The other day Apollonia San Contreras held a presentation about influencer marketing and her views and thoughts on how to build a successful community of influencers. I thought it was an interesting presentation and I decided to share it with you today.

Apollonia works as a marketing strategist at the Swedish connected watch company Kronaby (notice how they do not use smartwatch to label their products). The brand is owned by Anima, which is an Internet of Things company, founded in 2015 by a former Sony Mobile manager. Today they have about 70 people employed at Anima.

The Kronaby watches are connected to an app whose function is to allow the user to customize the watch’s capabilities. Apollonia explains that this allows the watch to be created to the user’s needs. For example, functions like Find My iPhone, walk me home, Music Control, and filtered notifications. You could even control your light at home or your garage port if you have it connected to the watch.

Apollonia herself has studies Communication Strategy at the University of Lund, studied one year in Hong Kong, as well as having a few years of experience at IBM before she was hired by Almina.

“Today influencer marketing is a hot topic – it arrives from the idea that consumers today look on their mobile phones rather on posters and commercials on the walls when traveling by bus or by train.”

Today there are numerous of tools to avoid commercial when browsing the web. Influencer marketing represents the shift from ad-powered marketing to people-powered marketing. As society and technology changes, marketing has to do the same. The idea, however, is fairly simple, a brand, such as Kronaby, pays the influencer, usually, a famous blogger or YouTuber, to created sponsored content material for their readers and viewers.

The speaker continues with presenting a few statistics: User content is 50% more trusted by internet users than traditional media. 81% of US consumers trust information and advice from blogs. I think these statistics look really good, and it really shows that influencer marketing might lead the way for marketing in the future.

The Kronaby connected watch is a special product, and Apollonia had to choose carefully when picking the right influencers. She had to find social media stars that believed in the same trends when it came to technology. Honesty was also an important factor. The watch was presented to be in between a fashion watch and a smartwatch; a gap in the market which the Kronaby’s connected watch could fill.

Kronaby has today 400 plus influencers with a 2 million potential audience. It was important for her to research who the influencer is and what target group he or she reaches. She divides her influencers into 3 categories:

Buzz-builder – the famous people. Content creators – create professional content. And Micro influencers – the best engagement. There had to be a fine mix of each category to reach that specific target group Kronaby strives after.

Apollonia defines the target group as “the discerning professional.” It is a 30+ man or woman who doesn’t buy just anything. Every purchase is carefully considered, and they tend towards tasteful, well-designed products that reflect their self-image. Although not early adopters they are culturally informed and know what’s “right” right now, in terms of fashion, interior and the arts.

Therefore, Apollonia would not be able to have an influencer YouTuber who reaches out to 13-year-olds.

However, Apollonia was clear to define goals and guidelines for the influencers. A nice watch is not enough. She was sure to explain that the watch had an app and that it was important it was expressed within the content etc.

But of course, she had to be careful not to kill the influencers creativity. She had to let the influencer give their own input. After all, there is a reason why that specific person has got famous. She noted: “This ‘letting go’ can be scary, but it has been paying off.”

She uses the new relationships with the influencers in an effective way. She asks: What new functions could the watch use? How can design features be improved? etc.

In the end of the presentation, Apollonia explains that influencer marketing is a long-term process. It is important that the influencer shares the same values and Kronaby when it comes to technology, otherwise, they will not share the same message with their sponsored content.

I think Apollonia’s concluding thoughts summarizes some of the difficulties with influencer marketing, that all channels must mediate the same message, and that influencers should be seen as a long-term investment. I personally think that influencer marketing will be the marketing technique of the future, and we are only starting to uncover its possibilities. What we might see in the future are the leagal implications of infleuncer marketing. I will be sure to post about those when they arrive.