MARKETERS – Set The Trend: the secrets of influencer marketing that works

Greta Lazzarotto
luglio 2024 - 5 minuti

What do successful influencer marketing activities have in common? If you attended the last MARKETERs Club event, tell us. If you didn’t follow the MakeIT!23 – Set the Trend speeches or would like a recap – we’ll tell you now.

The potential – and must-haves – of videos (short and vertical!)

Planet Earth, 2023: what content has the highest engagement rate? Yes, the short-form videos.
Alice Radi, Global Marketing Manager, and Mariangela Siclari, Project Manager of COSMIC, a very young AdTech company specialising in vertical short-form videos, first of all revealed to us the more ‘technical’ ingredients that need to be dosed in a vertical short-form video, so that it can aspire to virality and launch a trend: in addition to the aforementioned vertical format and brevity, a well-defined storytelling format and the use of viral audio, transitions, filters and trendy engagement features are required.

Is this enough? No. The success of a short video is given, especially on the TikTok platform, by a skilful mix of creativity, creator and advertising. The way they work together creates the perfect content formula: never the same and always ready to change according to business objectives.

Why short video, why TikTok

By following the recipe of a well-made short video, the result will be an immersive experience, reduced viewing time, more authentic style and language: characteristics that make a vertical short video achieve on TikTok a VTR (ratio between the number of views and interactions) of +50% compared to the platform benchmark.

But why do we focus specifically on TikTok?
Well, the audience on the platform counts 1 billion users (40% Gen Z and 60% over 25), with a daily average of 90 min spent on the app. Oh, and it is the platform with the highest number of unduplicated users, in the series: if you want to reach them, you get them here.
Shall we talk about performance? An engagement rate between 6 and 10 per cent (practically 90 per cent more than other socials), high reach at low cost and 70 per cent of users using TikTok as a search engine to spot products they are interested in.

Benefit Cosmetics: the beauty brand that pampers influencers

A brand with a strong personality, born in San Francisco in 1976 and arrived in Italy in 2008 (acquired in 2000 by the luxury group LVMH), Benefit Cosmetics has created a successful community. How? It was explained by Valentina Pasotti and Giulia Santoloci, Senior Marketing & Digital Manager and Digital Advocate at Benefit Cosmetics, who have always been convinced of the potential of creators (both in the upper funnel and for conversion objectives).

Benefit Cosmetics’ secret lies in emotionally connecting influencers to the brand and establishing authentic relationships: the company has always aimed to build positive sharing moments, involving creators in fun experiences connected to brand values.

Case studies: Pinkmas Experience, Lockdown Birthday Party and Friends with Benefit

In Italy, Benefit Cosmetics has an ongoing relationship with 381 creators: a relationship that over the past year has resulted in 5300 pieces of content posted by influencers and an EMV (the value generated by creators’ content)

of 18 million euros. Here are some of the influencer marketing activities by Benefit Cosmetics that have yielded nothing short of exciting results for the investment:

  • Chalet Pink 2022. Two days of Pinkmas Experience in the Alps for 4 influencers, involved in fun activities related to the Benefit Cosmetics world. The result: 46 unpaid content generated by the creators, an EMV of 518,000 and a relationship with the influencers that lives on well beyond the event.
  • Lockdown Birthday Party. It’s April 2020, in the middle of Lockdown. The influencer Giulia Salemi has a birthday and, given the impossibility of Giulia and anyone else celebrating in the company of friends, Benefit Cosmetics decides to show its closeness to the creator by sending her flowers, cake and a box with the influencer’s favourite Benefit products. A simple but most welcome gesture at such a time, which generated 10 Instagram stories, €21,000 in EMV and a 100% ROI with a zero-cost investment.
  • Friends with Benefit. A branded content project between Benefit and Sephora Italia, i.e. a show aired on Mediaset Play where 2 pairs of super influencers compete in games and adventures inspired by Benefit Cosmetics product worlds. With a laughable budget, the brand landed on TV for the first time, where it maximised its brand awareness and invested in brand storytelling. Not bad, right?

Not the product, but the emotion: Listerine

In influencer marketing, as in marketing in general, there is little point in showing the product (after all, does anyone remember a successful comparative advertisement?). Benefit knows this, which on TV with Friends with Benefit never shows cosmetics but its own values; Nike and Apple, to mention two brands that are not exactly random, have always known this. Luca Discacciati – creator, entrepreneur and trader, particularly active on YouTube – also tells us about it, taking us back in time to the early 1900s with the Listerine case.
From antiseptic for intimate hygiene, to mouthwash: the product began to sell when Mr. Listerine coined the term halitosis and advertised the mouthwash through the why of the product, showing the exclusionary situations resulting from unscented breath: Listerine became the solution to halitosis and… sold!

The only rule: authenticity

For creators, today it is like this, tomorrow who knows. There are no rules or trends that hold, as Jakidale, Italy’s best-known tech youtuber, argued in his speech: more than strategy it is important to try, experiment and understand what works with one’s audience. We have also seen this with vertical short videos, with TikTok and with the relationships and moments created by Benefit Cosmetics: the common denominator of successful influencer marketing is authenticity.