At 50 million strong, there are almost as many creators globally as there are millennials in the American workforce. As influencers take over critical advertising technology functions such as audience engagement and conversion, a new wave of influencer brands is penetrating retail markets while delivering powerful results.
2022 Revealed Influencers’ Power To Drive CPG Engagement
For influencers, winning a promotional contract with a major brand is the first step toward digital stardom. However, many creators are now launching products and partnering with retailers as a way to leverage their existing star power in areas beyond beauty and fashion.
A recent survey of 1,100 American consumers by Field Agent and The University of Arkansas revealed that only 37 percent of consumers did not take into account content about CPGs on social media when considering a purchase. Most consumers considered the content they found on social media about CPGs in their purchasing decisions, with 17 percent being “quite” or “very” important to their product choice.
Source: Field Agent
One key driver of conversions through social media content appears to be influencers – especially for Gen Z consumers. Recent data from a survey of Gen Z University of California Berkeley students revealed that 79 percent spend between two and six hours engaging with social media, and 75 percent of making a purchase after watching an influencer’s video. That power to inspire consumers to shop has not been lost on influencers, with 75 percent reporting business growth in the past year and 40 percent raising their rates, according to a Collectively survey of 383 influencers.
Influencers’ confidence in raising their rates may be tied to more than just high view counts – consumers report making multiple CPG purchases based on exposure to influencer content. That may indicate shoppers are beginning to rely on influencer content not just for impulse buys but as a resource for insight on everyday CPG purchases. TikTok was a key driver for consumer engagement in 2022, and that influence is also apparent in CPG conversions. In addition to introducing consumers to new products, influencers’ CPG content appears to drive loyalty: 56 percent of those who purchased CPGs based on an influencer’s content remained loyal to that same brand and purchased it again at least once.
Source: Field Agent
Why Top Influencers Are Jumping Into Creating “Everyday” CPGs
While only 10 percent of content creators on social platforms like YouTube make over $80k per year, those who earn much more are increasingly turning to create their own brands producing items that consumers might purchase at a Walmart or an Aldi. Of the estimated $4 billion creators earned on YouTube, the lion’s share went to top-tier influencers, with leaders like Mr. Beast, Jake Paul, and Markiplier leading the pack. For top YouTube stars who can generate millions in ad revenue even without making endorsements, the appeal of launching their own brand is a powerful lure.
First, as the Walmart SVP and chief marketing officer William White stated, “the future of retail is social commerce.” Influencers are able to sell out entire inventories in minutes – why wouldn’t they venture into brand creation as well? For its part, Walmart more than tripled its influencer-led livestream e-commerce events, from 30 in 2021 to over 100 in 2022, according to the Harvard Business Review.
One example is Logan Paul and KSI’s rapid sellout of their Prime Hydration drink via a promotion with retailer Aldi. Aldi promoted the drinks as a Special Buy with a limit of 3 bottles per customer and sold out within minutes of store openings, leading to soaring (and unofficial) secondary market sales topping $120 per bottle. Sports drinks like Prime Hydration experienced a nearly 15 percent boost in revenues in 2022, according to NielsenIQ, with drinks marketed as providing vitamins, minerals, or “advanced” hydration like Prime Hydration frequently experiencing double-digit growth.
While Aldi has used social influencers for years, the Prime Hydration promotion represented a promotion of a modern influencer-created brand using tried-and-true tactics usually reserved for everyday values on laundry detergent or macaroni and cheese. For influencers, the campaign, despite Logan Paul’s controversial past, represents the potential for creator brands to infiltrate retail spaces that target a broad audience—not just fans.
Forays into food and drink, even by top influencers, are relatively rare, with only Mr. Beast’s MrBeast Burger making Influencer Hub’s Top 100 brands last year.