How social influencers can help introduce a novel product into the tech, retail and food industries.
New products come in all shapes and sizes. The same is true for social influencers; posting styles, follower counts, interest categories and so much more varies between the forces who have power over today’s purchasing patterns and traditional ad buys. When planning an influencer component to a product launch campaign, it’s crucial for brands to consider if an influencer can actually speak to the target demographic of their new product.
Approximately 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people over branded content, which makes it no surprise that about 65% of brands participate in influencer marketing. With 52% of those companies having a stand-alone sponsored social budget, influencer marketing is here to stay, and can dramatically increase the chance of success for new products.
With the highly competitive nature of landing on grocery retailers’ shelves, launching a new product in the food industry isn’t a simple task. This process can be made easier by leveraging the success of an existing product from your brand, but poses risk if it could ultimately damage the reputation and integrity of that brand.
A good example of an established brand launching a new product came from the Hershey’s Bark Bells holiday promotion. Hershey’s wanted to showcase their new holiday candy’s cooking versatility to a targeted audience, so they tapped influencers from Snapfluence who could communicate the value of this candy to their followers. Through the strategic targeting of Snapfluence family lifestyle and cooking enthusiasts, influencers authentically showcased different ways they were using the candy; giving Hershey’s the opportunity to authentically promote their product.
A photo posted by Grace Atwood (The Stripe) (@graceatwood) on Nov 29, 2013 at 8:55am PST
Why rock the boat?
For some established food brands, launching new products has resulted in a loss of time, money and attention to their central product (flashback to Heinz’s flopped, purple ketchup). Rebranding or temporarily changing packaging of a product is common during holidays and seasonal campaigns, which Instagram influencers have also proven their social stardom useful for.
It seems like every day a new gadget comes on the market, accompanied by a barrage of crisp, futuristic collateral that speaks to it’s revolutionary take on a new product. It’s important to recognize that this particular type of imagery and branding doesn’t always resonate with the the filter-happy, Instagram community. In fact, a study done by Yahoo Labs & Georgia Tech found that “filtered photos have significantly more engagement than un-doctored images, and filters that increase warmth, exposure, and contrast up engagement the most.”
Case in point?
SMART Technologies enlisted the creativity of 3 professional photographer influencers to help promote the launch of their digital whiteboard, SMART kapp.
To make their modern design more relatable to an Instagram audience, the influencers’ content was designed to feature photos of older, outdated objects that were once popular in an office or professional setting – think vintage typewriter, rolodex, rotary phone.
A photo posted by Adam (@bigmanjapan) on Jun 17, 2014 at 5:30am PDT
The message to accompany this photo was to encourage followers to look past these types of items and onto new, exciting technology – aka SMART kapp technology. With this, the influencers could post content that aligned with their authentic posting styles as they promoted the product, and the brand could tap into previously unengaged, #Instaphoto enthusiasts and #iPhoneographers.
Retail & Apparel
As one of the most experienced, and professional groups of influencers, we can’t sing the praises of our fashion bloggers and #instastyle mavens enough. They keep us up-to-date on current trends and introduce us to new designers who are paying big bucks for a feature in their next #OOTD.
Like pay for college in a single post before you finish college kind of big bucks.
There’s always a ‘But’
But, when launching a new apparel item it’s important to determine who this product will resonate with, and possibly consider influencers outside of the fashion community. Over the holidays, Morph Costumes focused on influencers with purchasing power over lovers of cheeky, pop-culture-focused apparel to accompany the launch of their digital holiday sweaters. Realizing that promotion of this product was best suited for live demos, Snapfluence brought on top, funny video creators to demonstrate how the sweater functioned. The videos thrived on their channels where humorous video content is expected, and proven engaging, as opposed to a fashion influencer’s curated feed that typically doesn’t lend itself to video content.
on Dec 15, 2014 at 2:29pm PST