When large CPG brands use a celebrity to endorse their products, the brand relies on the celebrity's influence over an audience of potential customers.
When Wild Turkey bourbon teamed up with actor Matthew McConaughey, they expected McConaughey's fame to attract new buyers.
The company even produced a six-minute film featuring McConaughey and released it on YouTube. 👇
🤝 The keys to unlocking a winning influencer campaign
The same way a CPG company uses celebrities, DTC brands can use social media influencers to attract new customers (and you don't have to pay McConaughey prices).
To make this point, consider the four keys to a successful influencer marketing campaign.
- Ensure topic alignment ✅
- Include thoughtful offers ✅
- Use an authentic message ✅
- Have measurable goals ✅
When it comes to the campaign placement, offer, and authenticity, we will use an example from the DTC brand Flaviar and a campaign it ran on Greg Titian's YouTube channel, How to Drink.
⭐️ Topic alignment, placement
Flaviar is a DTC (membership-based) brand delivering themed booze boxes. The company has nailed influencer marketing, focusing on relevant and respected creators.
Let's consider the aforementioned Flaviar influencer campaign on How to Drink. The example image comes from a March 6, 2020 video with 900,000+ views.
Generally, both the channel and this video topic are closely aligned with Flaviar's product offering.
This sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how often this gets screwed up.
What if Flaviar had tried to use Scott Disick of Keeping up with the Kardashians fame? 👀
Not only would Disick have probably messed up the endorsement (as he did for Bootea back in 2016), but the alignment wouldn’t have been as good.
Disick has more than 26 million followers on Instagram, but his followers are celebrity devotee types who only recognize fine spirits if they are mentioned in rap singles.
For your brands, influencer marketing campaigns ask, "is the topic aligned?"
Let's keep picking on Scott Disick for a moment. If you search for the most epic influencer marketing fails, Disick shows up. In 2016, he posted a picture of himself with a jar of Bootea on Instagram (it has since been removed).
The caption read: "Here you go, at 4 pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!"
A brand putting words in the influencer's mouth–telling Disick what to write and when to do it–is anything but authentic.
The How to Drink and Flaviar collaboration appears much more authentic to viewers.
There are moments in the presentation when Titian appears to be reading a cue card, but what he is saying is consistent with what he exposes in each and every episode of his show.
Titian is authentically a fan of fine spirits, so it is perfectly believable that he would be interested in (and engaged with) a company providing them.
When your DTC brand engages an influencer, ask yourself, "can this influencer authentically deliver our message?"
🧐 The offer
Don't only think of influencer marketing campaigns as product placements or brand associations. It is perfectly acceptable and preferable to make an offer.
In the How to Drink example, Titian makes a three-pointed offer on behalf of Flaviar.
- Discover fine spirits. "Flaviar was made for people just like you. Flavor explorers questing after the perfect bottle."
- Engage with like-minded folks. "Flaviar is more than a box of magic in the mail. It's a community… you'll get invited to exclusive events to meet and mingle with your fellow flavor explorers."
- Become an expert. "You're ready to try new things more often and become a bonafide spirits aficionado."
These points appeal to the viewer's sense of identity. The offer is consistent with how the viewer sees themselves. It seems perfectly normal to take Titian's suggestion, "Click the link in the description below to join the Flaviar membership club."
The link includes a campaign UTM parameter identifying the How to Drink show. This parameter lets Flaviar track the traffic from the campaign.
When your DTC brand launches an influencer campaign, ask "does the offer focus on our products and make sense to the audience?"
📈 Goals and measurement
Like every other marketing campaign, an influencer marketing campaign should have a goal and a means for measuring success.
For DTC brands, this goal could be sales, list growth, or a ROAS metric.
According to some estimates, marketers should expect to earn back about $5 for every $1 invested in influencer campaigns on a single purchase basis.
Ask yourself, "how will I know if our influencer marketing campaign is working?"
Influencer campaigns are a fantastic way to extend the reach of your DTC product. Reply to this email and let us know if you use them (or are looking to implement them), and share your success stories!