Kayla Quock, director of brand marketing, Traackr
The term “data-driven influencer marketing” gets thrown around a lot, but many brands still struggle with how to turn the data they gather into clear influencer strategies.
One data-driven influencer marketing success story is the case of Japanese beauty giant Shiseido. In 2020, when the pandemic put many marketers in holding patterns, Shiseido’s attention among influencers was on the rise. Then, in 2021, Shiseido not only doubled down its investment in influencer marketing, it built new strategies that balanced experimentation with tried-and-true tactics.
Setting influencer marketing goals
To identify its focus areas, the Shiseido team first evaluated its 2020 performance in partnership with influencer marketing platform Traackr.
Traackr’s Brand Vitality (VIT) Score enabled Shiseido to break down performance into three categories that the Shiseido team actively tracked to set goals. Those goals included three pillars: visibility (reach of content), impact (engagement generated) and brand trust (quality of content on brand image).
“We built our 2021 strategy by using Traackr to identify what drove the most VIT for us, so we knew what to keep doing — and for our competitors, so we could identify what new things to experiment with,” said Erin Kelly, director of integrated communications and influencer engagement at Shiseido.
Each influencer marketing initiative selected for 2021 was carefully mapped to the three pillars. For example, the analysis with Traackr revealed that video content contributed significantly to Shiseido’s visibility. Based on that insight, the team invested more in sponsored video content from new and existing influencer partners. Influencers received briefs that asked them to highlight product texture, packaging and application.
“We knew it was important to preserve creative freedom and authenticity, especially on video platforms like TikTok,” said Kelly. “We kept our briefs vague so that we could empower our influencers to create content in their own tone, style, and wheelhouse.” This strategy led to video content ruling high-performing posts in 2021 and increased the brand’s video views by 79% year-over-year.
Leveraging influencer events to boost engagement
Another finding from Shiseido’s analysis with Traackr was that experiential influencer events are incredibly impactful. For example, in July 2021, Shiseido hosted its third annual Malibu Beach House Event alongside its longtime PR agency partner, Innovative PR (IPR) and founder Jennifer Betts. The brand activated a highly curated set of 165 influencers and press to participate in multiple experiences across three days.
“Finding and partnering with the right influencers was extra important because they had bigger roles than previous years,” said Kelly. “We used Traackr to shortlist influencers that were both high-performing and loyal, paid and organic, to our brand.”
During the three-day event, VIP influencers — i.e., those with 5 million or more followers — hosted experiences centered around purpose-driven themes. Adrian Grenier and Katharine McPhee, known for their environmental activism work, hosted Shiseido’s Blue Project Beach Cleanup. Similarly, Rosie Acosta, a popular meditation instructor, led a guided meditation class incorporating the power of scent using Shiseido’s Ultimune product. Ultimately, the event performed better than in earlier years, earning more than 154 million impressions, 348,000 engagements and resulting in the company achieving the third-highest growth in engagement rate in its market.
Shiseido’s strategic investment in video content, experiential events and tailor-made VIP influencer partnerships enabled the brand to get more reach and video views from content, increase engagement rates and earn more dedicated brand posts from influencers. In terms of its annual influencer marketing goal, not only did Shiseido increase its overall VIT score by 54%, it placed in the 93rd percentile for year-over-year growth.
“Extracting quantitative data that accurately informs strategy and ties to business impact has been an ongoing challenge for the entire influencer marketing industry,” said Kelly.
Sponsored by: Traackr