Who Represents Your CPG Brand Best?

In a recent get-away to South Beach Miami, I was sitting by the pool only to be distracted by dozens of cellphones snapping pictures of someone who I thought was Justin Bieber. It wasn’t, and I had no idea who he was. I searched on Instagram and Twitter, and found a fan following. They shared this celebrity’s location and, lucky me, we were staying at the same hotel.

Even with this new information, I was shocked I did not recognize the name: Cameron Dallas. Known to the teen and millennial audience, Cameron is a Vine and YouTube star with over 10 million followers on the two social platforms combined. At age 20, Cameron had an entourage including a bodyguard, some model-type girls and a group of 20-something guys/side-kicks. Making over seven? mid-six? figures, Cameron is one of the few of a growing trend of social media influencers who directly speak to Millennials, given the flurry of selfies around the pool. But would he play in Peoria? 



In my quest to find out who he was, I came across a post by Lisa Barone from 2010, when Cameron was just 15, that discusses and categorizes the different types of influencers. According to Barone they are:

  • The Social Butterflies: Super large networks, know everyone and on every platform. They make intros and enjoy networking. 
  • The Thought Leaders: They have a niche in the industry they talk about or are most interested and their content is shared, liked and retweeted most often. 
  • The Reporter: These are your bloggers, or journalist who hold three things, press, coverage and links. 
  • The Trendsetter: The first to try new things, including the newest social media platforms. 
  • The Everyday Consumer: This person represents the regular customer, the person actually buying and using your product or service. 

Social media expert and author Jay Baer further refines this list, suggesting that influence requires two things: advocacy and audience. Baer says that marketers should not confuse the two. He goes on to say that the depth of conviction drives advocacy, and celebrity influencers are typically less committed to the product or company than are actual consumer advocates. But on the flip side, celebrities and social media stars, like Dallas, deliver impressions comparable to other digital media. 

There are many factors to consider when selecting and activating influencers for your brand. Here are some thought starters to help in your decision making process. 

  • Audience: Does the influencer’s audience align with your brand’s target?
  • Authenticity: What is the level of trust? Will the influencers’ audience trust the testimonial, endorsement or review? 
  • Scale: Is it more important to have massive reach or reach your exact target target? Is this an awareness play or advocacy play? 

Barone’s article, geared towards small business owners, translates well to CPG brands. At the top of the funnel, you have the largest audience, but conversely, you also have the lowest amount of trust. On the bottom of the funnel, you have the smallest audience size, but the greatest amount of trust. There is certainly a place in your marketing mix model for activating different types of influencers simultaneously. You just need to know where and when to use them and set different expectations regarding results for each type of influencer activation.

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