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Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the death of advertising. #Sponsored

by Tamara Himler


Influencer Marketing

Ever since lifestyle blogs, YouTube and Instagram entered the social media stage, nothing has been the same. Influencers are the new tone-setters who can help a company, a brand or a product become famous or even destroy it under certain circumstances. But who are these people who are followed, loved and heroized by millions of users under the term “influencer”? And what does the fashion term actually mean?

In the cultural process, the influencer is the one who does something extraordinary and finds many followers, so that the work and the essence of that person achieves cultural influence. The Beatles, William Shakespeare, Coco Chanel and Mark Zuckerberg, for example, had an influence on the thinking of an entire cultural community. What they all have in common is that they have shaped the thinking of entire generations. Es ist spannend und erschreckend zugleich zu beobachten, wie Influencer mit dieser Macht umgehen.

Who decides who we follow?

The masses make the success. After all, it is ultimately the majority that decides who is of interest and who is not. Influencers inspire their fans to develop their taste (fashion bloggers), increase motivation (fitness bloggers), but above all to influence purchasing decisions. This starts with the choice of supermarket, through the choice of hairdresser, to booking a vacation. When an Austrian blogger like Anna-Laura Kummer bites into a BILLA pear in a post on her blog, BILLA can be sure that pear purchases among the 15 to 25 age group will increase noticeably over the next few days. When Chiara Ferragni fondles her Chanel handbag, Coco’s descendants can rub their hands together. And when Gronkh, alias Erik Range, plays new computer games and comments on them on YouTube at the same time, the electronics industry laughs up its sleeve.

In this communication model, the influencers are on one side and the fans, the followers, on the other. Ultimately, these are the customers who willingly believe the statements of their idols and act and change as the influencer demonstrates. Many bloggers are almost uncomfortable being asked about their work as brand ambassadors. In 2017, the term “influencer marketing” is almost perceived more as an insult, although the differences to traditional testimonial advertising are not particularly great.

A good fodder for…

What famous musicians and film stars achieved in the twentieth century, namely influencing entire generations with their lifestyle, is what social media stars are doing today. So it’s no wonder that companies are pouncing on the new media rock stars and choosing those with million-dollar contracts as their testimonials. Companies receive direct feedback on their brand and product like no other testimonial before. In a matter of seconds, a like or dislike can decide the life or death of an innovation.

If you want to smile at influencers and think that they are just young people posting their outfits and travel experiences, think again. Influencers are media stars to be taken seriously, as they achieve a global reach with millions of followers through their work. Reason enough to make the term “blogger” an established and often aspired profession. The power of social media influencers and digital entrepreneurs is almost frightening, as their reach extends around the world and to all mobile devices. Social media posts by media stars reach the social platforms of users in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia in a matter of seconds and at the same time. Reason enough for the advertising industry to embrace this enormous potential and market its products and services in this way.

And why not? As an advertising platform for a brand or product, it is definitely advisable for companies to look for “their” influencer who could best represent the company. If “the perfect match” between influencer, company and platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) is successful, the result can be immediately reflected in the consumer behavior of the targeted age group and in the sales figures.

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Das Leben der Anderen

No one can be surprised that the lives of social media stars are followed with passion, as they seem like a never-ending spectacle of yoga retreats, shopping trips and restaurant visits. The lives of Ferragni, Daria Daria and co. also serve as a brief escape from reality for many of us. Or why else do we see young men and women swiping manically through the perfectly retouched images of bloggers and their idyllic lives every day? The insatiable curiosity of people paired with an escape from reality – this mixture is what makes us ordinary consumers so fascinating.

Far removed from the Photoshop-perfected image, these 21st century stars stand in front of their devices and fight every minute of every day for recognition in the commercial media world. Every like promises them a life in the virtual limelight, every dislike could cost them a sponsor. It’s a tough business for the favor and recognition of the people in front of the devices.

What remains is a business that may seem like the perfect, utopian world from the outside, but is actually a tough job – including overtime, pressure to succeed and the fear of retaining the community in the long term. Essentially, the only thing that has probably changed is the medium; the joy of the supposed stardom of others remains. Only today we have a Dagi Bee instead of John Lennon, Nirvana or the Spice Girls. There have always been people who have tried to imitate the lifestyle of their icons. The only difference to today is this: influencers whisk their followers away into an accessible, magical world where the perfect life seems just a single click or swipe away.

“I just have to imitate the life of my favorite influencers – sorry, buy them.”

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