Digitization changes not only our society but whole industries and markets. As a result, a lot of new possibilities have arisen to promote products and services over the last few years. Within the scope of influencer marketing, famous social media influencers like Chiara Ferragni, PewDiePie or Lele Pons cooperate with companies. Through social media, they let people take part in their lives and inspire millions of followers. This offers companies new promotion possibilities. But how does influencer marketing exactly work?

Influencers and their promotion opportunities
An influencer is somebody who shapes and therefore “influences” the opinions through social media. This prominence can be used to promote a product or a brand. To reach the younger target group, platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are of enormous value because the media world has changed a lot in the last few years and its importance increases steadily. Influencers have gained their big follower base through hard work most of the time; they are very close to their fans and appear authentically. Therefore, they have a high authenticity and can affect decisions positively. In principle, every well-known personality can be an influencer: journalists, bloggers, YouTube stars, celebrities and politicians. Meanwhile, every eleventh German is considered to be an influencer. The number of influencers grows and so does the range of topics. Aside from the big sectors like fashion, beauty and lifestyle, smaller sectors can be interesting as well since there are less inactive fans and the risk of fake followers is lower.

Pros and cons of Influencer Marketing
Nowadays, companies use influencer marketing more and more to spread their messages. One reason is the enormous online coverage that influencers have on their channels. With 1.4 million followers on Instagram, Leonie Hanne is the most popular German fashion blogger. In comparison, the InStyle Magazine has only 137,000 followers. Another advantage is that influencers can address a specific target group. Companies can search for influencers who will promote their product to the desired target group. Therefore, it is important to address the right target group with the help of the influencer otherwise, the message could be misunderstood or could show no response at all. To bypass this risk, there are websites where companies can find the right influencers. Another advantage is that influencers are less expensive than conventional advertising. One post costs about 5,000 – 10,000 Euros and is visible permanently. On the other hand, the costs of one TV spot can easily climb above 100,000 Euros; and it also has a minimum time delay. The collaboration with influencers can help to reach prominence but can cause damage as well if the personal opinion about the product is negative. However, companies have to accept that because they give up some of their control if they decide to go this way.

Successful influencer campaigns
Pamela Reif designed a lingerie collection for Hunkemöller a short while ago. The company collaborated with a real influencer expert here. Besides the conventional advertising, Pamela has promoted the collection on her social media channels. On her Instagram account, she has more than 2 million fans who are interested in topics like fitness, fashion and beauty. Therefore, a lingerie collection fits very well and the collection has even been sold out for a while. With that deal, Hunkemöller was very successful.

Beauty blogger Bibi launched a triumphant campaign, too. In 2015, she brought her self-created shower gel named Bilou on the market. In less than a few hours, the shower gel was sold out.

HBI has already realized a range of campaigns together with several influencers, for example with blogger Roxi from Roxisecke for our customer AfterShokz and with Nina Ensmann for Tile. The Christmas time is a great opportunity for companies to promote their products with the help of influencers, for example in Advent calendars.

Conclusion
Influencer Marketing offers many opportunities, but also risks. Companies should inform themselves very well before they decide to work with an influencer. They should reflect on the kind of influencer who could represent their product best and if he or she has the needed reach to promote it. You can never tell if a campaign will succeed or not, but with a few tricks, you can catch the users attention. It’s important to find an emotional base with the customer to awaken interest. The user should get the feeling that he or she could have as much fun with the product as the influencer. With emotional stimuli, the user is more tempted to share the content with family and friends which leads to better promotion again.

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