According to the co-founders of the influencer marketing firm Augmentum Media, Sambhav Chadha and Aditya Mahapatra, consumers are more discerning than ever when it comes to making health and nutrition purchases.
“We are seeing longer conversion windows from audiences," Chadha explains, "this means audiences now spend additional time and effort, ensuring they are buying from the right brand.
“The most meaningful touchpoints for consumers are all about social proof – seeing other consumers using products or seeing the product in the hands of their favourite media personalities.”
They compare a brand’s activity on social media to activity around a market stall, pointing out that the activity suggests to other consumers that the product is popular and trustworthy.
However, they say it’s not about just being seen, it’s about "meaningful interactions" and proof of a product’s value, coming from other consumers.
One key way this can be done is through educating the audience on how the product is a perfect solution to a health concern, by sharing testimonials and stories from other users – also known as user generated content (UGC).
Mahapatra argues: “Anything other consumers say will always resonate more strongly than anything you, as a brand, say."
The power of social media presence
Exemplifying the impact of online communities, they give the example of Prime energy drink. It has already made $250m worth of sales and is now the official UFC partner.
The co-founders, rival amateur boxers Logan Paul and KSI, made their livings through streaming online and they reached their height of fame when they set up a boxing match.
"They took to the ring as rivals and emerged as business partners with the launch of their joint venture, Prime. They have a combined social media audience of 40 million and they converted this audience into consumers," Mahapatra explains.
“The way to create the same amount of awareness that these people have, is through influencer marketing.
“By partnering with influencers, whether athletes, health practitioners, or health-conscious influencers, you can target your marketing spend directly at your target audience. Plus you are being recommended by potential customers to the people that look up to them.”
They point out that with so many food and drink brand competitors now using social media to market their brands, but not doing this in a strategic, effective manner, now is a great opportunity to capitalise on the opportunity.
“So far, brands have approached influencer marketing as transactional, meaning they have one-off partnerships with influencers, paid them a couple thousand for a few posts, and left it there. This does not work any more. Your campaigns need to be authentic, genuine, and focus on the long-term to win,” Mahapatra adds.
The social media experts note this long term approach to marketing it even more important in a category such as functional food and supplements, where the benefits of products are felt when taken over a longer time frame.
Augmentum utilises ‘influencer seeding campaigns’ sending samples to micro- and nano-influencers (those with between 3k and 50k followers) with zero payment, to try to create long-term, authentic partnerships.
Chadha explains the benefits of utilising smaller influencers in this way.
“Their communities are closer knit, they carry more trust with their audience, and their content is viewed as more authentic. You can also target a tighter niche with these influencers. Their engagement rates are also much higher than with bigger creators, meaning you can get greater returns for the creator fees spent.”
The lack of payment in this first stage of the strategy not only saves money, but also leads to authentic posts from the influencers and reveals the best creators to use for longer-term partnerships.
Want to learn more about influencer marketing?
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