Influencers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) have emerged as an effective way to build awareness and affinity amongst consumers. Over the past year as social commerce solutions have grown in popularity, tapping into influencers has become an even more effective way for brands to drive hype, build excitement and generate real-time conversions.
For many B2C retailers, PR has long since acted as a key communication channel between brands and KOLs, with send-outs and press events allowing brands to get their product in the hands of this influential group of consumers. As the influence and effectiveness of KOL’s has grown, PR activities have become increasingly lavish as brands fight for attention and airtime on influencer’s social channels.
Yet in recent years, many brands have started to receive backlash from KOL’s and their audiences relating to the wastage PR activities can create. It’s commonplace, for example, for beauty brands to send the entire color range of a beauty product to a single influencer so they can choose the product that best matches their skin, without taking into account the amount of wasted product and packaging this practice causes.
Similarly, many popular KOLs simply receive more products than they could ever go through in their lifetime – most of which come in bulky boxes with multiple layers of packaging. Even the most minimal of send-outs often contain a plastic package, bubble wrap and cellophane or other non-recyclable elements.
With consumers becoming increasingly eco-conscious, brands – and particularly those who list sustainability as a core value – have had to rethink their approach to PR. Many brands have been forced to innovate in order to get their products across influencers’ desks in a way that is not only exciting and shareable – but also sustainable.
Clothing retailer Gap has begun to take a more considered route to their gifting processes, asking influencers and KOLs whether they would like to receive a recycled-down coat from the brand themselves or whether they would prefer to donate it to charity. Many influencers understandably opted for the donation, with the charitable act itself inevitably garnering more press coverage than the traditional ‘gifting’ likely would have done.
Tag recently partnered with Aveda to help the brand create a more sustainable approach to influencer gifting, with a press box that was made of 100% FSC recycled paper. This approach helped Aveda form a stronger connection with KOLs who received the press box by building increased awareness of Aveda’s mission as a sustainable brand and driving affinity amongst a conscious consumer group.
Social listening can be another effective tool for brands looking to connect more authentically with consumers and KOLs by sending products only when they meet the influencer’s needs. As an example, not only is this approach more cost-effective, it also comes across as more authentic and relatable to audiences which in turn fosters greater brand affinity and connection.
At Tag, we partner with brands and agencies to facilitate end-to-end marketing solutions. Our team of social and digital marketing experts help our clients create faster, simpler, cost-effective and consumer-centric marketing campaigns that help brands form deeper, lasting connections with their consumers.
Schedule a call today to discuss your sustainable marketing needs with us.