How can we learn about branding through social media influencers?
Over the past decade there have been some major changes in how beauty companies market themselves to consumers. While brands are still putting out advertisements and running campaigns for their latest products, they are also taking extra steps to ensure customers want to buy their products through outlets such as social media. If your brand has not done so yet, it can be invaluable to look to the key social media influencers that are attracting and keeping a loyal audience to see how your brand can learn from them. What exactly are these social media influencers doing to get the attention of such a large audience and how can you incorporate this into your own campaigns?
Humans are naturally inquisitive beings, watching reality television shows, keeping up with celebrity gossip, and craving an inside look into the personal lives of other people. This is something that influencers have capitalized on from vlogs on YouTube and Twitter, to insight on what they are eating on Snapchat. Countless bloggers and celebrities have created and promoted a variety of different products through social media, so why can’t brands? As a company you might be thinking this might be unattainable as you are a brand not a person but this is not true.
One example is American based brand Tarte Cosmetics,who do an excellent job involving and building a personal connection with their audience through apps such as Snapchat. Including everything from videos of one of their staff member's Wedding to recommended music playlists for your morning workout, all whilst promoting a variety of products from their line. Having additional social media other than just your brands website is now a necessity as consumers love getting a glimpse of behind-the-scenes and having that extra insight into the brand outside of the product info.
Yes, brands should definitely have a personality as this creates and draws in a specific audience. In the beginning stages, it is important for a company to create and establish a personality which represents how the company wants to portray itself. Deciding how employees should write posts or what kind of pictures the company uses on social media and how they’re edited can ensure that the brand maintains a consistent theme through all communications and this really helps establish brand recognition with customers.
Many bloggers also keep an aesthetic theme to keep all of their content cohesive, both in style and design of their pages through to their content. In terms of design this could be fun, bright and colourful or the simplicity of a product with a plain white background. A good example is Blogger, Fleur De Force who keeps a very simple feed among her social media platforms. In her videos, she will frequently talk about her life which includes her husband and dogs, how she styles her outfits and makeup around her lifestyle and what personally works for her as an individual.
A consumer with a similar life and personality to the vlogger will take their opinion over a commercial being played on the television or internet as they believe they are getting unbiased and genuine advice. Creating a brand personality helps connect with customers on a more personal level rather than them feeling like they are just another product sale to the company.
Something that a lot of companies have adapted to is taking a stand on issues that the company thinks are important and wants to represent. It is becoming more popular for brands to fulfil a philanthropic or ethical responsibility; taking a stand on issues and supporting charities or events. People want to feel good about buying products that will also help other organizations or charities. Whether it is doing a collaboration with a charity or sponsoring an event, it all matters to the consumer. Many beauty bloggers have supported women's rights and other charities that they think are important and one of the most popular charities that beauty and fashion companies can sponsor is woman empowerment programs.
Many bloggers will go to events put on by the charities to show their support and a company could show their support in the same way. An excellent example of this was in 2014 when Charlotte Tilbury created a specific line of Hot Lips lipsticks endorsed by powerful women such as Kate Moss, Kim Kardashian, and Cindy Crawford. With each lipstick purchase £2 would be donated to Woman for Woman; a UK organization that has helped over 20 million women get back on their feet by giving them financial help and providing support to help find jobs.
Many lessons can be learned from social media influencers and the way they have built their own personal brands. Some things a brand might like to consider before reaching out to a social media influencer would be:
1. Does our brand match their “theme” - for example you don’t necessarily want a beauty guru promoting a sport drink.
2. Will this benefit both parties? How will your brand benefit from working with this social media influencer?
3. Why should they collaborate with you? They are their own brand so they might be looking at how they can profit in multiple different ways.
4. Numbers aren’t everything. Even if your company thinks that by working with the biggest star you could become more popular, it might not always work in your favour if it’s not the right demographic.
When implementing marketing techniques into different campaigns, looking at social media influencers is a very smart choice for companies. Consider your individual consumer target audience or demographic and then research which bloggers/vloggers are popular within these categories. From these you can learn what tactics they have implemented and what might help your brand gain the most views/likes/shares when putting together your own marketing strategies.