Current Trends in Influencer Marketing across Europe
Filip Askviken, CEO at Metapic, the popular swedish blogger platform, sharing his views on current trends in European influencer marketing, and what other countries can learn from the trendsetting Nordic markets
What changes in influencer marketing have you experienced over the past 12 months?
We have seen a trend from one channel towards multiple channels and a trend from purely social media to blogs. Bloggers see that they have more creative freedom with blogs and more potential to actually engage with their users. Social media has become a bit saturated. On a blog you get more comments and get longer lead time on the same post or image then you would get otherwise.
Additionally blogs are now seen as something with a higher value. Blog was big a couple of years back and then had a downturn with social media. Now the blog is more mature and it goes up again. Looking at our partners, some actors have quit the market and we have seen some consolidations, but now small actors pop up again through blog networks. A blog network is a website which hosts multiple blogs and particularly small niched blog networks start to pop up again.
Another trend is online magazines that – in addition to their editorial staff – start to onboard some well-established bloggers to get traffic and volume onto the site. The magazines offer them some kind of remuneration and being part of a strong brand. So you have the section of editorial staff and then you have the blogger section with a couple of influencers that match the brand.
Which differences do you see between the Nordic region and other European countries?
We have just recently started to roll out our business across Europe, so I can’t look so many years back. But I see that the business is structured in different ways. In the Nordics we have blog networks that are really strong. A blog network is a combination of multiple bloggers on one site. They usually have their own sales organization or their own agency to sell the content that they create. In the rest of Europe I don’t see the same volume of blog networks. You have separate bloggers that often have a PR person to help and there are agencies that help multiple bloggers, but the bloggers aren’t organized on the same technical platform as they are in Sweden.
What has changed for advertisers over the past couple of months?
More and more advertisers now see the need to work with influencers and have a dedicated budget for it. We are getting way more inbound leads due to the combination of us growing and the market evolving. Marketing departments want to work with influencers. Some actors like NA-KD, a Nordic fashion brand, have based their whole model around influencers. That has been a great success and is growing their business.
Another change is the fact that advertisers can’t make those extreme arbitrage deals with influencers any more. Influencers have realized their value. Before, you had intermediaries who payed the influencers a flat fee, may be 1.000 €, but then they had CPO on the back and generated 10.000 or 20.000 € of commission because the influencer didn’t realize their value. The quick wins for the advertisers have become harder to get. Before with the right knowledge you could do a really good marketing deal, but you needed to have insight into the business. Now you don’t need as much insight if you have the right partner, but it’s a bit more expensive per sale.
What can other European markets learn from the Nordic region?
There is some automation happening in the Nordics with automated systems both to find influencers and to purchase traffic from influencers. Metapic is an actor to generate traffic on a blogger scale, we show your products to the bloggers and they recommend them. What the Nordics are doing really well is the automation of these kind of interactions. The maturity level of the Nordics is higher.
In Germany, Italy and France you have the top influencers that are very spoiled and very hard to reach. The mid section – below top and above small – is quite big in the Nordics. I don’t experience it the same way in other European countries. There are the small ones and the top big ones, that all brands want to work with. But trying to work with this mid segment would be really interesting. The value of a blog network is to promote these kind of influencers. If you visit a blog network, the start page shows the top 50 bloggers. They have may be one big blogger that everyone knows and that drives traffic to the site. But visitors get referred back to the other bloggers, so traffic is moving around in the system to promote and actually grow these mid-size bloggers. Without these organized networks in other European countries users are going to the huge blogs and then stop there. So the other markets should start to develop more automated systems and blog networks, as well, in our opinion.
Thanks a lot, Filip, for these very valuable insights! Next week we will talk about your advice for advertisers how to set up a successful influencer marketing campaign.