December 17, 2020

Influencers in the building and architecture sector

Building and architecture influencers as communication partners

Influencer marketing has become an indispensable part of the toolbox for B2C brands. In the B2B sector, however, companies often still find it difficult to become active in this area. And they are missing a great opportunity in the process. This is because B2B decision-makers usually think long-term and attach great importance to recommendations when making purchasing decisions. This is exactly what influencers can offer – with authenticity and credibility. Influencers have also positioned themselves in the building and architecture sector in recent years as an alternative for communicating with architects, professional planners or craftsmen. In this field, they compete with traditional trade magazines and established online platforms. Today we’re speaking with Eric Sturm, blogger and influencer, about the “dos and don’ts” when working with building and architecture influencers.

In influencer marketing, brands capitalise on the influence of a person on a specific target group. In the building and architecture sector, influencers use all available social media platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube as well as their own blogs for this purpose. Mostly they are experts in their field, like “Gipser (plasterer) Felix” or “that_flooring girl Silja Kinast”. Their reach is, however, not comparable to that of B2C influencers. But if the right decision-makers rank among their followers or fans, you’re in good hands with them as a business or a brand. Influencers can also reach niche audiences that are otherwise difficult to target. The opportunities for influencer marketing in the B2B sector are manifold: From a one-time sponsorship of a post through to a regular blog series, there are many possibilities.

How do I work with influencers?

The magic word in influencer campaigns is collaboration. Unlike traditional media, for example, influencers will very rarely adopt a text exactly as the company or briefing agency provides it. Because influencers definitely don’t want to lose authenticity with their followers. The client therefore has more of a supporting function: Making the product available, providing information, recommending content and always being reachable is part of the 1x1 of influencer marketing. In most cases, however, the influencer himself or herself creates the actual content. And this also distinguishes them from a classic testimonial: The influencer presents a product or a story because it fits into their thematic environment. They have their own “reach” and take over production themselves.

Eric sturm
Building and architecture influencer Eric Sturm (photo: Christine Fiedler, Berlin)

Influencers in the building and architecture sector vs. the building and architecture trade press – comparable, better, different?

We talked about influencers in the building and architecture sector with Eric Sturm. He is a blogger and influencer from Berlin with a focus on building and architecture. On his blogs Internet-fuer-Architekten.de or architekturmeldungen.de/blog, he regularly reports about architecture and architects. We, the Ruess Group and one of the leading agencies for the building and architecture sector, also work with him. Fagenciesor our customer ALHO, Eric Sturm visited the plant and a construction site of the modular building specialist and reported about it on his blog and social media channels. The result is a beautiful, authentic blog post which was extremely well received by the target group of architects.

Eric, what differentiates the activities of building and architecture influencers from trade magazines and trade online portals?
The personal style, the medium, as well as the possible formats. In the case of a building and architecture influencer, the individual style shapes the respective medium – much more so than in the case of a classic trade publication. In my case, we’re talking about the blog, Twitter and Instagram profiles. The influencer and their style should be chosen to match the brand. In terms of formats, building and architecture influencers are probably much less restricted than traditional media brands. What does the collaboration look like, i.e. in terms of scope, frequency, intensity in the sense of how strongly a brand appears – these aspects are freely negotiable with influencers.

What advantages does the client have when collaborating with a building and architecture influencer?

The client benefits from the network and reputation of the influencer. Unlike a trade medium, which tends to appear anonymously as a (media) brand, the building and architecture influencer is an individual person. With strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes.

For example, if this person reports on a product or on an event in which the product plays a role, the product can indirectly benefit from the “charisma” radiance" of the influencer. But, of course, both have to fit well together – in terms of style, for example. And there has to be a certain enthusiasm or at least genuine affinity for the product or manufacturer on the part of the influencer. If this isn’t the case, it’s best to let it go. Then an advertorial or an ad in a trade publication would probably be better.

What metrics/KPIs should the client look for when commissioning building and architecture influencers?

Personally, I’m not really a fan of quantifying everything. Metrics such as “achieved reach” are all well and good, but I don’t think you should overdo it. As a client, it would be more important for me to understand the environment in which a construction influencer operates, by whom he or she is read or perceived. Fortunately, digital media is relatively transparent: I can easily check any Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profile to see who the followers and subscribers are or where they are from.

What role does a mediating agency like the Ruess Group play for you?

A good agency is very important from my point of view because it can advise the client neutrally on which influencers, which channels and which formats best suit a specific brand. This is similar to traditional PR work or media planning. Maybe it’s even more important than in those areas: Because brand safety, i.e. the placement of your brand in suitable, “safe” environments, plays an important role in influencer marketing. Good advice is extremely helpful in finding the ideal combinations – or I should say partnerships – between brands and influencers.

Screenshot eric sturm Alho 01


Are you ready for an influencer campaign targeting the building and architecture sector?

We created and carried out another successful influencer collaboration for office furniture manufacturer Interstuhl together with Hendrik Bohle from THE LINK.

If you are also thinking about collaborating with influencers, we will be happy to advise you!

  • We’ll find the right influencers for your campaign
  • We’ll create a detailed briefing with clearly formulated objectives and expectations
  • We’ll take care of handling the contract with the influencers and project supervision
  • And finally, we’ll control and analyse the defined goals and key figures

Call me in Stuttgart or write to me:

Markus Rahner, +49 (0) 711 / 16446-61, markus.rahner@ruess-group.com