more than 1 million impressions. Broadcast in November, the second Influencer TV Spot campaign with Ochsner Shoes and Christa Rigozzi achieved a Gross Rating Point of 32.0% and more than 1.488 million impressions.
Kingfluencers also worked with a leading Swiss technology company in 2022, helping connect to their B2B audience and building an employer branding strategy. Finally, Kingfluencers also manages social media for Manor’s TikTok account since July 2022, where our team has enjoyed planning their account & engaging with their communities in regard to content creation with creators like T-Ronimo, Ericwdrae or Fatjona.
Productive & Fun Events
2022 was filled with a variety of exciting and productive events. In April, Kingfluencers and Pathé held an exclusive screening of the much-awaited “The Batman” movie.
Thanks to our new collaboration with the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), Kingfluencers was part of the festival’s opening night in September. We welcomed the biggest Swiss content creators on the ZFF green carpet, including two of last year’s Swiss Influencer Award winners: @aditotoro and @briann. As Fabian Plüss, our Co-Founder said, “We’re proud to see that the work of content creators is also recognized and respected by the ZFF. This shows that the festival has a diverse perspective on video productions of all kinds and thus welcomes the creators’ scene.”
In collaboration with Street Parade Zurich, we created an exclusive Kingfluencers VIP Stage and shared the experience with over 250 influencers. Under the hashtag #KingfluencersXStreetparade, the influencers shared the unforgettable day live with their communities. The creators published a total of 71 posts on Instagram and TikTok, achieving over 1.8 M impressions.
Also in September, we had the opportunity to celebrate one last beautiful summer night in Zurich at our exclusive client mingle event at Rundfunk, where we connected with some of our top clients and amazing creators in a fun and inspiring way!
In October, our team organized a get-together for our content creators in beautiful Ticino, providing an opportunity to better connect with our Swiss, Italian-speaking creators, while enjoying stunning views of Lugano Lake.
The 3rd annual Smile Swiss Influencer Award Show was held in November. With over 1,000 VIPs and a combined reach of more than 50 million followers, the event was a success with “Hollywood-ready social media moments,” according to Fabian Plüss, founder of SSIA and co-founder of Kingfluencers. Before the award show, we organized a pre-event with L’Oréal Switzerland, transforming our office into a beauty world. Makeup artists and hair stylists welcomed our lovely creators and styled them and our team for the big night.
In order for brand partners to benefit from impeccable and solid advice in the field of influencer marketing in the future, Kingfluencers will now also become the official sales partner. As the official distribution partner for #SSIA2023, we will offer exclusive partner packages.
We finished up the year with our sparkly Kingfluencers Christmas Party, where we were spoiled with the best Swiss cuisine while creating some TikToks.
2023 will be an exciting and colorful year with a variety of thrilling events. Kingfluencers will also have a startup stand at one of the biggest marketing events – so stay tuned for what’s to come!
Joyful Team Building & Charitable Fundraising
In October, we held a team-building event where our Co-CEO Anja filled the day with creative challenges and a beautiful hike from Lugano to Gandria. Along the way, we were asked to build strong, cooperative teams and learn more about our corporate values in order to better live them in practice.
Reflecting on 2022, Anja said, “My highlight every year is my team and everything they do. It fills me with joy to be able to accompany so many great people on their way. I’m also especially proud of our #KFcares initiative, which gives new meaning to our work and allows us to support important organizations every month.”
Through our charitable work with #KFcares, we’ve donated a total of 2,521 CHF. Starting in March due to the Ukraine war, where every post felt so pointless and wrong, we launched our own #KFcares project. This way, each of our posts gets added value and meaning. In March we donated to the Ukrainian organization Voices of Children, and in May & June, our donations went to Unicef & Pro Juventute. For November we donated to Iran and the Center for Human Rights. An initiative we are very proud of!
As of 13 December, we’ve made a total of 174 social media posts and 666 stories from our own Kingfluencers’ channels.
If you’re a casual observer of social media, you might believe the common myth that “TikToker” and “Gen Z” are synonymous. The myth is common among many marketers and brands and seems to be widespread overall. Googling, “TikTok Gen X” yields results about… Gen Z. (I had to confirm I’d typed in the right term!)
To be fair, the platform was initially more popular among the group born between 1997 and 2012, currently aged between 12 and 25. But the truth is that the popularity of the app is increasing among a range of demographics.
Being most popular among Gen Z is decidedly not the same as being not popular with other generations. The percentage of users might be highest in Gen Z, but plenty of others still love it.
Just because Gen Z may have led the way doesn’t mean other generations haven’t also moved to embrace TikTok.
TikTok is the first non-Meta app (and the fifth app of all time) to surpass 3 billion downloads. In 2021, the platform remained the most-download app globally, with 656 million downloads.
No app grows to this phenomenal level of popularity by having a narrow appeal.
For example, some popular Swiss TikTokers on the cusp of GenX and millennials include _ohheyvivi_, who posts about fashion, beauty, food, sports, and being a mom, and soleil_fatima, who posts about sports, women’s issues, health, and fashion. Jonny Fischer shares his attempts at trends enjoyed by younger TikTokers, as well as amusing juxtapositions between youthful partying and his godfather role of Manu’s young kids aka his comedian partner from famous Cabaret Divertimento. Doris Flury posts healthy recipes, including vegan and gluten-free cookies.
The hashtag #genX has 6.6B views and includes posts on parenting teens, nostalgic memories from the ‘90s, and aging. Popular GenX posters include Jack Black, a comedian whose WAP dance earned more than 5 million views. Finance expert Marie shares line dance tutorials and recreates ‘80s and ’90s dance moves with her friends and family, including her Gen Z and millennial kids.
TikTok Plays a Role in The Lives of Gen Zers
TikTok appears to be the go-to search engine for Gen Z. Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organization, said, “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
Stanford scholar describes Gen Z as a highly collaborative cohort that cares deeply about others. Their social justice advocacy extends to TikTok. A coalition of top Gen Z TikTok stars is pledging to cease all work with Amazon until the company meets the demands of the Amazon Labor Union. The group of 70 TikTok creators boasts a combined following of over 51 million.
Different Generations Use TikTok Differently
Plenty of older people also enjoy dance videos, and who doesn’t love a silly animal video? My Gen Z son showed Gen X me this funny parrot one recently and I very much enjoyed it. AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) outlined some ways in which use for older people may differ. “Some older adults join TikTok to bond with their kids and grandkids… TikTok is full of diversions that may help older folks, or people of any age, feel less bored or lonely.”
According to the Deloitte Digital Media Trends Survey 15th Edition, 84% of all consumers say they use social media platforms, although there are generational distinctions. 27% of Gen Z likes to watch TV shows and movies via social media, as does 23% of Gen X. However, only 25% of Gen X listens to music, whereas 44% of Gen Z does.
Older generations use social media differently than Gen Z… but they still use it.
TikTok, in particular, is used by 10% of Gen Xers, and 5% of baby boomers, according to a study conducted by Fortune and SurveyMonkey, but is rising fast. 40% of Baby Boomers view social media as an essential part of their lives. Engaging on social platforms is a top 3 entertainment activity for 17% of Gen X and 11% of Boomers. Kingfluencers has also worked with numerous influencers including and beyond Gen Z, such as CorEstilo Style, to build successful collaborations for L’Oréal.
TikTok is About Communities & Connection
NPR recently wrote that Facebook is making radical changes to keep up with TikTok. “TikTok’s got one fundamental thing that Facebook doesn’t have, TikTok is cool. And it’s very hard to recreate cool,” said Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, and analyst.
As users continue to spend a lot of time on the app, TikTok promotes a variety of positive, uplifting activities. TikTok also offers extensive support to content creators – even those creators who author content that’s consumed outside of the platform. Most recently, TikTok has partnered with Barnes & Noble and their creator community to launch the #BookTokChallenge, which encourages people to read new books and authors, and then share their reactions.
Even TikTok ads are enjoyed by a wide audience. Kantar’s latest Media Reactions Report ranked TikTok #1 for “ad equity,” a measurement of the audience’s attitude and preference towards ads. “TikTok’s branded solutions aren’t perceived as just “ads” by audiences. In fact, TikTok tops the list for delivering branded content that actually resonates with online consumers.”
Building a Strong TikTok Presence
Back in May 2021, TikTok was insisting that no platform has that reach without “something for everyone” while pitching marketers and looking to shake up perception that it’s a Gen Z phenomenon. TikTok’s continuing growth in global popularity reveals just how untrue it is to claim the platform is the exclusive domain of Gen Z.
Kingfluencers works with brands to build a strong TikTok presence. Contact us to get started developing and implementing a successful TikTok strategy that will generate multiple benefits, today and in the future.
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