In a survey conducted by eMarketer, 84% of marketers said that they would activate at least one influencer campaign in the next twelve months, and with good reason it would appear: a poll by influencer marketplace Tomoson showed that businesses are generating $6.50 for every $1 spent. This poll also discovered that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online marketing channel, surpassing affiliate marketing, paid search and display ads.
But is this the right direction for natural products businesses to take? In order to answer this question, we must first define what the influencer(s) we are going to work with look(s) like. By and large, the term “influencer” is used to describe an online persona with a large, engaged and active following. More often than not, this persona will have come to fame via social media and/or blogging, but most importantly they have the undivided attention of their audience and as a result, can influence their behaviour.
Think of influencer marketing as the modern day endorsement, only these days you don’t have to be a sports personality or movie star to be an influencer, thanks to the power of technology connecting us all.
Coming back to the question we posed: “is influencer marketing the right direction for natural products businesses to take?”. When seeking out your influencers, be thorough. Take a look at their blog, social media channels and vlogs and see:
- if they have worked with any natural or organic brands previously.
- how the influencer conveys the natural and organic message, after all, if this is one of your brand or product’s main messages delivery of it is key.
- if and how their audience engaged with the content. By this we don’t just mean likes and retweets, but conversations. It’s important that we remember that although natural and organic is moving more towards mainstream and available in more mass market environments than ever before, there’s still a long way to go in educating mass consumers.
Even if the influencer ticks all of the above boxes, there is then the question of budget. Unless by some miracle the influencer is already your biggest fan, the activity is going to come at a price. Whilst this is swallowable for some of the bigger brands we work with, for newly launched and niche brands this kind of spend would swallow pretty much all their marketing budget for the year. And as with every spend, there is no guarantee of ROI. Something about eggs and one basket springs to mind.
One plan of action we recommend for smaller natural products brands we work with is to search out the influencers within our niche. The bloggers and vloggers who are passionate about natural and organic. The published slow foodie, clean eating sensations who became hits and launched their careers on Instagram. We still consider these people to be influencers, and for our industry they represent a more cost-effective option as well as being more targeted towards the type of consumers we are looking to engage with.
Have you experimented with influencer marketing? What does an influencer look like to you? For any advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org