Beverage Companies Missing Opportunity to Maximize Social Influence
By: Gabriella Vaccaro
Q: What keywords have experienced a 325%+ increase in searchers from 2016-17?
A: “Influencer Marketing” (The Remarkable Rise of Influencer Marketing)
Are you surprised? Does your personal feed reflect this?
Brands are increasing awareness through social platforms in a method that only came into existence in recent years. Rather than continuing awareness through celebrity endorsements/spokespeople, companies utilize “social media influencers.”
These influencers are normal people turned online “celebrity” simply through successful personal marketing. By posting content users enjoy seeing (e.g. interior design, fashion, fitness, health, etc.) these users have created their own brand. On a more important note, these marketing novices have kept true to their brand, developing it as they see fit. It is truly quite a feat that these people initially developed these on their own, without the backing of an agency.
What once was a small asset of the online world has evolved into one of the most important part of a company’s strategic brand. By using social influencers makes the product and marketing efforts more relatable. Influencers do not have the same celebrity “status,” where consumers view them as untouchable. Some companies have experienced direct increase in sales due to influencer marketing. LG used social influencers in order to promote their new phone, the LG V20. The company wanted to feature the phone’s special camera technology, and influencers showcased the camera capabilities on Instagram. 10 days after the its release, LG sold over 200,000 V20s. This was over double the amount of V10s sold the previous year (HOW LG’S INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN GOT OVER 1 MILLION LIKES). This strategy could translate into sales with beverage products.
The amount of brand sponsored influencer posts is also growing significantly. Theses posts mimic advertisements in that the influencers showcases the product and typically thanks the respective company, or describes how “awesome” their new product is. However it still paints the brand in a more authentic and relatable light.
Look at the photos below. Both advertise traditional Coca-Cola products. Both are somewhat similar in nature and design. However, one is clearly a promotional shot. The other could be analyzed as promotional content, but it is not as obvious.
This is not to say that celebrity endorsements are a negative and ineffective marketing strategy, especially in the digital realm. BUT from a consumers POV, one is much more authentic and relatable than the other.
“The beauty of influencer marketing content is that readers don’t care it’s sponsored if they are inspired” (Hubacher)
Essentially, if a social platform user scrolls through his or her feed, sees a post by a social influencer, and wants to take some sort of action in response to that post, a more positive result occurs. The user may not be aware he or she was even marketed to or influenced.
Some key components of a good influencer marketing post include quality photography and editing and selective copy. Rather than posting, “I drink Coca-Cola everyday, no other drink can compare” (or something along those lines), a much less invasive post could be “Perfect addition to any day? An ice cold Coca-Cola.” OR post with the the #ShareaCoke campaign using a Coca-Cola with the influencer’s name on it. If the influencer shows how he/she integrates Coca-Cola into daily routine instead of blatantly claiming how Coca-Cola is superior to all other drinks, the authenticity increases.
Beverage companies should follow suit with other industries when it comes to influencer marketing. There has been direct correlation between social influencers and sales. This is a missed opportunity that all beverage companies are a part of.
“HOW LG’S INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN GOT OVER 1 MILLION LIKES.” MediaKix. 6 December 2016.
Hubacher, Jessica. “6 Ways Food and Beverage Brands Can Maximize Their Influencer Marketing.” AdWeek. 2017 March 16.
“The Remarkable Rise of Influencer Marketing.” Influencer Marketing Hub.