A well-vetted, archetypally aligned team of influencers can do what big marketing campaigns do for a fraction of the price. As Kate Dingwall says: “Influencers aren’t new, but in the beverage space, they have become prevalent – often as a growth strategy for new product launches or stale brands needing an image refresh.” They’re part brand ambassador, part trusted source, part content creator.
How to get it right
+ Start With Vetting: Before jumping in, alcohol brands have to vet talent first. Are they age-appropriate? Their audience too? As a rule of thumb, require your influencers to prove they’re over the age of 25. But also, that at least 70% of their followers are too.
+ Remember Your Passport: Different countries – and even regions – have different laws around what’s acceptable. For example, in Thailand, it’s actually illegal to post a selfie with your beer. Or any booze, actually. Travel is a cornerstone of alcohol advertising, and influencers travel a lot – check the posting rules in any country your creator will be visiting.
+ Nail The Brief: A good brief is essential – especially one that covers content limitations. This is second nature for alcohol brand’s marketing teams, but probably new to most influencers. Influencers easily overcome advertising obstacles while catering to mature audiences because their following is often niche and highly engaged. It’s easy to connect with the right audiences in a legal, tasteful way.
“Instead of creating one-off partnerships, build a team of ambassadors for more authentic content, and ongoing access to incredible data.”
+ Definitely Disclose: A recent study by Collective Bias shows 67% of consumers have no negative reaction to sponsored So always add #ad, #sponsored or #gifted. Or go a step further with built-in, paid partnership platform features.
+ Opt For Always-On: Instead of creating one-off partnerships, build a team of ambassadors for more authentic content, and ongoing access to incredible data. Influencers can tell you exactly how many people see each post. How many times they’ve seen it. Where their audience is, common interests they share, which content does well and what they want more of.
+ Try A New Platform: A platform like TikTok provides the playground necessary to make alcohol fly. Granted, there are a lot of kids on TikTok. But there’s plenty who are of drinking age, too. There might be fewer “alcohol influencers” on TikTok. But, they’ll likely have more followers and significantly higher engagement rates. ‘Bartender’ is in the top 24 hashtags on TikTok, suggesting it’s a great place to show off everything a booze brand can do with their product.
Who stands out on the social drinking scene?
+ Jack Daniel’s: JD wanted to raise awareness of their Honey whiskey and reach new audiences. We worked with them, interviewing influencers from snowboarders to ice-cream makers, rap artists to bakers about how they unwind and enjoy an ice-cold Jack Honey, driving a 7.9% engagement rate across earned content – whilst industry competitors at the time only managed 2.2%. Influencers from this campaign now exist as an always-on extension of Jack’s team, after the activation received a 100% positive sentiment.
+ Absolut Vodka: The Ben and Jerry’s of booze, community is echoed throughout everything they do from fair farming to zero waste and Pride rainbow vodkas. They’re also leaders at using always-on influencers well. Rico – Absolut’s in-house bartender – has been mixing drinks for over 18 years. He’s a trusted expert, who brings friendliness and familiarity to the brand.
+ Red Bull: Not technically an alcohol brand, but definitely not kid-focused, making Red Bull’s approach to social worth considering. Its TikTok is genius – speaking to the brand’s archetypal community with video clips of extreme sports or adrenaline seekers. Their products or logo rarely feature, pretty unique for any brand, and the content performs amazingly well.