Can CPG influencer marketing change buyer behavior? We prefer the term creator to influencer but yes, working with content creators is an important part of any modern marketing strategy.
From ground coffee and frozen meals to face wash and laundry detergent, consumer packaged goods (CPG) are the things we use every day; the products we routinely use and replace. Brand loyalty is a major factor in CPG and marketers will often assume that people stick with CPG brands out of habit.
There’s some truth to that, but just because someone has bought the same brand for years is no guarantee they’ll continue to do so. We’ve seen a widespread loyalty shakeup and CPG brands are not immune. With inflation putting mounting pressure on the family budget, shoppers are also looking for more affordable alternatives to their usual shopping list items. Add to that increasing competition in the CPG sector and it’s clear that CPG brands need to update their marketing strategies as buyers update their behavior and upgrade their expectations.
In this increasingly crowded market, companies are turning to creator marketing to broaden their reach and boost sales. Creator partners provide a valuable platform for brands to establish a memorable, impactful narrative, helping generate more meaningful engagement among specific consumer demographics. For this very reason, 44% of CPG brands today say they work with creators.
To secure customer loyalty in this era of limitless choices, companies should partner with creators who know how to use their voice, aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and can foster a real connection with their follower base.
IN CPG INFLUENCER MARKETING, THE PRODUCT Needs A STORY
People are more mindful of where their money is spent, and are also more willing to switch brands to find one that better fits their ethos and self image.
CPG products need to feel like more than a habitual purchase to earn and maintain loyalty.
As part of its #SOLinmyprime campaign, body care brand Sol de Janeiro partnered with relationship expert Shan Boodram, who boasts more than 579,000 followers on Instagram. While advertising the launch of the company’s new body cream, Boodram posted a video detailing her experience as a pregnant mother at work — setting boundaries, getting her first-born child into a daycare and expanding her team to better manage her workload — and says that she’s proud of reclaiming her space as a woman “in her prime.”
Boodram establishes a strong emotional connection with her audience by opening up about challenges that women encounter on a daily basis. Often, creators become the voice for the voiceless, using their platforms to shine a light on issues that people care about. Creator marketing allows brands to elevate these issues, providing a space for real representation and engagement.
By leveraging an effective storytelling strategy to celebrate female strength and resilience, the #SOLinmyprime campaign speaks to a specific segment of women who may feel underrepresented in the beauty industry — in effect, creating a powerful brand narrative to generate meaningful conversations.
To foster an authentic connection with your audience, partner with inventive creators who know how to tell a story. But before you dive in, make sure you establish a clear direction for your campaign to serve as an important reference point for creators to build upon. Thinking of a creator brand partnership as a collaborative effort is one key to laying the groundwork for storytelling success.
It all starts with finding the perfect content creators for your campaign.
CPG Influencer Marketing to Differentiate Brands
CPG brands will often take a cookie-cutter approach to online marketing.
For example, a beauty or cosmetics brands typically lean heavily on photos and videos of models with flawless skin, and photos of products aesthetically placed on marbled surfaces.
But as online shopping allows us to break old habits, stray from the mainstream and discover new products, we’re seeing a new generation of affordable indie brands crop up, appealing to beauty and CPG markets.
The brand narrative for The Inkey List — a personal care brand that prides itself on pricing integrity and product transparency — encourages customers to embrace their authentic self and stand up for what we believe in. No one is better suited to convey that message than its creator partners, whose platforms are meant to instill a sense of belonging and inclusivity.
TikTok skincare creator Caress (@caressmd)’s video features a drastic before-and-after transformation of her face using two of The Inkey List’s most popular products. She attributes her remarkable glow up to the brand’s concoction of powerful ingredients. By unapologetically showing off her flawed skin during the first part of the video, Caress adds a personal touch to the marketing campaign and inspires her audience to open up about their skin-related struggles.
Skincare expert, humanitarian and YouTube creator Hyram also collaborated with The Inkey List to launch the Changemaker Kit: A selection of his favorite brand products, which comes with a custom-made “I am a Changemaker” tote bag. In line with Hyram’s personal mission to affect positive change, 10% of its proceeds is promised to Ashoka, a nonprofit that creates community and global solutions by supporting social entrepreneurship.
The brand successfully differentiates itself with a unique approach to creator-led campaigns. By sharing personal glow up stories and implementing purpose-driven collaborations, The Inkey List launched an authentic awareness campaign that not only highlighted the effectiveness of its products, but also emphasized its values-based goals.
Keep it Fresh with Timely Activations
Faced with so many delicious choices in an oversaturated snack market, people might be tempted to change things up to find their new favorite go-to treat. To reignite interest and keep their audiences engaged, food brands are identifying meaningful calendar moments to celebrate and connect with consumers.
Last year, sister companies Licorice.com and Pretzel.com partnered with BENlabs in AI-driven creator marketing campaigns leading up to the holiday season.
With a fun, festive twist on seasonal packaging and flavors—like Bacon Bourbon jam and Strawberry Margarita flavored pretzels — mom creators and lifestyle creators on Instagram successfully played up the aesthetics and excitement of gift-giving with colorful Christmas-themed unboxing videos.
Building on that momentum, creators also went the extra mile by describing who they were planning on gifting their licorice and pretzels to, including their childrens’ teachers, neighbors and close friends — even their mail carriers as a thank you for their hard work. With this thoughtful approach, their creator marketing program secured a combined 192% increase in month-over-month conversions.
With the winter holiday season already a competitive time for CPG brands, it may be worth looking into unique milestones that are specific to your company and its products. Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, went all out with a SnapChat campaign on National Donut Day. By launching donut-themed filters for customers to use and partnering with popular lifestyle creators on the platform, the brand was able to promote its limited time offer in a unique, engaging way.
Authenticity is Key in CPG Influencer Marketing
In a crowded market and in the face of rising inflation, CPG companies must differentiate themselves by establishing a reason to buy. The reason to buy is different for every brand, but unique creator voices can play a vital role in helping to find and share that story.
Another key to CPG influencer marketing success is in finding the right audiences to receive the message. CPG brands need to go beyond mere demographics to find the perfect audience clusters who are predisposed to buy.
BENlabs AI Audience Cluster Analysis is the key that unlocks the perfect audience, ready to receive your CPG brand message.
Influencer Marketing Made Simple
The BENlabs team uses proprietary AI tools to help make influencer marketing smart, scalable, and successful. From finding the perfect content creators, automating A/B testing of content, copy and CTAs, and surfacing clear, predictive analytic insights early, when they can make the most difference, BENlabs is here to help.