Influencer marketing: advantages and disadvantages

The social web offers almost endless possibilities, many users are addressed daily through channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and others.

People with multi-digit follower counts enjoy a high reputation and especially among users. Due to their huge online reach and the influence (“influencer”) they exert on their followers, they have long since become interesting for marketing.

When choosing potential influencers for your own business, however, you need to be careful. The appropriate influencing factor should be chosen carefully and wisely. The following questions should be asked:

  • Does the influence correspond to my own product or my own brand ?
  • Is its audience an interesting target group for my own marketing strategy?
  • Is the primary influencer channel right for my target audience?

Snapchat, for example, is mainly aimed at 16 to 24 year olds, blogging is also aimed at older people, Instagram is used more for fashion and lifestyle topics, and on YouTube, however, interests are much more varied.

What are the main characteristics of influencer marketing?

Basically, influencers are people who have a distinctive network and follower count (reach) due to a strong social media presence. They enjoy a high reputation among their followers and therefore have the opportunity to influence the opinion of the recipients on a subject.

In marketing, these people are also called opinion leaders. Influencers are generally people who are known simply because of their high activity on the web. Opinion leaders therefore include, for example, journalists, professionals or experts who write professional articles or blog posts, but also Youtubers, Instagrammers, celebrities, politicians.

The characteristics of influencers are:

  • A high reputation among followers
  • Transmit information and opinions
  • Represent a target group
  • Disseminate promotional information
  • High credibility
  • Strong social media activity
  • Lots of followers, likes, shares, subscribers, downloads, etc.

What are the benefits of influencer marketing?

Businesses enjoy many benefits through the use of influencer marketing.

  • Influencers offer another basis: companies can bridge the distance between them and consumers through influencers, because the latter are not considered a company, but a person. They are perceived differently and therefore can communicate with consumers in a way that is very difficult for companies to learn.
  • High Reach: The high number of followers of influencers gives companies a very high power of influence. CaroDaur, the most successful German fashion influencer on Instagram has 1.1 million followers. In contrast, fashion magazine Vogue Germany has only 165,000 followers.
  • Targeting: Influencers enable companies to address target groups in a targeted manner. There is an influencer for every product group on the web.
  • Easily measurable success: Thanks to the comment function under the relevant posts and the number of interactions, companies can easily track how the content is received by the target group.
  • Reach: A successful influencer has a large number of followers and can reach millions of people with their posts. Influencer recommendations have a great influence on the target group. In combination with video seeding, this marketing effect can even be intensified.
  • Accuracy of fit: It is possible to find a suitable influencer for each niche. It doesn’t always have to be the big names in the industry, micro-influencers in particular can reach the desired target group with authentic content.
  • Low costs: Unlike the more well-known influencers in the industry, campaigns with micro influencers can be implemented with a small marketing budget. Another advantage of working with them is to measure the success of these campaigns.
  • Relationships: Influencers are nothing more than brand ambassadors. Therefore, selecting the right influencer should be done wisely. The most successful campaigns are those that rely on a good relationship between the influencer and the client or agency.
  • Channels: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – influencer marketing can be done through a wide variety of social media channels. The same applies depending on the campaign and the objectives: Planning is key.
  • Storytelling: Influencer marketing success relies on authentic content presented in the form of compelling stories. This not only helps to arouse emotions towards the brand, but also to generate interactions. Therefore, influencer marketing can also be described as a form of content marketing. Nevertheless, it should be remembered: Advertising is advertising and must be indicated as such in social media posts.
  • Creativity: The influencer should be provided with a brief that summarizes the most important cornerstones of the campaign, while allowing sufficient creative freedom in designing the content. This is the only way to create stories that are authentic and compelling – and which, with their high reach, guarantee a high level of engagement.
  • Personal: It doesn’t always have to be “external” influencers. It is also possible to find suitable candidates in one’s own company, who can advertise with particularly high credibility in social networks.
  • Success: According to industry experts, the influencer marketing success story is far from over. On the contrary: in addition to the best-known companies in the fashion, beauty and food sectors, more and more industries are following the movement and relying on influencer marketing as a form of advertising in the media field. social.

What are the goals of influencers?

Update February 2021

The President of the Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron recently launched a challenge to the well-known McFly and Carlito, influencers on Youtube, asking them to create a video to promote barrier gestures among young people.

Here is the video of President Macron:

The influencers’ response and the clip that exceeded 10 million views in 48 hours:

1. Influencer on YouTube

YouTube offers an interesting potential for influencer marketing in the performance field. Google’s video streaming service has nearly a billion viewers, or a good third of Internet users! The number of partners has increased by 40% over the past five years, with the number of channels achieving six-figure revenues even by 50% – and the trend is on the rise.

But how exactly to imagine this marketing giant?

Through mentions in videos (classic product placement) and links in descriptions, companies establish successful cooperation with creators, thus bringing their advertising in a natural environment to the optimal target group. When used correctly, the huge reach of creators provides a variety of options.

As with all influencer platforms, the same goes for YouTube, as people selection is crucial. It shouldn’t necessarily be the creator with the most views, but rather the one who can market their own product in the most authentic way and who is supported by an active community – fans who share and comment on their videos.

The obvious advantage of the video platform is that the products are visual and tangible. On the other hand, concluding a contract with a creator often takes a lot of time and money, because contacts are established with the agencies and the management, who of course try to take their share of the cake.

brush influencer marketing

Figure 1: #Jinglebella advertises various makeup brushes in their YouTube videos.

However, once the right influencer has been found, the effort can pay off very quickly: increasing reach of your own marketing campaign, targeted approach, direct involvement of affiliate links or SEO optimization of your own website. through YouTube backlinks.

Casey Neistat is aware that he is already one of the “ancestors” of YouTube influencer marketing. His videos about Mercedes, Nike, McDonalds, Emirates and, among others, the Tropical Island Resort in Brandenburg reach several million users every week. These are not always direct and paid collaborations, because the status of Neistat now allows him to connect to the things that interest him.

Influencer Marketing sunglasses

Figure 2: Casey Neistat is a well-known YouTube vlogger.

Casey’s channel is a great example of how influencers and brands can benefit each other. Not only is the brand strengthened by the Influencer themselves as a famous person, but the Influencer’s fanbase can be taken by brand awareness quickly to even greater proportions, with the end result being a enormous benefit for both parties.

2. Influencer on Instagram

The micro-blogging platform for Instagram videos and photos has around 500,000,000 users worldwide. In France, it’s 21 million users in total.

As the platform is primarily image-based, it is particularly popular with lifestyle influencers who feature products or chronicle travel in their posts. In the image description, they also place appropriate tags and links of possible advertiser accounts.

Since direct clickable links are not possible in an Instagram post, affiliate links are only possible through the detour of the influencer’s blog or one of their other platforms.

Nevertheless, the cooperation of affiliates with Instagramers can be very fruitful. German blogger Leonie aka OhhCouture, for example, has averaged 50,000 affiliate clicks per month through the Reward Style influencer network which has around 300,000 followers (currently around 567,000) and a conversion rate of 1%.

influencer marketing instagram

Figure 3: Leonie reaches a multitude of users with her messages.

However, other possibilities to use the platform on a performance basis or for affiliate cooperations are very limited and even influencers have long known their value: fixed prices per post or payments per 1000 subscribers (between 5 and 10 €) are standard and scalable.

3. Influencer on Snapchat

Hardly used for influencer marketing so far, but on the rise, instant messaging service Snapchat has long been underestimated. Currently, the service has 150,000,000 users per day, averaging 9,000 snapshots per second. Currently, around 32% of users come from Europe. The average Snapchatter is between 16 and 24 years old.

The biggest challenge of using Snapchat as a marketing tool is short-form content. Images, text and short videos – called snapshots – are deleted from the recipient’s device after just ten seconds and two repeats. Snapchat stories are available up to 24 hours after posting.

Nevertheless, there are already early examples of Snapchat being used in marketing: in addition to the accounts and stories currently maintained by Snapchat of their own brand, they can be promoted through vouchers, contests and products, but without the possibility of a corresponding affiliate link.

In addition, hardly any other medium offers such good access to the young target group, such as Snapchat. Even if it is not yet part of its own marketing strategy, it may have already changed in a few years. For brands to understand what drives teenage generations, it’s important to have access to it – Snapchat is great for that.

Snapchat Influencer Marketing

Figure 4: Sixt accompanied the BMW i8 test day via Snapchat (Image: Sixt)

What are the limits of influencer marketing?

It is not so easy to answer this question. If today there are legal limits to the labeling of advertising, there are no limits when it comes to good taste. And the more provocative a campaign, the more attention it attracts, whether positive or negative.

The biggest problem with influencer marketing is that followers feel like they are communicating not with a brand, but with a friend. They are blinded by personalities and too often forget to question the messages they see.

And that is exactly what can be quickly exploited. Pet influencers, for example, tout drugs for their dear four-legged friends that aren’t properly prescribed by vets and can do more harm than good.

Others, like Bibi of BibisBeautyPalace, drag their own child in front of the camera and exploit it without restraint for the purposes of self-promotion and collaborations.


Influencer marketing on the social web offers many opportunities, but also risks. Before resources reach cooperation with influencers, they must be carefully weighed against each other.

Incorrect and misplaced content will have no effect. Influencers should therefore be chosen wisely and other relevant KPIs should be taken into account.

Influencers can be the secret weapon of a good online marketing campaign. You can reach the target audience discreetly. Influencer marketing thrives on the credibility of cooperation partners. In successful examples, the user is treated charmingly, experiences something with the influencer, and comes in parallel with a brand or product in contact.

Benefits of influencer marketing:

  • Influencers can give a new impetus to an advertising campaign
  • Influencers reach audiences discreetly
  • Influencer marketing starts where normal marketing ends

Disadvantages of influencer marketing:

  • Wrong content with the wrong influencer will have no effect
  • Different KPIs should be considered when selecting influence.
  • Cooperation is often time-consuming and expensive
Jean Jaecklé
Jean Jaecklé

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