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When it comes down to winning over influencers, 20-year veteran Andrea Donsky of Naturally Savvy shares what she’s learned about trust at Natural Products Expo East 2019.

Rachel Hommel

April 7, 2020

3 Min Read
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For any product, the biggest challenge in the market is discovery. How do you get your product found? How do you get consumers to try it? And most importantly, how do you even rise above the sea of entries?

“When you are trying to drive discovery, the place to start is with empathy. Start looking at it through the eyes of your consumers,” says Elliot Begoun, founder and brand champion at TIG and the session's moderator at Natural Products Business School at Expo East 2019.

According to Andrea Donsky of Naturally Savvy, now more than ever, influencers are a central component of that discovery, the “who” behind the brand. Why should a brand engage with an influencer? The simple answer: the acceleration of your brand. Here are more insights from the session.

“It all comes down to authenticity and relationships, reaching consumers where they are at."

Brands should be challenged to think about where their consumers work, eat, live, play and their habits and the best channels to reach the larger audience. Seventy percent of U.S. companies are now working with influencers. It is like talking to a friend. You are just reaching a bigger audience online.

Accelerating discovery and enhancing visibility, influencers can also help transfer consumer trust. As a trusted resource, advisor and voice, consumers will become more comfortable in purchasing or trying a product if an influencer celebrates your brand.

Donsky recommends finding the influencers that are right for your brand, define your ROI and strategy. Do your research. Follow influencers on social media, look at what they are posting and their brand message. Make sure you are aligned.

“If you’re not creating content, you’re not staying relevant. Brands need to educate."

In the discovery journey, creating regular content is key—written, video, podcasting. Find your expertise and channel and discover those influencers aligned with your brand, your mission, your ethos. Try everything you can to find the medium that works for you.

We live in a word of immediate return on investment. But for Donsky, she stresses consistency and authenticity. Content needs to be meaningful, actionable and resonate with the people you are trying to reach. If it doesn’t, it’s just noise.

Find the influencers that are right for you, to carry your brand’s voice. Define your strategy. Everything around discovery should start with empathy. Build authentic relationships, form those relationships, right now. They already have looked for you.

“Everything comes down to trust. It comes down to trust on both sides. It cannot be a one-way relationship."

If you trust the influencer, the influencer trusts you. Make it a long-term relationship. Avoid the quick one and done. Influencers become part of the DNA. They will be your advocate, your cheerleader. There needs to be a flow of energy on both sides.

Live Healthier. Be Informed. Get Inspired. Content is a long-tail activity. However, product discovery will always start and end with empathy. Influencers have the power to drive your story—outside the box and into the hands of your target consumers. 

About the Author(s)

Rachel Hommel

Passionate about the nexus of food science and technology, Rachel Hommel freelances in San Diego as a marketing strategist and innovation specialist, currently based at UC San Diego. She is also on the executive board for Slow Food Urban San Diego, promoting good, clean, fair food for all. 

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