Influencers will be all over Natural Products Expo West and Engredea this year. They will vary in size, reach and audience. Most of them will be women, and they reach the exact audience you want: moms and millennials.
Moms and millennials are the very people changing what the grocery store looks like. These groups are your friends. But they don’t operate in the same way consumers did years ago. The rules are different. The thought leaders are different. Today, someone working in their fuzzy slippers at home capturing their life can be more powerful and persuasive than an entire ad agency.
What does that mean for you? Paying attention to social media trends and the influencers that manage those conversations is in your best interest, especially if you want to grow and thrive. Your Expo West booth is the perfect opportunity to meet some of these professionals and establish a relationship with them.
Here are 7 tips to get prepared:
1. Don’t put the creepy guy in charge. Have someone friendly in charge of blogger relations at your booth, preferably someone with good energy and a pleasant smile. As you are speaking to them, they may also want to cover you on video for an Instagram story, Snapchat or Facebook. But even if you don’t get on camera, remember that relationships are everything. They want to connect with you. Be open, ask them about their blog and always smile.
2. Have something special for them. If you are handing out samples to everyone, have some full products in the back especially for influencers. At the very least, have some free product coupons for them accompanied by some information. Be careful not to load them down with too much paper because they will get a ton throughout the event. Also encourage them to try your products. You want them to taste, test and try everything. Remember, everything you do has an opportunity to get covered in some way.
3. How do you work with an influencer? Influencers work in different ways. If you want to know how you can work together, ask them, or stop by "From Traditional to Social Media: Mastering the Yin and Yang of Communicating and Working with Influencers" for more tips on how to work with them after Expo West.
4. Be informed about your product. Influencers will have questions about your product that you will need to be prepared to answer. They may ask you specific questions about ingredients, like GMOs, animal feed, antibiotics, nanoparticles, fragrance disclosure or the country of origin of your ingredients. Be ready for that. They may ask you about your packaging, whether it contains polyfluoroalkyl substances or whether you have bisphenols lining your cans. Understand these issues are important to their readers because they are on the cutting edge of consumer trends.
5. Rudeness is unwise. Don’t forget that these bloggers are independent and they have to write something interesting for their readers. You want to be on the positive end of that, not the negative one. Don’t ignore them when they are there; treat them with respect and remember they are a conduit to the target audience you want to reach.
6. Up your social media moment! Make your booth colorful and fun. Bloggers are constantly looking for things that will look good on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and their blogs, or perhaps all four. Don’t miss out on that opportunity. And have your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account names clearly displayed so they can give you credit on the fly.
7. Never utter this word: mommy blogger. That’s what the traditional media calls them, and they hate it. In fact, try to unlearn that word completely. Today you can call them influencers or bloggers. Just stick to that.
Catch Leah Segedie at Natural Products Expo West.
What: From Traditional to Social Media: Mastering the Yin and Yang of Communicating & Working with Influencers
When: 10:15 a.m., March 11, 2017
Where: Marriott, Grand Salon G