Influencer marketing in some form has been around for as long as advertising has.
Only now, instead of Andy Griffith and his co-stars appearing in an end-of-show commercial about how good Maxwell House coffee is, we have more highly specific influencers bringing attention to products that are more narrowly focused.
A Linqia survey from 2017 found that 86% of marketers used some form of influencer marketing that year, and 92% of them considered it effective. One challenge of marketing is that the more sophisticated the target market, the harder it is to reach them through traditional advertising channels. Influencer marketing capitalizes on reaching specific subsets of consumers where they already spend their time—often on social media platforms.
What Is an Influencer?
True influencers do more than draw attention to your brand. They drive action. Because of their real or perceived authority in a given retail category, influencers have tremendous power to affect people’s purchasing decisions. Many influencers are social media personalities, such as Instagram models or YouTube vloggers.
Influencers aren’t like Super Bowl television ads in that they don’t reach out (or try to reach out) to as broad a swath of population as possible. Rather, they target a specific audience through organic earned media. Consumers trust “earned” media nearly as much as they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know in real life. At the same time, consumers have become adept at mentally blocking out traditional ads, making influencers a highly effective marketing channel when chosen well and engaged in a strategic partnership with brands.
Reasons to Use Influencer Marketing for your CPG Brand
The main reason to try influencer marketing is that it is so effective. Not only are you avoiding spending ad dollars targeting people who will never be interested in your product, but you’re also cutting through the “noise” of pop-up ads, billboards, and other advertising channels that bombard people’s senses around the clock.
The right influencer not only brings in their own interested audience, but they also bring in the audience’s audiences. The key is choosing the right influencer and creating the right campaign for their style. People won’t respond to influencer campaigns that feel forced, so it’s important to take time to identify the right influencer for your specific marketing goals.
Tips and Best Practices with Influencer Marketing
Never skimp on preliminary research into a potential influencer. Not only should their values align with your brand’s, their primary platform should be one in which you are interested. Their primary content type should be one that resonates well with your brand’s target audience. For example, if your key audience responds well to video content, you should choose an influencer that does a lot of video content.
Look into a potential influencer’s background. If they have said something in the past that could be embarrassing to your brand, you need to understand the risk of that being brought back to the public’s attention. Research the influencer’s content and make sure it is the type of content your target audience enjoys, and that works well with your CPG product.
Targeting influencers carefully is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of an influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing can be phenomenally effective and cost-efficient, and it is only expected to continue to grow in importance for CPG brands. Hangar12 is at the forefront of CPG marketing strategy and more. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with our latest insights.