July 12, 2016

Part 1: Subtle brand building with influencer marketing on Instagram

It’s an obvious statement but social media has become an essential part of the marketing mix. With its emergence, a new method of marketing was introduced: influencer marketing. In Part 1 of this guest blog, we spoke to Instagram influencer Jolielot to find out more about the topic.

How did you become an influential marketer?
To be honest, I accidentally became an ‘influencer’. After my studies, I started working but soon found out that I couldn’t leverage my creativity stuck in an office. I did, however, have that opportunity via my Instagram account, without the initial aim of making money through it. Then, with all the time and attention I put into posting really high-quality photos with my own unique style (and still do), I was quickly discovered.

In the beginning, I experienced rapid growth with 200 followers per day and my engagement was sky high. Because of this, my profile was recognised and it didn’t take long before brands came to me to start promoting their products via my Instagram account. And now, only 18 months later, I have over 55,000 followers! I regularly travel through Europe for collaborations and I work alongside a range of international brands.

Which brands do you work with? And how do you translate the brand’s values to your supporters?
Some of the brands I’ve worked with include Tui, Net5, Givenchy, Valtifest, Marlies Dekkers, Daniel Wellington, Southern Comfort… so quite a diverse range. Of course, there are guidelines for sponsored posts but if the brief is too specific, the content can end up feeling not very genuine. The best brands state what they’re trying to achieve with the post rather than trying to stage the photo themselves or provide too many specifics.

I once received a request from a festival to see whether I could help generate ticket sales by posting two different images (the first to directly try and sell tickets, the other pushing the artist line-up). I was given creative freedom of the posts and provided my own interpretation of the intended message. It always needs to appear organic to my account if brands are to get the cut through and engagement they’re after.

Do you think your followers will take you less seriously if you post too many commercial messages?
The aim of the game is to never post something that looks like an obvious brand push. For example, I would never hold a tube of toothpaste with a big smile on my face and explicitly promote a toothpaste manufacturers message for shiny white teeth. This is not a TV commercial. The power of Instagram lies within exciting your followers with a beautiful picture and making them curious about a particular product. It’s then easy to tag the brand in the post or add their account name in the comments section so followers are only a simple click away from engaging with the relevant brand’s account.

Fortunately, my followers do know that I’m an online influencer,  but I am selective with the collaborations that I engage in. People follow me for particular reasons that fit within the brand I have built (fun, cool, stylish) so it’s important these brands work well with Jolielot. I often get asked what label the leather jacket is that I wear in photos on my Instagram account and when I reply specially to that person, they feel a real sense of connection. Community-building is extremely important!

Follow Jolielot on Instagram and check back next week for part 2 on how to utilise influential marketing for event organisers.



Meet Marlot! An adventurous blonde who picked up her things and moved to Amsterdam five years ago. She lives her city life according to the motto: positive mind, vibes & life, and this inspires more than 55,000 followers on Instagram. Jolielot works full time as an online influencer with brands like Givenchy, Valtifest, Tui, NET5, Marlies Dekkers and Disaronno. The happy place of the go-getter: the dance floor.

Instagram: Jolielot // website