Nabilla, Sarah Fraisou.. These influencers with troubled connections to brands

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

This Parisian fashion pro is part of that new breed of web stars that are being adored by the younger generations. Just like Squeezie or Amixem, which started with gaming videos on YouTube about ten years ago and today brings millions of people together thanks to entertaining videos (hide and seek in the castle, scary stories, building a Lego set in 24 hours…). There is also the duo Mcfly and Carlito (7 million subscribers), who gained visibility last year thanks to a video “anecdotal competition” with … Emmanuel Macron.

Other influential stars play the teacher through tutorials to get concrete abs (Tibo InShape, 8 million subscribers) or do makeup like a pro (Sananas, 3 million subscribers). Their visibility has not escaped brands that now have “social media managers” or influencer managers in their marketing departments… It must be said that the global market, valued at $15 billion, continues to grow: multiplied by two for four years” , said Christophe Manceau, Director of Strategic Planning at Kantar Media.

Influencer has almost become a new profession. Because in addition to a handful of star comedians or reality TV stars, there are almost 150,000 medium or micro-influencers in France who live wholly or partly in their audience. This is followed by a smaller community (between 10,000 and 100,000 subscribers), but very engaged. The size of the audience is not the sole criterion for interesting brands: they also take into account the “engagement rate”, which compares the number of subscribers to the number of interactions (likes, comments, etc.). In other words, they measure community dynamics.

How is this digital audience monetized? This work is carried out on YouTube in particular by so-called programmatic advertising, which distributes software-controlled budgets across different platforms. But sponsored posts, product placement, “stories” (fleeting photos or videos to flip through), or even reels (a feature that lets you express yourself in videos up to 60 seconds long) are often the biggest revenue stream. To this is added affiliation, a system that allows you to encode a link with a tracking cookie and receive a percentage of the sales made through it or finally with promo codes provided by the brands.

Reality TV stars, bodybuilder heroes or revamped young women eager to monetize their careers as media stars as quickly as possible fire on all cylinders: creation of cosmetics or fashion brands, “dropshipping” sites (we sell Products then ordered in China, without always respecting standards or paying VAT), stories and promotions at all costs… Nabilla, the former “angel” of reality TV, is on Snapchat, the short-lived messaging network, unleashed. We did a little test on April 10th. Summary of the day: 12 screens sponsored by training in English, 15 for a foundation and 20 for hair products.

His colleague Manon Tanti, heroine of The Island of TruthsYou can’t beat her: As recently as April 10, she published a story of 17 screens for an online shoe store and 30 for a fitness program. Some also dream of being part of the Kardashian family, like married couple JLC Family (Jazz and Laurent Correia), who open up about their hectic life in Dubai on TFX. Small problem: the emirate seems tired of hosting these adventurers who are not always very transparent. Laurent Correia would have been the subject of a complaint for a dark NFT (Digital Objects) scam and would have been banned from Snapchat. According to a blogger, Nabilla and Manon Tanti would not have been able to extend their visas in Dubai.

Thought leaders (that’s saying a lot) to a highly impressionable public, these seedy stars spread downright harmful messages at times. If it isn’t Maeva Ghennam, flagship candidate of the Marseilles On W9 who promotes vaginoplasty, it is his colleague Sarah Fraisou who promotes a miracle infusion to get pregnant, capsules to shrink the vagina and tracksuits to lose weight… To attract suckers are sports betting, trading and cryptocurrencies also a good vein. These operations are also targeted by several European authorities.

Nabilla Vergara was fined €20,000 last summer for “deceptive business practices” after promoting Bitcoin in 2018 without mentioning that it was a paid partnership. Bruno Le Maire then tweeted, demanding “fight against obfuscated advertising” and “report this misleading behavior”. A message met with annoyance from Magali Berdah, founder of the number 1 influencer agency Shauna Events with 150 talent in her stable: “What’s the point of tweeting if he doesn’t reply when you ask out? To do with the facade? ‘ says the businesswoman, who calls for clearer rules.

The Arpp (Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority) has certainly created a certificate of responsible influence, but “the rules must be the same for everyone for the profession to be healthy,” believes Magali Berdah. I stopped trading and 90% of dropshipping but other competitors don’t ban it. »

However, the activity is usually structured, with the emergence of actors specialized in influence marketing, such as Reech or Kolsquare. A concentration of the sector even points to the tip of the nose: in 2021, Marseille-based Skeepers (formerly Verified Reviews) has completed no less than seven acquisitions for a sum of more than 100 million euros, including those of Hivency and Octoly , two platforms that connect brands and influencers. His most recent operation: the acquisition of Spockee, a company specializing in “live shopping”, in March. And if everyone believes it so strongly, it’s because influence is a powerful marketing lever.

“Consumers want us to address them individually,” explains Guillaume Doki-Thonon, founder and CEO of the Reech agency. “Influence also makes it possible to achieve goals that a brand can no longer achieve, especially those under 35 who watch less TV,” says Stéphane Bouillet, co-founder of Influence4You in 2012. Another important point: the proximity of the influencers his audience, the so-called “best friend effect”.

But how much are these new sandwich men and women making? In a recent broadcast by Do not touch My TV, host Cyril Hanouna presented astronomical figures for reality TV stars, but without specifying their origins (television fees, e-commerce, income from influencers). With that, the Marseille couples (Carla Moreau and Kevin Guedj or Julien Tanti and Manon Marsault) would earn more than 100,000 euros a month. Maeva Ghennam, another Marseillaise, would do even better on her own. As for the apprentice adventurers Jessica Thivenin and Thibault Garcia, they would top 300,000 euros a month, just like Nabilla, who is considered to be number 1 in the genre.

“Although there are large sums, with a hundred professional players, but above all a large part that earns little or nothing, Nuance Stéphane Bouillet. Above all, you have to work seriously for two to three years before you get any money. And how much does it pay? The specialist states 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 around 10,000 views. For nano-influencers (less than 10,000 subscribers), their compensation is almost non-existent.

The Nanos are simple consumers who express their opinions, to relatives or on the Internet. Nonetheless, these gentlemen and ladies Everybody have the referral power sought after by brands that don’t hesitate to send them products through platforms like Octoly, Hivency and Influence4You. “Consumer reviews will generate a return on investment that’s hard to match with larger influencers,” explains Philippine Peyrat, Skeepers’ Customer Success Manager, who estimates that 88% of consumers consult customer reviews and are influenced by their peers in the buying process.

Between the two extremes of stars and anonymity, a small army of interim actors develops who live off their expertise. Mariel, aka Le Blog de Néroli, falls into this category. She was a beauty blogger for nine years, quitting her job as a critical care nurse to animate her community of around 60,000 people on Instagram and YouTube. They have already visited Caudalie, Clarins in Beauty, but also Eram, Junique and Disneyland Paris. “I’m lucky that I don’t have to advertise, they come to me,” explains the 30-year-old from Annecy, who gets 90% of her income from these paid partnerships. “I’m fortunate to have a very engaged community that got me the top 1 sales by a cosmetics brand in 2021.” She thinks it works as long as we don’t take its listeners for fools.

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