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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58 INSIDER September/October 2018 With a renewed focus on the way brands are promoting their products, the use of social media infl uencers is increasing in popularity. Social media infl uencers educate and entertain followers in their particular space about specifi c products, services and topics. From stars to bloggers, social media infl uencers are attractive for brands that want to engage with customers on an authentic footing. According to TapInfl uence, word-of-mouth marketing is an effective way to reach customers, particularly when attributed to social media infl uencers. In fact, 92 percent of customers are more likely to trust and respond to user-generated content over ads, and 71 percent of customers are more likely to purchase a product or a service based on a social media referral. Brands can reap multiple benefi ts from working with social media infl uencers. Alongside directly delivering the message straight to the consumer, the partnership can humanize a company, making it relatable and part of a consumer's daily routine. Additionally, infl uencers can help brands market new products and services, as well as identify new audience segments to target. Ingredient and dietary supplement companies are consistently working with athletes, celebrity trainers, fi tness gurus, the natural community and Millennial moms as part of their marketing strategies. Assuming there is ample education from the brand to the infl uencer, infl uencers can educate consumers about the benefi ts of ingredients in layman terms, while still adhering to strict language surrounding FDA-compliant structure/function claims. For brands looking to invest their time and money with an infl uencer, they should focus on the types of media consumed by their target demographic. Which social media channels do they use to check out new products and get their news? Which types of content do they respond well to? Which infl uencers do they follow and trust? Social media infl uencers should be creating high-quality, authentic content, and engaging with their audience regularly. They should also have a multiplatform presence, using networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to create attractive content delivered in a way that reaches their followers at their favorite digital destination. For brands looking to work with social media infl uencers, what are the key points to consider? Refl ecting brand values: Infl uencers must refl ect the values of a brand and not just be there to push a product. Brands should work with infl uencers who have an interesting story that aligns with their company vision, and a genuine integration of the product into their daily life. Fee structure: Whether it is affi liate marketing, a product, a retainer fee or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, fi nd what works best for the brand and incentivizes the infl uencer. Each infl uencer is different! As the marketer, be sure to obtain rights to the content developed by the infl uencer to use for international distributors and have full rights to repurpose as content for advertising campaigns. How success will be measured: It's important to measure the success and engagement the infl uencer is creating. This can be monitored through impressions, social sharing, direct product sales, website traffi c or sign-ups. FTC guidelines: Working with bloggers and social media infl uencers brings with it a specifi c set of guidelines. Under FTC rules, infl uencers must disclose if they have received free product or if they are being paid to post. It is vital brands comply with these rules; otherwise, they could face hefty penalties. And for infl uencers, failure to disclose a paid partnership could lead to an erosion of trust and fewer brand opportunities in the future. Using hashtags and other forms of post tagging to clearly state a paid partnership is best practice (i.e., #advertisement, #sponsored, etc.), and platforms like Instagram provide users with the option to declare a partnership directly on the post's tagging system. This disclosure must be visible to the consumer immediately upon fi rst glance of the post, without having to click "more" to see further down in the post. Types of content: Whether it is a sponsored post, product review, vlog or tweet, determine content that appeals to the target audience on the right platform. Consider integrating multiple posts into a package with an infl uencer. Long-term: For the greatest consumer engagement and biggest impact, an infl uencer relationship should be a long-term investment. Brands should look at how the partnership fi ts into the bigger marketing picture, and work with infl uencers over several months to achieve predetermined goals. In an age where social media infl uencers are more trusted than ads, this is one endeavor all health and fi tness brands should be investing in. Lindsey Carnett is CEO and president of Marketing Maven (marketingmaven.com), named a 2018 Top Social Media Infl uencer Agency by Infl uence Digest+. Her integrated marketing fi rm is ranked nationally in the health care category by third-party ranking company O'Dwyer's PR. She is a is noted for launching consumer brands with substantiated ingredients over the last 15 years. Contact her at lindsey@marketingmaven.com. Influencer Marketing in the Ingredient and Dietary Supplement Space by Lindsey Carnett Influencers Brands should work with influencers who have an interesting story that aligns with their company vision, and a genuine integration of the product into their daily life.

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