Stories grab our attention. They create relevance. They move us to action. Stories are what influencers tell, and we trust them, because they are people like us (rather than brands).
The rise of influencer marketing has put the power back into the shopper’s hands. It is the new form of advertising and it helps brands tell their stories in a more trusting, relevant and real way. Influencers (or bloggers) are being featured in commercials and print ads – a true testament on the increased importance brands have placed on influencers.
A recent report by Augure found that 74 percent of marketers intend to increase spending on influencer engagement. Marketers have found ways to use influencer content and social media to leverage the influence it has on purchase behavior, also known as Shopper Social Media™. A recent study by Deloitte, for example, found that 47 percent of millennials are influenced by social media when making purchases.
This new type of media not only creates awareness for a product, it drives action and inspires shoppers to use it. Shopper marketers have found three effective ways to use influencer content to drive traffic in stores, including creating seasonal relevance, creating new usage occasions and creating buzz around a new product.
These days, there’s something to celebrate every day. Whether it is a federal holiday like Thanksgiving, a national observance like Mother’s Day, or a religious holiday like Easter, consumers are more than likely in the market to spend the big bucks to celebrate with friends and family.
According to NRF’s 2014 Independence Day survey, for example, consumers celebrating the national holiday with a cookout, barbecue or picnic were estimated to spend $6.2 billion ($68.16 per household) on food items alone for the occasion. So how do marketers get their product to breakthrough seasonal noise?
Shoppers seek ideas for holiday-themed parties, gifts and recipes. Influencer content helps create seasonal relevancy authentically by using the product and inspiring their readers with ideas during the particular holiday. For example, Snack Pack (#client), used influencers to create content around Easter and Independence Day to put their product top of mind during these holidays.
“Patriotic Strawberry Juicy Gel Treats” by Joyful Homemaking. Client: Snack Pack
“Easter Basket Pudding Cups” by Ya Gotta Have a Hobby. Client: Snack Pack
One of the many challenges shopper marketers are faced with is driving traffic to their product on a crowded shelf. This is especially difficult for products commonly known for one use. Inspiring consumers to use a product in more than one way helps drive retail sales.
For example, Palmolive dish soap (#client), commonly known for one use, challenged influencers to find new ways to use the product. The results were creative, fun and engaging.
“Creative Soap Ideas: Dish Towel Cake” by Kitchen Concoctions. Client: Palmolive
“DIY Dish Soap Uses: Ice Pack for Lunch Boxes” by Stuff Parents Need. Client: Palmolive
The marketing strategy behind new products is important for its success. Influencer marketing and social media creates impactful buzz across channels where shoppers are searching for inspiration and recommendations.
Influencers can help create pre-buzz and maximize other marketing efforts like demos or FSI’s during a new product launch. Watch the video below to see how Hallmark used influencers during a launch last holiday season.