DIY - Do it yourself Influencer Marketing

No buzz with the bullshit clicks?

The Englishman knows, “There is nothing but a free lunch!” In life, nothing is given for free. So, if you think your YouTube video doesn’t cause CO2, you’re wrong. To put this into perspective for you, every 60 minutes, a streamed HD YouTube video uses 220 to 370 watt hours of energy. That’s 100 – 175 grams of CO2 per video. In a previous interview with the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the research institute Borderstep published these values. The emissions of a film are equivalent to those from a car per hour.

Video Hosting Center mit hohem Energieaufwand
Video hosting and streaming platforms are gigantic energy consumers

That is no reason for me to get upset. An artist who does not play his music at a live concert due to the pandemic, but entertains 2.1 million people at home, somehow brings the ecological balance back into line, at least emotionally. But what about the many self-proclaimed gurus? Today, for once, I don’t mean the many top achievers who offer systemically applicable winning knowledge in all industries and areas of life for 5,000 euros per weekend course in order to give the masses access to endless happiness. I mean untalented and unqualified product testers and influencers!

Whoever is reading this may know that I have been enthusiastically photographing for over 38 years, have already bagged a few prizes and helped to create exhibitions. What ever happened to this art form? Nothing against smartphones with good cameras, I like them too. Rather, this is about all the talentless people who want (and need) to have a say in paying their rent with clicks and affiliate commissions. Ever scoured YouTube for camera and photo accessory reviews? In very few cases, you’ll find good ideas and advice on how to use the equipment being tested, or even how to compose better images. Battles to get the most out of already very good premium compacts are also hard to find. Instead: Showing off with far overpriced equipment and – sorry – shallow product reviews that the sensor shakes…

I suspect that most of the people who talk about photography products on YouTube don’t know how to take pictures themselves. Many will not understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and sensor sensitivity (ISO). And even worse, most will take photos or shoot videos with lenses and cameras that cost well over 7,500 euros, in the quality which one can also manage with 450-euro equipment or a phone.

Why am I bringing up these talent-free in this post in the context of YouTube’s power consumption? Because today it is too often simply about the quick buck! It’s about using cleverly manipulated films to keep viewers on the channel for as long as possible and thus collect advertising money without communicating anything meaningful in the slightest. And to talk people into buying things they don’t need.

This is doubly worse, because on the one hand looking at bad product tests pollutes the environment, and on the other hand the customers of pointless products or superfluous replacement purchases also cause the waste mountain to grow.

Wieviel Technik braucht man für gute Videos und Fotos?
How much technology do you really need to create good videos and photos?

It’s not the camera that takes the photos, it’s the person! Even with a 2016 smartphone, with compact cameras or simple entry-level MFT, APS-C and full-frame snaps (with the right lens – but that hardly costs anything today), fantastic photos can be created. What is crucial for this, that happens not in the body of the camera, lens, HDMI recorder or in the flash trigger, but through the understanding of movement, emotion, light, and image editing.

And I’m only picking out a small section of the vast ocean of nonsense here when talking about camera and photo accessory testers. There are excellent exceptions. But unfortunately, the number of freeloaders is growing more and more. Shame on you! “Think global” means here: Think better of the (psycho-mental and real) environment than of your account!

In my coaching sessions you’ll learn first-hand how to garnish channels with meaningful content and get rewarded by quality, how to create good photos and top selfies with almost all kinds of cameras and how to ultimate pimp photos with a tablet, smartphone, or computer and easy to use software. I’ll also teach you how to set up optimal product testing channels.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing 20.22

“Influencer Marketing in the last and next 2000 years” – would that have been a good headline for this article? “Don’t think so,” you’re probably thinking now. “Especially the thing about the 2000 years in the past is incorrect, there was no internet back then.”

Right! But hey. Since when do influencers need the Internet? After all, influencers have always existed. And the trend to use influencers to promote your own Amazon brand or drop shipping business instead of traditional online marketing is unbroken and unstoppable.

Doubters do not change that either. Since I make money for other people with (direct) marketing, people have been trying to tell me that megatrends are overtaking themselves and that zeitgeist phenomena are completely disappearing. That’s nonsense. When it comes to influencer marketing, people get inspired by people. People also want to interact digitally with people. Influencer marketing is past and future at the same time. Direct marketing, direct sales, D2C – Direct to Customer.

Growth rates around the world speak for themselves. You were wrong, doubters! Wrong with Jesus (in my view a key opinion leader par excellence), with the Internet bubble – and nowadays with the relevance of influencers. “Vin Mariani” was one of the first examples of industrial influencer marketing. It was strong in the 19th century, a predecessor of Coca Cola. The leading “coked” red wine, which was then admixed with extract of coca leafs (0,6 milligram per 300 milliliters), was finally banned. Images and quotations of the pope and other dazzling personalities can still be seen. Mouth-to-mouth propaganda, the use of testimonials and influences lives on!

By now, every small retailer, every CEO, every association and NGO leader should be aware of it and therefore undisputed: Influencer marketing has more impact for people under 35. More impact is currently not possible with any other online tool. The buzz is increasing because it’s fun to be entertained by influencers – and people are still attracted by the fame that comes with it. In the future, influencer marketing will be further boosted by the Metaverse phenomenon. In this way, halfway democratically, more awareness becomes affordable for small, large, young and old brands; better staff can be recruited, more direct sales and appealing content for the social media channels of companies is formed.

That’s why good companies today fish for the best influencer marketing managers, influencer relations managers and influencers. For them, it is entirely logical that establishing relationships with influencers is part of the toolset in marketing departments.

And what do our kids think? It’s simply very attractive! So fast and without TV as a gatekeeper no one could build a massive fanbase and client base 10 years ago. Watch Huang Wai, 35 years young and the Chinese livestream queen. She recently had to pay 186 million Euros due to tax offenses. The supplier site of influencer marketing will never dry out. It’s about independence and about early wealth. 186 million Euros, an enormous amount of taxes that usually top league footballers pay in their entire lives.

Let’s talk about young customers: Generations Y and Z, whose eldest have just turned thirty-five, they like to enjoy lively and approachable icons instead of partying with the average people, which wobbles around in the inflationary background noise of public TV stations and streaming platforms. It’s just not as easy as it was in the good old 80’s Christmas series to set up tomorrow’s stars in sequentially programmable media. Two clicks in Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitch or Facebook – and your own crowd is there. Yes, I’m a Super Fan, and as such I dedicate part of my life to interacting, which in turn translates into monetary benefits with my online role models. Why not! Super Fans are the most valuable “commodity” for marketers, saving thousands of hours of paperwork, group mentoring and podcast creation.

And what drives marketing managers? The rules of the game for this discipline are internationally accepted, influencers can be commissioned directly by anyone. In the influencer business the middleman was dead before he really developed. Maybe that’s why influencer marketing isn’t a favorite of the agency scene everywhere. In the past, anyone who wanted to get the magic “Barbie Girl” singer excited about his graffiti shirt had to hang it on her door in the hotel; one had to know the manager to get past security. Today a private message to Sorelle Amore via Instagram is enough. She has 512,000 followers, Lene Nystrom from Aqua “only” 67.9k.

But stop! Are we actively searching on social media? No, not that much, we mainly find inspiration on IG & Co. People still search on Google, and sometimes on one of the few other search engines. With influencer marketing, we can easily build the bridge between social media optimization (MEO) and search engine optimization (SEO). Web SEO, shop SEO, social media as an SEO booster and if we want to sell, then Amazon SEO too.

How do we do it? SEO-optimized video descriptions and captions, use Facebook intensively – and with online PR. New products, services, artists, and online shops can be launched with high-quality media releases to bloggers and online editors. Skillfully written online press releases lead to journalistic contributions in portals and blog posts (which in turn improve SEO), or to a premium place in the press portal of News Aktuell and other reputable sources.

What is that supposed to tell us? We must not leave the power of influencer marketing in concert with proven online marketing tools to others. We should not underestimate the potential that can be leveraged globally, nationally, and locally in the combination of influencers and social media in 2022 either. If we are responsible for the marketing and future success of a company today, if we (still) own an advertising agency or if we want to break new ground as founders who think and act sustainably, we need an influencer marketing strategy. What can we achieve with influencers? Where can we find the right influencers? Which business models and budgets have proven themselves? Which tools help with planning and implementation? The author answers these questions in his publications, lectures, seminars and coaching sessions.

Branding Advertising Influencer Marketing

In Search of Relevance

When was the last time you had an expensive product in front of you that worked very poorly or not at all? Baby boomers like me still remember VW Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Audi 80s where there were workshop discussions about creaking dashboards, wind noise in the interior or play in the steering or whether the car would even drive.

In Search of Excellence for 202X

“In Search of Excellence,” the nonfiction book by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. was a box office hit in 1982, selling over 3 million copies. While it doesn’t come close to the 5 million copies of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (in German – Dale Carnegie made the title an instant bestseller in 1937, appearing in 31 languages).

“In Search of Excellence” quickly became the “bible” for business managers, engineers and young entrepreneurs. Japan was the model for efficiency and quality at the time.

Today “excellence” is standard, right?

We have learned over the past 30 years, set new records with our own top performances, and exported quite a bit of the excellence knowledge abroad. Today, in 202X, every craftsman can launch his own collection of drills and dowels. Having something of high quality produced in smaller quantities (or producing it yourself) is not only no longer a problem, but for certain target groups it is even highly desirable: handmade, ETSY-cool, sustainable and “from here” or from the influencer around the corner.

What matters today? My follow-up to “In Search of Excellence” I call “In Search of Relevance.” The book talks about the gatekeepers of today: algorithms behind search engines and social media, influencers (or key opinion leaders), artificial intelligence, tips, tricks and growth hacks.

For example, let’s take a look at the promising “D2C” business: direct-to-customer, what a great buzzword whose inventor probably forgot “direct sales” in his gradual digital dementia.

Direct to Customer, Dropshipping and the “Solopreneur boom”

D2C gurus are people who, after careful data analysis with or, think they have figured out which products as FBA or FBM on Amazon or in concert with a store and eBay, Etsy, and more will make them multimillionaires without further ado. Not because they are camera enthusiasts and apply the LED light they import from China. But because a sales data analysis program told them that the market could oversee even more camera lights. Therefore, they looked on Alibaba and Aliexpress for suppliers to send half a container to the rented warehouse to be re-labeled and repackaged. So, the challenge today is not finding products, suppliers or store systems! With millions of solopreneurs around the world hoping to strike it rich with drop shipping, print on demand and custom production, it’s about creating relevance for your own offering! How do you make yourself visible?

It’s no different in the entertainment business: first YouTube, then Amazon Prime, then Netflix – a gigantic amount of new streamable material has to satisfy the hunger of the providers and their subscribers; there are hardly any real new screen heroes left with a lot of choice and low impact duration, and the existing ones struggle to become or stay relevant.

Soon as book and seminar program

“In Search of Relevance” is a book proejct, a seminar program and a coaching series. It looks behind the scenes of the influencer, KOL and PR business. It examines new trends on online platforms like Amazon Live and the future metamorphosis of YouTube into a direct shopping channel. Of course, the author team also looks at the techniques that today’s relevant personalities have employed to swim above the water’s edge and break through the goldfish-like 8-second attention threshold.

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