As influencer marketing is evolving, brands are sorting out how to best use socially created content. Professional skin-care brand Cosmedix recently launched a campaign with not just influencers, but also some of its biggest brand enthusiasts.According to A.T. Kearney, social media now drives product discovery with 37 percent of consumers noting they learn about new beauty products from social posts or online product reviews. To that end, Cosmedix decided to activate a campaign that would turn discovery into sales. Instead of rounding up a cadre of just influencers, the company pinpointed a mix of people who are advocates, referrers and loyalists to the brand.In the past, Astral Health & Beauty, the parent of Cosmedix, turned to mega-influencers, especially for its Purpose brand. But considering the theory that the best endorsements come from customers, the strategy was broadened. “I wouldn’t say that the power of influencers has totally shifted away from celebrity or mega-influencers; it’s the realization that, just as in any good marketing program, you have to have a healthy mix of tactics to realize your return-on-investment,” explained Julie Campbell, vice president of marketing for Astral Health & Beauty. “We found that celebrities/mega-influencers were able to bring a wonderful level of cache to the brand, but it did not always convert to sales.” But a true fan garners great engagement, she added.With zero spend on media or influencer activations, Cosmedix teamed with influencer marketing platform Mavrck to identify and invite relevant micro-influencers, brand advocates, referrers and loyalists to join what it dubbed the Cosmedix Crowd.“Influencer marketing has long been a part of beauty and cosmetics marketers’ playbooks, but faced with the dynamic proliferation of digital channels and increasing complexities of social marketing, it has become increasingly difficult to scale using traditional tactics,” explained Lyle Stevens, cofounder and chief executive officer of Mavrck. “Rarely does an influencer marketing strategy focus on building authentic, long-term relationships with influential consumers and advocates who are already genuinely passionate about the brand. We thought we could design a new influencer marketing model to accomplish that and help brands like Cosmedix scale their influencer marketing strategies organically.” He said the brand is one of the first to incorporate this type of integrated influencer marketing program.The influencers created content on Instagram for key product lines and repurposed across digital touch points. The people identified as active advocates and referrers amplified the Cosmedix brand content on Facebook to drive purchases on the company’s e-commerce site. And surveys of the influencers, advocates, referrers and loyalists were tapped for feedback to help with future strategies.The Cosmedix Crowd of more than 3,000 members helped the brand earn more than 3.4 million impressions and 34,500 engagements on average per 100 activations. Moreover, the company saw a 527 percent return on investment from purchases made as a result of the Cosmedix Crowd activations.“We will scale, optimize, test, learn and relearn. Now that the engine has been built, we won’t stop here as the influencer relations space is moving far too fast,” Campbell said. In the pipeline are enhanced forms of personalized communication with its influencer community, along with revenue generating initiatives such as integrated ratings and reviews, and a robust refer-a-friend program.Cosmedix refreshed its brand in 2016 resulting in double-digit growth in its key markets such as Australia, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., according to Campbell.
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