Case Study: Three Influencer Strategies for Three Different E-Commerce Brands

by Frankie Pike

Eight out of ten consumers1 have purchased something after seeing an influencer recommend it, and the influencer marketing industry is set to hit $15 billion2 this year. Some companies cast a wide net, spending thousands each month carpet-bombing influencers with free products. But not every company has an unlimited budget or believes that to even be the best strategy.

For our client Profound Commerce, a holding company that grows D2C brands with a major Amazon presence, they wanted to experiment with influencer marketing for three of their brands to see its potential. We developed three separate strategies that we hypothesized would be the most efficient and effective for their brands.

Their No. 1 priority was for influencers to create lots of content to use in our ads, drive higher-margin D2C sales, increase brand recognition, and show the brands’ competitive advantages.

We used award-winning software to narrow down influencers to those with our target audience in their following and reach out at scale to save time and streamline the process. It also allowed us to automate our workflows, easily collect influencer payment information, and accurately measure campaign ROI. 

ColorIt: Influencer Marketing To Build A UGC Content Engine

ColorIt’s coloring books for adults are durable, high-quality books made of 120-pound, acid-free paper that prevents bleeding. They feature top-binding, which removes the center-binding obstacle for left and right-handed users. In addition, there is a vibrant ColorIt Facebook community where product-lovers share their creations and support each other. 

In the self-care world, we saw an opportunity to make coloring books for adults a big deal, like meditation or yoga. The primary target consumer is women ages 25 and up. The positioning is both aspirational in aesthetic and approachable in practice. It is also important to communicate that it’s not just a product—it’s a community where you can free your creativity.

To get as many at-bats as possible, we decided to target micro (10-50k followers) and mid-tier (50-500k) influencers. We looked for creators whose following was overwhelmingly female, aged 25 to 60, and interested in self-care. The primary archetypes we wanted were trendy millennials, young moms, and middle-aged women or grandmas who want to take some time for themselves. 

We chose influencers who post images and videos that are beautiful, creative but not unattainable or unrealistic. We wanted our target audience to see the posts and think “wow, how beautiful” and “I could do that.” In terms of messaging, we asked them to emphasize the quality of the books, the therapeutic benefits, and that coloring isn’t just for kids.

We asked influencers to post content on their channel and send content back to ColorIt to use in customer acquisition campaigns on paid social as well as on other marketing channels. This allowed ColorIt to get the best bang for their buck.

Amazin’ Aces: Influencer Marketing Gifting Strategy

Amazin’ Aces produces pickleball paddles and gear for newbies and seasoned players. The paddles are reasonably priced compared with competitors. They also run a Facebook group with over 21k members called Pickleball for Beginners where the community shares tips and tricks to improve their game.

Because pickleball is a niche sport, in order to attract more Amazin’ Aces customers, more people need to know about the sport. The main goal with Amazin’ Aces influencers is to reach as many everyday people as possible in order to improve adoption and drive word-of-mouth. 

Rather than using professional influencers, to make our budget go further and reach as many everyday people as possible, we decided to reach out to non-influencers with somewhat popular accounts (1-5k followers) and offer them free pickleball equipment. 

We looked for individuals who were active, into wellness, and American. We also contacted families and college students. We used software to make sure their audiences were engaged and matched the profiles of our target customers. 

We then asked them, if they enjoyed it, if they’d post about the sport and our paddles.

Tapping The Mega Influencer For Hudson Durable Goods

We saved our biggest swing possible for last.

Hudson Durable Goods sells professional grade aprons for chefs, carpenters, artists, baristas, metalsmiths, and craftspeople of all sorts. The aprons have padded straps, sawdust flaps, dual hammer loops, quick release buckle fasteners, double-stitched pockets, thick hems, and everything else a serious worker needs to get the job done.

Profound Commerce wants to make Hudson Durable Goods the Carhartt of aprons. We decided to position it as an aspirational product, trusted by expert chefs, welders, and other craftspeople.

Accordingly, we targeted Max The Grill Hunter, a popular chef and grill master influencer with millions of followers who trust his expertise. We asked him to grill while wearing a Hudson Durable Goods apron to show the apron in action and associate it with his high quality creations. We also gave him a discount code to use in his post.

Results

In addition to generating tens of thousands of engagements, our influencers fulfilled Profound Commerce’s major goal of delivering a ton of content. Profound Commerce forever owns that content and can now use it for ads and their own social media posts.

“3rd + Lamar created three tailored strategies for three very different brands that helped us understand the perils and promise of influencer strategies for marketplace brands. Their approach showed immense attention to detail and understanding of the nuances of our brands and their audiences.”

-Nirav Bhagat, CMO and Co-Founder of Profound Commerce

1 Rakuten Marketing, 2019
2Business Insider, 2019

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