Multiple Faces, One Brand: Creating A Group of Influencers for A Multi-Demographic Target Market

Brands tend to pick influencers with whom they know their target audience can identify with. Marketers know that if someone can ‘see’ themselves in the product, or the products advertising, they are more likely to identify with the product and make a purchase. However, this gets more complicated as your market becomes more diverse. How does a brand create a cohesive, appealing to their entire demographic, without turning anyone off to their products? While a complicated answer, one brand has mastered this.

What Do All Of These Women Have In Common? 

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These women are singers, models, actresses, athletes, comedians, television personalities, and activists – they are also all Cover-Girls. (Note: Not all Cover-Girls have been represented above)

CoverGirl has masted reaching the multi-demographic market. As a socially conscious company, they focused on celebrities  who had a positive personal brand. CoverGirl has realized the magic formula before every other company. Their success can be tied to one basic question:

What Is Beauty?  

“Beauty” has been such a buzz word and has had many negative associations surrounding the industry as a whole. Many people struggle to identify with a brand because they do not see themselves represented in it.

Within the group of above celebrities, many have made headlines on hot topics, defending their personal choice in lifestyle and looks, including Zendaya defending her dreadlocks, Ellen DeGeneres speaking out on being gay, and Tyra Banks shutting down body shamers.

Young women now see themselves as a face of a brand. CoverGirl’s success comes in representing all colors, backgrounds, shapes and sizes, in a very superficial industry.

                   How Can Your Brand Reach A Diverse Market                   Through Multi-Demographic Influences?

1) Know Your ENTIRE Audience

Ensure that there are no gaps in your target audience. Jayson DeMers a contributor for Forbes, has outlined 6 Steps to Decoding Your Target Audience. The final point that Jayson outlines, it “Who Do They Trust?” This is key in ensuring that you are creating a cohesive front of trustworthy people. Ensure that your influencers also cover each sub-market that you are targeting.

Hint! Before you decode your audience, make sure that it is clearly defined. Need help? Check out “How To Define Your Target Market” 

2)  Avoid Controversial or Polarizing Celebrities

When dealing with multiple influencers at once, it is typically a good idea to avoid controversial or polarizing celebrities. Kayne West says many off-the-cuff things and can be loved and hated by many within the same sentence. You want to ensure that you entire market feels welcomed by all influencers.

If a Cover-Girl was making negative comments about race, nationality or sexuality, the united front would be broken as the Cover-Girls’ represent celebrities of many minority groups.

You want to ensure that you trust your influencers that when they go out on appearances, whether for your brand or personally, that they are putting their best foot forward at all times. You do not want to have to hire a great PR firm at the end of the night to do damage control.

Hint! Here’s a cheat sheet of the 10 Most Controversial Celebrities

3) Ensure a Good Balance  

Everyone has seen adds that have the “token” minority as a way to make the brand appear more inclusive to everyone. That just does not work. There needs to be a good balance of all of the faces representing your brand.

Many drugstore makeup brands carry a majority of their products for lighter skin while others carry a majority of products for darker skin. While CoverGirl continues to expand its line, they want to ensure that they have a wide enough variety of products and also influencers who represent all skin tones that can use their product (as shown above).

Bonus! CoverGirl even made #8 on the list of  The 10 Best Foundations for Dark Skin Tones

If you are struggling to figure out how to create this mix, try to identify a persona for each demographic that your brand is targeting. Once you have identified your personas, identify how much of your market is made up of each. By ensuring that each group is accurately represented, you brand will feel inclusive to your entire diverse market.

Example:  20 Total Influencers

40% Persona 1:    8 Influencers

30% Persona 2:    6 Influencers

15% Persona 3:    3 Influencers

10% Persona 4:    2 Influencers

5% Persona 5:    1 Influencer

Follow these 3 simple rules and you’re on you way to success! 

Images Soured Within

Spotlight: Success Stories

Success is inspiring! While there are certain things that are always in the forefront of our minds, sometimes we forget the greats. Here is a reminder of a few influential campaigns over the past few years that should be an inspiration (or challenge) for others! The below three success stories all took different approaches and achieved their goals. They knew how to target their audience, execute their message and drive results.

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play with your food

“Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?”

Problem: Sell more Tyson chicken nuggets during the holiday season

Goal: Sell the surplus during an 8-week period and generate 2.6M+ social media impressions

Solution: Instead of taking the traditional route of just marking the product down and getting rid of it, Tyson focused their efforts around two ideas: creativity and influencers. Tyson started created in store demos around their central message “Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?” They modeled their demos around cookie decorating, switching out the cookies for nuggets and decorations for condiments. Tyson encouraged everyone who participated to share their experience. They asked mommy bloggers Wendy Wright from Choosing Love, Shannon Gosney from The Mommy Files, and Mellisa Swigart from Mom Luck to participate in in-store demos.

Results: Tyson sold its surplus in 4-weeks and achieved 8.8M+ impressions on social media. They also saw and average 42% sales lift during that period

Why It Worked: Tyson understood their demographic and appealing to families was crucial to their success. They were engaging and accessible and created a clear call to action. Tyson’s choice of influencer was also key in driving their success. The community around Mommy Bloggers is large and relies on these influencers as trusted sources of information. By tapping into their larger network, Tyson was able to generate success.

my after

“My After”

Problem: Change the perception that chocolate milk is just a kids drink (target adults)

Goal: Increase sales and audience

Solution: They reached out to Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They created a campaign around “My After” following the athlete through workouts, sports dieticians and at sports medicine conferences. The goal was to educate on the science behind chocolate milk. Weber Shandwick understood that there is a lot of influence in this industry peer to per and word of mouth and utilized that activity. They also provided this network with resources to become knowledge experts in this subject area.

Results: There have been generating year over year sales since the campaign launched

Why It Worked: This campaign really highlighted the benefits and value of the product. Traditional “Got Milk” ads focus on engaging with the current customer base, while this campaign focused on growing and expanding their reach. By going through the athletic network, it taps into a network that is naturally excited by health, fitness and well-being. This influencer partnership on this endeavor would be seen as a perfect match between the product, the influencer and the end user.

may box

“May Box – Instagram Takeover by Emily Schuman”

Problem: Wants to reach more Instagram followers to discover newest beauty products

Goal: Drive sales of their May Box and increase followers and engagement

Solution: Birchbox paired with lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. They collaborated on the May Box and promoted their partnership across both Instagram accounts; Birchbox has 469,000+ followers and Emily Schuman has 260,000+ followers. They shared exactly 5 Instagram photos to promote this partnership in what they call an Instagram takeover.

Results: The Instagram takeover was successful with the five photos reaching more than 550,000 customers and accumulating over 18,000 likes.

Why It Worked:  This was not the first time Birchbox has done an Instagram takeover. Back on Mother’s Day 2014, They had a very successful experience with Christina Zilber. That campaign generated 1,135 user-generated posts and high levels of engagement. These tactics are working for Birchbox because they understand their audience. In beauty and fashion, people typically do not try new products until someone reputable stands behind them. By creating strong partnerships, they are creating a link between the two communities. By doing them for a short period of time it is creating exclusivity of, for example, the May Box products.

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All three companies took slightly different approaches to their influencer strategy. As long as you understand the foundation of your business, the mission of your influencer and the target audience, you should have a successful campaign just like them!

Images Sourced Within

Picking Your Platform

social mix

Picking a platform is like picking the perfect outfit. You have to look at the weather, your plans for the day, which you are going to see; all in all it’s about finding the right fit. The same goes for your platform. One of the biggest mistakes a brand can do it utilize the wrong platform. If you wouldn’t wear stilettos to the gym, you probably shouldn’t use Twitter to attract the Baby Boomers.

Stephanie Schwab of Crackerjack Marketing has compiled a variety of charts explaining that not all platforms are a one-size fits all, as well as how much time you need to put into each platform to be effective.

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION:  twitter Instagram-logo-005

CUSTOMER RETENTION:facebook linkedin Instagram-logo-005

SEO: twitter linkedin official-pinterest-logo-tile youtube-logo

CUSTOMER SERVICE: facebook  twitter linkedin Instagram-logo-005

LEAD GENERATION:facebook twitter linkedin official-pinterest-logo-tile youtube-logo

Below I will outline some additional key features you should know before picking your platform.

facebook

FACEBOOK

Time Requirement to be Effective: 2-3 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Users: with 890 million daily active users it has a large network that can be utilized
    • Customization: allows for capturing the users attention
    • Engagement: the platform allows the user to ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ which circulates content across a larger network
    • Analytics: internal analytics reporting allows businesses to find strengths and weaknesses
    • Linking: You can link your Facebook page to your website will increase your SEO
  • Cons:
    • Time: setup and maintenance will take time and energy and once the page socializes, a team will be required to handle customer service support
    • Reputation Management: customers typically will express dissatisfaction and you cannot delete their comment so you will need to address it. This requires time and finesse to handle the situation
    • Advertising: if you want your business to be successful on Facebook you will need to invest some form of money into it. Organic reach can only take it so far.

(Check out the full article HERE!)

twitter

TWITTER

Time Requirement to be Effective: 10 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Speed: today everyone wants everything in real time and Twitter allows for that need to be fed
    • Share of Voice: anyone can tweet and this “levels the playing field” between the big and small companies
    • ADD-Friendly: the constantly streaming information and endless accounts to follow is attractive to people who need “constantly changing environments” in order to keep their attention
  • Cons:
    • Clutter: sifting through the feed takes time and energy and makes it difficult for customers to always see your tweets
    • Consistently Inconsistent: since everyone can tweet, there are a lot of junk and mixed messages – most people do not consider it a reliable source of information because of this.
    • Time-Consuming: as stated above, you need to tweet 10 times a day to be effective in reaching your customers, which is a lot of content to create.

(Check out the full article HERE!)

linkedin

LINKEDIN

Time Requirement to be Effective: 1-2 times a day

  • Pros:
    • SEO: it allows businesses to have more exposure while highlighting the important features of your business
    • News: with the option of following certain industries or companies, you can stay up to date and also share with those in your network
    • Expertise: you can establish yourself or your business as credible experts in the fields which boosts overall attractiveness
  • Cons:
    • Time: initial setup takes a lot of time and attention to detail to ensure that everything is accurate and professional
    • Feed: LinkedIn feeds update fairly quickly so if you are looking for something it can occasionally be difficult to find. Status updates are not shared on the main profile page so you will need to know LinkedIn well to know where to look

(Check out the full article HERE!)

Instagram-logo-005

INSTAGRAM

Time Requirement to be Effective: 1-5 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Appealing to Millennials: millennials are ¼ of the US population and are a good target consumer
    • Images and Videos: both mediums are more attractive and encourage more interactions
    • Mobile Enabled: most people utilize phones for than laptops/desktops for social sites; therefore a platform made for mobile is better received.
  • Cons:
    • Links: links don’t work in captions which makes driving purchases more difficult
    • Limited Advertising: small businesses will have to forgo this option as it comes with a hefty price-tag

(Check out the full article HERE!)

official-pinterest-logo-tile

PINTEREST

Time Requirement to be Effective: 5 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Images can be Linked: Pinterest can drive traffic to specific landing pages thus driving sales
    • “Pin It”: allows sharing content from anywhere with ease
  • Cons:
    • Users: 80% of users are women thus missing out on half of the population and posing a problem for businesses who target men
    • Engagement: it is a less conversational platform

(Check out the full article HERE!)

Bonus Tip: Blogging has a time requirement of about 2 times a week

Once you have your platform, you can now move ahead and start picking your influencer. If someone hates being photographed, you may want to steer away from Instagram and if someone is long-winded you may want to steer away from Twitter.

Regardless of the direction you choose, always be sure that your influencer fits within the platform and the business.

 

 

All images sources within image

Spotting Up and Comers

up and comer

There are two main types of people when it comes to being in the spotlight: the timeless, and the easily forgotten. Staying up to date with the latest and greatest can be difficult when things are ever changing. However, there is a third type: the up-and-comers.

How you go about finding the up-and-comers can be approached from a variety of ways:

#1: Google

Google is a plethora of information and has 99% of the answers you are looking for. The only downside is that it is accessible to everyone. If you are looking for a specific industry up-and-comer, this could be a great starting point. Lists of up-and-comers in a variety of industries are popping up all the time, sports, entertainment, fashion and more. With the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games just around the corner, TeamUSA.org has already created the list 16 Athletes to Watch in 2016. These lists will allow you to find the fresh new faces.

Knowing what to Google is the tricky part. Your search needs to be tailored and effective. Many people type a sentence or question into the search bar and sift through the results until they hopefully come across their answer. Instead, I recommend reading “How to Search on Google” which outlines 31 ways to optimize Google searches. While some of the tips are more useful than others, this article teaches how to search everything from the basics (Step 17: Translate) to less obvious (Step 31: Comparing Food).

How to search on google

#2: Look Behind the Scenes

Everyone remembers when Jennifer Lawrence hit the scene. She broke into the spotlight and was probably on every up-and-comer list that year. Now, if you wanted to go along with everyone else, you would try and reach out to her to be a fresh new face, but instead take it a step further and look behind the scenes.

The lesser known names are the stylists, designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. Although they are lesser know they hold high amounts of credibility.  If Mark Townsend says that chopping your hair is the look of the year, you may not believe him because ‘who is Mark Townsend?’ If Mark Townsend, Jennifer Lawrence’s hair stylist, says chopping your hair is the look of the year, everyone will be rushing to the salon to get the next ‘IT’ look.

Looking to those who support the stars will not only provide you with hyper-focused expertise, but also a very strong list of references!

When It Worked: Check out Tyler Henry who got his own show after appearing on an episode for Keeping Up with the Kardashians! He did an accurate reading for Khloe and instantly became a hit.

  1. Find Your Influencer’s Go-To

With everyone sharing everything these days, it’s no surprise that everyone has their favorite go-to: outfit, style blog, person, etc. Even some of the greatest influencers are influenced by others. Style Icon Gwen Stefani seems to play by her own rules, but while out last February, she rocked bright red sunglasses and a striped shirt inspired by the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

Finding these inspirations might not be as blatantly obvious as Gwen channeling her inner Kurt but there are a few quick tricks to finding them.

  • Scour Social Media

Anyone who uses social media follows things they are interested in. Your favorite people are no different. Check out their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social pages to see what they are following, liking and engaging with.

Hint: Celebs usually don’t follow back everyone who follows them, so there is a good chance the people that the follow matter. Check out below to see Gwen Stefani’s Followers v. Following 

tweet stats

  • Watch clips and videos

Even if the interview isn’t about their influences, sometimes the person will mention it passively. Although this takes a bit more work and not always guaranteed to yield results, it could provide information that others might not pick up on

Hint: Behind the Music has some great interviews! 

  • Engage

Some celebrities are very active on social channels, so ask away! The worst they can do is not respond; alternatively they could give you exactly what you are looking for. Ask them who they’re favorite new band is, or whatever peaks your interest. If they respond, you’re in.

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To find an up-and-comer you don’t necessarily need to be with the “in” crowd, you just have to be in the know. Using these three tips, you can bring your influencer portfolio to the next level!

 

 

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The Perfect Match

perfect-match

Finding the perfect match is hard, it takes time and effort. Sometimes things just flawlessly fit together and other times it takes significantly more work.

Everyone, at one point or another, has played the word association game. If someone says “Tell me the first word that comes to mind when I say ‘blue”, most people will respond with ‘sky’. The same idea applies to people and brands.  Every person and brand has that one main identifying quality.

When brands go out in search of an influencer in which to partner with, the first step always seems to be the obvious match. But what if it’s not that simple? When brands are looking for influencers and endorsers, it goes well beyond the initial identity.

When It Worked: The Power (Couple) Play

Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, is the face of football, so his deal with Under Armour seems like a seamless fit. He’s active, athletic and clearly an obvious (and ideal) consumer. What about his relationship with UGG Australia? What makes the ‘face of football’ a good fashion influencer? For those who don’t know, Tom Brady is married to one of the highest earning super models, Gisele Bundchen. Their marriage has allowed him to bridge the gap into the fashion industry. Since the partnership with Tom Brady, UGG has been able to increase their number of customers and sales, drawing from Brady’s fan base and the male population as a whole. The power couple’s status also extends to Gisele’s modeling career. She just signed a contract, breaking into the sports modeling industry, to be a face of the Women’s Under Armour Campaign, which one can only assume stems from her clear tie to the athletic community.

When It Didn’t Work: The Girl Who Doesn’t Drink

While some of these influencers are a perfect match, others are not. When Midori Liquor was looking for a spokesperson for their melon liquor, they turned to the elite Kardashian family, specifically Kim Kardashian (Now Kim Kardashian West). They assumed her lavish life-style, nightclub appearance and socialite status would attract a large audience to the product. One problem – Kim Kardashian does not drink. DailyMail obtained a quote in which Kim herself states, “Well, I’ve never really been a drinker. I hate the taste of alcohol.” Just a little outside knowledge and the consumer would realize that Kim Kardashian, in fact, does not drink Midori as much as was portrayed by the campaign. To those who follow Kim’s every move, her endorsing alcohol would be like a bald man endorsing hair dye. It just doesn’t work.

How do brands ensure that they have the perfect match?

In order to ensure that the perfect match is created, brands need to start with the obvious. Brands should think of entering the relationship with an influencer like a funnel. You want to move from the very high level of association to the finite details of their personal mission and values.

Below outlines how someone may choose whether or not to pair with Victoria Beckham. This chart serves as a basic outline for any brand to use when identifying an influencer. If at any time the brand and the person seem to be on two different pages, it may be time to reconsider.

Chart

While a quick google search can reveal a majority of these attributes and answers, an interview along with in depth research will yield the best results. Brands need to ensure that they are connected to their influencer. The brand needs to have some form of overlap in order for there to be an understanding and reality.

ASK: Could I see this person representing this brand in their daily life without changing a thing?

 

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