Influencer Marketing in Social Networks as a Strategic Tool in Social Media Marketing

Term Paper, 2017

25 Pages, Grade: 1,7



table of contents

1 Introduction

2 Marketing through the ages
2.1 The beginnings of marketing activities
2.2 Importance of marketing at the turn of the millennium
2.3 Online Marketing and the emergence of Social Media Marketing
2.4 Influencer Marketing

3 Use of Influencer Marketing as a strategic instrument in Social Media Marketing
3.1 The most important Social Media platforms
3.1.1 Weblogs
3.1.2 YouTube
3.1.3 Instagram
3.2 Finding the right influencers
3.3 Areas of use of Influencer Marketing
3.4 Possible risks of Influencer Marketing

4 Final reflection

5 Bibliography XXI

List of figures

Fig. 1: The homepage of the blog 'Planet Backpack' by Conni Biesalski

Fig. 2: The YouTube channel 'BibisBeautyPalace' by Bianca Heinicke...

Fig. 3: Bianca Heinicke's Instagram profile 'BibisBeautyPalace'.

List of abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Introduction

Classic online advertising alone is no longer promising in today's digital age of blogs, forums, rating platforms and various social networks. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that consumers are placing less and less trust and attention on classic advertising, so flashing banners, ads on the edge of a website or pop-ups that appear immediately as soon as you open a website are often perceived by consumers as disturbing and annoying and either ignored, deliberately clicked away or even prevented from the outset by means of installed ad blocker software.1 On the other hand, consumers' purchase intentions are now mainly based on recommendations from friends and acquaintances, but also on recommendations from other users on the Internet, such as experts, bloggers, forum operators or simply users with whom consumers can identify particularly well.2

The keyword for remaining competitive is social media marketing and the associated influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is understood to mean the cooperation of companies with opinion leaders in social networks, Internet users who, due to their strong activity in social media, have a large number of subscribers, fans or friends and thus a high reach and have acquired an expert status and thus credibility and trust through the target group-oriented handling of these over time.3 With the help of this credibility and the trust placed in the influencers, companies can achieve that their marketing messages reach the relevant target groups via an influencer in an authentic way and are not perceived as disturbing or even annoying, like classic online advertising. In the best case, the influencers still create a content, a personal story, around the actual marketing message and thus create a positive relationship to the company, which increases the credibility of the contribution and makes the subscribers open to the marketing message.4

According to a survey by Territory on planned investments in influencer marketing in Germany, 68% of the marketing experts surveyed already planned a budget for influencer marketing for 2017 in 2016.5 And the number of companies that operate or want to do influencer marketing is growing noticeably. For companies of all sizes, it is therefore now indispensable to participate in social media and to establish social media marketing as a fixed marketing discipline so that they can reach their customers where they are most often in today's world – on the Internet, and especially in social networks. More than one in three Germans is now registered with at least one social network, so according to Facebook and Instagram, the number of monthly active Facebook users in Germany in May this year was 30 million users and the number of monthly active Instagram users in Germany in August of this year was 15 million.6

In the context of this term paper, the focus is particularly on answering the question of what exactly makes marketing with influencers so promising and how influencer marketing in social networks can be implemented as a strategic instrument in social media marketing. To this end, the first step is to the development and increase in importance of entrepreneurial marketing activities against the historical background of the past 60 years and how marketing and its focal points have changed significantly in the course of this time. As part of this, the emergence of online marketing, social media marketing and above all influencer marketing is worked out and explained what makes influencer marketing so interesting for companies and their marketing goals and how it differs from classic forms of marketing. Chapter three then explains how influencer marketing can be used as a strategic tool in social media marketing. To this end, three social media platforms that are particularly relevant for influencers will be presented – weblogs, YouTube and Instagram. Subsequently, it is worked out how companies can find the influencers relevant to their marketing goals and win them over and which areas of application for influencer marketing come into question. In addition, possible risks that influencer marketing can entail are shown. The conclusion of this term paper is a final consideration of the question dealt with.

2 Marketing through the ages

2.1 The beginnings of marketing activities

Due to the almost completely destroyed infrastructure in Germany after the end of the Second World War, there were only a few companies on the market in the 1950s that offered goods for sale. This, in turn, was offset by a high demand for goods on the part of consumers as a result of the losses suffered in the war, which led to a so-called excess demand, i.e. the demand for goods exceeded the existing supply of goods. Due to this excess demand, there were no bottlenecks on the market from the point of view of the companies, the goods produced could be sold without any problems and yet the market was far from saturated. This market situation, which is very positive for the companies, is described as a seller's market, i.e. a situation in favor of the sellers. The company's activities at that time were mainly production-oriented, since those companies that relied on mass production to meet the existing demand were the successful companies.7

In the following years of the 1960s, national competition gradually increased and the seller's market gradually transformed into a buyer's market. More and more suppliers flocked to the market, sensed their opportunity to sell as many products as possible and the range of products was constantly expanding. The bottleneck was no longer in supply, but in demand. The companies now had to rethink and turn their attention away from the pure mass production of goods to sales in order to optimize this in such a way that the demand for their products continued and consumers did not migrate to another supplier.8 As a result of this development, many companies recognized the need to orient themselves from now on to the market in order to specifically address certain consumers and their needs and thus to persuade them to buy. As a result, the first market research methods were used in the 1970s to segment markets and target groups, as well as to position the company's performance in the field of competitors.9

But soon the focus solely on the general customer request was no longer promising, as the marketing activities of the operating companies became more and more similar and the services offered became more and more homogeneous. While one was previously successful as a company, if one included the two perspectives 'company' and 'customer' in one's marketing activities, now a third factor was added, which had to be taken into account in order to secure the company's success in the long term, the 'competitors'. This so-called competitive orientation became the focus of corporate activities in the 1980s. In the future, the individual companies had to stand out from their competitors through more specific offers and services and secure strategic competitive advantages such as cost or quality advantages against them and assert and defend them in order to continue to win customers over for themselves and their company.10

2.2 Importance of marketing at the turn of the millennium

In the 1990s, environment-related factors became increasingly important for companies, which were repeatedly faced with new challenges. Political, social, ecological and technological conditions changed so rapidly that they had to be recognized by the companies at an early stage and reacted to in good time in order to remain competitive in the battle of competitors. This added another factor to the previous components of cost and quality, namely time.11 In addition, it became clear that there is a connection between the duration of a business relationship and the profitability of a company. This realization was accompanied by an increasing awareness of consistent customer orientation and, in particular, customer loyalty. From now on, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty should be key success factors in the strategic management of a company. In order to find out how to generate customer satisfaction and consequently bind customers to themselves and their company, various methods were used for the first time, such as methods for collecting customer barometers or methods for determining customer values.12

The beginning of the new millennium brought with it numerous new requirements, such as volatile markets, crisis phenomena and an increased awareness of consumers for sustainability and environmental friendliness. In addition, the idea of expanding the relationship with the customer even further strengthened in the companies. The establishment, intensification or restoration of customer relationships as well as the appearance of the company towards the customers were now finally the focus of all marketing activities, because the closest possible bond with the customers should ensure the company's success in the long term.

After all, the past few years since around 2010 have been characterized by strong globalization and the increasing importance of information and communication technologies. Global networking has led to companies struggling with additional competition from all over the world and a so-called hyper-competition has emerged. In addition, suppliers and consumers as well as customers are now able to communicate with each other worldwide via the Internet, which has led to companies increasingly focusing on network orientation, i.e. company-side networking with other market participants such as customers, dealers and competitors, for example in the sense of cooperation and cooperation.13

2.3 Online Marketing and the emergence of Social Media Marketing

Due to the networking of consumers via the Internet, their information and communication behaviour has changed considerably. The Internet has changed from a pure information medium to an everyday interaction medium, the independent exchange of consumers from all over the world is now the focus. This has been reinforced by the use of social media as the latest form of internet use.14 Communication experts Marie-Christine Schindler and Tapio Liller define social media as follows: "We are talking about very different forms of social platforms and networks that serve to exchange opinions, impressions and experiences."15 This includes, for example, weblogs, forums, review portals and social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.16

Since the Internet now offers complete or supposedly complete information transparency, consumers can now inform themselves about a specific company or product at any time of the day or night and from anywhere in the world. However, this opportunity is offered not only by the companies that present themselves on the Internet, but much more by the many Internet users who are active on various rating platforms, in Internet forums and on social media platforms and regularly share posts about brands, products and services with other Internet users. This sometimes even leads to consumers being informed faster and better about a product and its quality than the manufacturers of this product themselves. For consumers, the origin of the information often plays a rather subordinate role. The mere fact that this information is private entries and sources and not advertising messages from the companies increases the credibility of the sources. How accomplished the author of these sources actually is is secondary.17 And especially in purchasing decisions, this credibility plays a major role, because just as recommendations from friends and acquaintances have a lasting influence on a purchase decision, social networks, forums and rating platforms are also decisive for whether a product is actually purchased, or whether bad reviews have led to not buying this product after all.18 It can therefore be of great advantage for companies if they are also represented online and especially in social media and keep an eye on the formation of opinion on their products or services. It may even make sense to try to actively influence this opinion-forming.

In order for companies to remain competitive in today's digital age, they are challenged to actively use the Internet and especially social media platforms for external corporate communication. to adapt their marketing strategies and marketing practices to the changed circumstances and to deal with the new form of marketing, social media marketing.19 Because the Internet has revolutionized the building of relationships with all interest groups. It thus paves a completely new way for companies to build up customer relationships, maintain them and thus create customer benefits.20 If in the past a brand and its image were shaped by classic communication measures such as advertising and press releases on the part of the company, this state of affairs has changed considerably, especially through the use of social media. Today, consumers themselves decide what a brand expresses and how to identify with that brand.21

And these opinions and attitudes about a brand or product are shared by consumers on social media with other users from all over the world through posts on social platforms or in forums, the content of which is a permanent exchange independent of time and space. The previous one-dimensional communication of classic advertising measures will be replaced by a versatile dialogue between active Internet users and their self-produced content.22


1 cf. Hedemann, F., (Influencer 2014), o.S..

2 cf. Nirschl, M., Steinberg, L., (entry 2017), p. 1.

3 cf. Firsching, J., Bersch, A., (Influencer 2017), p. 5 ff.

4 cf. Hedemann, F., (Influencer 2014), o.S..

5 cf. Statista, (Investments 2016), o.S..

6 cf. Statista, (User 2017), o.S..

7 cf. Bruhn, M., (Relationship 2016), p. 1.

8 cf. Michelis, D., (Konsument 2014), p. 2 f.

9 cf. Bruhn, M., (Marketing 2016), p. 16.

10 cf. Bruhn, M., (Relationship 2016), p. 2.

11 Ibid, (Marketing 2016), p. 17.

12 Ibid, (Relationship 2016), p. 2.

13 Cf. ibid.

14 cf. Michelis, D., (Konsument 2014), p. 4.

15 Schindler, M.-C., Liller, T., (PR 2014), p. 33.

16 Cf. ibid.

17 cf. Ceyp, M., Scupin, J.-P., (Marketing 2013), p. 3 ff.

18 cf. Grabs, A., Bannour, K.-P., Vogl, E., (Follow 2017), p. 43 f.

19 cf. Ceyp, M., Scupin, J.-P., (Marketing 2013), p. 3 ff.

20 cf. Kotler, P. et al., (Grundlagen 2016), p. 809 f.

21 cf. Ceyp, M., Scupin, J.-P., (Marketing 2013), p. 7.

22 cf. Grabs, A., Bannour, K.-P., Vogl, E., (Follow 2017), p. 32.

Excerpt out of 25 pages


Influencer Marketing in Social Networks as a Strategic Tool in Social Media Marketing
Private University of Applied Sciences Goettingen
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
influencer, marketing, social, networks, strategic, tool, media
Quote paper
Anonymous, 2017, Influencer Marketing in Social Networks as a Strategic Tool in Social Media Marketing, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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