Yesterday we had the opportunity to hold a panel talk on “Influencer Marketing Gone Global” at the DMEXCO 2019, which dealt with insights into the strongly growing KOL market in China, where it was shown that influencer marketing can be a real performance driver. To prove this, we spoke with three industry experts.
Together with us on stage were Corinna Bremer, who’s a tech analysist and expert for the Chinese market, Alina Ludwig, who not only works as a strategic planner at Denkwerk, but also has her own podcast in which she interviews industry experts – giving her a broad insight into the entire topic of influencer marketing – and Franziska Hahn, Digital Brand Manager at Thomas Henry, also running influencer marketing campaigns. Thus, we don’t want to withhold some insights from our panel talk and would like to summarize them here.
As a real expert for the Chinese influencer market, Corinna told us some interesting facts about China and its influencer marketing. Because platforms like Instagram and Facebook are blocked by the Chinese government you can’t just go to this kind of social media platforms, unless you use a slow VPN software. The Chinese indeed love influencer marketing and they have so many influencers for every niche – that’s why they mostly use WeChat.
WeChat is a messaging ‘super-app’ that allows its users not only to message but purchase products, share media publicly, book flights and taxis and so much more.
Short videos are the most consumed format in China – even though every other format, like blogs, podcasts, live streaming and so on are huge as well, short video is still the biggest one. Overall, the most important KPI for influencer marketing in China is sales (e.g. sales per minute for really big influencers) because likes and followers are actually faked a lot in China, which is quite hard to do or almost impossible with sales. “By default 30% of followers are fake.” Corinna said.
Franziska gave us great insights into the whole topic from the brand perspective. Thus, she mentioned that in Europe it’s still different with the usage of KPIs. Thomas Henry, for example, did influencer marketing campaigns mostly to increase their brand awareness and reach in the beginning. But now it depends on the engagement if a collaboration is successful or not. “In the future, it would be great to have a certain sales metric but at the moment this KPI is not integrated well enough.” she said. Today, Thomas Henry focuses more on building a trustworthy relationship with their influencers and get connected to the audience.
Since Alina has her own podcast “Influence! The Podcast”, she had a lot to say about podcasts in particular. Among other things, she mentioned that more than 90% of all podcast listeners are fine to listen to commercials during an episode. Ongoing, they build a strong connection to the host, thus the host should always be well chosen.
Continuing, podcast listeners keep listening to podcasts episodes, even if they are more than two hours long. One reason for this is that you can consume podcasts almost everywhere, in the gym, on the way to work and many more.
Talking about live videos, like you can see on Twitch, Alina raised the awareness of not seeing this kind of platforms as if they were just useful for gamers.
Last but not least, one fact she put in our minds is that influencers are having an image problem, as many people are generalizing them and don’t look at the individual, especially in Germany. People working in the influencer marketing industry should be aware of that and keep in mind that it is still important to share good examples of influencer cases and not only point out the bad ones. In the end, regulations, e.g. legal wise, would also be helpful to build up trust in influencers and the whole branch again.
These are just a few very interesting facts we talked about and views we received about influencer marketing while talking with our three branch experts. If you’re interested in more facts like that, you can find the whole panel talk here, starting at 2:30:00.
To get even deeper in the whole influencer marketing gone global topic, you can not just find our dedicated blog posts of the gone global series about Russia, India and China on our blog, but we created as well a white paper that focuses on influencer marketing in the emerging BRIC states: Brazil, Russia, India and China.