Succeeding as an Influencer – Tips from Successful Swiss Influencers

Based on the GFM — Kingfluencers webinar from 9.12.2020

Kingfluencers and gfm recently hosted a webinar, “Influencer Marketing – a Glance into The Future.” You can watch a recording of the webinar here and we’ve highlighted top tips from our speakers, along with an influencer best practices checklist. Our featured speakers are two successful Swiss influencers, Antonella Patitucci, Actress, Presenter, Coach, Content Creator, and Steven Epprecht, Founder @ Strategy Leaders, Consultant, Content Creator.
More interested in the brand perspective? Check out our previous article here.

Put the Work in and Be Passionate

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

Antonella recommended finding out what kind of influencer you are and what’s the best for you, then sticking with your decision. Select which channels to be active on, taking into consideration different media types, then have a strategy to be present there. “I speak a lot and I know my community likes to listen,” said Antonella.

Build a relationship with the community. Your community wants to somehow be part of your life, so interact and engage with them, which also helps build trust and credibility.

Becoming an influencer is creating a personal brand, including all the factors of a brand. As a brand, you must have a strategy how to be present on the different channels.

Create Value for Brands

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

“The value is in telling your own story and putting emotion behind it. Give the product a face and so people can relate. Share your unique story and opinion. A product alone is a picture, but with you and your story, it’s like a movie.

“Also, have longer-term collaborations rather than making just 1 or 2 posts. Brands get the most out of campaigns when they’re a longer-term partnership instead of one-offs.”

Steven stated, “The most important benefit an influencer has for brands is that we can reach our community on an emotional level, which can be difficult for brands with traditional media campaigns.“Influencer stories are a credible way for brands to communicate, and influencers can serve as real brand ambassadors. We give the brand a different approach, rather than copying and pasting the media and marketing strategy to another channel. The influencer is in touch with the brand and products and makes up their own story on implementing it in their daily life.”

“The value is in telling your own story and putting emotion behind it. Give the product a face and so people can relate. Share your unique story and opinion. A product alone is a picture, but with you and your story, it’s like a movie.”

Swiss Influencer Antonella Patitucci

Safeguard Authenticity

Recognizing that authenticity is a critical success factor, we asked our influencers how they maintain the trust of their audience.

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

Steven added, “The most important thing is, if I collaborate with a brand, it’s crucial that I can stand behind the product, and it’s not just for the money. There are people doing it like that, which contributes to the negativity about influencer marketing.“I even differentiate the type of work that I do. I’m quicker to accept jobs as a model because it’s my face, not my name. But on my own channels, I’m saying I recommend it and I have a responsibility towards my community. It’s like a relationship with a friend. I consider if I’d recommend this to my mom or a friend. They trust you and you have credibility and shouldn’t play with that, otherwise it won’t work out in the long run. Only do what is you.”

“I even differentiate the type of work that I do. I’m quicker to accept jobs as a model because it’s my face, not my name. But on my own channels, I’m saying I recommend it and I have a responsibility towards my community. It’s like a relationship with a friend.

Steven Epprecht, a swiss influencer in Zurich

Move with Marketing Trends

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

Influencer Best Practices Checklist

  1. Be passionate about your main topic.
  2. Find out what kind of influencer, select your channels, and stick to your decisions.
  3. Interact and engage to build a relationship with your community.
  4. You have a responsibility to your community. Treat it like a relationship with a friend.
  5. When promoting brands, tell your own story and put emotion behind it – don’t just copy and paste the brand’s marketing strategy!
  6. Maintain trust and credibility – only promote brands you truly stand behind.
  7. Aim for long term brand collaborations.
  8. Be yourself & stick to your opinions.
  9. If you make a mistake, apologize.

Top 6 Ways to Make Influencer Marketing Work: Practical Tips from Universal Switzerland

Based on the GFM — Kingfluencers webinar from 9.12.2020

Influencer marketing has the potential to deliver exceptional returns for brands, from awareness and emotional connection with consumers, to conversions to sales. But like any marketing initiative, it needs to be properly executed, which must involve a tailored approach for your unique brand.

On a recent webinar, Martina Klieber, Publicity Manager, Universal Pictures International Switzerland, GmbH, shared lessons learned on making influencer marketing work. You can watch a recording of the webinar here and following are the highlights.

Incorporate Influencer Marketing into the Marketing Mix

As Influencer marketing emerged as a distinct discipline, it was often isolated, although many attributes make it highly complementary to other components of the marketing mix. A holistic and integrated approach to marketing disciplines is ideal. More organizations are understanding this and therefore start connecting the dots, having IM interact with and impact other marketing initiatives. The result is efficiencies and increased impact, enabling brands to achieve more with the same resources. Especially when influencer marketing content is repurposed in other marketing areas, the ripple effect of this integration can be very fruitful.

“Each brand has to find out where IM works best in your campaigns. Over the years, we’ve experimented with and implemented IM in our mix. It has proven to be a very effective and efficient way to reach out to what we call our ‘persuadable audience.’ This is usually a group that is harder to reach with linear TV or other advertising media, with maybe a shorter attention span, but with a great acceptance of personalized and targeted advertisement,” explained Martina.

Campaigns to Enable Connections

Universal Switzerland doesn’t promote Universal Pictures as a brand, but rather single titles or film franchises such as “Fast and Furious.” Martina, explains, “Social media and influencer marketing have replaced the common gatekeepers between brands and consumers. Recent studies have shown that IM can be a powerful tool. For us, this means IM as an integral part of our marketing campaign provides us with an opportunity to promote an experience rather than a product. IM is an emotional, personal, and credible approach that is widely accepted by a younger target audience.”

Synchronize Influencer Marketing

“Influencer marketing is never a standalone measure. For the best outcomes, it’s crucial to carefully sync timelines between media and IM campaigns. Each and every touchpoint ideally links to a campaign tentpole, picks up some hot new AV content, and supports a specific campaign goal.

“You have to be aware of the narration of the story you want to tell. You can’t just have gaps in it. Find the space where it fits in best,” said Martina.

A Second Life for Content

If done right, IM content can provide additional value and be used in a second lifecycle. It can culminate in another campaign by creating press coverage, being used in a brand platform in an owned community, or even as advertising or even communication material. Influencer marketing can enable you to succeed with secondary or tertiary goals. Using the content wisely bring a range of wins and advantages and boosts ROI even more.

The Importance of Good Matches

Martina described a campaign to promote the newest installment of a large franchise. “The campaign was particularly successful because of the perfect match we made. We challenged top influencers to create their own trailer, engaging their community and activating them to go see the film. The selected influencers were huge fans of the franchise and went above and beyond to create top content. Our confidence in their capability and creativity, combined with their enthusiasm for the project resulted in a massive overperformance,” Martina explained.

Universal’s success shows that you can have great success when the influencer and community are a good match for your brand, and the influencer is excited about your brand and tells the story properly.

Additionally, Martina noted that when creating marketing campaigns for local theatrical releases using local influencers makes sense for credibility and local language, especially in Switzerland. The influencer help bridge the gap that international stars cannot.

Influencer Marketing Best Practices List

Martina first stated, “Let me assure you, we’ve done it all wrong and right,” and then proceeded to state an exceptional list of IM best practices based on years of experience.

1. Make the Perfect Match

Make perfect matches with not only the influencers, but the community. It’s worthwhile to take a closer look into the statistics of influencers, their community, and their account. It’s nice if you can afford an A-list celebrity, but your money might be better spent by choosing a smaller or more homogenous community.

2. Access Expertise

There’s no way to tell who’s the “best” influencer, so invest time in making the perfect match for your brand. Agencies offer expertise and data to help you source. Hit lists aren’t a substitute for expertise.

3. See the Content Creator, Not the Platform

Influencers are more than just a number on their profile. Use the expertise and creativity that content creators are willing and able to bring to the table. They know their community very well. Give them a precise briefing, but as much freedom as you can.

4. Influencers are Not a Media Buy

You might be able to pay them to say a specific slogan into the camera, but communities can be very harsh with content creators who do that. If they tell you that won’t work, listen to them. Maybe they have a better idea, but maybe they’re not the perfect match.

5. Let Influencers Do What They Do Best

Don’t tell them how to do their job. IM has massive potential to sell complicated brands and experiences. If you think about the story you want to tell with your brand, influencers can offer you a targeted, personal, and credible voice to tell that story.

6. Be Creative and Be Bold

Work with influencers that bring the right amount of creativity to the table, independent of their size. Make IM an integral part of your media mix to target audiences that are otherwise harder to reach. Carefully synch the timelines for the rest of your campaigns for the best results.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Effective Marketing in COVID Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, raised many challenges, including some unforeseen issues, such as the coin shortage in the US and excess in the UK. We’ve probably all grown weary of hearing empty platitudes about “how we’re all in this together.” But some good news is that business hasn’t stopped, but rather shifted and marketers need to shift with it. In this article, we’re sharing some specific examples of a few marketing tactics, such as social influence marketing, which can help during “these challenging times” and give your brand an image and revenue boost.

The New Life Online

The pandemic drove people to move even more of their daily lives online, beyond shopping and work. A New York Times analysis of internet usage published on April 7, 2020, revealed that our behaviors shifted, sometimes starkly, as the virus spread and pushed us to our devices for work, play, and connecting as well as discovering novelties. Even prior to COVID, social media played a huge role in our lives With almost 4 billion users worldwide, the role of social media in our lives is constantly growing. Social networks have surpassed search engines as the go-to product research channel for Gen Z since 2019.

The Challenge of Less Foot Traffic

As stages of lockdown and reopening vary worldwide, businesses everywhere are challenged with less direct contact with their customers. As consumers shift to making purchases online via ecommerce and social commerce, the online space is becoming increasingly crowded. The shift to online eliminates geographic boundaries, which provides consumers with increased options, but also increases competition for businesses. These changes make it harder for brands to stand out and get their message across.

Social Media, the Rising Storefronts

Now more than ever a brand‘s social media profiles have become one of their most essential storefronts. Making sure the brand pops out and appeals on social channels is more important than ever, and not just to maintain and enhance the brand image. With the ongoing fast rise of social commerce especially among millennials, and even more so Gen Z, social media is becoming a prime sales channel. In the fashion sector, for example, social media in Germany already generated sales of EUR 3.4 billion in 2018. Social commerce usually takes place on the move, i.e. via smartphone or tablet, as social media offers are preferably used via mobile devices. Especially brands that target these consumer segments can win a lot by making sure their social media presence is optimized to cash in on the movement and avoid losing out to competitors. Revising one‘s social media strategy and tactics all the way to the inclusion of clever shoppable features and creative influencer marketing for example is bound to be a very rewarding exercise when done properly.

Connecting with Consumers is Key to Standing Out

Successful brands are those that are able to connect with consumers and create a relationship. Telling stories to create more emotional connections drives a stronger, more appealing social media presence.

Building such connections is crucial to standing out from the crowds. Connections lead to conversions short term, as well as long-term loyalty and even advocacy. This cycle of turning customers into advocates is described by Hubspot as the “flywheel,” a circular process from attract, to engage, to delight, where customers feed growth.

Creating Connections in COVID Times With Fitting Content

In hard times people look for hope, support, strength and leadership. Strong omni-channel (digital) content that captures people‘s emotions and showcases a brand‘s social engagement can be a powerful tool to make your brand stand out and win over the hearts and minds of consumers just that little bit more. Some marketing during COVID undeniably fell flat when a company’s message just wasn‘t credible. However, there were also admirable examples, such as Ford. The auto manufacturer created a series of ads to explain how they have met global-scale crises in the past, creating an image of solidity and reliability. Some of the new ads also beautifully conveyed how the brand is fighting COVID-19 by manufacturing medical equipment in short supply.

Say It With Influencers for Increased Impact

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

Influence marketing provides an agile, real time communication channel with consumers. Additionally, brands are mainly discovered online, through influencers, making this an important part of your marketing mix. Even more powerful is the combination of emotion-driven storytelling and content creation by influencers, adding authenticity and credibility to the mix. This successfully drives traffic to your social channels and website, generating valuable opportunities for lead generation and sales.

Aligning with Consumers’ Values

As consumers search for purpose, they’re increasingly looking for brands that align with their values. Like many challenges, this can also be an opportunity. Brands can use influencer marketing to get their purpose and value proposition better known and stand out, while successfully promoting new sales channels. By clearly demonstrating their unique values, brands can connect with an expanded group of consumers and build strong relationships with the potential to last.

For example, Kingfluencers worked with the oldest insurance company in Switzerland to create a campaign in which sympathetic influencers created their own damage sketches and included calls to actions for the community to participate. More than 500 sketches were created, resulting in over 550,000 impressions and 80,000 website visits in a short time-frame, along with a 3.01% engagement rate.

Social influence marketing is quick and agile. Such a campaign can be developed and launched in a matter of weeks to drive revenue prior to the end of the year.

Stay Agile and Expand Your Reach

Social influence marketing delivers reach and real impact on consumer decisions fast and efficiently. Give your brand a face people can relate to, elevate your advertising spending by adding credibility and authenticity to your message. Social media channels also enable you to reach audiences that aren’t easily reached via traditional marketing. The reach of Instagram is well known, and TikTok is particularly popular with Gen Z, the generation brands are struggling to connect with.

Holistic Approach to Influence Marketing

Social influence marketing is a broad area that includes more than professional influencers and content creators. A wide range of individuals can serve as effective influencers and contribute to your marketing efforts, such as:

Employees

CEOs and other leaders

  • Your leadership team is part of the face of your brand. Their role as social influencers is becoming increasingly important

Consumers

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

Each of these groups can be powerful influencers, but, when effectively combined, the result is synergistic, delivering a massive impact.

Leverage Your Existing Advocates — Including Employees

Example of a real-life success story

One tech company chose Kingfluencers to run a workshop for selected employees who were passionate about their work and active on their own social media. Kingfluencers taught the 15 influencers how to optimally stage the products on social media and create emotional textual content to achieve the highest possible performance. The results included 89 content pieces posted with a 23.44% engagement rate and more than 62,000 direct impressions.

What are the strengths of influence marketing? How and why does it generate positive ROI? Read this article providing a deep dive into why brands should do social influence marketing and learn more about the topic.

Time-limited promotion: Reach out to our experts before November 10. and the Kingfluencers team will provide you with a clear promo strategy:

Social influence campaign ideas (incl. 3 creative concepts, SoMe channels, influencer suggestions), tailored to your budget
A detailed implementation plan
Outcomes forecast
… all for just CHF 1’400.-

Get the most out of the end of 2020 and beyond. Our team is here to support you.

Author: Yoeri CallebautChief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers

What Are the Strengths of Social Influence Marketing?

Ecommerce and social commerce can open your potential customer base to the entire planet. Unfortunately, they also expand your competitive landscape by the same margin. Influence Marketing (IM) can help you tackle such challenges and generate positive ROI. We’re diving into how and why.

Earning Consumers’ Love, Respect, and Adoration

IM has the power to help brands generate awareness and earn consumer loyalty. Consumers use social media to discover products and services and make purchasing decisions, often with the help of influencers as reliable sources of information. When it comes to brands, products, and services to buy, consumers seem to trust shopping recommendations more from influencers than from family and friends according to a study from gen.videoAll studies into the topic also conclude that almost all consumers trust influencers significantly more than advertising.

Social Media, The New Storefronts

90% of online shoppers are also using social networks today. Shoppable features on social media are growing, helping drive an ongoing rapid rise in social commerce, particularly with younger generations. 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. In the fashion sector, for example, in Germany, social media already generated sales of EUR 3.4 billion in the fashion sector in 2018. On average, each user in Switzerland spends 1 hour 18 minutes per day spent using social media.

To capture sales opportunities, it’s vital to stand out on social channels. Brands that target these consumer segments stand to gain by optimizing their social media presence to cash in on this trend and avoid losing out to competitors. You can optimize by including clever shoppable features and working with influencers to boost reach.

Influence Marketing is Authentic and Impactful

Throughout the customer journey, IM can be used to effectively nurture your leads and customers. By providing depth, creating meaningful connections, and inspiring trust, IM drives measurable results instantly as well as overtime. IM can provide ongoing, credible nurturing, as opposed to most marketing touchpoints along the consumer journey like regular advertising or agency visits. From creating awareness and enhancing your brand image to boosting consideration and pushing conversion, IM nurtures your audiences in a uniquely effective way.

Influencers are deeply connected to communities and are more trusted. In fact, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than any form of advertising. The credibility of influencers makes their contributions impactful in these communities. IM also showcases real-life examples as opposed to staged ads that consumers understand are fabricated.

Additionally, influencers can activate and maintain engagement in communities through various formats such as videos, contests, challenges, games, and even leading live events that encompass memorable, consumer-engaging brand experiences, and even sampling actions for new products.

Tip: Use social influencers to increase and improve your online community engagement. From growing the number of followers on your social media accounts to boosting reach and ensuring your audience remains engaged with your brand, influencers can provide a tremendous boost to your success on social media. Why not do an influencer Instagram take-over for a week or stimulate online conversations with influencers as moderators or post authentic and creative fan- or employee-based product tutorials?

Influence Marketing is Effective at Targeting Your Audience

Influence marketing can make people feel closer to your brand and develop a strong preference for it. 87% of consumers made purchases based on influencer recommendations. Social media platforms can effectively target a variety of demographics, such as moms on Facebook, millennials in Instagram, Gen Z on TikTok, and professionals on LinkedIn. When combined with the ability to select specific influencers, IM provides exceptional targeting capabilities.

IM is particularly effective at targeting Generation Z.

  • 85% of Gen Z learns about new products on social media.
  • 45% of teens use Instagram to find cool new products
  • 75% of Gen Z prefer to buy online, including directly on social media
  • 73% of Gen-Z shoppers want brands and retailers to connect with them about new products and promotions through Instagram

It’s also becoming increasingly easy to measure attribution of social media investments in order to accurately calculate ROI. With influencer marketing showcasing best-in-class ROI figures, it is becoming increasingly attractive for companies.

Influencer Marketing Captivates

As consumers strive for purpose, they seek out brands that demonstrate shared values such as fair labor practices, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. Brands must work to earn consumers’ trust and build favorable public opinion. These values must be communicated clearly, while consistently remaining authentic.

With social media, you can tell stories to create more emotional connections that drive a stronger, more appealing social media presence. IM has the power to unite people and drive engagement, in particular, through contests and challenges.

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

IM also allows brands the possibility to work with many diverse groups, providing access to a wide variety of audiences, including niche audiences. This can boost a brand’s image and increase appeal to the diverse range of people many brands serve today. The powerful effect of ‘giving your brand a face people can relate to‘ helps to explain the success of IM.

Influence Marketing is Effective at Driving Sales and Brand Loyalty

IM is uniquely advantageous in having measurable performance stats that are at least as good as traditional advertising, but with many additional benefits. CPM and cost per lead can be very effective and competitive with other online marketing. As an example the Kingfluencers team ran a campaign in autumn 2020 in Switzerland for a leading consumer electronics brand, obtaining a CPM of CHF 19.06 with a reach of over 2.5 million and almost 291.000 consumer engagements.

Contrary to traditional online ads, IM also helps you develop credibility and trust. Regular advertising is often not trusted and disliked. It’s outright hated by Gen Z. However, IM remains effective. According to the State of Influence 2020 Report, “Despite the decrease in the overall quantity of sponsored content, audiences remain engaged with these posts, especially on Instagram and TikTok.”

Generation Z account for 40% of global consumers, and about 32% of the global population, edging ahead of Millennials already

Influence Marketing is Fast and Agile

Some big consumer spending moments are still yet to come in 2020, including Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s. Brands have numerous opportunities to boost revenue but must prepare now to capitalize on these times.

Fortunately, a creative strategy for an IM campaign can be developed, set up, and implemented in a matter of no timeHere at Kingfluencers, we collaborate with all social media platforms and create smart, omni-channel and multi-format campaigns in less than a few weeks.

One excellent example of an agile approach to IM is Chipotle. The American restaurant chain was already active on TikTok prior to the COVID pandemic and worked with influencers to promote their delivery service. Their keys to success included a steady drumbeat of challenges on TikTok, partnering with young influencers with large platforms, and aligning content with relevant culture references.

Rich Choice of Formats

Social media platforms offer an ever wider variety of options both in terms of types of posts that are possible as well as content formats that are supported. From images to stories, video, live streaming, Instagram TV, and so much more. This gives influencers a rich arsenal to captivate their audiences with. But it doesn’t stop there, the options allowing people to interact with content as well as convert reach to sales have seen a real boom recently. With features like swipe up, linked shoppable product catalogues, interactive contests, temporary flash promotions, etc. it has become ever more easy to make the link between influencer content and revenue generation.

And with Kingfluencers, IM is Predictable!

With most marketing efforts, it is very difficult to accurately estimate results. But machine learning technology is changing that. Leading providers like Kingfluencers understand that combining the power of IM with innovative campaign management technology can substantially increase campaign efficiency and drive improved outcomes. Kingfluencers took this a step further with the predictor module, part of our in-house, state of the art IM platform. This module can accurately predict the outcomes of campaigns on parameters such as estimated impressions, reach, engagement, interactions, and conversion, based on unique campaign parameters.

Influence Marketing Fits Perfectly in Your Marketing Mix

Influencer marketing can fit in with your other marketing disciplines, especially social media and even performance marketing*, and elevate your key messages. This high level of compatibility is valuable, as it can reinforce all your marketing efforts in driving traffic to the content assets and web presence you’ve already built. Content creation can flow both directions, as you can reuse and repurpose content created by influencers as part of your IM campaigns. Increasingly, brands are seeing that content generated from IM campaigns can enrich or even replace traditional content across various channels. The IM-generated content has higher engagement levels and more positive consumer reactions than other content types. It can also very well help gather new leads, just like in the case of a campaign done by Kingfluencers for one of the oldest insurance companies in Switzerland, where the efforts generated over 80’000, convertible, campaign landing page visits.

Time-limited promotion: Reach out to our experts during the month of November 2020 and the Kingfluencers team will provide you with a clear promo strategy:
Social influence campaign ideas (incl. 3 creative concepts, SoMe channels, influencer suggestions), tailored to your budget
A detailed implementation plan
Outcomes forecast
… all for just CHF 1’400.-
Get the most out of the end of 2020 and beyond. Our team is here to support you.

Author: Yoeri CallebautChief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers

The Magic of Creativity and Authenticity in Content

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

Authenticity is Vital and Consumers Notice It

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

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

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

Experiment and Determine What’s Most Effective

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

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

Step outside the box.

@thefashionfraction for Samsung Switzerland Campaign

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

Highlight Sustainability

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

@elviralegrand for Evian Water #BottlesMadeFromBottles campaign

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

Make Campaigns Interactive and Collaborative

Brands that are more creative achieve better results, specifically:

  • Increased engagement
  • More conversions
  • Better customer loyalty

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

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

User Generated Content and Other Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Yoeri CallebautChief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers

Turning social media into a force for good — A shared responsibility of all?

Edit 06.04.2021: Following the ongoing social media bans even after former President Trump’s term has ended, Trump has launched his own website, where he plans to update his fans with news from his wife, Melania Trump, and himself. According to The Guardian, the former US president will soon launch his own social media platform. “And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does. But it will be his own platform,” claimed Jason Miller Senior Adviser to Donald Trump.

President Trump’s notorious Twitter account was suspended permanently on January 8th 2021. (Source: TechCrunch)

As it is known worldwide, current United States president, Donald J. Trump’s Twitter account has been suspended just two days after his supporters stormed the US Capitol last week. He is also banned from using other social media platforms such as Facebook, InstagramSnapchatYouTube, etc. at least until the end of his term. This has prompted an overall discussion about the impact of social media and how to act responsibly.

About social media responsibility

Since long time there has been a common understanding that all users are responsible for their own content and have to follow the platforms’ rules. Generally, it is prohibited to post anything that is disruptive, hateful, offensive, discriminatory, threatening, harassing, or defamatory. For a long time therefore social media companies have left most of the responsibility for the content that is published with the users and interfered almost exclusively in the case of very clear infringements such as sexually explicit or clearly violence-inciting posts.

The most newsworthy example of a public figure whose social media actions have caused nationwide as well as worldwide unrest is the current US president, Donald J. Trump. With 88 million Twitter followers and an account that was the 6th most followed on the platform before the ban, it is clear that his message has a wide reach, whether you agree with President Trump’s policies and beliefs or not. Furthermore, in 2020 he was the #1 most tweeted about person worldwide, according to Twitter. But for many, he is also the clearest example of how social influence can be misused. His actions, and those of others in his sphere, have sharpened the debate on what the rules or guidelines for responsible behavior on social media should be, particularly for politicians, and which role platform providers should play in enforcing these rules and hold users accountable. A good solution could be to increase awareness among social media users through constant education efforts. At the same time, there is a call by a large part of the population that more fact-checking, moderation, and monitoring by the social media platforms would be a good step forward, albeit without dictating too much how one is able to use his or her profile and which information a person can share — as long as no harm is being done.

The dangers of misinformation

One of the biggest potential dangers of social media is without a doubt the possible spread of misinformation, especially in areas where this can cause significant harm. When creating or sharing content on social media, integrity is always key. Not everyone has the best of intentions however and some even go as far to use social media and their influence to advance their own agenda, no matter the consequences.

A blatant example — COVID-19 and President Trump

Yes, Trump again. But here is why… From his 36 daily tweets, many of his devotees have taken every word as an official government statement, including his factually wrong tweets about the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to openly refusing to wear a mask (despite US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear masks since March 2020), these actions have caused nationwide protests against government policies to fight against the pandemic. After three months of refusing to wear a mask and his staff pleading him to set an example, President Trump has finally posted a picture of himself wearing a mask for the first time in public in July 2020. He also tweeted:

“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”

President Trump first wore a mask in public on July 11th 2020. (Source: France24)

But was it too little, too late? There is little doubt that the misinformation campaign has tremendously worsened the outcome of the pandemic so far. After the nationwide divide that President Trump’s tweets about COVID-19 have caused, Twitter took action and started monitoring his account. The social media platform started adding fact-checks on Trump’s tweets about the virus in May 2020.

The positive impacts of social media

Dispite the misusage of some people, we cannot forget that social media has had many positive effects on society and need to recognise its enormous potential for good. Certain movements have brought society together to strive for positive change. Social media gives people with good intentions and ideas a platform to unite and collaborate in order to try build a better society together. Influencers, people with a significant audience base, can thereby become powerful catalysts to advance the noble causes they embrace, no matter how big or small the cause is. Here are some examples:

#BlackLivesMatter

One incredible example is the #BlackLivesMatter movement which was started by George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chaivin who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Since then, the world has come together on social media platforms to fight against Floyd’s injustice. In the year 2020, the second most popular hashtag was #BlackLivesMatter and George Floyd was the third most tweeted-about person in the world. Numerous influencers, including celebrities, around the world, have also come together and shared their support digitally and on their cities’ streets, protesting against the injustice. Even our Swiss influencers have taken action to bring awareness to the movement.

Many Swiss influencers, including Xenia (see above), have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by posting completely black posts on June 2nd 2020 with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday (Source: Instagram)

#SupportSmallBusiness

Another movement that has started since the global pandemic was the Support Small Business movement. With currently over 26 million Instagram posts under the hashtag #SupportSmallBusiness, influencers have shared awareness of the negative impacts of the pandemic and government regulations on small businesses, especially in the gastronomy field. An ideal example is the Family of 5 (FO5) Travel Blog, who started a #FO5Support initiative that supports small businesses in Switzerland through social media exposure. To learn more about the initiative, click here.

The Family of 5 Travel Blog shows support for Swiss small businesses in these tough times (Source: Instagram)

#StayHome

An additional movement that has started since the global pandemic is the #StayHome movement. Since the first lockdown in spring 2020, many of our Swiss influencers came together to encourage the importance of social distancing and staying at home by setting an example.

Zurich native Adriana Pokus de Leonhart took part in the #ZüriBliibtDihei campaign in March 2020 (translation from Swiss German: Zurich Stay Home), encouraging others to stay home in order to enjoy the summer ahead. (Source: Instagram)

Kingfluencers founder Fabian Plüss showed here how one’s home office can still be a productive and attractive workplace (Source: Instagram)

#Mask

Furthermore, numerous Swiss fashion influencers have promoted the wearing of masks by showcasing how stylish masks can be, like Luisa Rossi.

Stylist Luisa Rossi showed how stylish masks can be, especially when combined with chains. (Source: Instagram)

Responsible behavior tips

There are many creative ways to show social media responsibility and still have a voice and stand up for what one believes in. It is important to always maintain the highest level of integrity no matter how big or small one‘s audience is. All stakeholders have a role to play in this matter and users with significant influence need to set a leading example. Companies like Kingfluencers are also picking up the torch in the debate with an active effort to provide guidance to influencers and other players in the eco-system, in order to help realise the true potential of social media and social influence for people and brands alike. To learn more about how, stay tuned for some very exciting updates coming soon …

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

Build Trust & Humanize Your Brand with Personal Branding

By elevating their personal brand, CEOs and other senior business leaders can become powerful brand advocates and make a valuable impact on the organization they work for. In this article, we’ll cover what businesses need to think about to effectively leverage personal branding at the executive level and further build trust with their target audiences by ‘humanizing‘ the brand.

Engage in Conversations to Drive Results

While social media can enable you to take control of your narrative, the digital landscape is full of noise, with millions of brands — and even more individuals — competing for attention. Some of the keys to successfully connect to your audiences and outpace those who compete for their attention are relevance, timing (right content at the right moment), message clarity, and ease of message absorption. However, none of these keys will open any doors without the most important one needed to captivate people and drive results: trust. Simply having a company profile and posting quotes or other content won’t effectively build trust. Instead, it’s important to differentiate your brand and build relationships with stakeholders in the market. One effective way companies can do so is by leveraging people to humanize their brands. Especially when these people have extensive reach and relevance, their impact can be very significant.

People connect with people, not logos.

Social media isn’t just about making noise yourself, but also engaging in conversations and dialogues with your audience. You have to be in the weeds to build trust and connect to people. People are craving authentic and real content as well as advice and even guidance in multiple areas, and look for people and brands they believe in to provide this. Cultivate genuine relationships and build trust so that if your audience is ever in need of a solution, you’ll be top of mind. Once you have the trusting ear of your peers, partners, clients, and people in general, it becomes so much easier to get any message across, making your communication much more effective, achieving your goals more easily.

Making A Brand Human

Marvin Sangines, CEO & Co-Founder of notus and personal branding advisor at Kingfluencers, emphasizes starting withclear goals in place.

It’s easy to get blinded by vanity metrics such as big numbers of views and followers. It’s not about the number of followers you have. What matters is the quality of the connections you make. At the same time, know yourself, your values, and your purpose. Define clear goals and ensure that your communication strategy feeds into those objectives. Once you’ve defined your position in the market and optimized the relevant profiles accordingly, you can start to distribute content across social media and build stronger connections with more engaged followers.”

The 4 Content Pillars

Marvin outlined his proprietary “Content Archetype” framework which Kingfluencers applies when working with personal branding clients. He categorizes content as follows:

  1. Tactical: Actionable, implementable advice, relevant to your target audience
  2. Aspirational: Results, case studies showcasing the transformations your customers went through with your company // Stories of growth and hyper-specific outcomes.
  3. Insightful: Analyzing industry trends and extracting insights from your expert perspective
  4. PersonalDiscussing personal anecdotes and stories

When building executive profiles, the human element is very important. It’s up to each person or company to decide how personal they want to make their brand and find the right mix. Additional best practices for CEO profiles include:

  • Engage with other employees
  • Don’t just repost links — give your two cents and contextualize what you’re sharing
  • Communicate company purpose — what’s your purpose?
  • Share behind-the-scenes content
  • Collaborate with other professionals

Before posting content, define brand guidelines and dos and don’ts, for example, you might decide that emojis are a no go. Once guidelines have been defined, it’s important to make sure people move within those guidelines. Marvin recommends, “If you have a slip-up, be fully transparent. Communicate proactively and own your mistakes.”

Growth of Personal Branding Services

Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer, Kingfluencers, stated, “Kingfluencers has partnered with specialist Marvin Sangines as part of our efforts to bring personal branding services here to Switzerland. Switzerland is also home to many regional and international organizations and senior business decision makers who have a lot to gain from developing their personal brand following our program. We’ve seen how personal branding can make a significant difference, particularly as part of coordinated branding, positioning, and social selling efforts. As the leading social influence marketing firm, we aim to be the absolute point of reference for personal branding services in the region.”

Impersonating the CEO?

It’s often difficult for CEOs to find time to engage on social media every day, but you need to avoid a sporadic and inconsistent approach. Marvin explains, “People will realize if you make a half-assed effort. You should have quality standards and be strategic about what you post.

“When working with ghost-writers, it’s important to first consider how to capture the executive’s authentic voice. Our process involves interviewing clients to get to know them and how they speak, as well as their answers on relevant subjects and trends. We use this insight to fuel the content engine, while making sure we capture their tone.

It’s normal for traditional communications, such as press releases and conference presentations, to go through a dozen hands for approval, and it’s still the CEO’s view. This also applies to social media. Think of social media posts as a short form of press releases on behalf of the CEO or senior executives.

So What’s in it for the Brand?

“Investing in one’s personal brand creates all the obvious benefits, from increased visibility to growing one‘s network and boosting perceived expertise and relevance. But the benefits for the company should not be underestimated, when done properly,” says Yoeri. “A first example is clearly the additional attention the company will receive thanks to the initiatives of its senior staff investing in personal branding and proactive public communications. Moreover, as it makes the brand more human and emphasizes the organization’s purpose and values, it is an effective way to get people to connect more to the organization and improve the perception of the brand. Think of the classic example of Apple and Steve Jobs!”

Targeting Prospective Employees and Building Trust

Personal branding can also help organizations in the battle to recruit top talent. Gen Z, in particular isn’t consuming traditional news, but rather using social media to engage with companies.

“Forward-thinking companies are gradually adopting this human-centric approach to marketing. They leverage employees and executives as important distribution channels to attract top talent. When employees share content on their personal profiles, it reveals company culture, enabling the audience to see behind the scenes of large corporations. This human touch can give prospective employees an idea what it’s like to work for the company and what the company stands for in a real way, which is what younger generations are really interested in,” stated Marvin.

Interested in finding out how personal branding can help elevate your brand?
Get in touch!
Yoeri Callebaut, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers