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Drinking Under The Influence - Influencer Beverage Marketing

7 2022

Ready to partner with social media influencers to step up your beverage marketing strategy, boost brand awareness and sales, and take your beverage brand into the 21st century? Here’s what you need to know.

Planning your influencer marketing strategy

Rather than approaching influencer marketing as a standalone strategy, it’s critical to determine how it fits in with your current marketing plans. Decide:

  • How much of your budget you’ll spend on influencer marketing
  • Which channels and platforms will be the focus of your campaign
  • How you’ll create compelling content that will resonate with your target audience.

If your brand has a digital-first approach when it comes to marketing strategy, you can consider devoting a greater percentage of your budget to snagging the right influencer for your campaign. But if your brand is primarily focused on older or more traditional markets that are less receptive to influencers, you should think about starting off small with a mini-campaign, and seeing how it works for your product.

According to a recent survey from Linqia, 71 percent of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2020. Pairing with an influencer has become an inseparable part of beverage marketing strategy. Manufacturers must consider this method as an industry standard, not a passing trend, that their brands would be wise to fully embrace.

To ensure that your influencer marketing campaign reaches the best eyeballs for your goals, consider where to find your market. Which social media channels are most popular among your clients and target audiences? 

Market research is your best friend in this situation. If you’re trying to reach Gen Z, TikTok is likely your best bet. Millennials are highly engaged Instagram users and the age group most likely to make a purchase based on content they’ve seen in the app. For Baby Boomers, Facebook is definitely the most effective medium

Getting creative with content is an important aspect of your beverage marketing plan. Simply slapping a branded bottle in a popular influencer’s hand is not enough. Consider quirky or funny content, such as advertisements or contests that are designed to go viral. 

How To Market A New Soft Drink: Download The eBook Now

Comedienne Rebel Wilson’s triple collaboration with Chiptole, UberEats, and Hinge was a huge success. The campaign was aimed at helping singles find a romantic partner for a night in, rather than out on the town. Wilson’s authentic image proved to be a great fit for the brands, and all three brands invested in engaging, unexpected features that organically boosted engagement. 10 fans ordering Chipotle on UberEats had the opportunity to get personal dating advice from Wilson, and the dating app Hinge allowed users to match with each other based on their orders!                     

Interacting with fans who are inspired by your influencer marketing campaign is also a great move to keep your consumers engaged and build organic hype. For example, reposting a video by a fan parodying your campaign is a huge win for your brand awareness and reputation.

When setting a budget for your beverage marketing campaign with an influencer, make sure to stay realistic. Calculate the ROI that you’d need in order to make the sponsorship worth it, and determine what you’re willing to spend accordingly.

Get in touch with the RC Cola Team for influencer marketing advice

Finding the right influencers

Not all influencers are created equal, and a social media star who has 10 million followers may not be the best choice for your brand and your business’ unique needs. Research, research, research about the type of influencer that’s the most likely to strike a chord with your consumers. 

Due diligence is extremely important. With everything from followers to likes and comments available for purchase, don’t be blinded by hype that may not be real. Verify that the influencer you’re investing in has a truly engaged audience, and that they are appealing and relatable to your target market and demographic.

Not every effective influencer is a household name or well-known celebrity. Micro-influencers can be an amazing tool for targeting specific niches such as health-conscious or environmentally active consumers. Micro-influencers have smaller follower counts than their high profile counterparts, measured in the thousands instead of in the millions, but with their message finely tuned to their audience, they could provide a better return on investment for your business.

For example, vegan influencers have an especially strong impact on their followers. Vegans are highly conscious consumers who carry out significant research to make sure that a potential purchase is in line with their ethical standards, and they may look to a trusted influencer for a “seal of approval” indicating that a product is safe. 

The same goes for Millennial influencers. Their audiences are receptive to an endorsement by an influencer whose online persona matches their interests and values. Rather than simply selecting the influencer with the largest number of followers, you should focus on finding the perfect match for your consumers’ preferences. 

How To Market A New Soft Drink  Download The Ebook Now

RC Cola: A pioneer in influencer marketing

In the pre-internet era, RC Cola was one of the first brands to use celebrity endorsements, as far back as some 80 years ago. Some of the biggest pin-up stars of the 1940s, including no less than legendary bombshell Rita Hayworth and rugged heartthrob John Wayne appeared alongside an RC Cola beverage.

More recently, RC Cola’s Lithuanian franchise successfully launched an influencer marketing campaign featuring the lead singer of the musical group SEL. By partnering with arguably one of the biggest celebrities in the country, RC Cola was able to significantly increase its sales and market share in Lithuania.

Analyzing campaign success

According to a report from Influencer Marketing Hub, the most common measure of influencer marketing success is conversions and sales. An overwhelming majority - 90 percent - of respondents to a survey conducted by IMH said they found influencer marketing to be effective, so no matter how you measure ROI, most brands find that the practice benefits their business.

Help with influencer marketing and other marketing campaigns is one major benefit of becoming an RC Bottler. Leveraging our 110+ years of beverage marketing strategy, we’d love to guide you in developing the best plan for your brand.
Get in touch with the RC Cola Team!