Influence marketing, the new flagship communication strategy for companies.

First of all, we would like to tell you that in order to produce this article we contacted several known influencers whose identities we cannot reveal for legal reasons. Just know that they are from reality TV.
Enjoy reading!

Influence marketing has become one of the pillars of communication for a company seeking to increase its notoriety and visibility on the Internet.

In the center, the influencer and his community. The starification of these people via social networks gives them a great power in the eyes of brands and that’s why they are increasingly taking it away from themselves.

Around several actors, the brand first of all, the agency that manages the influencer (if he doesn’t manage it alone) and the influencer’s community.

Let’s go into the world of influence in a little more detail.

What is influence marketing?

Influence marketing is a set of techniques that tend to use the power of a community and the influence of a person on it in order to sell or promote a product/service. In the beginning, it was mainly sites or blogs that acted as influencers. But with the arrival of social networks, all this has been changed and now influencers are people who have a community, more or less large, and who are known for various reasons (TV, youtube, instagram, etc. …).
This is now a major and almost indispensable strategy for any company that wants to make itself known. Because influencers allow to reach a very large sample of people, and from any background (depending on the influencer, of course).
It is a real boost for the popularity of a brand and this type of marketing is only tending to evolve and take more and more place in companies’ communication strategies.

What are the types of influencers?

There are several types of influencers. It is possible to classify them according to the environment they come from, TV, YouTube, Twitch, Sportsmen, Actors etc…
But the simplest way is to classify them according to their size.
So there are micro-influencers. These don’t necessarily have a very large community, but they do allow brands to target a specific category of person, known as a « niche ». Let’s imagine a butcher shop wants to promote their new paté, they will be able to contact the Gueuleton des Bons Vivants chain. They will have no interest to go and canvass an influential person from the fashion niche.
Then there are the big influencers. More generalist, they often come from high-profile circles, such as television. For example, a brand that sells a fairly general product, let’s take the example of wireless headphones. They’ll go out and canvass the big influencers, like reality TV people, because their product isn’t necessarily nested and could interest all kinds of people.

Sites, blogs etc… are obviously still considered as influencers. Let’s take a media like 01net, quite nested, they can promote a brand or company creating services or objects dedicated to digital. However, their influence has greatly diminished with the arrival of networks, especially YouTube, which benefit from creators with extremely diverse content, and which very often brings together a community around one and the same person.

The fact of gathering a whole group of people around one and the same head strengthens its aura, its legitimacy with a community, which will trust it all the more.

How does product placement work?

First of all the brand/company will establish a market analysis. In this way it can best target the type of influencers to be used. Then, via different sites such as HypeAuditor, it can further analyze the influencer and its community.
Once all this is done, the brand starts the process. This is always done by email at the beginning. Very quickly, the influencer or the agency responds. Either by sending the rates directly, or by asking for a contact by phone.
You will notice that here, the influencer or the agency never wanted to know the product, its origin or anything else. This shows the lack of seriousness of these people, because if I wanted to, I could have promoted a product that is very dangerous to health, they would not have bothered about it.
CAUTION: NOT ALL INFLUENCERS ARE LIKE THAT! Many will ask for details about the product, its quality, where it comes from, will question the brand about its projects and why it wants to collaborate with this influencer. There are a lot of quality influencers, and our goal is not to bring influence marketing down. But only to shed light on the flaws and behind-the-scenes of product placement.
The cases shown here are about reality TV people, they’re the ones who bring the biggest communities together on their networks, so it’s dangerous for the community.

Then, after some negotiations and agreement on the tariff. You agree on a date and time and send the product directly to the influencer’s place of residence.

Then you send him a whole script about what he should say, do or show on the screen. So everything is dictated, when an influencer tells you that a product is great, it’s made in France, revolutionary etc… know that he’s just repeating what the brand asked him to say, like an actor. 

So here, the influencer has no idea of the veracity of the information he can give. When the influencer tells you that there is an emergency, very little stock ect… This is not true in most cases! It’s just a manoeuvre by the brand asking him to say it in order to increase the sense of urgency for the purchase and thus trigger the action phase. This type of procedure is totally forbidden, that’s why many who use the famous timer are in total illegality.

That’s it, everything is ready, the brand just has to wait for the product placement, and when it is done, if the product is well sold by the influencer, it usually recovers a large profit. Let’s say that about a ROI (return on investment) of 5 is expected as a minimum.
You should know that on average, between 10 and 15% of the influencer’s community will click on the product link, and then another 2 to 5% of these clicks will lead to a purchase.

Influence marketing is therefore very profitable for brands, but also for influencers. And even if the French market is tending towards saturation, big influencers are more and more in demand! Thus many brands are starting to turn to foreign markets.

Recently, Sébastien Dubois and Illan Castronovo revealed the price of a product placement via a story (1000/1500€ the post). At the rate of one post per day, I let you calculate the figure they generate per month.
Obviously, these figures vary, depending on the size of the influencer’s community, whether he is currently on screen or not, his global popularity and so on…
In addition, prices vary according to what the brand wants. A post in the instagram feed, for example, will cost much more than a Snapchat or Instagram story.
To give you an idea, the best known influencers, i.e. between 500k and 1M views per story will cost between 1400 and 3000€ per instagram post and between 900 and 2000€ per story.
Beyond one million views, the prices go up and it depends on many factors.

From Sam Zirah's interview

It is also possible for brands to contract on a monthly or weekly basis. Thus, several dates are strategically scheduled so that the influencer promotes the product several times during the month. And at the end of the contract, nothing more!

There are many possible strategies to adopt. The Snowball strategy is the best known. The brand comes to flood a market, niche by paying several influencers who have a common community. That’s why you can often notice that reality TV influencers promote the same brands, it’s a whole strategy created by the brand to make it ubiquitous on the networks.

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of advantages to influence marketing. Brands will benefit from incredible visibility and will be able to increase their turnover drastically, but over a fairly short period of time.
The influencer will earn a lot of money from the placement but can be subject to the wrath of the community if he or she puts a bad product forward. So they put their image at stake when they do a product placement, and directly associate the brand’s image with their own.
The person who is most likely to be « fooled » is the consumer. Because he only relies on the influencer’s advice to buy the product. Although the consumer can benefit from a discount on the price thanks to the promotional codes, it can happen, especially in the cases presented, that the products are of poor quality and therefore the consumer is « fooled » by the brand and the influencer, who make money in any case.
However, there is always a way to get it back if you are fooled, we will deal with this subject very soon!

In conclusion, influence marketing is only going to become more and more important in the world of commerce in general. Even if there have already been scandals about very average product placements by people from TV or YouTube, this means of communication is incredible for the visibility of a brand.
We would like to remind you that there are a lot of quality influencers on all the networks. However, beware of those who do one product placement a day, if not more. In general, these products have never been tested by the influencer, and they are just stingy and promote any kind of product.

So be careful what you see on the networks, and don’t trust just anyone!

Take care of yourself.

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