Tips & Pitfalls to Avoid for Successful Swiss Influencer Marketing campaigns

Don’t forget the Swiss audience!

When building strategy and tactics for influencer marketing campaigns, it’s important to be aware of common pitfalls and to have plans in place if disaster should strike. After all, forewarned is forearmed. Knowledge is power. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into how to analyze and build an approach for success, to both achieve your goals and avoid stumbles.

Metrics to Monitor

There are many metrics you can review in order to assess the efficacy of your social media efforts. Building upon that foundation, we’ll address what to monitor specifically to look for red flags, so you can pull a circuit breaker and stop any campaigns that may be ineffective at best or damaging at worst.

Fake Followers: A high quantity of followers on social media means access to a large audience. Of course, not if that “high quantity” consists of fake bot followers. Unfortunately, fake followers, like spam, are inevitable. A few signs to help determine if followers are potentially bots include:

  • Globally dispersed followers
  • Lack of engagement
  • Comments that consist entirely of emojis
  • Generic comments such as, “I like this post”

However, don’t let the presence of some bot followers eliminate an influencer from your consideration. There’s no precise way to know with certainty if followers are bots, and there’s no specific formula to measure how many bots you should tolerate before rejecting an influencer.

Selected Influencers: Avoid IM landmines by making influencer matches as perfect as possible. Influencer choice must align with your brand’s message and values, as well as your campaign objectives. When you conduct due diligence, also be on the lookout for influencers who might have the potential to offend your audience, or who are prone to impulsive or deliberately shocking actions. Working with an influencer marketing agency can also help avoid disasters, since agencies conduct extensive research prior to doing business with any brand or influencer.

Target Audience: If you’re a Swiss business working to earn Swiss customers, it might go without saying that you need to reach a Swiss audience. Examine the followers of influencers you’re considering, and don’t just assume all influencers based in Switzerland have many Swiss followers. Additionally, look for an overlap between your target customer audience and the influencer’s followers, for demographics such as age group, background, and interests.

Languages: Swiss brands often need coverage of French, Italian, and German, depending on their objectives and focus. This creates important questions and decisions to be made for brands in terms of which languages to communicate in, where and when. What is crucial is to address your audiences in a way that they feel personally addressed and maintain a consistent approach over time.  Even when there’s shared language, there are still colloquialisms to consider. For example, “getting pissed,” has quite different connotations for Americans versus Brits, (angry versus drunk.)

Regionalization of Messaging: Knowledge of the local culture and history can help you be more impactful and successful, as well as avoid potential disasters. In most cases above points can be addressed to a degree by working with the right mix of influencers who have a focus on specific regions – perhaps because they are from or live in the region – and languages. 

Avoid Cultural Missteps

As described by Fast Company, “Say the words ‘Kendall Jenner’ and ‘Pepsi’ and people know… This is at the top of just about every Worst Ad list and will be for a long, long time.” Such catastrophes should be avoidable with a hearty dose of common sense, combined with a diversity of perspectives. Those perspectives should include plenty of local insight, both fluency in the local language and knowledge of local customs.

In May of 2020, Volkswagen posted a clip on Instagram of a black man who is pushed around by a white hand and finally flicked into a shop called “Petit Colon,” which translates to “Little Colonist.” The car maker was reluctant at first to recognize the error, but ultimately described the video as tasteless and promised to clarify the situation.

Swiss organic bratbutter Migros produced containers with the Italian text, “Burro per arrostire svizzeri,” which means something like “butter to fry the Swiss.” A tasty chop was depicted directly above this cannibalistic sentence.

Conduct Due Diligence

Making ideal influencer matches is an important step in avoiding trouble. Influencer choice must align with your brand’s message and values, as well as your campaign objectives. There must be a clear link between your brand and the person in order to keep your IM campaigns real. Authenticity is always a good best practice, and by working with credible influencers who use and genuinely like your products, you can drive engagement while avoiding backlash due to compromised trust.

When you conduct due diligence, also be on the lookout for influencers who might have the potential to offend your audience, or who are prone to impulsive or deliberately shocking actions. An agency can be particularly helpful in making influencer matches, as well as negotiating terms, executing contracts, and managing projects over time to ensure high quality and brand reputation.

In addition to the fit between your brand and an influencer, consider brands they’ve promoted in the past. A sustainability brand such as Greenpeace might want to avoid influencers who’ve previously collaborated with non-sustainable brands.

Give Influencers a Precise Briefing, But as Much Freedom as You Can

To make influencer marketing effective, it must align with your key brand messages. For your influencer partners to accomplish this, they must understand those messages. Success begins with giving influencers and content creators a clear briefing. Not only must they understand the messages, but the entire scope of the project, including the processes for approval prior to posting, and details such as hashtags and URLs to include.

Let influencers do what they do best. Give direction without putting them in a box. 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. As subject matter experts, they’re uniquely qualified to help your brand be more creative, bringing fresh, creative ideas.

Many Swiss brands tend to keep their marketing efforts centered on traditional initiatives. Influencer marketing can help serve as a catalyst to breathe fresh air into your marketing mix. Even those brands that already have a unique, creative approach have found influencer marketing to be a particularly successful addition.

Plan for Contingencies

Finally, make sure your influencers know your contingency plans if things go wrong. The only thing worse than bad news is bad news late. Influencers should know to immediately inform the brand of backlash so you can proceed with your existing crisis management plans.

Swiss-Specific Support

As a Swiss company, we also wanted to share some tips that are unique to Switzerland.

Remain Politically Neutral. Of course, this is safest since there’s no risk of alienating those with differing views, but it’s also considered polite to keep political views private. This is in stark contrast to the US, where all influencers and celebrities are expected to be left-oriented.

Express a Sense of Community. Many influencers are proud of the canton/area they’re from and freely express it. Such pride is common and also helps influencers connect with fellow canton residents.

Consider Varying Platform Popularity. The relative popularity of platforms in Switzerland doesn’t always align directly with global usage. For example, while Twitter is one of the “established giants,” it’s not widely used in Switzerland. Additionally, Twitch doesn’t have many Swiss users, although you may want to consider it to reach a niche audience.

Manage Expectations. The total population of Germany is nearly 10 times larger than that of Switzerland, and France is almost 8 times larger. It’s important to keep these numbers in mind, since the community size of Swiss influencers is therefore smaller. Fortunately, Swiss communities are very responsive and engaging, especially if the influencer speaks in their native dialect. The smaller quantity of Swiss influencers who offer high-quality content helps their audience remain engaged and loyal.

Keep your Eyes on Performance at all Times 

Too often brands measure the wrong metrics or measure the right ones but from the wrong point of view. Often absolute numbers or topline metrics like ‘followers’ or ‘website visitors’ tell you very little about how you are really performing. A more nuanced measurement is required involving qualitative and quantitative angles combined. The most common social media metrics that are worth monitoring include:

  • Total followers and audience growth 
  • Impressions & reach per post or campaign
  • Engagement (Likes, shares, comments, etc.)
  • Click-Through-Rate
  • Share of voice: volume and sentiment
  • ROI

Through it all, stay focused on how your metrics are trending, and how they compare to your individual goals. Pay close attention to engagement, which is one of the most important metrics. When a person has actually engaged with your content, they have absorbed your message and the content created a moment for them. Those moments matter because the more positive moments you achieve, the more people will feel connected to your brand.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

What to Do When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong

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

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

Avoid IM Landmines by Making Influencer Matches as Perfect as Possible 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fit with Former Collaborations

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

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

An Experiment to Determine if Influencers Will Do Anything for Money

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

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

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

Negotiate & Write Contracts Carefully

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

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

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

Give Influencers Creative Freedom, but Monitor Campaign Details Carefully

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

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

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

When Precautious Fail & You’re Facing Backlash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn

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

Work with Experts to Navigate and Remediate Safely

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

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

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

CIH Campaign

Zeki, one of the largest influencers in Switzerland, made fun of an attack on LGBTQ TikTokers which occurred earlier this year at a train station. Due to Kingfluencer’s reaction, he realized his mockery was wrong, and responded by apologizing and creating content for the CIH to raise awareness.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Succeeding as an Influencer – Tips from Successful Swiss Influencers

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

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

Put the Work in and Be Passionate

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

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

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

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

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

Pick the Right Platforms

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

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

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

Create Value for Brands

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

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

– Antonella

“The value is in telling your own story and putting emotion behind it. Give the product a face and so people can relate. Share your unique story and opinion. A product alone is a picture, but with you and your story, it’s like a movie.
– Antonella
“Also, have longer-term collaborations rather than making just 1 or 2 posts. Brands get the most out of campaigns when they’re a longer-term partnership instead of one-offs.”
– Antonella
“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.
– Steven

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

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

Safeguard Authenticity and Engage with Your Community

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

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

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

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

What Responsibilities Do Influencers Have?

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

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

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

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

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

The Concern of Fake Followers

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

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

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

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.

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

What Not to Do

Loredana and Kilian suggest not to:

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

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

Influencer Best Practices Checklist

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

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

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

How to Use Social Media to Connect & Engage

Sharing content is a core component of social media use. There’s certainly nothing wrong with posting selfies, but ideal use of social media involves building a relationship with your communities. Here are top tips for using social media to connect and engage.

Know your Audiences & Where to Find Them

There is no one “best” platform, influencer, or campaign format. You must invest time in researching options and making the selections that best help you achieve your objectives. Accurately identifying your target audience is a critical first step, followed by determining the best platforms for reaching them. Check our previous blog post about the evolution of social media platforms here.

For younger people interested in dance, TikTok is a given. 60% of users are Gen Zers and the two most followed TikTok accounts are young dancers.

Keep It Relevant

Consider what most of the users are doing on that platform. Your chances of successfully engaging increase if you provide the type of content audiences on the platform are actively seeking and consuming, such as video gaming on Twitch. The platform has over 9 million active broadcasters and all of the top 5 are gamers.

Drive relevance even further by segmenting your audience within each platform. For example, on Facebook, you can generate a custom list of people who have previously messaged your business and reengage prospects that have fizzled out.

Make Campaigns Interactive

Social influence marketing provides an agile, real-time communication channel with consumers. When doing IM, like social media in general, brands should engage with consumers and aim for effective two-way communication. Too often brands push out a stream of content to their audiences without bothering to also listen. But interactive campaigns lead to increased engagement, brand advocacy and likability, as well as more conversions and better customer loyalty.

Social media provides brands with the unique opportunity to make campaigns interactive and collaborative. You can turn campaigns from brand monologues into conversations by encouraging participation and interaction, as well as incorporating user-generated content. The close connection influencers have with their communities is ideal for engaging audiences in conversation and making campaigns interactive. Influencers can generate interaction in various ways, including:

Challenges

Contests

Polls

Q&A Sessions

Leverage the Latest Technologies

Technically, the concept of virtual reality (VR) isn’t new, but with the release of the Oculus Quest in May 2019, it has expanded in popularity. VR can enable people to interact with others across the globe, which is particularly important considering the ongoing need for social distancing. Facebook is leveraging the Oculus VR platform to beta-test a virtual world that allows people to explore, connect with others, and play games

Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) is even more accessible, since it doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone. AR filters can be used to encourage fan interaction and promote new products. 

For example, popular chocolate brand Kinder’s “Jump into Africa” campaign enabled consumers to discover animated 3D safari animals while in the aisle of Tesco supermarkets in the UK.

Stay Up to Date on Your Chosen Social Media Platforms

Be sure to stay up to date on the various offerings of social media platforms since things change fast. Following Kingfluencers can help you stay current. For example, on 25 Feb 2021 Twitter announced paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets. “YouTube Shorts,” considered to be a rival offering to TikTok, launched in the US on 18 March 2021.

“The YouTube Shorts product itself was first introduced in September and has been beta testing in India over the past several months, where it has since seen adoption triple.”

And TikTok has launched “TikTok For Business,” providing tips such as info on various elements of brand-building, including notes on creative elements, ad strategy, and key trends. Among the tools for brands is TikTok Ads Manager, a simple, self-serve tool where you can create and launch your ads directly into the TikTok feed.

Prioritize the Human & Use Stories

Human interest stories help the audience relate to your brand and drive engagement. Show people using your product, rather than photo or videos of the product alone. Stories can be powerful in creating emotional connection with your brand and driving purpose. A SocialInsider study found that images in Stories have a 5.65% higher tap-forward rate than videos. Imagery of people using your product within relatable situations can help users connect. Those humans could be hired actors, paid influencers, or happy customers – all of which are beneficial.

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say user-generated content (UGC) is authentic compared to brand-created content. Additionally, your employees at all levels are likely advocating your brand already. You should channel and grow that enthusiasm. The people who build your product are highly credible sources.

Humans also like to see human faces. Research published in the Journal of Advertising Research shows, “Ads featuring human faces and ‘face-like’ (i.e., pareidolian) images capture greater attention and preference than other ads in short time lapses.”

Display your Values 

Consumers want to support brands that embody their own values. 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.

74% of respondents in a Twitter survey want brands to showcase acts of kindness, and 77% feel more positively about brands that try to support society during this crisis.

While it’s tempting to focus on stats such as follows and likes, remember that engagement is a two-way street. Interacting with your community also helps build trust and credibility. 

Follow Kingfluencers for more tips on making your social media campaigns engaging.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

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

Going crazy during the lockdown? Our influencers share their exclusive lockdown survival tips!

As the world grapples with a second (and in some cases even third) COVID-19 wave, many people feel stuck, defeated and hopeless due to the numerous lockdowns they have had to endure in the space of a year. Switzerland imposed a “semi-lockdown” on 18 January 2021, causing many shops to close their doors once again since the end of the first lockdown in March. Kingfluencers, therefore, asked a few Swiss influencers to share tips and tricks to not only cope better with the situation but also to grow personally in this lockdown.

Wednesday, January 13th 2021: The Swiss Federal Council has announced that from the next Monday on, the nation will set yet another semi-lockdown in place at least until the end of February. Millions of sighs of frustration from the first lockdown last March were exhaled at that moment. Here we go again, many thought. Within just a few hours, information spread like a digital wildfire and the nation knew what to do starting Monday and streets and malls were crowded nationwide over that “final weekend”.

Now it’s been four weeks since the semi-lockdown and we have survived the first lockdown back in March. Nevertheless, many are left feeling frustrated, confused and lost since the announcement of the semi-lockdown. To help you not only survive the lockdown but also thrive in it, we have asked our influencers to give us their survival tips and tricks in their areas of expertise.

DIY and hobbies

Doris Flury presenting her fluffy freshly baked bread: All home made!

One of the few things many of us can make the best of is the extra free time. Even if you are lucky to be healthy and still employed, you may find yourself with nothing to do in the evenings whereas pre-pandemic you were normally out with your friends, colleagues, family or life partners. Take advantage of this and try out new things or reconsider your old hobbies that you never seem to have time for. Austrian-native food blogger and mother of three Doris Flury has made home-made bread during the pandemic:

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread.

Sustainability blogger and actress Anina Mutter also recommends “learning a new instrument or singing”.

Harmonie Matthey proudly posing with her home-made octopus toy that she made for her daughter

Harmonie Matthey, Neuchâtel-native blogger and founder of decoration and interior online shop Au_numero_9, had a fun DIY idea. Her daughter wanted a stuffed two-sided, flippable octopus that would indicate one’s mood. One side would show a happy face and the other a sad or mad face. “I could order it in two clicks,” said Harmonie, “but we took the chance to produce it at home! Making your own is a great way to be active and avoid contributing to worldwide mass productions. We found a DIY guide on Etsy, re-created it and posted the result. We have a really cool octopus at home now.” She also values the experience in creating the toy: “Making it at home also was a fun experience. Not only is this a new, home-made toy for my daughter but is now also a great memory for us!

Steven Epprecht has taken advantage of the free evenings since the first lockdown to re-discover his love of reading.

You can also spend this lockdown to try out new hobbies or even re-discover old ones, like reading. Many of us have lost interest in reading over the years due to numerous reasons, including model, event host and blogger Steven Epprecht. He has grown fond of reading again since the first lockdown back in March 2020, especially since he was always out and about in the evenings pre-pandemic.

When you’re at home more often on the weekend, you get the chance to read. I also find it good for switching off.

Netflix: Our influencers’ favourite binge-watching series

For this article, we have asked our influencers which series they binge watch or are rewatching at the moment. If you are looking for new series to binge watch, see if you find something of interest for you. Two shows that came up multiple times as all-time favourites were Netflix originals Narcos and Lupin.

Moreover, most shows that influencers mentioned were ones that they either rewatched or finally were able to start watching even after they ended because they finally had enough time (especially in the evening) to catch up. The shows that were named were the following:

  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • Revenge
  • Friends
  • The L-Word and The L-Word: Generation Q
  • Suits
  • Cable Girls
  • Breaking Bad
  • 24
  • Vikings

If you are seeking on-going shows, beauty, health and lifestyle expert Frieda Hodel highly recommends Netflix Originals Ozark and The Queen’s Gambit. TikToker and Virgin Radio co-host Younes is also a fan of Riverdale. Geneva-native TikToker Carly Réveil also recommends The Queen’s Gambit and Umbrella Academy.

Carly Réveil and Younes Saggara’s exclusive TikTok tips

There is no doubt that TikTok has boomed globally since the first lockdown back in spring 2020. According to Sensor Tower, they crossed 2 billion downloads after the best quarter for any app ever. Nowadays, the viral short video social platform has over 1 billion active monthly viewers, as Wallaroo Media reported recently. Since the first worldwide lockdown, not only did TikTok’s users increase their average watch times, users of all ages also started posting their own TikTok videos. From participating in viral dances and challenges to posting their own cooking, financial, study or fashion tips, a TikTok user has access to many genres of short videos that can be either entertaining or informative.

When it came to tips for current or future TikTok creators, we reached out to two of Switzerland’s many popular Tiktokers, Geneva-native Carly Réveil and Virgin Radio Co-Host Younes Saggara.

Carly Réveil recommends posting dynamic TikTok videos over posting longer ones.

Carly is especially fond of TikTok “because lots of people take pleasure and invent new trends as crazy as each other.” Here we list his exclusive tips:

  1. “Be regular and post at least once a week, because people need to get into our universe.”
  2. “Be effective in the dissemination of content. You don’t have to make long videos but they have to be dynamic and you also have to ask yourself: If I came across this video and it wasn’t me, would I still like it?
  3. “Have the urge. You don’t have to make content to want to be a star but to have fun and pleasure. If we don’t have fun, we can’t stay motivated and keep making quality content.
Younes Saggara’s TikTok top success tips: Be yourself and spontaneous!

Younes has further TikTok tips to add:

  1. My biggest tip is to be yourself because there’s only one of you and that’s something nobody can ever take away from you.
  2. When a cool idea comes up, just do it right then and there. As long as you don’t break any of TikTok’s rules, don’t think of what others might think. Just film and post it.
  3. Let yourself be inspired by other TikTokers — That’s what TikTok is all about.

Steven Epprecht’s exclusive skin care tips for men

Men’s skin needs love and care too. SSteven Epprecht agrees!

One conversation that we have seen come up often since the pandemic is of women worldwide agreeing that we finally have time to pamper ourselves and indulge ourselves in at-home spa days, whether solo or together with the people we live with. But what about men? Their skins need love too! We therefore asked Steven Epprecht for exclusive grooming and skin care tips for men.

We have to start early with our skin care routines,” says the model and blogger/influencer. “Us men should definitely pay more attention to our skins to prevent premature aging”. He has repeatedly shared his daily skincare routine on Instagram and is happy to see comments and messages of male followers showing interest and asking for more tips. His own simple and quick routine which he follows every morning and every evening is as follows:

  • Wash face with a foaming cleanser
  • Apply serum and moisturizer
  • Gently apply eye cream
  • Occasionally: apply a mask (because why do only girls get to enjoy masks?)

Needless to say, we need to see our skin care beauty routines as complemential to drinking enough water, eating healthy, exercising regularly and reducing stress.

Mental health

According to the Swiss Corona Stress Study which was conducted by a study team of the University of Basel, “the share of people reporting maximum stress was about 11 percent during the April lockdown,” which then “rose to 20 percent in the second wave in November.” Moreover, the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms has increased dramatically over both lockdowns:

“While the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms was 3 percent before the pandemic9 percent during the April lockdown, and 12 percent during the May lockdown, it rose to 18 percent in November.”

According to a Swiss Corona Stress Study conducted by the University of Basel, 29% of Swiss 14-to-24-year-olds experienced major depressive symptoms in November 2020 (source)

It is therefore important to not only keep our physical health but also mental health in check. This is also an especially crucial time to check on othersFrieda Hodel states the importance of looking after others in this difficult time:

Notice which people in the environment are strongly affected by the pandemic without perhaps disclosing it from themselves, be it from an economic or private point of view — and motivate and cheer them up with sensitivity!

Frieda Hodel agrees that we shouldn’t only keep our own mental health in check but also look after others in these difficult times

Anina Mutter also recommends appreciating the little joys in life, going through these extraordinary times

step by step, with lots of self-love and acceptance for our own and everyone else’s human-ness

and putting things into perspective:

“Fresh air, exercise, cooking, reading a good book, a gentle and inspiring routine, playing guitar, gardening. All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Anina Mutter: “All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Younes also recommends meditating and writing in a diary. Not sure what to write in your diary? In his diary, Younes writes about how he is feeling, what is going on currently and his manifestations for the future.

It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.

Younes Saggara takes the time to reflect and write down daily entries in his diary. “It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.”

Moreover, spending time with loved ones has been a luxury for many but it still is crucial to stay connected in this lonely situation. With social-distance-friendly apps like Zoom, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Telegram and other social media platforms on the rise since the first lockdown, many have thought of and shared creative ways to stay connected with each other while still following social distancing guidelines. Online drinking games, Zoom Friday night drinks, simultaneous movie nights, live study sessions etc. were activities that we have only ever done together with long-distance friends, family and/or partners.

Now it seems like we are trying our best to overcome loneliness, one of the numerous secondary issues ensued from the pandemic and necessary measures implemented by our government officials. Remember that you are not alone and even though you feel lost because you have no control over what is happening currently, you can change your perspective of the situation. As Frieda said wisely: “Learn to distinguish between things that you can change in life and things that you cannot influence”. This gives you inner peace and a sense of security!

Contact your loved ones, “the how is only secondary”, said Anina.

Takeaway message

This extraordinary situation also helps put things in perspective and perhaps also makes our pre-pandemic problems seem small. Many of us learnt to appreciate the things we took for granted. As Anina says, “happiness lies in the small things”. Here we list some takeaway messages from the influencers we have interviewed:

  • Harmonie: “We are privileged. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be home and to see how lucky we are. All the rest is only detail. We all learned a lot about ecology and gratitude.”
  • Anina: “Use this time to rethink your lifestyle and integrate sustainable changes into everyday life in small steps. Also, small acts of kindness like trying to be there for others, or smiling at strangers while walking, etc. can be so fulfilling.”
  • Doris: “Support local businesses and shop seasonally.”

Share your unique tips to prevent going crazy during the lockdown. Stay healthy!

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

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