Nabila, Sarah Friso..these influencers with turbulent ties to brands

In early 2019, clothing brand Jennyfer hired a certain Léna Mahfouf on a permanent contract. This 24-year-old joined the brand’s marketing team, which was losing momentum. And his arrival had a miraculous effect: The brand, renamed Don’t call me Jennyfer, jumped 60% between 2018 and 2021 according to Kantar. It must be said that the young woman, who appeared in June 2021 on the cover of Elle, built in a few years one of the most followed communities in France (2.2 million subscribers on YouTube and 3.6 million on Instagram), thanks to carefully produced videos and “vlogs”. More modern and automatic (reduce video and blog). Known as Léna Situations, she is also a regular guest on Vogue France’s YouTube channel.

This Parisian fashion expert is part of this new generation of web stars, who are adored by the younger generations. This is also the case of Squeezie or Amixem, which started on YouTube about ten years ago with game videos and today brings together millions of people thanks to its entertaining videos (hide and seek in the castle, horror stories, Lego set in 24 hours …). There is also the duo McClay and Carlito (7 million subscribers), who made their debut last year thanks to the video “Tale Contest” with… Emmanuel Macron.

Other influence stars play the guru with tutorials, for abs (Tibo InShape, 8 million subscribers) or makeup like a pro (Sananas, 3 million subscribers). Their appearance has not escaped the brands, who now have “social media managers” or influencer managers in their marketing departments… It must be said that the global market, estimated at $15 billion, continues to climb: four years, it has been multiplied by two,” according to Christophe Mansau, director of strategic planning at Kantar Media.

The influencer has become almost a new profession. Because along with a handful of comedians or reality TV stars, France has roughly 150,000 medium or partial influencers who live in all or part of their audience. This is followed by a smaller community (between 10,000 and 100,000 subscribers) but very committed. Audience size is not the exclusive criterion for interesting brands: it also takes into account the “engagement rate”, which puts the number of subscribers in perspective of the number of interactions (likes, comments, etc.). In other words, they measure the dynamics of society.

How is this digital audience monetized? The so-called automated advertising, which is controlled by a program for allocating budgets on different platforms, especially takes care of this work on YouTube. But sponsored posts, product placements, “stories” (ephemeral photos or videos to browse) or even videos (a feature that allows you to express yourself in video, up to 60 seconds) are often the biggest source of income. To which is added affiliation, a system that allows you to encode a link with a tracking cookie and get a percentage of sales made thanks to it or, finally, using promotional codes provided by brands.

Reality TV stars, bodybuilders or young women, eager to monetize their careers as media stars ASAP, are doing their best: creating cosmetics or fashion brands, ‘dropshipping’ websites (we sell products that are then ordered in China, without always respecting standards or paying VAT), stories and promotions at all costs … Nabila, the former “owner” of reality TV, was launched on Snapchat, the ephemeral messages on the network. We ran a small test on April 10th. Today’s summary: 12 screens sponsored by English training, 15 screens for foundation and 20 screens for hair products.

Teammate Manon Tanti, champion Facts IslandNot to be outdone: On April 10, she posted a 17-screen story for an online shoe store and 30 screen for a fitness program. Some also dream of belonging to the Kardashian family, like the JLC couple (Jazz and Laurent Correa) who recount their hectic lives in Dubai on TFX. Small problem: the principality seems to be tired of hosting these not always transparent adventurers. Laurent Correia would be the subject of a dark NFT (Digital Objects) scam complaint and would have been banned from Snapchat. According to a blogger, Nabila and Manon Tanti were unsuccessful in renewing their visas in Dubai.

Thought leaders (that says a lot) from a very influential audience, these lousy stars sometimes broadcast outright malicious messages. When you’re not, Maifa Ghanem, the main candidate in Marseille On W9, who promotes vaginal plastic surgery, his colleague Sarah Friso is the one who promotes the miracle infusion of pregnancy, capsules to shrink the vagina and sweat suits for weight loss … and to attract suckers, sports betting, trading and cryptocurrency are also a good vein. These operations are also in the eyes of many European authorities.

Nabila Vergara was fined last summer 20,000 euros for “deceptive business practices” after promoting bitcoin in 2018 without indicating that it was a paid partnership. Bruno Le Maire then tweeted a call to “fight disguised ads” and “report this misleading behaviour”. A message greeted with annoyance from Magali Berdah, founder of the No. 1 influence agency Shauna Events with 150 talents in her stable: “What’s the point of tweeting if he doesn’t reply when you ask for a date? To do it in front of you?” says the businesswoman who demands clearer rules.

Sure, the Arpp (Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority) has created the Responsible Impact Certification, but “the rules have to be the same for everyone for the profession to be healthy, Magali Byrd believes. I stopped trading and 90% of dropshipping but other competitors don’t stop it.” »

However, the activity tends to be regulated, with the emergence of specialized influencer marketing players such as Reech or Kolsquare. Even the focus of the sector is pointing at the tip of its nose: In 2021, Marseille-based Skeepers (previously known as checking valuations) completed no fewer than seven acquisitions worth more than €100 million, including those of Hivency. and Octoly, two platforms that connect brands and influencers. Its most recent acquisition: the March acquisition of “direct shopping” company Spockee. And if everyone believes in it so strongly, it’s because influence is a huge marketing leverage.

“Consumers want us to approach them individually,” explains Guillaume Duque Thunon, founder and CEO of Reech. According to Stéphane Bouyer, who co-founded Influence4You in 2012, “Influence also makes it possible to reach targets that the brand can no longer reach, particularly those under 35 who watch less TV.” The influencer has his audience, the so-called “best friend effect”.

But how much do this new kind of men and women earn? In a recent broadcast of Don’t touch my TVHost Cyril Hanouneh introduced astronomical characters to reality TV stars but without mentioning their origins (TV fees, e-commerce, income from influence). Thus the Marseille spouses (Carla Moreau and Kevin Guedge or Julian Tanti and Manon Marsault) will receive more than 100,000 euros per month. Mayfa Ghanam, another Marseille, would do better on her own. As for novice adventurers Jessica Thevenin and Tybalt Garcia, they will exceed 300 thousand euros per month, just like Nabila, who took first place of this kind.

“There are really big sums out there, with a hundred professional players, but above all a large part earning little or nothing, the nuance of Stephane Bouyer. Above all, before you start receiving money, you have to work hard for two to three years. And how much Pay?Specialist indicates between 200 and 600 euros per post for an Instagram account with 50,000 subscribers, and between 400 and 800 per video for a YouTube channel with about 10,000 views.As for nano-influencers (less than 10,000 subscribers), their rewards are almost be nonexistent.

Nano are simple consumers who give their opinion to relatives or on the Internet. These gentlemen and ladies all have the power to recommend brands that feel free to send them products via platforms like Octoly, Hivency and Influence4You. “It is consumer reviews that will generate a return on investment that would be difficult to obtain with larger influencers,” explains Philippe Berat, “Customer Success Manager” at Skeepers, who estimates that 88% of consumers consult customer reviews and influence their peers in the buying process.

Between the two extremes, the stars and the unknown, a small army of intermediate actors who live from their experiences develop. Marielle, also known as Le Blog de Néroli, falls into this category. As a beauty blogger for nine years, she quit her job as an intensive care nurse to revitalize her community of nearly 60,000 people on Instagram and YouTube. Caudalie, and Clarence in beauty, but also Iram, Junic, and Disneyland Paris have already summoned her. “I’m lucky I didn’t have to poll, they come to me,” explains the 30-year-old resident of Annecy, who gets 90% of her income from these paid partnerships. “I am fortunate to have a very committed community, which earned me the highest sales of a cosmetic brand in 2021.” According to her, as long as we don’t take his listeners as fools, it works.

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