This is a guest post by Paul Traficanti from Reelio
Influencer marketing has continued to prove itself as a fantastic marketing method for our eCommerce clients.
The reason influencer marketing works so well for eCommerce brands is because they bring products to life. Not through commercials either, but through genuine endorsements from people who have audiences that trust them.
With consumers researching products more than ever, influencers can become a key part of your marketing strategy to drive purchases by leveraging the 'trust factor' influencers have with their audience. We’ll highlight two brands that optimized their influencer marketing strategy to drive strong CTRs.
Gwynnie Bee is a monthly subscription service that provides rental clothing to women sizes 10-32. In 2015, they shipped over 3M boxes and have been featured on Good Morning America and Glamour Magazine. Unimpressed by their marketing efforts on Facebook, Gwynnie Bee came to us to pilot a campaign of YouTube influencers.
The first, and arguably most important step in this process was identifying influencers who were passionate about plus-size fashion and lifestyle. This is such an important step because we needed to identify influencers who already spoke to the issue, thus making their content real and authentic.
We started by running a search that aligned with Gwynnie Bee’s target audience. We identified YouTube influencers who had female audiences, prioritizing those with a larger chunk of their audience being 18+, to capitalize on audiences who can make a purchase. Then, to narrow in our search, we looked for influencers with the content verticals of fashion, female lifestyle, and beauty. Finally, searching for keywords like ‘plus-size’ and a variety of others allowed us to narrow in on influencers passionate about the topic.
If you aren’t using an influencer platform like Reelio, here are a few tips that you can use to find influencers on YouTube.
Similarly to how we searched by keyword “plus size” on Reelio, you can search for the same keyword on YouTube.
You’ll find some creators on the page above, and then to find more who are related you can head to each creator's channel page, then click on the creators featured channels (those whom they share as people you might be interested in) and “related channels” which are those that YouTube’s algorithm sees as similar in some way. See below on the right-hand side.
Without an influencer marketing platform, you’ll need to get influencers demographics information somehow. The most reliable way if you aren’t using a platform is to shoot that influencer an email letting them know you’re interested in working with them and simply ask if they can share a screenshot of their demographics.
The next step was establishing a creative plan that would help influencers share Gwynnie Bee’s messaging in a meaningful way. What’s important in this step is doing it in a way that still allows influencers to speak authentically to the topic of plus-size fashion.
Our creative briefs spell out the core messages we want to deliver, but really allow for creators to have freedom in their creative process of content creation. Allowing them to focus on a video concept that will drive strong viewership while making Gwynnie Bee the ‘hero’ or the brand that provides a solution.
Having made creative briefs for over 500 influencer campaigns here are some key components to a good influencer creative brief:
Keep talking points to a minimum. Influencers aren’t going to read your brand messaging off like a TV commercial script. So you need to keep it short and sweet. Stick to the important brand messaging. The Influencer will handle the rest. They will be excited to share your product with their audience and their authentic voice goes a long way.
For our pilot campaign, we created 20 YouTube influencer videos with Gwynnie Bee driving an avg. CTR of 5.85%.
Naturebox ($58.5M in funding to date) is transforming the snacking industry by supplying health-conscious snacks that get delivered to your straight to your door. Enjoyed by snackers, looking for a more health-conscious option, Naturebox wanted to get their message to a wide variety of people.
With Naturebox, the case was a little different. Being a snack subscription box, their customer base covered a wide variety of people. This meant we could test different influencer verticals beyond just food and experiment with interesting approaches in gaming, lifestyle, and even fashion. For example, Lamarr Wilson, normally a gaming and toy influencer, delivered amazing CTRs on his videos with Naturebox.
Often times, reaching out to a wide variety of influencers can lead to surprising results. You may never realize some unique quirk about the influencer or their audience that is perfect for your product. In the case of Lamarr Wilson, turned out he loved snacks and his channel loves when he tries new things they haven’t seen before so it was the perfect fit.
With Naturebox, our strategy was to allow influencers the creative freedom in their YouTube videos. Many influencers would incorporate a Naturebox portion into their regularly themed content, instead of doing a stand-alone video.
At times, fully sponsored content can drive weak viewership, as the content is less sharable. However, our strategy of natural product incorporation helped us drive steady viewership that would match with our projections. We also saw absolutely no dip in CTRs when comparing the two.
To take it a step further, Naturebox had each influencer go through the experience of using their website. This meant each influencer could order their own box where they could customize what they wanted to receive. When they got their boxes in the mail and filmed their live reactions to the products, they were more likely to enjoy the snacks they received and give a more positive review.
Lastly, we had each influencer share a unique coupon code for their audience.
To further customize the experience, each landing page for our influencer had unique elements to that creator like a nickname or inside joke. We strongly recommend this optimization approach for anyone investing in influencer marketing.
In our first influencer campaign with Naturebox, we drove over 775k views on 9 videos with an average CTR of over 6%.
Influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing at scale. If you try to make influencer content look like a TV commercial, it loses its authenticity and consumers will respond negatively. More than ever before, consumers are researching their products and can tell when a recommendation is genuine and when it is not. Here are three important things to keep in mind to ensure your next influencer campaign is a success.
In both cases, we started with identifying influencers’ audiences before focusing in on a specific influencer’s appearance or style. When you focus on the audience first, you allow yourself to test new content verticals and styles that you may not have considered otherwise.
We paid less attention to the specific content that the influencer makes (as long as it was in the right ballpark). Someone like a gaming channel or female lifestyle channel can be really great for a snack box. It’s important to cast a wide (but calculated) net, because you might find out that an influencer speaks really well to your topic. Reaching out to a lot of influencers can be a rather tedious task. Our platform allows for brands to search, message, negotiate, contract, and review influencers all in one place making the workflow process smooth and centralized.
Creative freedom is king. We provided a framework where influencers can enjoy and understand our brand’s product, but let them have control over the content - as they ultimately know what their audience will respond best to.
We customized the experience from end-to-end. From the second someone views a piece of content to the point of check-out, we customized every part of that experience so our brand’s future customer remembered why they were checking out in the first place.