Case Studies of Influencer Marketing Effectiveness for CPG Brands

CPG Influencer Marketing Statistics

In 2017, 86% of customers who utilized some kind of influencer marketing rated it as a successful marketing strategy, while 92% rated it as ineffective. At the moment, 81% of marketers are using influencer content. Below is a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of influencer marketing as it applies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector.

Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing Within the Consumer Packaged Goods sector

  • Influencer marketing is a popular technique that CPG brands are using to influence consumers’ decision-making. In 2017, 86 percent of customers who utilized some kind of influencer marketing rated it as a successful marketing strategy, while 92 percent rated it as ineffective.
  • Many marketers are choosing influencer marketing because of its authentic nature. At the moment, 81% of marketers are using influencer content. 51% of brands say that it outperforms brand-created content.
  • Brands are using influencer marketing to build trust among customers. According to research, 92% of consumers are more inclined to believe personal recommendations than sponsored material. Many consumers are more likely to try out a product recommended in an online review written by another consumer compared to pitching details in a post about the product. This represents enormous potential, given that 49% of customers rely on influencer recommendations to make a purchase choice.
  • Influencer marketing is capturing the attention of 58% of Millenials, surpassing organic reach and email marketing as the fastest growing online customer acquisition method. Millenials are the shifting the face of marketing because they represent 25% of the population and are expected to spend more than 65 billion dollars on CPG in the next decade.
  • Market trends show that CPG brands are increasingly shifting their marketing budgets toward digital. Marketers are projected to spend about $100 billion on digital advertising in the next year. With the emergence of new trends like influencer marketing, marketers are re-examining their marketing budgets so as to maximize ROI with modest investment.
  • 44% of CPG brands are using influencer content to boost performance of other sales channels. On the other hand, 36% of marketers want to combine influencer marketing with e-commerce in order to increase product sales. Around a third (32%) of marketers want to abandon one-off, tactical campaign execution in favor of long-term influencer marketing.
  • 29% of brands plan contract influencers to be the brand ambassadors. All these statistics confirm the growing popularity of influencer marketing among CPG brands.

CPG Influencer Marketing Case Studies

Pop & Cook, Stella Cheese, and Community Coffee are CPG brands which used influencer marketing campaigns to boost their sales, establish their brand positioning, or to launch a new line of products. Case studies have been provided below on each of these brands, detailing their influencer marketing strategy and their campaign’s success metrics.

 1. Pop & Cook 

  • In August 2017, Pop & Cook ran an influencer campaign to launch its signature line of pre-proportioned fresh garlic and herbs, available only at Walmart. Pop & Cook teamed up with 25 food, lifestyle, and parenting influencers who were all interested in food, cooking, recipes, and family meals.
  • The influencers introduced the product to their audience, encouraging them to visit the Walmart to buy the product by sharing their own positive experiences of visiting it. They also shared their favorite recipes, made using Pop & Cook herbs.
  • There were around 440 pieces of original content created by influencers, including blog posts, images, videos, and social media posts; which inspired 30,000 online consumer engagement, 6 times more likes on posts, and nearly 9,900 new clicks to Pop & Cook’s website.
  • Walmart’s sales across Pop & Cook’s four product categories also increased by 13% on average; and an increase of 17.2% increase in sales of cilantro.

 2. Stella® Cheese 

  • In 2017, Stella Cheese partnered with 75 influencers from food, lifestyle, and parenting niches, to run an influencer campaign in order to grow awareness for its product as well as establish its brand positioning; right before holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.
  • The campaign involved influencers buying the Stella Cheese and using them in their special featured holiday recipes, accompanied with a unique personal story. They also encouraged audience to make their own recipes using the Stella Cheese, which drove them to company’s website.
  • The influencers created more than 2,500 unique pieces of content, which inspired 114,500 online engagements. The campaign reached 78.5 million consumers; which was 248% more than their target reach.
  • The campaign was awarded the 2017 “SILVER AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARD FOR MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR,” in the snacks/desserts/confections segment.

 3. Community Coffee 

  • Community Coffee ran an influencer marketing campaign, both to re-brand itself and launch its new “Sweet Lemonade” line of product at the 2017 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. The brand partnered with HireInfluence to strategize this campaign.
  • The HireInfluence team designed a high quality stream surrounding one high profile influencer, increasing the hype by announcing the collaboration beforehand, posting behind-the-scenes moments and videos during the National Restaurant Association in Chicago.
  • Final stylized product images were posted on various social media channels. The influencer 6 separate one hour demonstrations of company’s three featured products during the three days show. The posts were also conveyed to twitter with appropriate hashtag of #NRAShow17 related to the show, in order to drive more hype.
  • The campaign reached 30.9 million people on social media alone, within the duration of the three-day show. The campaigned drove consumer engagement to 551k, reaching out to audience of food, lifestyle, food photography, staging and styling niches mainly.

CPG Influencer Marketing Best Practices

Six best practices for effective influencer marketing campaigns, specifically for CPG brands are evaluating platforms and audience segments, prioritizing alignment and brand fit, considering micro- or nano-influencers, looking for long-term relationships, trusting the influencer’s content, and staying alert & preventing fraud. These best practices mostly revolve around finding the channels, influencers, and models that work best for a particular brand, as well as around protecting the brand’s image.

1. Evaluate Platform and Audience Segment

  • Instagram, which is currently the biggest influencer platform, is the best fit for food, fashion, and entertainment largely. Therefore, platforms outside these segments have to look for alternative best fit social platforms for their segments.
  • Various platforms and audience segments should be utilized to refine the influencer campaign strategies and find the best fit for a given brand. Optimizing the platform and audience segments allows for better interaction with target consumers.

2. Prioritize Alignment and Brand Fit

  • The number of followers of an influencer is important, but an equally important factor is their influence on a given niche. A highly followed influencer who is unrelated to one’s niche will drive fewer consumers than an influencer who has more reach in that niche.
  • In the case of CPG products, CPG-themed influencer content is widely shared and more often seen compared to similar content from other industries. Choosing an influencer in one’s target niche requires more research, but provided a greater ROI.

3. Consider Micro- or Nano- Influencers

  • The fees for micro- and nano-influencers are smaller compared to very popular influencers. However, there is lesser chance of a large scale PR mishap due to misconduct on the part of the influencer.
  • Micro-influencers, who have between 10,000–250,000 followers typically, cover a specific niche and have a higher engagement rate as a result. Some brands build an entire network of micro-influencers which results in a higher ROI.

4. Look for Long Term Relationships

  • A long-term partnership between brands and influencers results in better ROI. By forging partnerships surrounding the content, brands can create an entire portfolio to unite and engage a community with the help of the influencer.
  • Such partnerships between a brand and its niche influencer function more like traditional celebrity endorsements. This results in more security and a continuous narrative keeping consumers engaged.

5. Trust the Influencer’s Content

  • Influencers understand their niche better and know the needs of that niche. Providing them with an idea of needs and wants of the campaign and garnering their input results in a more authentic content well-suited to the taste of the audience.
  • Most of the consumers do not visit the CPG website, which reduces consumer engagement. CPG influencer created content helps drive more consumers to the CPG website by reaching out to them directly through their preferred channel.

6. Stay Alert & Prevent Fraud

  • The purchase of bots and fake followers is a rising trend that can negatively affect a brand’s personality. It is a good practice to thoroughly check the influencer’s audience data to cross out any possible fraud and ensure authentic audiences.
  • Different social media channels have provided various tools to disclose whether an influencer is running a marketing campaign, as well as tools to flag potential fraud influencers. One should make good use of these tools, as these are critical for the brand‘s image.
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