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Influencers

Global Influencer Marketing

The differences between Germany, Lithuania and Hungary

On the 6th of October, 2010 Instagram was published. Through time, this app changed the way of marketing drastically. With around 1.27 billion users worldwide, Instagram accounts to the most global influential marketing tools in the world. The switch from above the line marketing tools, like posters, billboards, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, radio and TV advertising did not happen overnight. The app started gaining popularity over the years and has been increasing exponentially ever since it was bought by facebook in 2012. But what makes the app so influential and does the influence over marketing differ from country to country? Looking at three European countries that show differences in cultural aspects as well as economic aspects, we will investigate the influence Instagram has on marketing and purchasing behavior, with a focus on influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing is defined as: “a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you” (TapInfluence, 2019).

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Germany

In Germany, Influencer marketing gained momentum between 2016 and 2017. It is estimated that in 2017, a turnover of around 560 million euros was made in Germany alone and in 2020 experienced an increase of around 76% to 990 million euros. This is due to many factors.

One factor is the extensive usage of ad blockers in Germany. An ad blocker is a technology that filters out any advertising that might arise on a website. In 2017, 19,6 million German users made use of an ad blocker. In 2020 it increased to 22,8 million users.

Number of users of web blockers in germany in the years 2015 to 2017 and a forecast until 2019 (in millions)
Number of users of web blockers in germany in the years 2015 to 2017 and a forecast until 2019 (in millions)

Another reason is that many users nowadays block out any conventional online advertising they might come across due to ubiquitous penetration. It has been shown that any person that spends around four hours on the internet is confronted with around two to three thousand advertisements. The only way to absorb this amount of information is by our brain dulling out and ignoring any advertising thrown our way. Web 2.0 users have become more demanding, having grown up with the influence of online advertising. They do not settle for conventional forms of advertising or run-of-the-mill advertising messages. Between 2010 and 2015, conversion rates would be around 2%. Nowadays, conversion rates are less than 0.1%. 

In Germany, being an influencer is seen as an actual profession.

Pamela Reif for instance, a german influencer with 8,9 million (on the 27.10.22) followers on Instagram and 9,12 million (on the 27.10.22) followers on Youtube makes around $17,000 dollars per Instagram post and around $65.000 per month with her Youtube channel. Inspired by positive examples such as Pamela Reif and others, the number of imitators shows an inflating development. Due to this increase in full-time influencers, everyone is basically posting the same content and this results in a decrease in an unique-selling point. In Germany, paid advertising must also be identified as such. In connection with social influencer marketing, the word «surreptitious advertising» has come up more and more. The act of surreptitious advertising is prohibited in Germany. Due to the growing trend the amount of full-time influencers is expected to reach the level of America faster than expected.

Pamela Reif’s Instagram Channel overview
Pamela Reif’s Instagram Channel overview

https://instagram.com/pamela_rf?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Lithuania

Influencer marketing is becoming one of the most talked about topics in Lithuania, which attracts a lot of attention every year. For this reason, in Lithuania, a marketing campaign called «influenceriai. lt» supports influencers and works with them. Based on its size and population, Lithuania is relatively small, with less than 3 million inhabitants. Therefore, the number of followers of the most popular influencers is not as high as compared to bigger European countries such as Germany, Spain, or Italy.

Karolina Meschino has had the most Instagram followers (as of 29.10.22) for three years in a row (2019–2021). She is half Lithuanian and half Italian, and her Meschino family owns a few restaurants in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. She is 27 years old and attracts a variety of people to her account. She mainly shows her daily life, trips, and events provides helpful information and tips and gives discounts for certain brands in Lithuania. Overall, she is just being herself in front of the camera. That could be one of the reasons why she attracts so many people and becomes the most popular influencer in Lithuania. Karolina finished her fashion design studies in the United Kingdom and currently owns an online shop «By Karolina Meschino» where she sells apparel for women, men, and children as well as accessories such as phone cases with her slogan «No magic, no risk».

Karolina Meschino’s instagram account
Karolina Meschino’s instagram account

https://instagram.com/karolinameschino?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

According to the social media platform, Youtube, and results from 2021, the most popular influencer and content creator is deMiko, with 159 thousand followers (as of 29.10.22). He is known for being a radio host and vlogging about daily news, events, and everything that has happened recently in Lithuania and abroad.

DeMiko’s youtube channel
DeMiko’s youtube channel

The videos are special and attract many viewers just because of the comedy notes on them. Even a small and simple topic that many vloggers already talked about could be reversed more interestingly and uniquely using filming tools such as a green screen. However, the social media channel, Youtube in Lithuania, is not at the top of the popularity list; therefore, the number of followers is considered small, and usually, local videos don’t spread to other countries.

Hungary

Not only multinational brands, but small businesses are also using this marketing tool. Due to the fact that Hungary is a smaller country, the most popular influencers have 1-2 million followers, and the rest of them have only a few hundred thousand.

In 2019 an influencer working group was launched in order to give frameworks and clear information about the market to those who are interested in this field. There are also several influencer marketing agencies that have the goal to help the participants of influencer marketing campaigns with writing, setting expectations, and answering frequently asked questions.

One of the most popular influencers is Péter Dancsó who is a youtuber (name of the Youtube channel: VIdeómánia) but he is also present on other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. He only promotes a few brands occasionally, either on Youtube or Instagram, and these are usually long-term agreements between him and the brand.

Youtube channel of Péter Dancsó
Youtube channel of Péter Dancsó

https://youtube.com/c/VideomaniaFCS

Contrary to this example, there are several influencers who are posting paid promotions almost weekly, sometimes promoting two brands that are each others’ competition. Unfortunately this is a problem in the Hungarian influencer world, that some of them only take sponsorships for the money, and not because they actually like the brand.

Opinion on influencers differs, there is still a perception that it’s not a «real job», but at the same time a significant part of young hungarians imagine themselves as influencers in the future. 

Authors:

Finnja Junger, Saskia Schreier, Deimante Gaulyte, Viktoria Besnyi

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