18 June 2018

How Clorox uses influencers to stay relevant and grow its social engagement

According to IAB, 26 percent of desktop users use blockers to remove ads. That limits over a quarter of a website's users from even seeing the advertisement in the first place. If you look at Gen-Z only, the number of people using ad blockers has reached almost 50%. However, people have always trusted other people, so influencer marketing provides a great opportunity for brands to get the message across by using those who have built the social following.

In 2018 brands have become much more active in influencer marketing adding rigor in their approach to selecting and leveraging influencers beyond their organic reach. In fact, Activate by Bloglovin's research has found that 67% of marketers believe influencer marketing campaigns helped them reach a more targeted audience and created relevancy with modern fickle customers.

The key challenge is to use rigor in selecting and measuring impact of influencer marketing. I recently interviewed Magnus Jonsson, Vice President of Brand Engagement at Clorox to learn how his company approached influencer marketing.

For Clorox, brand engagement is a critical element for everything they do. They believe that campaigns must be human-centered and purpose-driven. Magnus organized a company offsite to educate his team on what this means and how to properly use influencers to communicate key messages. This way the entire organization is aligned and there are no surprises in execution.

He also emphasized the importance of insights in their influencer marketing campaigns. For example, for PineSol, they learned that many of their customers listen to music and even dance when they are cleaning, so they created an interesting skit leveraging Inanna Sarkis, an Asyrian-Bulgarian Canadian YouTube sensation, who has 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube. Her PineSol video titled Dance Cleaning Challenge, which was also promoted by Clorox through paid media, drove over 3.2 million views on YouTube and, according to Clorox, generated a 10% lift in brand consideration and brand favorability in a YouTube brand lift study.

Q&A with Magnus Jonsson:

1. How do you set-up goals and KPIs for your social media strategy?

Each Social Media campaign has different KPIs depending on the overall goals of the business and the marketing campaign. With influencers, we often look at total views of the content we create with them and engagement with the content. When possible, we measure Brand Lift (consideration, favorability, purchase intent, etc.) and at times we can measure sales and ROI.

2. When do you engage influencers - at the strategy or execution level and why?

That depends on the business and category. However, we engage Influencers at both levels at times. On the strategic level, Influencers can provide tremendous guidance for everything from the types of new products we create, to how we position our brand, to how we shape our messages. On the execution side, influencers help us tell our stories credibly in the digital space. Influencers bring an authenticity to their content that enables us to connect with people in a more believable way.

3. Can you share any other specific success stories from your campaigns besides those for PineSol?

Yes. For our Brita brand, we did a couple of videos with our spokesperson Stephen Curry - a social media star in his own right - and You Tube creators King Bach and Rudy Mancuso. In internal measurement, those videos have ranked as one of the most efficient ROI tactics for Brita. The video led to a 37% Lift in Brand Favorability for Brita, one of the highest Google has ever seen and was a finalist for Brand YouTube video of the Year.

4. What are some of the influencer marketing campaigns that inspired you?

Yes, one of them was for Polaroid. Polaroid worked with micro influencers to create custom content that the brand then leveraged for social and Google ads; they essentially saw a boost in clicks and sales as a result of the influencer created content. When asked for advice for other brands, Magnus had the following:

  1. Know who you are working with. Do proper research on each influencers, his/her pros and cons, and understand the influencer's audience.
  2. Build an enduring relationship with the influencer. Your investment will pay dividends if you work with the influencer beyond one campaign.
  3. Balance the types of influencers you are using. When selecting types of influencers and budgets associated with them, Magnus follows this rule of thumb: 50% goes towards celebrities, 30-40% towards macro/micro social influencers, and 10-20% towards subject matter experts.

Whether you are using influencer marketing or not, it is undeniable that its impact on bottom line of many brands will become more significant in the near future.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor @GravityMediaLLC worked on any of the Clorox campaigns.


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