The fourth in the innovative series of TRACK Forward events put influencer marketing under the spotlight. In a fascinating and compelling presentation, Hendrik Martens from flow:fwd and social media influencer Regina Hixt were quick to assert that the influencer phenomenon has proven to be much more than just a passing trend – and has given rise to a whole new marketing channel. Younger generations, in particular, are watching far less traditional TV than they used to. They have long turned their attention to comedy channels, music videos and tutorials on YouTube. Famous German influencers such as Bibi, and Die Lochis, have now even created their own products. The credibility they enjoy among their followers continues to drive their success.
Credibility, however, is hard to earn and easy to lose. As Hendrik Martens pointed out, it is only acquired if influencers are authentic and engage early on with the underlying concepts. Partnerships in this sense are not about forcing a finalized advertising concept on influencers but finding a way of co-storytelling that is mutually beneficial. After all, influencers don’t just bring their popularity to the table – they also have their own channel. In that respect, they are practically A-listers.
Companies are far more likely to reap the benefits from an advertising partnership if a concept is genuinely suitable for the influencer and his/her fans. Regina Hixt’s acting background enabled her to slip into the role played by Charlize Theron to promote her new film “Atomic Blonde.“ Similarly, with a little help from Shell and Vodafone, the influencer duo, YouTuner, got their racing licenses, thus enabling the companies to reach whole new target audiences.
Afterwards the presentation, discussions continued at a lively reception with wine, snacks and music. Here the presenters took time to chat with the attendees and field their questions well into the evening. TRACK Forward provides a thought-provoking platform for discussions on topics such as digitalization, latest trends in the industry, and innovative developments.
The next TRACK Forward event is scheduled for October 2018.