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Digital influencer marketing

How good stories can drive value for brands, products and companies
Digital influencer marketing

Harry Potter couldn't have conjured up this effect more successfully - before the opening of the new 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter' theme park at Universal studios, seven of the most influential bloggers and fan site operators were invited to a private screening. These seven influencers then communicated via blogs and websites with 350 million people, all of whom were potential park visitors who would not have been reached via other channels.

Media reach, relevance and resonance - in real time
Influencer marketing is about reaching the right people by using the right people to do so - digital opinion leaders.

In this era of digital media, it is possible for anyone to establish and run a  small media company as a 'publisher'. Many people have created their own audience with enormous coverage, relevance and resonance with their opinions, analyses and contributions. And all this happens in quasi-real time.

These digital opinion leaders, bloggers or influencers, who are sometimes also experts, scientists, or even professionally trained journalists and editors, are just like you and me. One thing they all have in common is a specific expertise in a particular field. Another thing is their loyal fan base who they are in constant, close contact with and who are interested and excited in what the digital influencers have to say. The result is that they have an influence over the opinions, themes and purchasing decisions of their audience.

Credibility is king
The success of digital influencers can be traced to their high level of credibility, which is gained through sympathy, honesty, neutrality and authenticity, and ensures that the followers have the highest trust in the opinions and statements made.

Influencers allow their readers and followers to participate in their lives, thereby becoming friends who have never met. And these friends are trusted when they recommend something or give an opinion on a theme. The fact that influencers are very often paid to look at topics or products is clearly accepted by their followers. So it doesn't reduce their credibility as long as they remain authentic and honest, which is an essential part of their self-image.

Healthcare is very well suited to influencer marketing, because questions of health, treatment and medicines are highly sensitive and personal

Using the power of recommendations
Digital influencers have the capability of creating an effect by forming and changing opinions and behaviours. According to studies there are about 4.6 million influencers in Germany. Influencers and communities create a steady flow of content that is then further supported, distributed and spread. Today 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of their friends and family more that promises from other sources, and are far more likely to make purchasing decisions based on personal recommendations.

According to Nielsen, 89% of people in Germany trust personal recommendations when making purchases. That shows the enormous potential of digital influencer marketing campaigns.

But, since digital influencers are entrepreneurs who are very often not just publishing for 'fun', beside their strategy and concept companies also need a clear budget to realise successful influencer marketing campaigns.

Perfectly suited for healthcare communication
In general there are all sorts of topics for influencer marketing in which there are relevant bloggers, YouTubers, facebookers, instagrammers, etc with the necessary expertise and a large audience. And they can be found in nearly all sectors and areas, whether that is healthcare, nutrition, FMCG, lifestyle, technology, fashion, cars, etc. Influencer marketing campaigns work particularly well where products need to be explained, for example topics with specialised knowledge, or target groups who can no longer be reached by classical channels. The possiblities are endless.

The area of healthcare is of course very well suited to influencer marketing, because questions of health, treatment and medicines are highly sensitive and highly personal. At the moment there are more than 1,000 relevant digital influencers in Germany with an audience of over 14 million contacts and the trend is an upward one.

However, healthcare advertising in Germany in the wider sense is strongly regulated by laws and so the possibilities for using influencers in a campaign are limited. Doctors, patients, affected persons or other experts are, however, allowed to express themselves freely about their personal experiences in relation to an illness and its treatment, and on medical topics and therapies within the framework of blogs and other social channels. This is only allowed if it is a personal choice, without commercial sponsorship.

It is a completely different situation with disease awareness campaigns, nutritional supplements, functional foods, medicinal skin care, oral hygiene products, tooth care and hygiene products. Products and topics in these areas are well suited for an additional performance push through influencer marketing campaigns.

There are more than 1,000 relevant digital influencers in Germany with audiences of over 14 million

Digital influence and content marketing
To tap into these trends the Schmittgall agency group started a new specialised digital influencer marketing agency for the German-speaking markets in the form of t5 content. The team has years of experience and expertise from more than 500 successful influencer marketing campaigns in various fields. It offers a unique view, particularly in terms of the high level of healthcare expertise within the agency group.

Apart from this, t5 content has one other essential and distinguishing feature: the software and database, developed in-house and tailor-made for the complex demands, mechanisms and guidelines for successful influencer marketing campaigns. Everything from campaign planning and execution through monitoring to influencer relationship management (IRM) and influencer qualification management (IQM) can be controlled centrally.

The benefit is clear: “In this way influencer marketing campaigns can be carried out quickly and efficiently, in a purposeful and scalable manner. Additional professional influencer campaigns have an enormous knock-on effect by creating organic traffic, leads and relevant search engine content,” explains Michael Vogel, sales director at t5 content.

Embedded in a smart and creative campaign, t5 content offers the most varied opportunities for collaboration with German influencers from the leading social networks like bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, Facebookers, etc. So t5 content has  an outreach to over 50 million contacts, from targeted content placement through product testing and video-seeding to market research and event support, all in combination with strong healthcare expertise.

This offers new potential for success within content marketing, especially within the healthcare market, where we are able to produce a significant performance push within campaigns.

Getting involved means added benefit
Advertisers, influencers and community are in a win-win situation: brands, products or companies gain in profile and awareness, the influencers gain in the currency of new fans through their credibility and the community gains valuable insights.

Magic? No, not even in the case of Universal's Harry Potter theme park. Rather it is the result of a long-term strategy with the right partners that also takes into account budgets, the importance of maintaining relationships - and advertisers, who bravely take a step forward.

Article by
Florian Schmittgall

is managing director at Schmittgall Group

4th July 2016

From: Marketing

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