Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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56 INSIDER September/October 2018 When asking natural products brands which marketing tactics are currently working for them (usually in the context of, "If you had an extra $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 right now to spend on reaching consumers, how would you use it?"), one of two answers typically results—social media marketing or working with infl uencers. So, what does "working with infl uencers" mean, what do infl uencer programs look like, and what outcomes can a brand realistically expect to get? Infl uencers, specifi cally consumer infl uencers, can be anyone who has the potential to infl uence a target audience. Infl uencers are often referred to as bloggers; however, there are several other types of infl uencers. Infl uencers can be experts (like a nutritionist or a doctor), authors (like a cookbook author), academics (like a professor), a YouTuber, an Instagrammer and so on. Most happen to have a blog or some sort of online presence, but being a blogger may not be their primary occupation. Currently, Green Purse PR is conducting shopper research on a niche natural product within the supplements industry. The client needs to understand its target consumer before launching a new product with its retail partner. The research determined working with infl uencers who already have a primed audience interested in the supplements category should be one of the main components of the brand's go-to-market strategy. The client is now in the process of working with its retail partner's marketing team to identify and collaborate with infl uencers who they know have the ear of that retailer's shopper base. How to Get Started With Infl uencers Identify the right infl uencers. Find out which infl uencers consumers pay attention to. Brands can ask consumers in a variety of ways; shopper interviews or shop-alongs are ideal, but asking via email campaigns and social media can work, too. Retail partner(s) can identify some of their top infl uencer partners, which may be a good fi t since they are likely to already have the intended audience. Once a brand has a list, it can start identifying the best fi ts for its products. For example, a meat producer should ensure the infl uencers on the short list eat meat. Ideally, brand executives would be able to connect with the preferred infl uencers in person to establish a relationship. Work with just one infl uencer as a test. Brands should start small and work their way up to more as they see a return on investment (ROI). Brands can consider reallocating their marketing budget (or just a portion of it) to work with an infl uencer one month. After the month-long collaboration, a comparison of key metrics (reach, engagement, page visits, sales, etc.) from one month to the next can show if the infl uencer increased the reach to more than the brand would have achieved on its own, spending the same amount. Depending on how the test goes, the brand may determine it wants to work with one new infl uencer every month, or it may only partner with infl uencers during key selling seasons or holidays to make the most impact. What Infl uencer Programs Look Like Green Purse PR is working with a lifestyle blogger who focuses on the mom/parenting and real food communities. She is developing content (a specifi c number of meal ideas, expert tips and food photography) for a client's website. The content she helps create is meant to become a "lead magnet" where website visitors will need to opt-in with an email address to access the content. Once published, the infl uencer partner will be responsible for helping the brand promote the content on her website, blog and social media for a limited amount of time. When looking to determine an appropriate fee, Green Purse PR considers the number of deliverables, time it will likely take to complete each deliverable, and the number of people the expert can reach on her own platforms. What to Expect From Working With Infl uencers As a result of partnering with infl uencers, brands can expect to reach and engage with a new group of consumers. Most brands want to attract more than just one type of consumer "tribe." For example, a meat brand wants to connect with the following types of consumer communities: paleo, new parents, halal and grill masters, among others. Every infl uencer it partners with can help the brand create stronger connections with these types of groups it might not have been able to access otherwise. Whether a brand decides to work with a few infl uencers at various times throughout the year, or it's working with several a month, it should ensure it's letting its infl uencer partner do what she does best. Brands should have an idea of what they want the infl uencer to provide, but they can also ask them to propose deliverables that they enjoy, are best at and, most importantly, know their audience is likely to respond well to. Lisa Mabe i s CEO of Green Purse PR (greenpursepr.com), a boutique research and public relations (PR) consul tancy based in Washington. She is an award-winning PR expert with recognized expertise in marketing to women, shopper research and social communications. Follow her on Twitter at @LisaMabe and her blog, #GetInHerCart. Influencers Leveraging the Influence of Influencers by Lisa Mabe Learn more about best practices for tapping into and communicating an impactful brand story in a digital marketplace, including how to enlist the right evangelists and ambassadors to help spread the good word, at the Digital Marketing Summit at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore on Sept. 14, 1:30-4 p.m. expoeast.com/ee18/public/Sessions.aspx Scan Here Digital Marketing at Natural Products Expo East

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