When do you use influencer marketing?

Influencer Marketing

At the influencerto influence: influence) Marketing, opinion makers with a wide-reaching community are used specifically for marketing and communication purposes. The aim is to increase the value and credibility of your own brand message based on the trust that the respective target group has in influencers.

Influencer marketing is primarily about winning brand or product advocates who are in demand as experts in certain subject areas. Influencers can, for example, exert an influence on the evaluation and assessment of products, services, brands, companies or employers.

Because of this influence on consumer decisions, the majority of German companies already use influencers to spread their brand messages. Another reason for the companies' interest is that the reach of some YouTubers is enormous, as shown by subscriber numbers in the tens of millions. The obvious influence here with classic influencers with high numbers of followers is nevertheless already given with so-called micro influencers with up to 30,000 followers. The reasons for this are that they sometimes have higher engagement rates for campaigns and, above all, are more cost-effective for companies.

Basically, three different types of influencers can be differentiated:

  1. The Brand lovers: You have extensive experience with a brand and a strong, positive bond with it.
  2. The Brand Critic: You are generally critical of the company or have had negative experiences with a product or a brand. By expressing themselves negatively, they exert a negative influence on the purchase decision or the opinion of third parties.
  3. The Brand Experts: These are recognized as technical experts and are available to many people as advice on specific topics. Brand experts generally have a neutral attitude towards a brand or a product and use their specialist knowledge when evaluating them.

Influencers can be, for example, the following people:

  • Social media users with a high number of followers (especially Instagram and Snapchat)
  • satisfied existing customers with special expertise
  • Journalists
  • Blogger
  • YouTuber
  • Celebrities
  • Skilled workers and experts
  • Politician
  • Forum operator

Influencer Marketing explained in 60 seconds

The video was created in cooperation with Erklaerhelden.de.

Examples of influencers on YouTube

Just like on YouTube, the influence of well-known personalities on the opinion-forming of consumers can also be used via Instagram. For example, the aforementioned YouTube stars took over Ikea's Instagram account while filming and posted stories throughout the day. Not least because of the approximately 700 million monthly active users worldwide, influencers are also found on Instagram.

Examples of influencers on Instagram

  • A classic example of an influencer is the German national player Thomas Müller (6.6m follower), who conspicuously holds a Gillette product in the camera.
  • Accounts on the topic of fitness represent a large market on Instagram. Pamela Reif provides a famous example of an Instagram account specializing in fitness. The now 22-year-old has an enormous reach with a specific target group with over 4 million followers.

Of course, influencer marketing campaigns can also be found in other social networks such as Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook. Most influencers use several channels in which they place the respective messages. So far, however, the market situation is furthest advanced on Instagram and YouTube.


With the increasing spread of influencer marketing, a more legal eye is being thrown on the influencer's posts. In terms of the labeling obligation, posts for which the influencer received money or received free products must be labeled as such. A “sponsored by” is usually too vague. You are on the safe side if you label your post as “advertisement”, “advertisement” or, in the case of videos, as “supported by product placements”. If, on the other hand, you have predominantly English-speaking followers, you should also have a clearly visible "Ad" on your post; the German terms alone are not enough here. Medienanstalten.de have published a labeling matrix that explains what needs to be observed for each format.

Companies that want to use this business model for themselves should make precise agreements with the influencer and make it clear that the advertising nature of the post must be made clear.