I recently came across an interesting example of how using influencers can help drive awareness and rapid trial. Markerly, a pioneer in influencer marketing, conducted a search to identify the most influencial “cat” voices on Instagram and TikTok. The campaign included product placements and new takes on the MeowMix jingle and achieved significant, rapid results. Below, Justin Kline, CEO and Founding Director of Markerly, provides insight on the campaign.
Kimberly Whitler: Can you provide some background on your business?
Justin Kline: Markerly is an influencer marketing agency working with some of the largest consumer brands and advertising agencies in the world to create influencer campaigns on popular social media channels including Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.
Whitler: Why did you decide to focus on an influencer strategy to drive awareness?
Kline: For this campaign in particular, our client Meow Mix wanted to make a big splash on social media to promote the launch of their new Tasty Layers food line. Along with that launch came a vinyl record of Meow Mix jingle remixes — because why not!? It’s no secret that cat content is, has and likely always will be some of the most popular content on the internet. Not only are there countless cat-owning influencers but just as many influencers who are literal cats themselves. Going with an influencer strategy presented itself as the clearest choice to drive awareness for MeowMix’s Tasty Layers line and catchy, remixed jingles. There are many competitors in the cat food industry, popular cat influencers and creative content that incorporated the latest trends on TikTok and Instagram Reels were a surefire way to cut through the noise
Whitler: What was the process you followed to develop an influencer strategy?
Kline: To help Meow Mix stand out from the competition, Markerly targeted humans and cat influencers who really immersed themselves in cat internet culture. Our team also took a close look at account demographics to determine if there was a dedicated follower base consisting of cat lovers and other cat-fluencer accounts who would engage with the post and spread its reach to other interested users. That meant looking at quality of followers and engagements, not just volume. Creativity was also a big component of this campaign – we wanted the cat-fluencers and their humans to really run with the product placements, audio and campaign messaging and put their own spin on it. Creators with a history of fun, silly and engaging takes on the latest trends were a must. This helped us decide which accounts to target, that would not only produce content for the jingle but also promote the new Meow Mix Tasty Layers product to fellow cat lovers.
Whitler: What were the results?
Kline: Between May and June 2021, a total of 31 posts made by four creators raked in 2.5M engagements (for a rate of 26%–significantly above the industry average of 2-4%) and a total reach of 9.5M users to date. We’ve seen successful social media trends where Dominos and Old Spice brought back some of their most popular campaigns, further proving our suspicion that what was once old can be new and relevant again, if you add a modern twist.
Whitler: What recommendations do you have for other companies and marketers on how to develop a successful influencer program?
Kline: Make sure to collaborate with your team or brands you’re working with to come up with creative ways to tap into new audiences. Keep up to date on industry trends, and scope out how competitors are using social media. What are they doing that’s working? As we saw with the Meow Mix campaign, it is possible to bring old campaigns, songs, taglines and themes back to life with new mediums like short-video sharing. If you’re considering this route, think of innovative ways to target relevant influencers and recruit them to help spread the word about your product/brand.
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