The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is one of the most saturated markets. And more recently, consumers’ hesitant and socially distanced behavior has made it even more difficult for CPG brands to grow their presence with traditional marketing channels.
However, one change in consumer behavior could present the perfect opportunity for consumer packaged goods brands: consumer willingness to try new brands and products they see online and follow the purchase advice for products of all kinds from creators.
Brand loyalists today are open to seeing what’s out there – given that CPG products are easily attainable online, lower-priced, and require a “lower involvement” decision compared to bigger ticket items.
Influencer marketing provides the perfect platform for CPG businesses to go straight to already engaged consumers who trust influencers over typical commercial content.
In this guide, you’ll learn how CPG brands can use influencer marketing to regain market share, increase brand exposure, and attract and retain new customers.
What is influencer marketing for CPG brands?
With a data-centric strategy, CPG brands work with influencers to strategically and authentically promote their products through social content.
Whether the goal is to drive awareness or sales, CPG brands cast influencers based on success in their product vertical. As skilled content creators, influencers know their audience and have their own style and values.
Brands in the Food and Beverage, Cosmetics, Personal Care and Cleaning Products categories use influencer marketing to overcome common CPG marketing challenges to:
Comfort, functionality, and quality
CPG products are lifestyle products. It’s important to show how they make daily life easier and more comfortable. Consumers value functionality, durability, and quality. Influencers know how to present CPG products as part of an authentic lifestyle, inspiring their followers to buy.
There’s a rising movement for goods to be more eco-friendly and ethical. Buyers are more aware of what goes into manufacturing and shipping a product than ever before. When consumers have the right information, they’ll reward CPG brands that are doing the right thing. Influencers know how to tell your story in a personal way that gives buyers confidence.
Consumers value real reviews and recommendations. As lifestyle spokespersons, tastemakers, and key opinion leaders, influencers are on the pulse of what buyers want from everyday CPG products. Let them convey your product with honest reviews their audience will trust.
The world is diverse, and consumers want to relate to the brands they buy from more than ever. That means seeing themselves and also seeing diversity represented equally across media. With millions of creators in the influencer community on social media, your CPG brand can find plenty of influencers of diverse backgrounds to work with.
Most social media users are on a path to improve their lives, often specifically following the path of their favorite influencers for inspiration, guidance, and knowledge. Influencers educate their followers through tips, how-to’s, tutorials, and reviews – raising awareness about your brand.
Consumers are seeking out self-soothing content and products that make them feel and think positively. According to research by Kantar and commissioned by Facebook, consumers are craving creator content from CPG brands in food, beauty, and beverage specifically. Influencers incorporate your products into aesthetic lifestyle content that fuels joy.
According to Kantar’s research, three-quarters of global consumers would likely try a promoted product or service if they felt the digital content creator shares their values and interests. Influencers can encourage followers to try a new brand or product. When influencers offer brand discount codes and promote quality guarantees and return policies, it’s even more likely consumers will buy.
In-store, consumers get what they see. Online, they expect a greater selection from certain brands and suppliers. Brands that offer a variety of choices, along with customizable options and subscription models will see success. Influencers can promote your unique services and diverse products to help your brand stand out.
What is a CPG marketing influencer?
A CPG influencer has the power to influence your consumer’s opinion and purchase decisions.
As consumers look to influencers for advice in every part of life, creators are shifting away from the traditional one-niche approach. Social users look to influencers for book recommendations, workout regimes, and favorite recipes. They’re searching a full lifestyle landscape of their favorite influencers, who have become the top-ranked influential resource for what to do and buy.
CPG brands must tap into this broader territory, work with a variety of influencers, and see what data comes back.
CPG marketing influencers are:
- In tune with followers’ needs and spending behaviors
- More influential than paid advertising according to LTK’s Influential Shopper Study
- The most cost-effective and trackable sales channel
- Excellent digital content creators and collaborators
- Able to tap into brand-relevant niches for specific campaigns
- A source of escapism, lifestyle inspiration, and knowledge
- On-trend, business-minded, and adaptable
Influential Shoppers™ amplify creator sales and engagement by 2X.
Characteristics of CPG influencer content
Influencer content can vary depending on the product, industry, and audience. With everyday CPG products spanning so many categories, industries, and audiences, influencer content must first be relatable.
Content creators know how to produce images and video content that is beautiful yet attainable, unlike polished catalogs. This content is often very educational, answering valuable questions about how and why a consumer should use a certain product. Whether it’s a tutorial or testimonial, followers mostly tune in to learn… and then to buy.
CPG influencer content:
- Is unpolished and relatable
- Informs consumers of new products
- Combines thoughtful and spontaneous posts
- Brings fresh perspectives to your existing products
- Creates urgency and demand
- Is more effective than corporate catalogs
- Brings comfort to hesitant shoppers
No matter where you are on the spectrum of CPG categories, influencers can help you connect with consumers on a personal level through their content.
What influencers want in a CPG Brand
To keep their loyal followers and inspire them to buy, influencers must maintain their authenticity. That means they have several things to consider before signing with a consumer packaged goods brand.
Here’s what CPG marketing influencers are looking for in brands:
Personal brand alignment
The key to an influencer’s success (and your brand’s success) is the authentic connection they have with their followers, which is based on their personal brand. Influencers work with brands that embrace their personal style and trust that they will maintain the brand’s identity.
Products that add value
Influencers choose brands and products they already use or will use regularly. A new product must be a valuable contribution to their lives, and the lives of their followers. Staying on-trend also aids in your brand’s success, as influencers are known for keeping their followers in the loop.
Offers and discounts make it easy for consumers to try new products and brands, risk-free. Influencers leverage discount codes as a catalyst to brand loyalty.
Updated stock levels
Influencers want to work with brands that are transparent and constantly communicate stock levels. Their audience is looking to buy exactly what they promote, so it needs to be available or communicated when stock is low.
A long-term partnership
How to create a successful influencer marketing campaign: have a healthy brand-influencer relationship. With time, effort, and the right approach, this can turn into a long-lasting, mutually beneficial brand ambassador program.
Does your brand have any environmentally conscious values, statements, or initiatives? Paid influencers can spread the word about how you’re impacting the world. This helps improve your brand perception and sets your business apart.
A clear proposal
Your contract is the start of a collaborative partnership. Provide your influencers talking points, brand information, and helpful tips for deliverables without being too prescriptive. A partner in influencer marketing can help you create a thorough influencer collaboration agreement template.
How can your CPG brand benefit from influencer marketing?
Any CPG brand can benefit from influencer marketing. Whether you’re in pet food, grocery, cosmetics, cleaning products, home care, over-the-counter healthcare, paper products, or personal care, there are influencers ready to improve your brand perception.
Helping smaller CPG brands grow
For lesser-known consumer packaged goods brands, influencer marketing helps increase their brand presence to reach new audiences and increase sales/traffic to their site. In fact, Kantar’s research shows that 60 percent of global consumers say they would follow a brand directly after seeing it promoted by a creator.
Influencer marketing can also help smaller brands make the most of their marketing spend through licensed influencer content. Over the course of your influencer campaigns, you’ll build a collection of licensed evergreen and reusable content that continues to convert across your owned channels.
Don’t have the budget for a full influencer campaign? LTK offers other placements at lower flat fees to help spread brand awareness.
Helping larger CPG brands scale
Larger brands are often more established in the saturated market, but it’s critical to stay relevant and top-of-mind. Paid influencers help large CPG brands scale by expanding influencer campaigns for increased reach and revenue.
Through influencer marketing management, large brands build and maintain relationships with content creators and identify effective brand ambassadors to increase awareness and sales.
These brands work with us to develop a layered, full-funnel approach to scale their influencer marketing program with new influencers, test new channels and verticals, and create multi-channel campaign strategies.
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Casting the most effective influencers for your CPG brand
Casting CPG marketing influencers is a complex process. Here are some best practices as you begin your search.
In-house influencer marketing programs can suffer from:
With substantial influencer data from an influencer marketing platform, the right lifestyle influencers can help you regularly reach niche audiences, improve brand perception, build brand identity, and set your brand apart in the marketplace.
By leveraging an influencer network platform and expert in creator management, you can confidently execute a successful influencer marketing strategy based on unmatched influencer data in the CPG sector.
Creating successful influencer marketing campaigns
Consider these tips as you’re strategizing your first influencer campaign.
1 — Allocate enough budget
Make sure to allocate a budget that will allow you to meet all your campaign goals. Stretching a small budget across too many goals will likely yield an unsuccessful campaign.
2 — Be generous with offers and gifting
Give your influencers a way to incentivize their followers to risk leaving the brands they know to try your product. A discount code or offer is the way to get consumers on board.
Gifting can be a great way to start influencer campaigns on the right foot. This sweetens the influencer’s experience and gives them time to truly test your product and report back to their audience authentically.
3 — Utilize social good campaigns
Partnering with influencers on a good cause associates your brand with values the influencer and their followers align with, builds consumer trust, and increases brand exposure by word-of-mouth.
4 — Grow influence
When managing your influencer marketing campaign, return on ad spend and results don’t always happen instantly. Influence and reputation, just like with other marketing media, is built over time with lifestyle influencers.
The LTK Score™ is a proprietary benchmark that identifies progress and areas for improvement to reach optimal performance. The LTK Score™ provides insights into how your brand’s influence ranks and best opportunities to improve.
5 — Consider geo-targeting
Geo-targeting branded content can be very beneficial for CPG brands, especially those looking to focus on specific markets. Consider your outreach goals and let those influence how you cater your campaigns for selling products sold in certain locations, online, or in-store.
6 — Stay agile
As powerful as influencers are, unexpected things happen. Try to stay positive, diversify your influencer mix, and roll with the punches. Should any issues arise, the LTK team goes above and beyond to troubleshoot and find a solution during an influencer campaign.
Benefits of an influencer marketing management platform
Influencer marketing campaigns can be complex. You need to:
- Determine goals and budget
- Conduct influencer research and casting
- Determine target deliverables
- Write and facilitate contracts
- Negotiate influencer rates
- Ensure contract fulfillment
- Monitor budget and prove ROI
At LTK, we help you and all of your departments every step of the way and amplify your in-house efforts. As an influencer marketing platform designed for creator management, we help you do it all in-house, so you have the influencer intelligence to run effective influencer marketing campaigns without completely outsourcing to an agency.
Where to start your influencer marketing journey
Not sure where to start your first influencer strategy? Start with a test campaign, guided by influencer data to get a strategy going strong.
As the leading influencer marketing hub for the last 10 years, LTK has solved influencer marketing challenges through:
- Amplified distribution through the largest creator shopping channel: shopLTK.com with 8M+ shoppers
- Full-service creator programs that deliver on your unique objectives
- Strategic planning based on historical brand performance data
- Expert brand consulting, planning, executing, and reporting
- End-to-end campaign execution and influencer casting
- Access to the most successful influencer platform in the world
- Licensed imagery from premium creators for your own marketing channels
- Conference and event integration to build long-term relationships
- Access to real-time measurable results on the top influencer campaign management software
Use your test campaign as an opportunity to discover best-match lifestyle influencers who convert. As you think longer-term strategy down the road, our influencer marketing platform will help you secure those influencers as your ambassadors.
GROW with the LTK Score™
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