How are leading FMCG brands doing Influencer Marketing?
Fashion and Beauty brands easily lend themselves to social media promotion due to the visual nature of their products. So, when engaging in Influencer Marketing the main question for these brands is ‘who?’. Due to their products being more functional than visual, FMCG brands showcase innovative Influencer Marketing strategies to grab people’s attention.
Recently, consumers have been demanding for heightened corporate social responsibility from FMCG brands. These calls coincide with a recent trend in Influencer Marketing for brands to make statements on the current social and political climate. In 2019, brands will no longer be able to maintain the status quo by sitting on the fence and being purely product focused. This shift has resulted in FMCG brands seeing Influencer Marketing as less of a tool to promote their products and more of a method to spread awareness about their company ethos.
Below, we will demonstrate how some of the world’s most popular FMCG brands are utilising Influencer Marketing in this way.
With 10.6 million followers (As of March 2019), Red Bull is one of the most followed FMCG brands on Instagram. After a quick observation of their Instagram account you’ll see that there is nary a mention of the brand’s energy drink. Instead, Red Bull has utilised their platform to promote the athletes and sports events that they sponsor. Through utilising their platform in this way, Red Bull is promoting their products by promoting an active lifestyle and working with Influencers who embrace that. Our analysis revealed that professional surfer Lucas Chianca (@lucaschumbo) produced the most content for Red Bull in Q4 2014 worldwide. Similarly, the content that achieved the highest engagement rate for Red Bull in this period were all created by Sports Influencers. Red Bull creates content showcasing a range of sports from BMX to Snow Boarding even recently creating ‘Red Bull Surfing’, a Youtube Channel specifically dedicated to surfing. With young consumers being more health conscious than previous generations, Red Bull utilising Influencer Marketing to promote active lifestyles is arguably a significant contributor to the brands online popularity.
Cookie brand Oreo mostly utilises Celebrity and Mega-Influencers for their Influencer Marketing. Recently, the brand has worked with the likes of Reality TV Star Khloe Kardashian and Basketball Star Lebron James. Oreo maintained this strategy in their recent ‘#StayPlayful’ campaign which featured Rapper Wiz Khalifa and his 5-Year old son sebastian. In the video, Sebastian copies everything his father does which ultimately reminds the two of the need to inject more playfulness in their lives. Studies have shown that raising a family tops the list of life objectives that are “essential” or “very important” to Millennials — even more so than their
parents’ generation. Therefore, promoting family values alongside their products will surely resonate with Oreo’s younger consumers.
Innocent Smoothies is one FMCG brand which takes a more personable approach to their Influencer Marketing strategy. Rather than tapping Mega-Influencers, the brand’s Instagram page is full of content featuring their own employees engaging in various activities in Innocent’s HQ. Where FMCG brands are largely seen as faceless corporations utilising their platform in such as way adds another layer of transparency. This strategy of using Micro over Mega Influencers appears to be successful for the drinks brand as our analysis revealed that Micro Influencer Laura (@whatshotblog) achieved the highest engagement rate for Innocent Smoothies for Q4 2018. When tapping Influencers to promote their products, Innocent has seen success in working with Health Conscious Influencers such as Samira Kazan (@alphafoodie) and Nadia Al-Khaffaf (@nadiashealthykitchen) whose sponsored content for Innocent achieved the highest engagement for Q4 2018. According to Pew research, consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious. This suggests that working with such health conscious Influencers will continue to be a beneficial strategy for Innocent Smoothies.
In line with Wearisma’s 2019 Influencer Marketing prediction of utilising social media for social commentary, Coca Cola has put corporate social responsibility at the centre of their social media marketing strategy. Their Instagram bio alone “Spreading optimism, one bottle at a time” is a testimony of the way that successful FMCG brands are no longer product focused. Similarly, Coca Cola’s Instagram page is currently completely devoid of any Influencers and instead is full of graphic designs with similar messaging such as “Kindness is refreshing”. When Coca Cola, does work with Influencers they adopt a similar marketing method. For example, in their #ThisOnesFor campaign, Coca Cola enlisted 14 Influencers including Andrew Henderson (@iamandrewhenderson) and Emily Canham (@emilycanham) to create posts celebrating their nearest and dearest. Hardly any of the posts featured the brand’s signature red can, ensuring that the brand’s message of positivity and togetherness took centre stage.
As consumers increasingly call for greater transparency, FMCG brands in particular will benefit from placing corporate social responsibility at the centre of their Influencer Marketing strategy. Whether brands are promoting a healthy lifestyle or positive attitudes, FMCG brands need to ensure that they are working with Influencers who live by the brand’s messaging. This will ensure that the brand achieves authenticity and allows consumers to concentrate on the message being conveyed.