It’s natural to be sceptical of beauty product placements. How do we know it actually works - and how much is Photoshop with a strong dose of Valencia filter?
No7 is going a step beyond product placement - driving sales with its newest and largest campaign that focuses on real results.
In doing so, the brand is creating a holy buzz surrounding its new ‘glow-activating’ serum on social media. The secret sauce here, of course, is a strong fistful of influencers.
Skincare and makeup brand No7 has pulled out all the stops to promote its new product - Early Defence Glow Activating Serum. It’s kicked off its largest influencer marketing campaign yet, using a range of high profile influencers, paid social and programmatic advertising (more on this later) to show tangible product results.
Influencers involved in the campaign include husband-and-wife designer duo Mr. Kate, actress Meghan Rienks, and beauty vlogger Irish Beilin. The three influencers boast over a whopping 2.2m combined followers on Instagram alone.
Purpose of campaign
This is a brilliant example of results-led marketing that’s creating a massive hype. Influencers show off their bare faces, beaming with success stories from their #Glowin7 week-long skincare challenge.
The brief was this: Use the activating serum every day for seven days and share the honest results with followers on Instagram posts and short testimonials on YouTube. Of course, there’s a big focus on sales - encouraging followers to buy the product and give the challenge a go themselves.
No7’s senior brand director Hillary Hutcheson told Digiday UK that the company was “specifically looking for people who embodied the millennial mindset” and the influencers in question “fit the bill”. The tangible results and power of influencers generate brand awareness and long-lasting loyalty - but they also drive sales with direct links to the product in influencer bios.
No7 used influencer matchmakers Octoly and marketing software Tribe Dynamics to streamline the best people to connect to its millennial target market. The latter is becoming an increasing trend in the world of advertising: programmatic advertising is basically automated digital ad buying.
It promises to make ad buying cheaper and more efficient compared to the traditional process, saving humans from the more time-consuming tasks involved. For the launch of the serum, No7 engaged over 500 influencers with hundreds of product mailings.
Long-term partnerships with influencers are an important focus for the brand, which has previously worked with Mr. Kate and hopes to carry on with the other influencers. This is not a quick marketing fix: Iris Beilin spent three weeks in total on the campaign, including planning and the challenge itself.
Halfway through the challenge, Meghan Rienks’ skin was glowing so much she ditched the makeup. Her followers swooned at the results. Mr Kate had clearer pores, softer skin and seems positively radiant in her diary-style video.
There’s no doubt the influencers whittled down for this campaign did a stellar job of engaging their target audience and generating sales for No7 - whether through encouraging beauty bloggers to dive into the seven-day challenge or millennials desperate for that glow. To generate a bigger buzz around the product, No7 arranged an exclusive VIP event for the launch.
Hosted by Stephanie Mark of Coveteur, the LA-located party roped in 150 fashion, beauty and lifestyle influencers, with a feature on the Coveteur site for extra exposure.
Campaigns don’t get more solid than this. Meghan Rienks’ partnership announcement on Instagram had almost 52,000 likes. Mr Kate’s had over 32,000. Of course, No7 will be monitoring the data - tracking engagement rates, impressions, and site click-throughs from influencer posts.
One of the interesting factors here is the use of influencers who aren’t straight-up ‘beauty bloggers’. In a world drowning in brand and blogger collaborations, it can be exhausting trying to spot the difference between what’s real and what isn’t.
No7 were thorough with its brief - that the product had to be used for seven days, every day, with an honest account of the results to drive genuine interest. Championing longer-term influencer partnerships also creates a richer authenticity to the endorsements, driving steady sales that last.
It’s tricky to find a beauty blogger account that doesn’t look the same as the rest of them these days - so using actresses and designers in this campaign gives millennials the diversity they crave.