An influence expert shares with us her experience and her opinion about influencer marketing
Introduce yourself in a few words, your career path, and in the influence sector?
My name is Alix, I am 34 years old and I have 10 years of professional experience in communication, with a specialty in influence marketing. Having parents from the legal industry, I predestined myself to work in the legal sector, without much conviction! My only passion at the time was horseback riding and my horses, a discipline that I practiced from the age of 3 until I was 21, the age at which my father sent me to Paris, no doubt out of fear that I would stop my studies to work with horses. Passionate in the soul, when I finally had time to devote to my studies, I very quickly understood that law was not for me. It was a meeting in a law firm where I was doing an internship that put me on the voice of communication, a little by chance. After that, I had a fairly classic career path, in beautiful Parisian agencies, as a PR at first, to very quickly specialize in influence marketing, which I was immediately passionate about, in the era when Instagram accounts for content creators were not valued at all.
Can you describe your job and what does it involve? Why did you choose to be a freelancer?
My job is to bring together a brand/product and its audience, thanks to a strong concept and affinity content creators. To do this, it is necessary to know perfectly the market in which our client evolves, to be creative to bring communities into our story, and above all to know the content creators well, all fields combined, especially when we are in agencies or freelance and we go from a giant in the food industry to a beauty brand. I chose freelance after the first confinement, this moment was a trigger, I felt a need for freedom but also a desire for new challenges, and entrepreneurship is one of them. We moved with my boyfriend to another city, he kept his clients and I started from scratch (with a good professional background nevertheless) but ideas in my head, and a motivation to go all the way.
How would you explain your fame in the influence sector in France?
I won't talk about fame, but rather about experiences. I've had the chance to work with prestigious brands with great clients, who gave me "carte blanche". So I have met many people who have nourished me and increased my creativity for some, my rigor for others! Sleepover in a privatized IKEA store, Challenge of the cheapest weekend in France with OUIGO, or more recently, create an animal crossing island for an unexpected brand (confidential project)... I think that's why my name can be familiar. I also posted a publication on LinkedIn about a Decathlon action for hospitals, which I thought was great during the 1st confinement and which brought me nearly 2000 interactions. Since then, I have the impression that LinkedIn algorithms play in my favor :)
What is the most common difficulty you encounter when working with influencers?
Most of the time none. Influencers are like you and me, with their personalities, we approach them differently from one person to another, and most of the time, it always goes well.
However, if I had to pick just one, it would be respected for timings. Clients don't always know it because it's the hidden side of the iceberg, but we spend a lot of time trying to relaunch, and that can sometimes get us into trouble. Influencer marketing is a profession that is becoming highly professionalized, but there is still a long way to go in this area.
What has been your most amazing professional experience in the influence sector: an anecdote?
As part of an operation for a brand of chocolate powder, we imagined a party between teenagers in a completely crazy house, with very powerful content creators on Tik-Tok. So we found ourselves with my colleague sleeping in this atypical house in the heart of Paris with 10 young people from 13 to 17 years old! So we had a tailor-made Tik-Tok training by experts. Because at that age, the evening with friends is Tik-Tok, Tik-Tok and re Tik-Tok!
Another anecdote, I had recently arrived ain an agency to develop macro-influence, and I had invited teenagers who are always very powerful on Snapchat and Tik Tok to slip into the shoes of a kitchen crew member, for the famous burger brand present on the Champs Elysées. These two young teenagers were able to create their burgers, directly in the restaurent's open kitchens. One hour later, a hundred followers were waiting for them at the exit., crying and burgers in hand! They had followed their published content in real-time and had recognized the restaurant. My client, who was just discovering the macro-influence, was not ready - in the positive sense of the word - to see the immediate impact of these teens on a young audience. In just 2 hours, more than 5M views were generated.
How do you see the future of influence :
The influence tends more than ever to become more professional, especially after the year 2020, which has accelerated the already meteoric growth of this market.
Gone are the days of do-it-yourself, the profession is becoming more professional, whether in strategic or operational positions. More and more agencies and advertisers are hiring Directors or Heads of Influence, to structure the divisions and bring a real vision of the business to their customers, and thus meet increasingly precise objectives.
It is a profession of the future, but it needs to be managed, hence the need to build well-thought-out divisions around strategy experts on the one hand and project management experts on the other, without forgetting a good tool for sourcing influencers.
In your opinion, will TikTok become the new platform of choice for partnerships and move ahead of Instagram?
Despite the extraordinary year 2020 for Tik Tok, which passed the 14M user mark in France, Instagram is still the number one choice of brands for content co-creation. But, for how long? It all depends on whether Tik Tok manages to retain in the long term this older target that the platform has managed to recruit this year. The context has been favorable for Tik Tok which has been constantly renewing itself with new features to achieve this: social commerce, # branded, content remix... In any case, Tik Tok is giving itself the means to surpass Instagram. People talk a lot about Tik Tok but another big winner of the confinement is Twitch! With the explosion of Gaming and games like Animal Crossing to name but one, the social network has recruited many users in 2020 and has seen the emergence of the social Gaming trend, with brands who saw it as an opportunity to speak out and where to place products (Just Eat, Nina Ricci...).
A few words about Favikon: what do you think of the tool?
I had tried many tools before discovering Favikon, and I found that many lacked simplicity. If I had to choose an adjective for Favikon, it would be intuitive.
In 2 clicks, you immediately understand how the tool works, and that's why Favikon is a powerful tool: it saves us human time, in addition to giving us precise and clear data. Moreover, the offer is adapted to all influential players, from freelancers to large groups. For me, a tool will never replace the network or the spirit of analysis, on the other hand, it must be complementary to allow us to optimize our time, especially on the Sourcing part.
Finally, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to work with influencers?
To learn from the best agencies, first of all by finding out how the influence clusters are structured.
The more structured the clusters are, with complementary profiles, the more you will have the chance to learn all the facets of the business, from administration to strategy, including project management, and thus become an expert in the sector, with a 360-degree view of the job. To this, I would add the need to constantly monitor the Marcom media to keep abreast of all the latest trends in influence marketing!
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