Should Brands Engage on OnlyFans and Patreon?

Subscription-based social media sites have been gaining popularity. Thus far in 2021 Twitter has introduced Super Follows for example, which let users charge for access to additional content, and a Tip Jar that makes it easy for users to send money to posters. Patreon is a platform that provides influencers and creators with a way to generate income directly from fans or “patrons,” rather than via sponsored posts.

But perhaps the most notorious subscription-based platform is OnlyFans. OnlyFans launched in 2016 with the vision of developing a site where creators could monetize their content free of advertisers. Creators are able to set their monthly subscription price, and, unlike Instagram and YouTube, the platform allows sexually explicit content. OnlyFans grew steadily, then saw explosive growth when the pandemic hit in 2020, with the number of content creators more than doubling.

Edit 26.08.2021: The content subscription service OnlyFans announced plans last week to block sexually explicit photos and videos from October but promptly “suspended the planned 1 October policy change” after receiving backlash from the creators.

A Home for Sex Workers

OnlyFans is widely regarded as having been built specifically for sex workers to share X-rated content. San Francisco Chronicle wrote about people working in hospitality or entertainment whose jobs were entirely eliminated due to COVID-19 lockdowns and OnlyFans let them “monetize themselves.” One of the content creators interviewed stated, “I think OnlyFans has this huge appeal because it feels very authentic.”

The ability to generate income directly from followers provides influencers with flexibility, as opposed to needing to alter their content to adhere to brand or platform guidelines for sponsored posts.

Brands Use OF for Charitable Fundraising, While Connecting with Consumers

Many brands might be reluctant to have their content on a shared platform that also hosts pornography, but others recognize the opportunity and the benefits of positioning their brand as supportive of the OF hype and its content creators.

For example, Fly by Jing, makers of Sichuan chili sauce, opened an OF account, “to have a space to show you all the behind the scenes, answer your questions, and experiment with food and flavor. Less Not Safe For Instagram and more Not Right For Instagram.” In an admirable pun, the brand mentions sharing a, “bowl of noodz.”

The account is free to subscribe, and, for every subscriber, the brand will be donating $1 monthly to a grassroots organization supporting the rights and safety of sex workers.

Celebrities on OnlyFans

A recent Page Six article states, “OnlyFans isn’t only for porn stars.” The list of celebrities includes, in order of frequency:

  • Models
  • Rappers and singers
  • Reality stars
  • Actors, including former Disney actress Bella Thorne who earned $1 million after just 24 hours on the platform, briefly crashing the site
  • Wife of an NBA star
  • YouTube star
  • Winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Celebrities aren’t just opening OF accounts, but also talking about it. Megan Thee Stallion’s track, “Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé)” includes Beyoncé’s rapping, “Hips TikTok when I dance/ On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans.” OnlyFans tweeted a response appropriate to the enormity of being name-dropped by Beyoncé.

Some popular Swiss OF accounts include:

  • Singer Bastian Baker
  • ex-Bachelor candidate Bellydah Rivera
  • ex-Germany’s Next Top Model candidate Laura Baumgärtner
  • Bachelor winner Francesca Morgese

With the exception of Bastian Baker, all post explicit content.

Connecting with Consumers, Not Earning Revenue

NYC-based fast casual restaurant Sticky’s Finger Joint posted a YouTube video announcing they were on OnlyFans. The video implies the content is adult in nature and features more humans than chickens. The implication is repeated on their OnlyFans page, which states their objective is, “introducing you to a SAUCIER side of the brand!” Subscription is free, and tips unlock secret menu items, with all proceeds donated to ROAR, a relief fund helping restaurant workers affected by COVID-19. 

“Sticky’s founder Jon Sherman told Modern Retail the marketing decision was done to ‘reach hardcore fans’ in an out of the box fashion. ‘We think of ourselves as a fun and whimsical food brand,” Sherman said. “So we thought it was a fun platform for posting sillier content out there.’… He named millennial and Gen Z users, who tend to engage with ‘food porn,’ as a big demographic.”

The Risks of Brands Offering Paid Subscription

Some brands are charging subscription fees. For example, American fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff streamed its A/W 21 show on the platform. Fans of the brand could pay between $5-25 to access exclusive content and even converse with Minkoff herself.

There has been backlash that celebrities take subscribers away from sex workers who depend on the platform as their only reliable source of income. Fly by Jing also acknowledged this problem and stated, “I want to be respectful of the people who use this platform to sustain their living. So, you don’t need to cut back on your other subscriptions to join ours.”

Low Reach, High Engagement on OnlyFans

OnlyFans boasts “the strongest engagement stats on social media! When a creator posts, over 60% of their fans see and interact with the content. Over 80% of direct messages sent by creators are seen and opened.” 

Indeed, those engagement percentages are impressive, but overall volume is low, relative to other platforms. For expensive products and services with high revenue per customer, high customer acquisition costs are sustainable and reasonable. But this may not be a fit for many products, such as Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Influencer Marketing on OnlyFans?

Influencer marketing on OnlyFans is a green field. However, fans are paying for exclusive, ad-free content, and we should therefore expect them to be more resistant to obvious sales pitches. While that doesn’t mean OF is off-limits, it does mean that a careful approach is needed. After all, consumers paid for “cable” TV years ago, which promised to be ad-free, unlike broadcast network TV. Commercials made there way in eventually and were accepted. Working with an agency like Kingfluencers can help you maximize the success of your campaigns, while avoiding pitfalls.

More Ways for Content Creators to Earn

A Patreon blog describes 6 business models to use, but the focus is on content creators. For example, the first is “Community Model, defined as: Access to a community curated and moderated by the creator.” Others include educational and gated content, and the “fan relationship model,” defined as increased interaction with, access to, or recognition by the creator.

Patreon co-founder and CEO Jack Conte said, “This is such a great time to be a creative person. Creators have incredible leverage now that they haven’t had for many years because these platforms were so focused on driving content production instead of getting creators paid…. We’re hyper-focused on providing the business infrastructure to allow creators to be successful in growing and running their businesses.”

Competition for content creators remains fierce. Patreon offers content creators a means of collecting payments directly from their fans. As such, Patreon faces threats from a variety of other technology platforms and services that could begin to offer competitive solutions. According to TechCrunch, “A range of B2B software companies, blockchain projects, or even Hollywood agencies could decide to target Patreon’s core creator customer.”

Growth for All

The growth of ways for content creators to earn money should, in turn, contribute to additional growth in quantity of influencers and overall amount of content. And this will also benefit brands with a broader array of influencers to select from to effectively reach their target audiences.

Pros and Cons for Brands to Engage on OnlyFans

Unlike Instagram and YouTube, OF allows sexually explicit content.

  • Pro: Brands may benefit from positioning themselves as supportive of sex-workers. Some brands have taken a creative approach, discussing sharing “bowl of noodz” (noodles), and “introducing you to a SAUCIER side of the brand!”
  • Con: Some brands are reluctant to have their content on a platform shared with pornography.

The thorny issue of charging subscription fees.

  • Pros: Brands can charge a fee for access to exclusive content and the chance to connect with influencers.
    • Brands could donate funds generated through OF to charity
    • Finally, brands can create an OF and post content without charging any fees.
  • Con: Audiences might perceive brands charging fees as taking revenue from sex workers who depend on the platform as their only reliable source of income, a backlash faced by Bella Thorne.
    • Audiences will have high expectations for paid-subscriptions, potentially requiring brands to invest more in their content creation initiatives.

Engagement is high and the platform feels authentic.

  • Pro: Both excellent attributes.
  • Con: Overall volume is low, relative to other platforms.
    • Could be damaged by the expansion of brands and paid-promotions.

Few brands are already on OF.

  • Pro: Brand campaigns and influencer marketing on OnlyFans is a green field.
  • Con: Since fans are paying for exclusive content, we should expect them to be more resistant to obvious sales pitches.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Pride Month 2021 is Over, Now What?

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

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

Where Does Switzerland Stand on LGBTQ+ Equality?

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

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

What Exactly is Pinkwashing?

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

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

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

Scandals and Missteps of This Year’s Pride Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Now the Don’ts

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

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

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

Conscious Influence Hub

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

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

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

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

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

According to the Swiss Influencer Marketing Report 2020, about half of the marketing managers surveyed estimate the return on investment of their influencer campaigns to date to be higher than with alternative forms of advertising. Influencer- and user-generated content are among eMarkterer’s transformative developments that ought to be on your radar in 2021.

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

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

How to make influencer marketing work for your brand

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

Downloadable Content

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HOW TO MAKE INFLUENCER MARKETING WORK FOR YOUR BRAND

Don’t Make Counter-Productive Marketing Decisions in Summer! 10 Tips for Summertime Success

We don’t advocate working nonstop. Vacations are healthy and beneficial, and all workers need a break. But that doesn’t mean your brand should stop your efforts in social media and influencer marketing over the summer. Brands can continue to stay active during vacation times with some advance planning, staggering of employee vacations, and support from outside agencies or specialists. 

In this article we’ll address why it’s so important along with top tips for summertime success.

Users Connect and Engage More During Holiday Travel and Leisure

Social media engagement can be cumulative, and often builds on on-going momentum. The more you invest in good social media content, the more followers you earn, and the more engagement your brand can achieve. Unfortunately, it can also work in the opposite direction. If you stop engaging with your audience while your entire team takes a break, the other brands will fill the gap you’ve left in your audience’s feeds. Building your brand’s reputation is a long-term continuous effort and interruptions can make it harder to pick up again later and remain at the same level of impact.

It’s also worth remembering that, for those of us who are B2C marketing professionals, social media marketing is part of our work. But your audience engages when they’re shopping or enjoying themselves, in their free time.

Your work efforts = your customers’ leisure time.

A study from Sprout Social suggests that during holidays, consumers are significantly more likely to connect with brands through social media.

Don’t Miss Opportunities to Inspire

If you’re in the hospitality industry, we assume you don’t need us to tell you that your summer holidays aren’t a time to pause your social media efforts. In addition to researching and planning vacations, consumers use social media for inspiration on a variety of purchases, from travel and hospitality services to fashion, accessories and even certain electronics. 

Opportunities abound. According to Facebook insights, social posts increase by almost 30% in summer time. In fact, posts including the word ‘travel’ have been shown to spike by 46%.

Our always-on society never closes for business. And while overall technology use may decline in the summer, smartphone use increases, as does user social media activity. July and August are a good time to capture customers’ attention with compelling offers or simply to reinforce your brand image or boost product / service awareness. We think it’s also pretty safe to assume that there’s a good reason Amazon’s Prime Days are in late July. Consumers are more apt to purchase when they are relaxed and don’t feel stressed or rushed. For brands in most sectors it pays off to take advantage of these opportunities.

Top 10 Tips to Developing Summer Campaigns

Now that we’ve covered the why of summertime campaigns, here are some tips for success.

  1. Get Consumers Engaged Before Summer Travel and Leisure Time

For many brands, it can be advantageous to develop a summer journey campaign, with the payoff either near-term during summer months, or building momentum towards fall. Not doing so or dropping the ball can lead to loss of business over summer and the rest of the year. This is obvious in sectors like travel, leisure, and hospitality. It’s also important for businesses like homeware and gardening, fashion, and many others to get ahead of the curve in order not to lose out. If you want to push this a little further you could also start a new loyalty program to get consumers excited for the foreseeable future. A continuous communication and nurturing effort often pays off most.

  1. Run Summer-Themed Social Media Contests

Create contests like “share your best summer experiences,” and give consumers reasons to follow you throughout the summer. Austen at SocialToaster shared some great contest ideas:

  • “Captioning an image or video
  • Posting a fun word puzzle (scramble or anagram)
  • Asking your customers to fill-in-the-blank
  • Have your audience guess the context around an image”
  1. Make It Relevant to Your Audience

First, take the time to understand your audiences’ summer cadence. Consider how your product or service benefits them during this time and provide them with specific ideas and actions.

  • Video tutorials featuring recipes and home decor ideas for outdoor entertaining
  • Demonstrate the use of your product while traveling, such as a fashion brand that can be hand washed, then dry quickly on a hanger in a hotel room
  • Show how time spent in a rental car, plane, or train traveling to a vacation destination is more fun with unlimited, commercial-free streaming music, podcasts, or audio books

Another very effective way to make content and campaigns more relevant and appealing is the use of user generated content (UGC). UGC humanizes your brand and creates a sense of fun. It’s also proven to perform much better than brand created content. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say user-generated content (UGC) is authentic compared to brand-created content for example and they engage a lot more with it. One way to achieve this is for example by stimulating people to share their experiences or favorite purchases in the format of images, short videos and reviews in a fun and creative way. Contests, challenges, and rewards can help to get people to share more.  

  1. Focus on Influencer Marketing

With more leisure time, consumers spend even more time on social media and, in turn, engage more with influencers. Summer is the perfect time to experiment with IM if you haven’t done so before. Influencers are also inspired during summer, and IM lets brands leverage that excitement around holidays, events, food & drink, seasonal trends, and travel destinations.

Audiences are ready to consume more social content and are consequently more receptive of marketing and sponsored posts. This means that not only do creators have even more reason to keep up a steady stream of posts, brands do too.

In Switzerland 65% of consumer follow influencers with the vast majority of consumers stating that they seek for influencer posts for inspiration on what to purchase.

Are your products targeted to specific audiences? Then don’t forget to include micro-influencers in your influencer strategy as they have dedicated, niche audiences who are specifically interested in their content and lifestyle. Typically, their followers are highly engaged, dedicated and ready to act on their recommendations, basically providing access to a pre-activated pool of potential customers for your brand.

  1. Create Seasonal Content for Travel, Leisure, etc.

Encourage ongoing engagement by “summer-izing” your content. Use fresh themes related to fun summer topics such as swimming, travel, and cooking and eating outdoors. For the hospitality industry, current photos will naturally show people eating outdoors in warm weather, but services like car rentals can make a point of featuring happy families en route to leisure destinations. 

Give your content engaging summer visuals and consider updating your cover photo as well. Seasonal summer-themed content will also make people connect more with the content during those months as it will seem more on-point and time-relevant.

  1. Switch on Shopping Functionality

After creating beautiful seasonal product imagery, make it even easier for your customers to buy by promoting on social media, such as through shoppable posts. For example, on Instagram, you can tag products the same way you can tag people, so users can tap a post they like and see the product name and price pop up. They are able to click through to the product page on your online store, and purchase via the shopping cart in the usual way.

  1. Promote Posts

Warmer weather can bring about warm emotions and positivity in people, and according to the Journal of Consumer Psychology, summer positivity extends to consumers’ thoughts of products. Consumers who ignored or disregarded a product during the colder months may be more open to trying it during the summer, leading to increased consumer spending during the summer.

By using sponsored posts, you can get in front of more prospective new customers and bring some of that warmth to your own brand.

  1. Offer a Limited-Time Promotion

Make use of FOMO by offering limited-time promotions such as two-for-one, 10% off new orders, or free shipping. You can create a discount code that can be shared in both organic and sponsored posts. Create a sense of urgency by highlighting the time limit.

  1. Take Advantage of Social Media Retargeting

Retargeting allows you to serve ads to people who’ve previously visited your website or used your mobile app. It’s a handy strategy that enables marketers to reach an audience that has already shown some level of interest, making your ads more efficient.

According to Facebook summertime content sharing on the platform through mobile devices increases by 26% over other seasons. The increase for video content is even higher at 43%. With retargeting, you can take advantage of the increased time on social media.

  1. Use a Content Calendar and Scheduling Tools

Having posts and promotions completed, approved, and scheduled in advance is a great objective, but we realize it’s difficult to consistently achieve. Now in the spring might be an ideal time to plan ahead, so you can simultaneously take advantage of summer opportunities while taking time off and relaxing.

Use tools like HubSpot, Hootsuite, Zoho, or even just spreadsheets to keep your team organized. That way when staffers go on holiday, an agency or their remaining colleagues can keep moving without missing a beat.

Bonus #11: Mix and Match

There is no one size fits all approach. Every organization, sector, and target community is different and for that reason it is important to find the ideal mix that works for your brand and yields the most benefits. The 10 tips above can easily be combined, for example in the following way:

If you need assistance getting started with your summer social media activities or influencer marketing, expanding your existing campaigns, or just handing off the work so you can relax on the beach, you can always work with flexible full-service providers like Kingfluencers to make it happen successfully.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

TikTok in Switzerland

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

What is TikTok?

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

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

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

TikTok’s Swiss Audience

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

Why TikTok for Brands?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can Brands Do on TikTok?

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

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

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

Keep it relevant

Make campaigns interactive

Prioritise the human

Display your values

How are Brands Getting Creative on TikTok?

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

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

How Can Brands Drive Conversions & Sales on TikTok?

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

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

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

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

Some Surprising TikTok Trends

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

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

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

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

  • TikTok influencer marketing
  • TikTok ads/performance marketing
  • Social commerce optimization

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

#Samsung21 Campaign

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

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

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

Ongoing Opportunities for FMCG Brands to Grow

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

Altered Shopping Experiences

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

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

When Traditional Offline Sampling Is Not an Option

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

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

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

The Need to Find New Ways to Launch Products

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

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

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

Get Your Product Noticed with Digital Sampling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1

Influencers

2

Briefing

3

Information

4

Logistics

5

Follow-up

6

Tracking

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

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

Kingfluencers’ Hassle-Free Digital Product Sampling Service

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

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

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

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Evolution of Social Media – Part I

The term “social media” has been used as far back as 1997, which predates the release of the major platforms we think of today. In part 1 of this series, we’ll look at the established giants as well as emerging players. In parts 2 and 3, we’ll cover trends and what makes each platform best suited for different objectives. Follow Kingfluencers on IG and Linkedin to catch upcoming articles. 

Emergence and Growth of Social Media Platforms

LinkedIn

We’ll move chronologically with some key stats on the giants. The oldest of our established giants, LinkedIn officially launched on May 5, 2003. There were originally many technical professionals active on the platform, and savvy marketing people discovered we could hop on and easily find our targets for free. (We probably annoyed them back then; sorry about that.) But it made sense to emerge as a place for professionals in all industries to share their work experience, network, and find new work opportunities and new employees. 60.1% of LinkedIn users are 25-34 years old, followed by 18-24 year olds at 19.2%, and 35-54 at 17.5%, and, reflective of the workforce, only 3.3% are 55+.

Famous LinkedIn Posters: The top influencers of the year on LinkedIn, as ranked by engagement and more, start with Bill Gates, followed by Richard Branson, Mohamed El-Erian, James Altucher, and Bernard Marr.

Facebook

The first version of Facebook was launched in 2004 and it currently has the following distinctions:

2.7 B

monthly active users

59%

social media reach

3rd

most visited website

2nd

most downloaded app after TikTok

Facebook’s largest audience segment by age is 25-34 years old at 32.4% of Facebook users. The next largest group is aged 18-24, representing 23.5% of Facebook’s audience. 

Famous Facebook Users: Funny, but unlike other platforms, ‘Facebookers’ hasn’t become a common term. As far as the most popular accounts, the Facebook platform itself comes in first, followed by Samsung, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CV, Coca-Cola, and FC Barcelona.

YouTube

Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 B and it now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. YouTube has over 2B users, which amounts to almost one-third of the Internet.

Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 B and it now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. YouTube has over 2B users, which amounts to almost one-third of the Internet.

As evidence of their investment in creators, the number of channels earning six figures per year on YouTube grew more than 40% year over year. YouTube is the world’s second-most visited website, used by 77% of 15–35 year-olds, as well as 73% of Americans aged 36 to 45. Unlike with many other platforms, use does not drop off with age. YouTube is still used by 70% of those aged 46 to 55 and 67% of those 56 and older.

40%

yearly growth

77%

of 15-35 year olds

2nd

most visited website

70%

of 46-55 year olds

Cognizant of the huge impact of user-generated content, in 2006, the Time Magazine “Person of the Year” was ‘You’. “It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace.”

Famous Youtubers: In first place is PewDiePie, known for video game commentary videos as well as coverage of internet memes and viral videos. Next are Kids Diana Show, Like Nastya, and Vlad and Niki, all of which feature children playing with toys and going on adventures. In fifth place is Dude Perfect with videos of trick shots, famous athletes, and comedy.

Reddit

Claiming the accolade of, “The Homepage of the Internet,” Reddit was founded in 2005. The ability to upvote both posts and comments within posts enables the best content to rise to the top. The approach is appealing and has been proposed for other scenarios. With over 52 million daily active users and 50 billion monthly views across 100K communities, it’s the 12th most popular site worldwide. Quirky humor abounds, such as the fact that the subreddit r/trees is all about marijuana while the subreddit r/marijuanaenthusiasts is “the go-to subreddit for all things dendrologic!”

Famous Redditors: Redditors notoriously don’t reveal their real names. Anonymity is an appealing feature of the platform. Celebrities occasionally participate in an “AMA,” Ask Me Anything, which resulted in this wonderfully wholesome, uplifting quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of the most famous Redditors, instrumental in the January 2021 disruption to the stock GameStop, is known as, “Space-peanut.”

Twitter

First described as a “microblogging service,” Twitter debuted in March 2007. Tweets were originally limited to 140 characters, which was doubled to 280 on Nov 8 2017. Twitter also has one of the oldest audiences with 63% of users between 35 and 65 years old. At 353m monthly active users, the platform sits below Reddit and above LinkedIn in popularity.

Famous Twitter Posters: While an individual post on Twitter is called a “tweet,” those making tweets aren’t referred to as “tweeters.” Former US President Barack Obama is the most popular with 127.9m followers. Justin Bieber is next, followed by Katy Perry, Rihanna, Cristiano Ronaldo. Former US President Donald Trump hit a peak follower count of nearly 89m on Nov 17, 2020, before seeing a decline in followers, and being permanently suspended on January 8, 2021.

Instagram

Instagram officially launched in 2010 and, although it’s primarily used through a mobile app, Instagram is the sixth-most visited website. Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month.

Instagram officially launched in 2010 and, although it’s primarily used through a mobile app, Instagram is the sixth-most visited website. Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month.

81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services, and 2 in 3 people say the network helps foster interactions with brands. Like Facebook, the largest user segment is 25 to 34 years old, at 33.1 percent of U.S. Instagram users. The second-largest user group is 18- to 24-year-olds.

Doing it “for the ‘gram” has become such a ubiquitous concept, it’s mentioned in the chorus of the Iggy Azalea’s latest song, “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.”

81%

people use Instagram to research products and services

2 in 3 people

say it helps foster interactions with brands

33%

is 25 – 34 years old

+22%

growth in 2020

Famous Instagrammers: Like Facebook, Instagram itself is the most followed account, with 2nd place held by footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by Ariana Grande, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, and Kim Kardashian West.

TikTok

TikTok was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016 and became available worldwide after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, on August 2, 2018. As the world’s most downloaded app in 2020, TikTok is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users. TikTok users are younger, with 60% being Gen Zers. About one third, 32.5%, of US-based TikTokers are 10-19 years old. The next largest segment is aged 20-29 – 29.5%, followed by 30-39 at 16.4%. Looking for tips on how to succeed on TikTok as a creator? Check our our previous article here.

TikTok was strategic at recruiting and compensating content creators, knowing that they’re key to the success of any platform. “TikTok has recently created a $1 Billion Creator Fund. This money will be paid by TikTok directly to its creators in an effort to further solidify its relationships with influencers.”

Famous TikTokers: The two most followed TikTok accounts are dancers, 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio with 100.2m followers, followed by Addison Rae. In third is magician Zach King. The actual platform itself comes in fifth with 43.6m followers.

Twitch

I confess, I went straight to a subject-matter-expert here: my 12-year-old son who loves video games. He said Twitch is the best platform for vid-gamers to stream their play. You can subscribe to your favorite streamers and even win in-game prizes for watching in games such as Rocket League (a name I kept forgetting and calling it, “Car Soccer.”) However, the tech doesn’t enforce that you actively watch. Running in the background is adequate.

Twitch is operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. There are both free and paid versions as well. With over 9 million active broadcasters, it’s not exclusively gaming, but all of the top 5 are gamers.

Other Emerging Platforms

Clubhouse is an exclusive, audio-based social media app that’s by invitation-only. Users share audio clips instead of text posts. In May 2020, the company was valued at around $100 million. In a recent article, Mashable described it as, “something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to throw in your thoughts. Imagine a cocktail party or, clubhouse.”

Clubhouse is popular with celebrities including Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher.

There’s a rule that conversations can’t be recorded, and they’re not saved. Although I have my doubts that we’ll never hear some scandal revealed from the app.

Triller is a video-making and social networking service that allows users to automatically edit and synchronize their videos to background tracks using AI.

New Players Overthrowing Established Platforms?

People sometimes claim Facebook is dead and deleting it has been trendy. There’s even an entire website dedicated to encouraging deletion, addressing how it fosters toxicity and polarization as well as exploits our biases. Social media breaks, such as in January, are also popular for instance.

With the emergence of new players, there are concerns established platforms will be abandoned. For example, MySpace was an early pioneer and it made me genuinely surprised to see that it’s still live, however I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s relevant. And Vine has languished. Is TikTok to blame? It probably didn’t help. Join us for part 2, where we address competition between platforms and more.

PlatformMonthly Active UsersGrowth 2020Daily time spentEngagement %Revenue 2020
LinkedIn303 M+9.39%<1 min0.4%8.05 B
Facebook2.4 B+7.27%58 min0.19%85.96 B
YouTube1.9 B+5.00%40 minmicro-influencers: 1.63%
mega-influencers: 0.37%
19.77 B
Reddit330 M+23.26%16 minN/A120 M (2019)
Twitter330 M+4.12%1 min0.036%3.72 B
Instagram1 B+22.87%53 min1.42%
micro-influencers: 3.86%
mega-influencers: 1.21%
22.2 B
TikTok1 B+37.50%52 minmicro-influencers: 17.96%
mega-influencers: 4.96%
1 B
Twitch140 M+14%9 minN/A213.8 M

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being Locally Relevant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From influencer marketing agency to social media powerhouse  

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

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

Yoeri Callebaut CGMO at Kingfluencers. 
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The Magic Mix

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

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

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