These are live-blogged notes and sketches from a Bazaarvoice Summit keynote on building a holistic influencer strategy, delivered by Monique Salas, Director of Marketing for Redken at L’Oreal, on 6th April 2022. If you prefer, you can find the on-demand webinar version here.
Before we think about an influencer strategy, you need to force yourself to think as broad as humanly possible: macro, macro, macro. Consumers are truly global. What’s the current state of the world? That’s going to shape the frame of mind of the consumer.
For example: What’s the state of the markets today? Is the Dow Jones hitting the floor, or is it up? What pressures are impacting consumers? Inflation is at a 40 year high right now. So, the cost of business is increasing, and the dollar doesn’t go as far for consumers.
Is there a political crisis? Is there a looming war? These impacts on costs, as we’re discovering right now. And the state of the planet heavily impacts on Gen Z and their view of companies. They really care about sustainability.
What’s changing the consumer mood?
Before starting an influencer strategy, we need to look at consumer behavior. Going a layer deeper from that extremely macro, global view, what’s happening with consumers? How does the macro pressure shape the trends and beliefs of the consumer. Consumers are getting more and more diverse every year. Diversity is critical to modern consumers. And they’re deeply content obsessed. Content creators and influencers now make up a $13.8 billion market, up from $1.7 billion in 2016.
That’s a testament to the insatiable appetite for content form consumers today.
Modern consumers are always on. They’re always connected. The online and offline experiences are truly blurred. Retailers and brands are expected to deliver for consumers in their chosen environment. Transparency and authenticity are a bare minimum for them now.
Consumers encounter messages at every turn. How do we cut through that clutter? How do we get our messages out to where consumers are?
The best influencer strategy is an Influenster strategy
Well, 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice. That’s huge. They’re looking for that authenticity. 70% of teens trust influencers more than celebrities. They’re genuinely the new celebrities, occupying the same spot. When you’re building an influencer strategy, you need those points of connection built-in.
For example, L’Oreal partners with Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community. You can really work within the huge community to get the right hyper-targeted audiences, so your campaign resonates with the tailored universe for your messaging. For example, last year they used Influenster to target a campaign for a hair product.
Redken, a L’Oreal brand, wanted an influencer strategy that focused on women aged between 20 and 46, who have oil prone hair, who frequently hit the gym, or who have a busy schedule. They used shopping habits, like Sephora and Amazon, as well.
How did it go? They got 7.7 million impressions, and sent out 2,500 boxes of product, generating 1,700 reviews. There were 84,000 posts, shares, likes, and so on. “We didn’t spend that much, so the performance was incredible,” Salas says. They didn’t spend $567,0000 on the campaign — but that’s the estimate of the earned media value of it.
On Instagram specifically, they had 69,000 like and comments off 6.2 million impressions. Talk about building buzz, chatter, and relevancy in a really authentic way! Across posts and stories, they had a 3.2% engagement rate, which is great. It’s great seeing women really enjoying the product — there’s some beautiful imagery. It’s accounted for $501,405 of the earned media value on its own.
Think about the buzz that comes with that — that’s what we’re looking for. It drives repurchase intent, and brings people into the brand.
The after survey
One of Salas’ favorite pieces is the post-survey component, and the insights that come in. Over ⅓ of respondents had already bought a different Redken product by the time of the survey. Talk about loyalizing customers in a really effective way. There was also a real interest in trying the new products coming down the line, too.
The retail industry is as strong as ever. And consumers hold the power like never before. They decide how a brand is perceived, and the risk of boycott in today’s cancel culture is very real. The dramatic power shift to customers has led to heightened actions and vocalizing for authenticity, improved experiences, and above all, for consumers to feel heard. Catch up on Bazaarvoice Summit to see how to win hearts and minds of today’s consumers.