Alcoholic Beverage Marketers Can Boost Revenue by Using Influencers

BY Kathy Crosett
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It’s challenging to stand out in a crowded marketplace. If the messaging your clients have been using isn’t working as well as they want, they might want to pay a celebrity to tout the virtues of their product. Will that strategy work? The latest research shows alcoholic beverage marketers can boost revenue when they use influencers to tout their products.

Alcoholic Beverage Marketers and Influencers

Social media personalities have a big sway over social media devotees. But YouGov researchers were interested in knowing how well audiences responded to celebrity-​based pitches made by marketers in several product categories. The YouGov study sampled at least 500 adults over the age of 18 in 17 countries, using a “nationally representative sample.”

The findings with respect to alcoholic beverages were particularly noteworthy for U.S. marketers. 24% of surveyed U.S. consumers say that an endorsement by a celebrity, sports figures or influencer captures their attention. This percentage is much higher than the global average of 16%.

If your clients are launching a new local craft beer, they might want to consider paying for an endorsement. Marketers are often intimidated about the cost associated with a high-​profile influencer. Remind them that using a local influencer will be less expensive. And these local influencers may be more credible with the target market than a social media star with a million followers. As we wrote last year, “80% of marketers say that they prefer to work with micro-influencers.” Micro-​influencers are people who typically have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. They often don’t have a specific claim to fame. But they do have loyal followers, and if their audience aligns with the consumers your clients want to reach, you should be helping your clients set up the messaging with the influencer.

Celebrity Endorsements and Food Products

The YouGov study also surveyed consumer responses to celebrity endorsements for food products. Globally, about 25% of consumers will respond when a celebrity pitches a new kind of cracker or frozen food. However, in the U.S. the percentage is about 19%. While that figure averages out to about one in five consumers, your clients might have better luck promoting their new food products through one of the more established channels. For food products, sampling and coupons have long been effective in tempting consumers to try something new.

Household Products and Sport Star Pitches

Marketers have also frequently used the same formats when they are promoting new household products. Consumers are definitely more interested in trying a new paper towel or cleaning agent if it comes as a free sample or with an online or traditional coupon. The YouGov researchers found the lowest consumer response rate to celebrity endorsements in the household product category. Globally, only 18% of consumers said celebrities pitching items such as soap were effective. In the U.S., that number was only 11%.

The researchers didn’t delve into why the association between celebrities and the alcoholic beverage category resonated so strongly with consumers. But we can guess that an aspirational element may be at work here. Many consumers strongly identify with a specific celebrity’s success and may want to emulate that success when they are observing special occasions.

Remind your marketers that using more than one form of marketing is key to driving promotional and branding success. While your alcoholic beverage marketers can boost revenue by using influencers, they should also invest in digital marketing. You can capture a snapshot of their digital marketing activity using the newly updated Digital Audit, a tool offered by AdMall from SalesFuel. The competitive analysis version of the Digital Audit allows you to show your clients how their competitors are investing their digital marketing dollars. And this intelligence gives you the opportunity to sell your services and media formats.

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