The underside of influencers business

Business mode – What was a few years ago a simple hobby transformed into an attractive profession with little known features. Now busy full time, influencers must cultivate their popularity, play with codes and even improvise team leaders.

Their reign began with a few tutorials on Youtube, a few fashion tips on Facebook. And then Instagram got involved. And came to turn the advertising world upside down, by giving substance to a subject that had been looking for itself for some years: influencer / se. A market estimated by the Mediakix (influence marketing strategy) agency at almost $ 3 billion worldwide – it could reach $ 10 billion by 2020 – and which is booming thanks to Instagram’s billions of users. According to a 2017 Ipsos survey, people under 25 in France spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram alone, looking for fashion inspiration, new recipes or discovering new travel destinations.

#Fashion, #instaglog, #outfit, #fitness, #food, … The brands that have smelled the potential in this audience have attracted many young people who no longer just post pictures stamped with a “#” but stage products to claws, like true professionals. And this for a fee. To become an influencer, everyone now has to acquire codes, techniques far from being unanimously mastered: which “hashtags” should one use? What filters should you put on your photos? How do you give a unit of tones, do you get a visual identity? How to inflate your numbers, for example by “tagging” other influencers who bring traffic. It is also necessary to organize hours of shootings, and sometimes to have an agent. Because competition is fierce: it thrives in every corner of social networks. And those who do not explode the counters of the consequences can hardly make a living from this profession, which is still looking for itself.

How do you take care of your community?

I understood that it was important to create links to preserve my community

“Influence”. It’s their daily routine. But influence who? A “community” that very often asks for details about the products and more broadly for interacting. A community to persuade, therefore, by cultivating relationships with it – a full-time job – as if to keep the flame alive. Jade Leboeuf, Instagrammer with more than 81,000 followers, began as a model. As she shares her looks, her mood, her travels, Internet users bite: “where did you buy it?” they ask curiously. “So I started responding, to have short discussions on the networks. And my community gradually grew. I understood that it was important to create a link to keep it.” Thanks to frequent messages, the 28-year-old young woman understands what appeals, what appeals less, what catches the eye, and what sells. “I also look at the statistics, I analyze them. It helps me identify what people want, and therefore better respond to them.”

Exactly what people seem to want can be summed up in a few words: quality. In addition to the image of all marketing, to highlight only the best, brands need to be carefully selected. That’s why Jade says she only works with those she’s tested and appreciates. “I only place products that I really use and that I like. If I did not work like that, I would take the risk of getting negative feedback from my community, which would then tell me that what I offer does not interest them more. “

The relationship with brands: a pillar of the company

I make sure to organize the feedback I give to the brands I work with on the millimeter

Influencers’ approach, when focusing on quality, also requires taking care of its relationship with brands. As a 29-year-old, Manon Lecor, blogger and “ethical” Instagrammer (20,000 followers) maintains it as a true entrepreneur. “I make sure to organize to millimeters the feedback I give to the brands I work with:” I liked this product because … I want to test another … “and even when there is nothing new to show on Instagram, I talk to the marketing staff. Above all, the link must be dynamic. “

Fany Abes, co-founder of the menstrual pant brand Fempo, confirms the words from Manon, with whom she collaborates. “We communicate regularly with her, and with more than a hundred influencers who have chosen the same niche as us: waste reduction, healthy and non-toxic products … we arrange more and more meetings with them, or events they are invited to. “to represent the brand or just to have a drink together. We also see them when they come to interview us, film us.” Today, some brands go so far as to provide professional equipment to ensure the quality of publications, request interviews with their representatives or take “instagram / his” on press trips to say no.

New influencer marketing training

This royal road, open to “social influencers” in the marketing world, has consequences almost everywhere: their success has even led to the creation of training courses for companies. The goal: to enable them to acquire the codes for this 2.0 advertising, which is being structured. The Higher Institute of Marketing (ISM) provides these lessons in influencer marketing. Marion Breuleux, the director of the establishment, explains that brands ask to learn “to target an influencer according to his community, to contact him, to choose a medium, to evaluate the real impact on sales, to make an appropriate offer. ” His students: companies in the hotel industry, transport, publishing, culture, retail … from CAC 40 to SMEs.

From a minimum wage per. month … to 20,000 euros per. position

We have few funds to demand wages that are better adapted to the work we provide

This now well-established sales ecosystem also has its precarious workers. Admittedly, the most vulnerable on social networks have exorbitant salaries: Alexa Chung and her 3.1 million. followers gets $ 4,500 for a sponsored spot. Aimee Song (5 mio followers), $ 7,000. Federico Lucia (7.3 million followers), $ 8,500. Italian Chiara Ferragni (15 million followers), $ 19,500. Mail. Something to make more than one dream of. But happy couple are rare. According to the agency Reech, which specializes in influencer marketing, 94.8% of influencers earn less than 500 euros per partnership. 86.7% of respondents admitted that they did not live off it. They are only 6.4% to earn between 10,000 and 50,000 euros a year (apart from benefits in kind, clothes, accessories, perfume, airline tickets, hotel rooms, decoration, etc.).

Manon Lecor, she still fails to earn a living, despite several partnerships and several cumulative jobs. “I’m a content creator for brands, a social media consultant for companies and a writer. With all this, I’m having a hard time making ends meet. I’m considering taking a different path.” Micro-influence (10 to 100,000 followers) attracts brands that can not or do not want to spend a fortune. But it is not rewarding enough, whether the salary is based on the number of sales, the number of postings or tracking (companies can see how many people have reached their page via an Instagram account or an influencer). “Ultimately, we have few means to defend ourselves against brands that offer only small amounts and to demand salaries that are better suited to the work we provide,” Manon explains.

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The emergence of influencer agents

To deal with brands and manage their fame, some have found a solution: Call an agent. This is the case with Diipa Khosla, a 28-year-old British influencer. After turning her wedding into a fashion showcase on Instagram, the number of people who follow her explodes, reaching the figure of 900,000. Her career is taking a new turn: she is no longer manageable alone. “Today I have an agent in France, the UK, the US and one in Dubai.”

His Parisian agent, Cyril Attias, of the Influencers Agency gives him contracts. “We have two ways to move forward: either the brands tell us about their problems for a product launch, explain to us what goals they are aiming for – they have a hard time achieving them through traditional media – and we want to seek out communities that are sensitive in the face of these problems .., then establish the collaboration.Either we call directly on the influencers who are affiliated with the agency.We try to make them credible by professionalizing their content, and negotiating their contract, managing the financial aspects … as they do not necessarily control On top of that, overexposure can lose them. We are here to support them. “

Diipa, the former law student, acknowledges this need for support, which she satisfies by also surrounding herself with a “content manager”, a “finance and taxes manager”, a “business manager”. A sign that influencers, as they grow, become real small businesses that seriously compete with the traditional advertising market.

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