By Jan Iverson
Of influencer marketing categories, food and beverage saw the most success in terms of interest and the potential to drive action. Behind it was health and wellness and beauty and personal care, with the latter replacing technology, which held the slot in 2020.
The immersive influencer takeover
Brands are moving towards longer ambassadorships with immersive influencers from six months to a year instead of one-off campaigns to enrich content storytelling beyond just brand awareness. Immersive influencer marketing strategies are making a move further down the funnel on unexpected platforms. For example, SurveyMonkey used influencers on TikTok (not usually a B2B marketing strategy) to complement product-first content on LinkedIn.
What are immersive techniques?
Immersive experiences can enhance the overall customer experience, drive purchase decisions, improve conversions, and reduce return rates. You can create immersive customer experiences by merging simulated or digital reality with the physical world using technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
Lay of the immersive marketing land
Immersive influencers are key to driving customer behavior by leveraging the influencer’s reach and engagement with their audience to create a more memorable and impactful experience that resonates with their target audience.
- 81% of consumers report that social media posts from influencers, friends or family members drove interest in an item or service within the past year, according to findings from agency Matter Communications.
- Of influencer marketing categories, food and beverage saw the most success in terms of interest and the potential to drive action. Behind it was health and wellness and beauty and personal care, with the latter replacing technology, which held the slot in 2020.
- 36% of consumers placed YouTube at the top of the list for having the most authentic influencer marketing content.
- 61% of those surveyed find relatable personalities most appealing, followed by expert personalities (43%), just-for-fun personalities (32%), and aspirational personalities (28%). Perhaps, as a result, preference for celebrity influencers is at a mere 11%, down from 17-22% who said the same in Matter’s 2020 report.
Steady interest in influencer marketing follows continued buy-in by brands and increased creator resources by social media platforms.
Ways 3 brands are working with immersive influencers
Charlotte Tidbury – Virtual store events
- Charlotte Tidbury was one of the first cosmetics brands to create a digital storefront using VR. The brand partners with influencers to showcase and demonstrate its products and even offers exclusive discounts for those who purchase directly on TikTok.
- In November 2020, the brand launched a 3D digital store where shoppers can explore, shop and receive personalized recommendations from virtual store associates.
- Charlotte Tilbury also hosts live events with influencers, including makeup and skincare tutorials within the digital store.
- Customers can also shop with friends via a video call within the virtual store.
Petco – Follower engagement boosts sales
- Petco leveraged its existing influencer partnerships to launch a TikTok campaign that reached over 28 million impressions for its pet apparel brand.
- The brand partners with Facebook to engage pet lovers and pet parents in shoppable live stream events. Its first live shopping event combined a pet fashion show with a dog adoption drive hosted by actress and model Arielle Vandenberg.
- Other shopping events have been hosted by Olympian, Gabby Douglas with the team interacting with shoppers in real time and promoting relevant products on screen.
- Petco’s immersive campaigns also showcase its mission. It donated $100K to a dog rescue organization while building brand awareness of its pet apparel, which reached more than 900K people and doubled sales.
Nike – Offline-to-online influencer campaign
- Nike’s #Breaking2 Campaign: Nike partnered with three elite runners to attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier.
- They documented the entire process and created a film about the attempt, which they promoted through social media and influencer partnerships. The campaign generated over 2 billion impressions and helped to position Nike as a leader in innovation and performance.
Marketing budget worthy
Immersive influencer marketing can help businesses create a more authentic and personalized customer experience, which can increase trust and brand loyalty over time. The combination of influencer marketing and immersive media can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and create innovative marketing strategies that drive engagement, sales and brand loyalty.
By allowing influencers to operate holistically without specific direction or dictates, brands have the opportunity to create a stronger affinity, not only with influencer partnerships, but also with their vast network of followers.
Jan Iverson is the Creative Director at FS Studio and an award-winning product leader with over 20-years of extensive experience in digital media and marketing, with a specialization in the design and development of AR, VR and 3D activations: mobile apps, games, LBE, sales tools, digital twins; with XR cross-platform content development, and a track record of success in leading award-winning digital creative teams. Virtually Human is her bi-weekly series.