What are Customized Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Authenticity will always pay off for your brand more than a quantity-based approach to influencer marketing. Today, we’re speaking with Rachel Butts about the steps she took to grow Mabel Label’s online presence and better reach its target audience.
Rachel Butts started working at Mabel’s Labels right out of university as a marketing assistant and worked her way up to public relations associate, then the brand development and public relations lead. She leads the strategy of the entire PR team at Mabel’s Labels, which is a kid’s peel and stick label company that specializes in labels for things that kids commonly lose, such as clothing, water bottles, food containers, etc.
Mabel’s Labels was founded 19 years ago by four moms in a basement looking to create labeling solutions for parents. When they started their company, they were fortunate that it got picked up pretty quickly and by a-list celebrities like Reese Witherspoon. This was likely due to the labels being a trendsetting product. At this time, most parents would sharpie their kids’ names on their things, but this would wash out and wasn’t as visually appealing as the functional, custom, and cute Mabel’s Labels.
Mabel’s Label Influencer Marketing Strategy: A Personal Approach
Mabel’s Labels’ target audience is within the mom community. Many of Mabel’s Labels employees are moms themselves, giving their company a very genuine approach and communication style with their audience.
Rachel and her team prefer to focus most of their influencer marketing on Instagram because that’s where they have found the most engagement over the years. Other social media platforms that perform well for them include Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. In particular, TikTok is something Mabel’s Labels is interested in expanding into because they see the trend that videos are becoming more and more critical to content creation. However, they currently focus most of their efforts on Instagram influencers.
Generally, Rachel will provide labels to any influencers asking for samples of their labels so that they can try the labels themselves and see that they truly do stick, last a long time, and stay put, even when you wash them.
Rachel’s team also takes a personal approach with influencers and treats it more like a friendship than a business transaction. They regularly message influencers asking what’s going on in their lives and treat them as friends.
This approach also translates into the PR packages that Mabel’s Labels send out. Their PR packages contain beautiful, new labels and a personal note like, “Hello and thanks for being loyal to us for all this time, we made some labels for you and your family. Let us know if you need anything else.”
How Sponsorships Are Handled
When Mabel’s Labels does pay an influencer to talk about their product, they leave the influencer with creative control over the campaign allowing influencers to stay within their own branding. She typically gives sponsored influencers some high-level points to hit, such as product features, then tells them to create the content in their own style and tone.
“We would never want to interrupt that… [with] very strict rules for how we want them to share their content. We want them to be genuine to themselves.”
Rachel isn’t concerned about how the influencers create the content because she knows that Mabel’s Labels only chooses to work with influencers who share the same core values.
In terms of KPI, Rachel typically gives influencers a code to share with their audience. Then Mabel’s Labels can track the redemptions from that specific code to see if the influencer’s audience is really engaging with their product and how much money is made from those redemptions.
Mabel’s Labels’ Marketing Strategy: Quality Over Quantity
One way that they have pivoted recently was by changing their gifting to quality over quantity. A previous agency they worked with favored sending out larger amounts of labels to more people. They were also sending labels to the same influencers repeatedly, even though there are only so many labels someone can use.
So, Rachel and her team scratched the agency’s list and brought their PR in-house. They created their own influencer list from scratch, including many new influencers on their PR gifting list. This switch resulted in better engagement and excitement from the influencers who had never received packages from Mabel’s Labels before. The boxes were also more elaborate and customized to the recipient.
Unlike some companies, Mabel’s Labels also works with influencers of all sizes: Instagram celebrity status accounts and micro-influencers.
This strategy is highly effective because they reach so many more audiences. Many micro-influencers also have a highly engaged and dedicated audience, so the returns are still incredible. Another strategy Rachel recommends is building long-term relationships with influencers, which frequently leads to better quality content and a better working relationship.
The Most Surprising Part of Influencer Marketing
Even though Rachel and her team are sending the PR packages to the moms and parents, she was surprised to see just how excited the influencers were seeing custom labels with their kids’ names. These influencers will often include their kids in the unboxing videos, which is a fantastic moment because the kids light up and get so excited about seeing their names on the fun labels.
“I feel it’s a very heartwarming experience when we send these.”
Interacting with kids through the PR packages has been a rewarding experience for Rachel: both personally and professionally. Kids are so organic and natural. When others watch these unboxing videos, they know that the child is having a genuine, excited reaction to the labels.
Rachel’s Influencer Marketing Tips
Having kids make appearances in marketing content can be a valuable asset. If your product or service relates to children or family in any way, consider making PR packages that appeal to an influencer’s kids or family. The reactions are always going to be more excited and genuine.
Another thing you can try is sending out highly customized PR packages. For example, Rachel knew of an influencer whose son was obsessed with sharks. When Mabel’s Labels created a shark line, they sent a box with every shape of label they had covered in the shark design just to this one influencer. They received a long, grateful email from the influencer about how much it meant to her that her son was one of the first people to see this design.
She also suggests focusing on quality over quantity. Viewers aren’t oblivious. When they suddenly see the same brand and product featured from every influencer, they know it’s part of a massive campaign, and it doesn’t feel organic. While it may be a good reach, it won’t pay off as much as working with influencers that genuinely like the product and reach your target audience.