"As with any industry, influencers are now having to specialize" - Zhanel Bektemissova

 Today, we caught up with Zhanel Bektemissova an influencer who began their journey back in 2009, when she moved to London. Zhanel fell in love with the city and fascinated with capturing her life as well as spending time with her new born son. Check out what Zhanel had to say about her career and the outlook for Influencer Marketing in the future.

 
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Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started to build a following?

I moved to London, UK in 2009 with my husband and my (at the time) 1-month old son. I was inspired by the beauty of that city and started capturing the images of my life there and shared them with my close friends on Instagram. As a stay-at-home Mom, I had time on my hands to cook a lot and to go out and share those moments with my followers. This is how my journey as an Instagram blogger started.

What sort of content do you create and what content works best with your audience?

My daily life in Berlin, my children, food (both cooked at home and when we go out), our travels, and family.

What would you define Influencer Marketing as?

To me it is a form of marketing where in order to persuade target group of customers/consumers the focus is placed on an individual (or group of individuals) who has a lot of influence on that group of people.  

What brands have you worked with so far? How was it?

To-date, I was focusing primarily on building up my following. As a result, I have not had experience of working with recognized brands yet.

How do you think Influencer Marketing will evolve over the next 12 months?

Brands will continue to focus on more granular performance metrics of influencers they choose to work with. Following and reach alone are no longer enough. Increasingly, emphasis will be made on relevance, impact and engagement. Brands have access to increasingly sophisticated tools to measure those performance criteria.

How has the Influencer world evolved since you began?

Leverage of influencers on their audiences has grown exponentially. This is not a marketing fad anymore but real-life phenomena. Although competition has grown dramatically, someone with the relatively modest following (100-200k followers) but with a very focused audience, can have an outsized influence on a particular customer niche. As with any industry, influencers are now having to specialize.  

How do you feel brands are working with Influencers?

They collaborate to create quality content that is relevant to a brand’s audience and that is designed to grow that brand’s recognition with that audience.

Have you seen any brands that you feel are doing great work with Influencers?

Levis, Desegnio, Calvin Klein, and Daniel Wellington  

How do you balance your online life with offline?

There is no balance because I love what I do. I create content as I ingest life.

Which influencers inspire you and look up to?

@rianne.meijer (Rianne Meijer) @paulienriemis (Paulien Riemis)

If you could work with any brand, who would that be?

Ralph Lauren, Levis, Asos, Zara Kids, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger

What’s your favourite social platform and why?

Instagram – easy and intuitive to use, immediate and quality feedback from my users, it is a great platform to obtain useful information

YouTube – Ability to post long quality videos, flexibility, and great tools. Having grown my following on Instagram, my next goal is to multiply my following on YouTube

Where do you want to take your career as an Influencer?

 I want to grow my Instagram following to 1mm in the next 1-1.5 years. I want to involve my children in influencer marketing and have brands approach us as a family. I also want to grow my impact in a more long-form content on YouTube. My long-term goal is for my content to make an impact across national and cultural borders.