Clark Nesselrodt, executive vice president of Brilliant PR & Marketing, talks about influencers and the top marketing strategies in the Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.
The Toy Book: How can toy companies best take advantage of influencer marketing?
No matter what your size or current influencer marketing activities, there are three actions any toy company can take to achieve growth through influencer marketing in 2022. 1) Acceleration: No matter what the current status of your influencer marketing program, do more in the year ahead. If you only focused on fostering relationships with 15-30 earned influencers last year, double that number this year, and think about adding in a few paid collaborations. If you spent $100,000 with paid influencers last year, think about borrowing from other budget areas to increase that budget this year. You can’t expect to grow by doing the same as you already did. Hopefully, you are coming into the new year with some learnings about what worked and what didn’t in 2021, and now you can calibrate your efforts and spend accordingly. 2) Diversification: Try different things. If you’ve only been focusing on YouTube family toy unboxings, think about how you can also speak to moms on Instagram. If you’ve been going deep on TikTok only, think about how to also generate some traction on other platforms. We never know when an algorithm change or cultural shift will send a platform spiraling. Diversify your influencer approach just like you would your stock portfolio. 3) Proliferation: This is closely tied to diversification, but you need to roll deep in these platforms and recognize that it is rare for one great collaboration to change your business overnight. Even if you are incredibly successful, your message/product/brand is appearing alongside thousands of others that the audience is being exposed to simultaneously. It’s not enough for them to hear it once. They may need to see it 3-5 times before taking action. Lastly, you simply must integrate your influencer content with your full 360-degree marketing and consumer engagement strategy. Focusing on a single post just doesn’t get you very far anymore.
TB: What will be some of the top marketing strategies in 2022?
At Brilliant PR, we are calling 2022 the year of owned content. Toy companies in particular have become very reliant on earned media, followed by their perennial emphasis on paid media (for the lucky companies that have the benefit of such budgets). But, paid dollars are often a luxury. Consumers are less likely to be swayed by paid advertising than ever. Owned content (the red-headed step-child of the toy industry’s marketing mix) comes with the potential to help address these challenges. We used to think of owned media as something ancillary and separate from earned and paid, but we are beginning to think first of owned content/creative, doing so in a way that creates earned media angles and breakthrough creative to fuel paid campaigns.
This article was originally published in the February 2022 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!
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