The Principles of Influencer Marketing: Unilever, Diageo, Samsung and eBay

What Unilever, Diageo, Samsung and eBay all have in common: transparent, honest influencer marketing

Swayy congratulates all four of these companies on their commitment to combat fraud within the digital marketing sector. The principles of influencer marketing have never been more murky. Unilever’s recent stance, however, has been a message of clarity amongst the confusion. Following Unilever’s recent pledge not to work with influencers who buy followers, Diageo, Samsung and eBay have all followed suit. Not only can these companies now create better experiences for their customers, but they have also improved their ability to measure the impact of their influencers. With the help of Swayy, hotel and travel businesses can too.

The Cannes Lions Festival and the Principles of Influencer Marketing

“At Unilever, we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands,” commented Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer. “Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people. However, certain practices like to buy their followers which can easily undermine these relationships. We need to take urgent action to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”

Weed’s statement at the Cannes Lions Festival clearly had an impact. The principles of influencer marketing came under a lot of discussion. The following day, Samsung, Diageo and eBay made a response during a panel session.

“If you support and enable people they will stand for you. We want to become a brand that is authentic and interested in supporting creators,” said Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer of Samsung Electronics America. He later commented that Samsung “are rethinking everything we do and how we rebuild the trust and emotional connection with people and brand love and not just market our products.” This was a thought echoed in the comment of Syl Saller, chief marketing officer at Diageo, who said that they were looking to work with “people who are truly into drinks and bartending and then use them in a truly naturally symbiotic relationship”.

“What I want to do is give our sellers a voice, rather than influencers who have a following and are willing to write a post,” said Gaodert van Dedm, Vice President and Chief of Marketing of eBay EMEA. “It should be from people who are authentic and genuine.”

principles of influencer marketing

Authentic content with @swayy.me

Transparent and authentic influencers

The New York Times investigation into Devumi, a company which sold and resold up to 3.5 million automated Twitter followers to buyers, made it clear how important social media authenticity is. Unilever’s statement marks the company’s latest push against the constant threat of online advertising fraud. The impossibility of knowing whether content sent to consumers is real or fake can be very dangerous. As more and more consumers embrace social media, fighting fraudulent content only becomes more vital. The principles of digital marketing have never been more complicated.

This is where Swayy’s influencer database steps in. Making such a stand against influencers with fake followers is simple for big businesses. For smaller brands, however, it can seem impossible. Despite this, Swayy makes hotel influencer marketing easy. It’s as straightforward as posting a listing and waiting for the applications to roll in. With our end-to-end solution, any hotel pain points are easily avoided. We put all of our influencers through fake follower detection. There’s no longer a need to worry about inflated follower counts and engagement rates.

Our advice:

Unilever focused on many of the moral principles of influencer marketing. To build on this, Swayy would suggest a few practical rules to follow. As social media continues to break down traditional advertising methods, here are a few distinctions to make sense of the confusion:

  • 1. the size of the community and the community itself can be very different things; always look at the engagement rates and specificity of an influencer’s community before committing to their platform.
  • 2. the difference between short-term advertising and long-term association can be crucial. Building up one to the other can create a really positive relationship between business and influencer and lead to an invested, loyal brand following.
  • 3. celebrate an influencer’s creativity rather than just looking at their profile. A track record of high-quality content speaks to a creativity you and your company can harness for even better results.
  • 4. influencer marketing doesn’t just have to be an add-on for marketing strategies. Integrating influencers properly into your creative process can unlock the full potential of their content.
principles of digital marketing


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