Content Approval – Quality Assurance in Influencer Marketing

In this interview, our Senior Product Manager Robin introduces us to the in-house product team and gives us a little introduction to Picstars’ proprietary technology that even rookies can understand.

Robin Christopher Heering, 28, Senior Product Manager bei PICSTARS

Robin was born in Stuttgart, grew up in Geneva and has now lived on three continents. After his last stop in London, he has now moved to Zurich and lives there with his wife and a son. In this interview, our Senior Product Manager Robin introduces us to the in-house product team and gives us a little introduction to Picstars’ proprietary technology that even rookies can understand.

Robin has a broad background in technology, business and entertainment. He started as a film composer at the age of 17 and later graduated from Tilburg University with a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration. In Prague, Robin co-founded a Digital Development Agency, later a Digital Academy and completed a Master of Arts in Music Business Managment in London. He has always been involved in digital marketing and tech and since moving to Zurich has been a key member of the Picstars Family.

What is Content Approval?

In order to check the quality of the content produced and to ensure that no mistakes are made, the content is checked again by our campaign team before publication. It is also very important to us that the client is also satisfied with the creative work of the influencers. Only when all parties are convinced that the content is the best possible implementation, a release is pronounced.

What does the Picstars technology have to do with it?

We have digitized the process between Campaign Management and Creator. You communicate with the admin system via our Creator App. The responsible Campaign Manager opens a new Content Approval Task, which is populated by the Creator with the content, which is then checked by our team. The creator can leave the content piece, the caption and any comments. Feedback from the Campaign Manager is also transmitted via this app. If the creator and campaign manager are both satisfied, the content is presented to the customer and his feedback is incorporated. If the content and the caption are perfect, the task is marked as completed and the influencer can post. The team and the creators are informed about the current status of the task via e-mail and thus always stay up to date.

What does the future hold for the content approval process?

We are exploring how to digitally optimize the feedback loops between client, creator and campaign manager and whether there is room for expansion to improve scalability. We are also in the process of optimizing flexibility for the creator – for example, some prefer to communicate purely via email. In order to best meet the different needs of the parties involved, we are constantly optimizing our product.

Want to read about other key elements of our campaign process, click here for the Perfect Match and here for an intro from our Senior Product Manager Robin.

Coverphoto Credits: Javier Esteban for Tech Daily

Influencer products

Products are rarely sold as quickly as when they are promoted by influencers. Brands have now started to develop individual products together with creators from various fields. These product collaborations have become an integral part of influencer marketing. There are already many best practice examples in the German market, and we can expect Switzerland to follow suit.

A shift can be observed over the last few years. In the past, it was mainly celebrities who advertised a brand as ambassadors. Nowadays, it’s no longer just celebrities, but increasingly also influencers. In the same way, celebrities and influencers shine above all because of their reach and loyal communities.

Roger Federer with On, who is now a partner in the Swiss running sports specialist, Wendy Holdener with Emmi Caffè Latte, and Die Toten Hosen with their own beer brand Hosen Hell. These are just a few examples of products that have resulted from cooperation with celebrities.

Image sources: Emmi / On Running / Hosen Hell (retrieved: 04/26/2021).

Nowadays, products are also on the rise that have been developed by influencers in collaborations or independently. In the U.S., they are no longer anything out of the ordinary, and in Germany, too, these products are becoming more and more common. The cases are characterized by extremely positive sales figures. The fact that the products are sold out in a flash speaks for itself. We are pleased to present some of these success cases.

Naturally Pam by Pamela Reif

With almost 8 million subscribers, Pamela Reif is THE German fitness influencer on Instagram. She posts workout videos on YouTube, creates workout plans, has published various cookbooks and has her own app in which she regularly publishes new recipes. She also made it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020. Pamela Reif is currently writing a real success story. Now she has also launched her own food brand under the name Naturally Pam. About 30 minutes after the launch, the entire range in the online store was completely sold out. Not even everyone made it to the check-out, as the servers partially collapsed.

Image sources:  Image 1Image 2 / Image 3 (retrieved: 26.04.2021)

In their products, quality and sustainability are writ large. The ingredients are organically grown and the packaging is also sustainable. They are plastic-free, biodegradable and made of recyclable cellulose film. In addition, the CO2 emissions of the production and shipping are compensated. (Source: Naturally Pam)

A product must live up to the values of the influencer. The example of Pamela Reif shows that her personal values are reflected in the production and the products. This must be the case so that the product appears authentic and is well received by the followers. Based on the sales figures, you can see that this works very well and based on the positive reviews, it is clear that the followers are convinced of the quality. Marie Inspire, for example, has recorded such a review and is convinced of Pam’s products:

Capi’s BraTee

Germany’s currently most successful rapper Capital Bra already launched his own pizza some time ago. Now he is at the start with the BraTee. So the musician with the most top one hits (source: Wikipedia), now has his very own iced tea brand, which is available to buy in four varieties. Available are watermelon, peach, lemon and pomegranate. (Source: BraTee)

Image sources:  Image 1Image 2 / Image 3 (retrieved: 26.04.2021)

The iced teas sell very quickly and are very well received. According to  Raptastisch, 6 million units were sold even before the official launch. To understand the hype, Antonia, our Head of Marketing, also wanted to test the product and was just able to get hold of one of the last watermelon teas before everything was sold out. After talking to a salesperson at Drinks of the World in Zurich, the situation was explained: young people were already waiting in front of the store in Zurich HB before opening hours. Euro pallets, which were supposed to secure the stock for the weekend, were already completely empty on Friday.

Image sources:  Image 1 / Image 2: private / Image 3 (Image 1 and 3 retrieved: 26.04.2021).

Luca Pizza by laserluca

Together with the pizza manufacturer  Gustavo Gusto, the German YouTuber Luca has launched frozen pizzas on the market. The first pizza hit the stores in 2017, though this collaboration was supposed to be just a project. But since the collaboration is so successful, they already produced the 3rd joint pizza in December 2020. The new cheese pizza will also reach the growing vegetarian part of Luca’s target group (source: Horizont).

Image sources: Image 1 / Image 2Image 3 (retrieved: 26.04.2021)

A meet & greet was held as part of the “Pizza Release”, in which 3,000 kids took part and were able to meet their idol. The KPIs are also very positive. The videos of one of his creations generated a total of over 7.5 million views.

Image sources: Image 1Image 2 / Image 3 (retrieved: 26.04.2021)

Rob’s Original by CrispyRob

With that name, it makes a lot of sense that YouTuber  CrispyRob sells chips. On his website you can read that “creating the perfect chips” has been a dream of his since childhood. The chips are available in four varieties under the name  Rob’s Original exclusively at Kaufland in Germany. (Source: Rob’s Originals)

Ralf Osteroth, Picstar’s CEO, also told us that the chips were so well received at his home that they were eaten away in no time. So Rob is proving to have a good nose. His passion for the perfect chips comes across immediately in his video:

Sucuk by Zeki

Germany may be a leap ahead of Switzerland in the field of influencer marketing. Nevertheless, there is already an example of a successful influencer-product collaboration in Switzerland. Zeki  is one of the most successful influencers in Switzerland and a big Sucuk fan. He has discovered cooking as a new hobby and loves to combine traditional cuisine from his childhood days, with classic Swiss dishes (source: Werbewoche) . The product is a Sucuk, a Turkish, very spicy sausage, which Zeki sells under the brand name Zeki’s Original  in selected Migros stores.

To announce the launch of his sausage and boost sales, Zeki has even, together with EffE, released a song and video, which – of course – is all about the Sucuk.

Conclusion

Influencer products are indisputably already an important part of influencer marketing. If one observes the development of influencer marketing in the USA and Germany to date, one can assume that the potential of these collaborations will also be recognized in Switzerland very soon. However, the limited space on the shelves must be taken into consideration. In contrast to Germany and the USA, there is a certain shortage of space in stores in Switzerland. So when a new product is added to the range, another has to be removed (source: 20 Minuten). However, many products can also be sold online. Pamela Reif, for example, offers her products at selected points of sale, but sells them mainly online.

Influencer products automatically carry a certain seal of quality, as they are directly linked to the name (or the better-known stage name) of a natural person, who thus vouches for the quality of the product. Of course, the whole thing always depends on the values behind which the influencers stand.

In any case, we are already very excited to see which collaborations and products our influencers will inspire their followers with in the future.

Are you interested in influencer marketing? Take a look at our case studies and click through the content of our fantastic influencers.

Contribution- & cover-photo: Crispy Rob / Pamela Reif / Capital Bra)

Although. Umso. Either. Although.

The Perfect Match for Successful Influencer Marketing

Fleurop Männerpflanze Influencer Marketing

“If you do influencer marketing as a brand, you can communicate with your target group where they spend their time.” This requires long-term planning, a clear strategy and successful collaboration between all stakeholders. Because good influencer marketing is part of a comprehensive marketing mix and should not play a subordinate role.”

After long-term planning and close collaboration, we were able to launch two successful campaigns for the Fleurop brands Männerpflanze and FleuropHome together with the media agency Konnex. In this profitable collaboration, it once again became clear what role the Perfect Match plays in influencer marketing.

The targeted, long-term interaction of an innovative client, a versatile media agency and a data-driven influencer marketing agency could hardly have been more appropriate in this particular case. So, thanks to Picstars’ proprietary technology, not only has the “perfect match” been found between client, campaign and influencer:in. With strategic sensitivity, Konnex was able to create a successful synergy between the three partners.

Using storytelling, creative content and a large portion of enthusiasm, the selected creators finally activated their communities to become creative themselves. The predefined goals of reach and visibility, as well as the precise addressing of the target group, led to a successful conclusion of the campaigns. The number of hits on the Fleurop website was increased, the engagement rate was above average and thanks to the reinforcement by branded content ads, a large reach could be achieved.

More information on the campaigns can be found in our case gallery and in the Horizont article.

Find the #perfectmatch for your business

We sat down again with Robin, our Senior Product Manager, to talk about how to find the perfect influencers for each individual campaign and the role Picstars technology plays in that process. More information about the Goldbach and Picstars offer can be found here.

Robin Christopher Heering, 28, Senior Product Manager bei PICSTARS

What is Influencer Matchmaking?

“At Picstars, we define influencer matchmaking as the strategic pairing of influencers or creators and brands. The creators must embody the core values of a brand and reflect them in their social media profiles. They must be able to optimally fulfill or even exceed the defined goals and objectives of a campaign. The unique and authentic content can subsequently also be reused by the client. Influencer matchmaking is as much art as science. This is why the reciprocal relationship between data-driven technology and the human relationship is so important at Picstars and the reason for the success in campaign implementation. Technology and campaign management go hand in hand for us.”

What is the first step of the matchmaking process?

“The first step is to set goals for the campaign with the client. We bring our expertise in influencer marketing strategy, our creator network, technical performance and creative thinking to the table and brainstorm with the client to define an ideal strategy for the campaign. Performance metrics (reach, impressions and engagement) are also noted, which should be achieved over the course of the campaign. Through our data-driven technology, campaign managers and the sales team have real-time insight to determine realistically achievable goals based on the parameters of the campaign brief (budget, strategic goals, etc.).”

After this step, does the matchmaking feature of the Picstars product come into play?

“That’s right. After the campaign and sales teams have clearly defined the briefing and goals for the campaign with the client, the performance metrics are stored in our admin app. Now our Campaign Managers can enter all the collected information (keywords and target group information) into the app to find the perfect mix of influencer, campaign and brand so that the defined KPIs can be achieved. This is done through a deep search in our Creator database thanks to an advanced smart search and filtering technology in real time.”

How does this tool function?

“We’re constantly feeding our database with new information – it’s always learning and growing, which means better and better matches are found. Each influencer is tagged with topics and quirks, which allows us to filter them efficiently. Campaign managers can set search parameters based on basic data points like impressions, engagement and reach, more advanced data like geographic locations of the creator and their followers, (gender breakdown, etc.) and uniquely collected data points like quality ratings, activities, interests and likes. These are just a few filtering options – but showing them all in detail is definitely beyond the scope of this interview.”

Who uses this tool?

“The tool is used by our campaign management and sales team. It is the symbiosis between our team’s know-how and technology that makes us unique as an influencer agency. We believe that influencer marketing should not be a purely automated and data-driven activity within the marketing mix. We have intentionally designed the technology to strike a critical balance to ensure that our platforms remain a powerful supporting tool for our campaign management and sales teams, and ensure scalability of the process.”

What’s next on the agenda?

“We are currently completing an intensive and cross-departmental research and evaluation phase. We are working on optimizing our filter function for even more accurate matches. We are also implementing new features that will improve the scalability of an influencer campaign so that our clients get a more accurate report. We are very excited about the outcome of this project and our insights that will give us direction to drive innovation in influencer matchmaking.”

Thank you, dear Robin, for your time and the interesting inputs. We are excited to see what you will push further in the team!

Coverphoto Credits: Javier Esteban for Tech Daily

Goldbach becomes exclusive marketer of Picstars in Switzerland

Influencer Marketing Selfie Hotel

As an important marketer in the DACH region, Goldbach Group AG already covers large parts of the customer journey through content playout on various media. For an authentic and effective approach to the digitally affine and especially young target group, however, there is hardly any way around influencer marketing today.

Because influencer marketing stands not only for a large reach, but above all for a targeted message thanks to creative content and inspiring storytelling. This authentic communication activates the community and creates trust. The sustainable connection between customer and influencer, based on data analysis, the “perfect match”, gives the campaign the necessary credibility. People who used to ask friends or family for recommendations are now relying more on influencer reviews and recommendations.

Thanks to Goldbach’s exclusive marketing of Picstars throughout Switzerland, influencer marketing is finding its place in the comprehensive marketing mix. After several years of successful collaboration with Goldbach, we are pleased to further deepen this partnership. 

More information about the Goldbach and Picstars offer can be found here.

Interview with Robin about the product – the Picstars technology

In this interview, our Senior Product Manager Robin introduces us to the in-house product team and gives us a little introduction to Picstars’ proprietary technology that even rookies can understand.

Robin Christopher Heering, 28, Senior Product Manager bei PICSTARS

Robin was born in Stuttgart, grew up in Geneva and has now lived on three continents. After his last stop in London, he has now moved to Zurich and lives there with his wife and a son. In this interview, our Senior Product Manager Robin introduces us to the in-house product team and gives us a little introduction to Picstars’ proprietary technology that even rookies can understand.

Robin has a broad background in technology, business and entertainment. He started as a film composer at the age of 17 and later graduated from Tilburg University with a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration. In Prague, Robin co-founded a Digital Development Agency, later a Digital Academy and completed a Master of Arts in Music Business Managment in London. He has always been involved in digital marketing and tech and since moving to Zurich has been a key member of the Picstars Family.

What exactly can Picstars’ proprietary technology do? In this interview, our Senior Product Manager Robin introduces us to the in-house product team and gives us a little introduction to Picstars’ proprietary technology that even rookies can understand.

“Picstars has a primary focus on digitizing key phases of influencer marketing, with the goal of building an efficient, scalable, and cost-saving process. The first key phase includes identifying the perfect influencers for the campaign – the first core element for a successful influencer campaign. This is followed by legal and compliance processes, which are also digitized. Later in the overall process, the focus is on content approval and creator task management. The campaign managers check the content proposed by the creators and verify that it is published on time and in the right scope. The influencers receive their payouts and finally the final monitoring and the creation of analyses and reports follow. All of these parts of the overall process are digitized using our technology. Through the Brand Cockpit, the monitoring, analysis and reporting functions are now also accessible externally for our customers.

At the beginning of December, a migration to a new and more powerful version of the “state of the art” Picstars technology took place. With this new system, the possibilities are endless and we look forward to implementing a variety of new and innovative ideas over the next year.”

What are your responsibilities at Picstars and how is your team made up?

“My responsibilities at Picstars are very multi-faceted, which is why I love my job so much. As Senior Product Manager, I am responsible for the product, Picstars Technology. This includes activities such as customer surveys, strategic planning (such as efficient resource allocation), optimization and tracking. For me, it is essential to be able to put myself in the shoes of the various stakeholders in order to address all concerns. This includes campaign managers, sales managers, creators and brands. In order to guarantee a positive user experience for all parties involved, I conduct ongoing discussions and am always looking for new approaches to optimization. While internally I am always up to date with technology and all stakeholders, I also keep an eye on the current market situation, looking for new opportunities. My knowledge of the behavior of the markets is essential for my work and therefore serves me very well.

I work with a small but very strong and agile team. This allows us to be particularly responsive. We still maintain a solid product management process, which allows us to keep our code at a high standard and build out our features efficiently. This allows us to analyze and optimize the implementation process, create transparency in communication, and evaluate potential investments in product development.

What are you working on at the moment?

“Currently, we are in the stabilization phase of the development process, finalizing post-migration features and adjustments to those already integrated to prepare for a dynamic and impactful launch in the new year. On a strategic level, we are finalizing our roadmap for the next year, aligning our product strategy with the business strategy.

What are highlights for you since you started working in October?

“Coming from a tech startup and agency background, I love the close-knit community spirit and proactivity in our team. There are many very talented individuals in all departments and in the management.

My product development team is absolutely fantastic. The energy, commitment and high-quality results are a great highlight for all of us. We can also rely on each other in any situation, so everyone can focus on what’s important. We also maintain very open communication and constantly inspire each other to improve our performance and generate the best possible output.

Another personal highlight is monitoring the successful migration of the new technologies. These had been designed and worked on for a year. What made the challenge special was that I mastered it with only 8 weeks of training. In order to make the right decisions and set the right priorities in the process, it was critical that I fully understood the product. I can only thank the entire team at Picstars for their support, guidance and patience throughout this process.”

What can we look forward to in the future?

“The year 2021 looks to be the most exciting year yet for the product development team and Picstars. We want to focus intensively on the Creator Discovery process, optimize our Creator database and offer an enhanced Smart Search Experience. This is aimed at guaranteeing an even more perfect match between brand and influencer. Another focus is the refinement of the entire reporting process, with further integration of branded content ads. “Coming from a tech startup and agency background, I love the close-knit community spirit and proactivity in our team. There are many very talented individuals in all departments and in the management.”

“I look forward to providing more insights into our Picstars world and shedding more light on individual topics in the future.”

Cover Credits: Javier Esteban for Tech Daily

Bring it on 2021!