Canadian shoppers are more informed than ever as they vigorously research products before making a purchase. They prefer to consume video over other forms of media and intentionally block annoying, irrelevant advertising. A great strategy that responds to consumer behavior online is influencer marketing, which mobilizes online personalities that consumers follow and interact with to promote a brand to a targeted audience. Marketers can maximize the potential of their campaign by utilizing their media agency during its ideation to power it into more than just a tactic, but a long-term brand strategy.
Influencer marketing is similar to a paid endorsement by a Hollywood celebrity, but without the celebrity. A brand chooses an online personality with a large following in its target demographic, and pays the influencer to promote their product within their content. Influencer marketing has become so impactful that bloggers and YouTube stars are replacing celebrities as the authority voice for brands. According to a report by eMarketer’s report, Influencer Marketing for US Brands, “US teen and young adult internet users were more likely to try a product or brand suggested by a YouTube star than a TV or movie star.” Influencers’ networks tend to be interest-based niches, where consumers go to engage with content relevant to their interests, like tricks for their own hair or skin type. Their reach might be smaller, but it is more targeted as they speak directly to an audience that is already curated and ready to consume content.
The best examples of effective influencer marketing lie within the fashion and beauty sphere, where brands have a rich history of using influential style blogging to direct trends. Marketers pay to seat bloggers in the front row at their fashion shows and treat them with products to introduce to their followers. Now, brands have embraced influencers even further by hiring them to leverage their online exposure. Susie Lau (Style Bubble) works with H&M, Urban Outfitters and Gap. UK beauty vlogger, Zoella, won two Teen Choice Awards and has used her influencer status for good, as an ambassador for the mental health organization Mind, and with her help to speak up about anxiety among young people with the #DontPanicButton campaign. Although beauty and fashion house some of the most effective examples of this content marketing strategy, marketers for youth brands in the travel, FinTech and automotive industries could achieve great success by building influencer marketing into their media strategy, especially for Canadian consumer markets.
Influencers for the Canadian Market
Recently Gaggi Media‘s client, John Frieda, launched an influencer marketing campaign to showcase how to use John Frieda products to achieve desired looks, using products from their Colour Care (blonde and bruntette), Frizz and Volume lines. Beauty influencers on YouTube were selected to use their products during their haircare tutorials to introduce the product to young females who wanted to achieve a certain look. YouTube beauty star, Blair Fowler was also signed as the new John Frieda Hair Care global brand ambassador. The Canadian influencer videos will be released and promoted over a 6 month period beginning in May. John Frieda’s campaign utilized influencers with a strong following in Canada, and capitalized on Canadians’ insatiable appetite for user-generated video content.
Canadians consume a lot of video content; in fact, video as an industry is forecasted to grow 28% year-over-year (IAB Canada). Canadians use video content during their path to purchase as they research products. According to Google, 70% of respondents who watch online video said they do so before making a purchase, predominantly using informational videos, consumer reviews and product demos to inform themselves before opening their wallet (Google/comScore: Online Video Perception Study, 2015). Influencer marketing fits into the consumers’ path to purchase while they are receptive to learning more about products and services. Using influencer marketing also serves up targeted content in a format that is unskippable and not detectable by ad blockers.
Turn Key Partners
When marketers think about influencer marketing as part of a long-term, integrated media strategy as opposed to a tactic, they reap the full rewards of its impact on consumers. Marketers can power their campaigns even further by utilizing their media agencies in the ideation stages of their campaign strategies. Media agencies have incredible resources internally, as well as a host of supplier connections that could contribute to a stronger, more impactful campaign. All marketers have to do is tap in to their media agency.