“Influencer Marketing in the last and next 2000 years” – would that have been a good headline for this article? “Don’t think so,” you’re probably thinking now. “Especially the thing about the 2000 years in the past is incorrect, there was no internet back then.”
Right! But hey. Since when do influencers need the Internet? After all, influencers have always existed. And the trend to use influencers to promote your own Amazon brand or drop shipping business instead of traditional online marketing is unbroken and unstoppable.
Doubters do not change that either. Since I make money for other people with (direct) marketing, people have been trying to tell me that megatrends are overtaking themselves and that zeitgeist phenomena are completely disappearing. That’s nonsense. When it comes to influencer marketing, people get inspired by people. People also want to interact digitally with people. Influencer marketing is past and future at the same time. Direct marketing, direct sales, D2C – Direct to Customer.
Growth rates around the world speak for themselves. You were wrong, doubters! Wrong with Jesus (in my view a key opinion leader par excellence), with the Internet bubble – and nowadays with the relevance of influencers. “Vin Mariani” was one of the first examples of industrial influencer marketing. It was strong in the 19th century, a predecessor of Coca Cola. The leading “coked” red wine, which was then admixed with extract of coca leafs (0,6 milligram per 300 milliliters), was finally banned. Images and quotations of the pope and other dazzling personalities can still be seen. Mouth-to-mouth propaganda, the use of testimonials and influences lives on!
By now, every small retailer, every CEO, every association and NGO leader should be aware of it and therefore undisputed: Influencer marketing has more impact for people under 35. More impact is currently not possible with any other online tool. The buzz is increasing because it’s fun to be entertained by influencers – and people are still attracted by the fame that comes with it. In the future, influencer marketing will be further boosted by the Metaverse phenomenon. In this way, halfway democratically, more awareness becomes affordable for small, large, young and old brands; better staff can be recruited, more direct sales and appealing content for the social media channels of companies is formed.
That’s why good companies today fish for the best influencer marketing managers, influencer relations managers and influencers. For them, it is entirely logical that establishing relationships with influencers is part of the toolset in marketing departments.
And what do our kids think? It’s simply very attractive! So fast and without TV as a gatekeeper no one could build a massive fanbase and client base 10 years ago. Watch Huang Wai, 35 years young and the Chinese livestream queen. She recently had to pay 186 million Euros due to tax offenses. The supplier site of influencer marketing will never dry out. It’s about independence and about early wealth. 186 million Euros, an enormous amount of taxes that usually top league footballers pay in their entire lives.
Let’s talk about young customers: Generations Y and Z, whose eldest have just turned thirty-five, they like to enjoy lively and approachable icons instead of partying with the average people, which wobbles around in the inflationary background noise of public TV stations and streaming platforms. It’s just not as easy as it was in the good old 80’s Christmas series to set up tomorrow’s stars in sequentially programmable media. Two clicks in Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitch or Facebook – and your own crowd is there. Yes, I’m a Super Fan, and as such I dedicate part of my life to interacting, which in turn translates into monetary benefits with my online role models. Why not! Super Fans are the most valuable “commodity” for marketers, saving thousands of hours of paperwork, group mentoring and podcast creation.
And what drives marketing managers? The rules of the game for this discipline are internationally accepted, influencers can be commissioned directly by anyone. In the influencer business the middleman was dead before he really developed. Maybe that’s why influencer marketing isn’t a favorite of the agency scene everywhere. In the past, anyone who wanted to get the magic “Barbie Girl” singer excited about his graffiti shirt had to hang it on her door in the hotel; one had to know the manager to get past security. Today a private message to Sorelle Amore via Instagram is enough. She has 512,000 followers, Lene Nystrom from Aqua “only” 67.9k.
But stop! Are we actively searching on social media? No, not that much, we mainly find inspiration on IG & Co. People still search on Google, and sometimes on one of the few other search engines. With influencer marketing, we can easily build the bridge between social media optimization (MEO) and search engine optimization (SEO). Web SEO, shop SEO, social media as an SEO booster and if we want to sell, then Amazon SEO too.
How do we do it? SEO-optimized video descriptions and captions, use Facebook intensively – and with online PR. New products, services, artists, and online shops can be launched with high-quality media releases to bloggers and online editors. Skillfully written online press releases lead to journalistic contributions in portals and blog posts (which in turn improve SEO), or to a premium place in the press portal of News Aktuell and other reputable sources.
What is that supposed to tell us? We must not leave the power of influencer marketing in concert with proven online marketing tools to others. We should not underestimate the potential that can be leveraged globally, nationally, and locally in the combination of influencers and social media in 2022 either. If we are responsible for the marketing and future success of a company today, if we (still) own an advertising agency or if we want to break new ground as founders who think and act sustainably, we need an influencer marketing strategy. What can we achieve with influencers? Where can we find the right influencers? Which business models and budgets have proven themselves? Which tools help with planning and implementation? The author answers these questions in his publications, lectures, seminars and coaching sessions.