How do the digital marketing people in Germany see Influencer Marketing? What are the most prominent questions and concerns that marketers have related to it? By talking with dozens of marketers from a variety of industries at DMEXCO, our sales team could pin-point a few of the most pressing themes in Influencer Marketing.
How to find the right influencers
The theme of the conference this year was “Trust In You”, and most of the questions our team received fit with it perfectly. Influencer Marketing means companies have to practically trust their brands in the hands of strangers, so they had a lot of questions regarding influencer quality.
How to spot influencers with fake followers was a big topic. Companies can’t of course have their products advertised by people whose audiences are not real humans. So being able to filter out those kinds of fake influencers is crucial.
Another popular discussion topic was influencer match. How to find the influencers who have the best brand fit? Or it should actually be asked this way: which influencers’ audience could be interested in the company’s offering? The answer has two sides: the influencer needs to talk about topics which match the company’s product or service and their audience needs to be engaged enough.
Many studies of influencer types and their engagement rates have shown, that when the amount of a person’s followers increases, the engagement rate decreases. So they are able to truly engage less and less people in relation to their followers.
This means that the company’s offering is seen by a large amount of people who are not really interested in it. Thus, the most engaged audience is the audience from so-called micro-influencers, who work in a tight niche.
How to drive sales with Influencer Marketing
Driving sales and revenue is in the end the main goal of all marketing efforts. However, people have been struggling to do it with Influencer Marketing, as it was discussed at DMEXCO.
Many marketers seem to have difficulties seeing Influencer Marketing as a part of the customer journey. There is a lack of knowledge on how to use it to reach marketing goals, from growing brand awareness to advertising to existing customers.
And based on the discussions, we can identify the problem as the following:
Influencer Marketing is not treated as Performance Marketing
There seems to be a misalignment with what marketers want to get out of Influencer Marketing and how it is done. It is often perceived as a performance-based effort which needs to be measured, but many people still act like they are doing brand marketing. This makes it hard to generate sales and revenue as the actions are not aligned with the desired outcome.
Marketers appear to think it is more important to have a good personal relationship with all their influencers instead of aiming for campaign results. Therefore it can be hard to scale Influencer Marketing efforts as one can only have a very deep relationship with a limited number of influencers. This in turn leads to a lack of measurement, as there just is not enough people to take care of it.
As Influencer Marketing is being balanced between brand and performance, it does not seem to have established metrics. Engagement metrics such as likes and comments are important, but they are soft, more brand-related metrics.
If Influencer Marketing is really seen as a part of Performance Marketing, its effect on revenue and sales needs to be measured accordingly. And with today’s technology there are ways of doing just that.
What kind of companies could do Influencer Marketing
Quite a few German digital marketers also seem to have a bit old-fashioned view of Influencer Marketing. They think it is something for beauty products or fashion companies only, and thus are hesitant to even get started with it. Our team also talked with companies who are offering a service and don’t quite realize that it can also be advertised as a product.
Also a few offline retails came to talk with us about how Influencer Marketing could work for them. So bridging the gap between online and offline worlds with carefully set KPIs is a growing theme.
Our sales team also talked with a lot of niche and DIY companies, who have already done Influencer Marketing successfully before, and were now looking for ways of scaling their efforts. So it seems that Influencer Marketing is not just for big companies anymore, and definitely not just for beauty and fashion brands.
B2B Influencer Marketing, meaning advertising products or services via online professionals, was also a topic that was discussed quote a lot. However, as professionals are not interested in growing their influence through paid efforts, there is nothing happening in that field yet. But the theme is already there, so we will wait and see how it will develop or if it will fade away.
Influencer Marketing seems to be a new topic for many of the marketers at the conference, so they don’t know exactly how to approach it. The lack of a systematic, performance-oriented approach and clear metrics make it hard to scale.
Also, the market needs to move away from the relationship focus. A company does not need to have a deep relationship with all the influencers they are cooperating with, in order to successfully do Influencer Marketing. A shallower relationship with many smaller-scale influencers makes it possible to scale Influencer Marketing activities and at the same time nurture a deep relationship with a few brand ambassadors.
All in all, our team was happy to be able to discuss with so many German digital professionals get a better understanding of the questions a lot of companies have. If you happen to have any questions regarding Influencer Marketing, you can at any time shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or if you want to have a consultation about whether or not Influencer Marketing could be something for your company, just schedule a call with one of our experts! They are more than happy to help you.