Successful influencer marketing must be rethought. Mechanisms and strategies must adapt to the rapid development of social media platforms and human user behavior – and the term "influencer" must finally be broadly defined. After all, ultimately, each of us can exert influence and become a brand ambassador.
As a young discipline, influencer marketing has stood its ground against crises and critics and within a few years has established itself as a permanent fixture in the marketing mix. But with growing professionalism and a market that is becoming more and more confusing, many companies are facing new challenges. How do you find the right influencer for your project? Which know-how is necessary? Which resources have to be allocated, and how can the whole thing be successfully implemented?
Together with our customers and in collaboration with leading industry experts, we at denkwerk have developed a process that makes it possible for every company to use influencers effectively to meet their goals.
Primarily, we need to make our customers aware of the diversity of the influencer landscape. We all have certain stereotypes in our minds that limit our thinking. If you break down the many definitions of the term "influencer" to the smallest common denominator, it is people who make an impact or bring about a change in behavior. This includes not only the classic social media stars, but also customers, partners, employees, and public figures – journalists, actors, politicians, experts, etc.
An influencer is, therefore, anyone who can reach a particular demographic. Their power stems from the trust of their followers. A power that brands can use for themselves if they know how to do it.
Even in the first step, many things can be done right, and many things can be done wrong. It is crucial for decision-makers to first become aware of the measurable goals they want to achieve: Reach, customer loyalty, sales, content, leads, applicants – there are many options, but no one-size-fits-all strategy. Prioritization is required.
This must be accompanied by a closer examination of the target group. It is necessary to find out who the people are, where they engage, and at which points they are particularly receptive to an underlying advertising message from an influencer. The goal and target group then determine the necessary approach, which is set up internally or with the help of external service providers, platforms and tools, to ensure a smooth implementation.
Who are you trying to reach? What do you want the person you are trying to reach to do? And how do you know he did it? Once these questions have been answered, the strategy develops naturally.
It is no longer necessary to think only in terms of limiting measures like product placements. Holistic influencer marketing is the key premise. In the fasion of a classic brand ambassador, an influencer can be integrated at events, in the online shop, or in a public campaign. Thinking holistically, he can also work in the background as a content creator. When conversion is the primary goal, an influencer campaign can easily target conversions for a set demographic using performance marketing tools. And perhaps a message can best be spread by influencers who are already in place: your employees. Then a corporate influencer strategy is the best lever.
Above all: The influencer can only be a bridge to the target group, never a placeholder for the brand. He readies the ball for a penalty shot, which you and your product then deliver to the goal.
The highest risk often lies in identification. Not every influencer is suitable for every objective, and the success of a strategy depends on the right candidate.
In our selection process, we rely on a mixture of qualitative and quantitative analysis. We examine human factors such as the appearance, the topic focus, and the credibility or the reliability of the influencer. We also consider the general content quality. But we never ignore hard facts. The characteristics of the audience can be determined by various parameters, such as demographics, place of residence, and usage activity. In addition, classic social media data provides a good insight into the spirit of a community and the impact of influencer content.
Even today, influencer marketing is still accused of lacking measurability, but in fact, the discipline's greatest weakness is its multitude of KPIs. This is what makes comparability so tricky. Individual solutions are needed here to understand, optimize and evaluate the effect of an influencer. At the beginning of the process, we develop a tailor-made KPI matrix with our customers, which can include components such as coverage and sentiment analyses, and qualitative advertising impact research.
Influencer marketing works when it is done right. This requires a holistic view of the discipline, which can no longer be limited to social media platforms, but has long since found points of contact in all areas of communication. Learn more with the book by our planner Alina "Influence! Erfolgreiche Online-Marketingstrategien für Praktiker".