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Influencer Marketing: Educating Millennials About Branded Ingredients and Finished Products

<p>Brands can partner with influencers&#0151;consumers who have turned expert with a slew of followers&#0151;to reach Millennial consumers.</p>

Brands can partner with influencers—consumers who have turned expert with a slew of followers—to reach Millennial consumers.

Identifying the right influencer to reach a target demographic takes a review of the type of media used and the quality of the content.

Companies must prepare speaking points to confirm the relationship between the brand and the influencer is clear to consumers.

If content is king, then influencers are the people brands want to know. Influencers are subject matter experts who have a large following in one or more channels (e.g., blog, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Influencers are the thought leaders who educate consumers or peers in the B2B space about ingredients or finished products. They are a breed of their own—typically not a journalist and, oftentimes, not a business person, so they play by their own rules.

It’s key for brands to identify influencers that speak to the target demographic for the branded ingredient or finished product. What type of media is the target demographic consuming? What social media channels (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) are the influencers strong in? Next, what is the quality of the content these influencers are producing? Remember, the influencer’s content reflects the brand, so companies will want to make sure the facts are accurate, the lighting is good and the production value is high.

The outreach begins once a brand has identified several key influencers. What type of fee structure is allowed in the budget, and what is the influencer willing to accept? Fees can be a flat compensation, a revenue sharing model or simply the cost of goods for a product sample. It is important to share with the influencer how success will be measured: engagement, impressions, CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions), ad equivalent, website traffic, social media growth, direct product sales, product sales at retail or a combination of one or more key metrics.

Brand messaging and educational content is the next point of discussion. Companies must prepare speaking points and product samples for the influencer, as well as confirm the influencer is making the necessary disclosures, so the relationship between the brand and the influencer is clear to consumers. Governed by FTC, the regulatory standards for influencers and brands are paramount to maintaining compliance and following best practices. Savvy influencers clearly disclosed their brand relationship in their content marketing through a series of notices and blatant hashtags visible to consumers at first glance.

Once the campaign is executed, who owns the content and how long must the brand’s relationship stay intact with that influencer? These are items that should be addressed during negotiation tactics. For ongoing use, the brand should consider using the influencer content as digital ads, assuming permission to repurpose has been negotiated upfront.

Learn more about marketing to Millennials and children in INSIDER’s Marketing to Generation Influencers Digital Magazine.

Learn more from Carnett in SupplySide West Podcast 29: Working with Nutrition Influencers.

Looking for insights into Millennial purchasing habits and how to optimize online marketing with strategies like social media and influencer marketing? Join us and Lindsey Carnett for the How Millennials Are Transforming Modern Marketing Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9:00 a.m. at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.

Lindsey Carnett (Lindsey@marketingmavenpr.com) is CEO and president of Marketing Maven (marketingmavenpr.com), a bicoastal full-service marketing agency recently named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies. She began her career as a marketing director for a Scandinavian nutraceutical company then continued launching new ingredients and finished products through PR, social media, content marketing and influencer marketing on the agency side.

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