photo credit: @diorgirl17 from our EVE campaign.
Table of Contents
Younger Generations are More Influenced By Transparent Marketing
For years, brands have had to tread carefully when promoting so-called “taboo” products – the ones that make some people feel uncomfortable or squeamish because they address issues like feminine hygiene, incontinence, and anything having to do with sex or death.
It’s becoming more common for consumers to applaud brands that are more direct with their messaging, and they champion those brands that talk openly and frankly about issues that matter to them. It’s now a riskier move to try to hide controversy than to openly embrace it.
But it’s still risky to use mass-reach media to take a bold stance on controversial topics. While you may get publicity for groundbreaking creative, negative backlash could potentially dilute your brand message. One approach for promoting taboo products is to eschew broad-reach media like network television and instead focus on content marketing for niche audiences that are the prime target market for your product.
Influencer marketing is ideal for communicating to highly specialized groups of consumers who rally around the social media influencers whose content resonates with them. If you’re struggling to find a way to promote controversial products, an influencer marketing agency’s proprietary tools and software solutions can help you develop marketing campaigns that are centered on finding influencers who have a devoted and loyal following.
An influencer marketing agency’s software and tools are also known as its influencer marketing platform. An influencer marketing platform will guide your brand in:
- Crafting the influencer marketing strategy
- Locating credible, authentic personalities who have high engagement rates for your product niche
- Choosing the most appropriate social media channel (or multiple channels)
- Conducting influencer outreach
- Advising you about how to set your influencer marketing budget and get the most from your influencer partnerships
- Tracking the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
By selecting the most appropriate influencers and using the right tactics, influencer brand marketing can grow your business by bringing a new perspective to products that were historically regarded as taboo.
Influencer Marketing Tactics for Promoting Taboo Products
It’s never easy to have conversations about uncomfortable, embarrassing, or risque topics. But if a consumer is looking for product recommendations, they’re likely to seek advice from someone they respect, admire, and who seems to understand their needs. That’s the role a social media influencer can play.
Social media influencers can help to promote your brand by eliminating the taboo, becoming the resident expert about controversial issues, and encouraging their followers to join the conversation and become more engaged with your brand.
Social Influencers Can Help to Remove a Taboo
Most people are hesitant to reveal that they suffer from an embarrassing condition, or they worry they’ll be judged for their interest in a product that doesn’t have widespread public acceptance.
But suppressing discussion about a topic only perpetuates a taboo. Influencers possess the social clout to initiate a controversial conversation on a social media platform, make it more acceptable by frequently posting about it, and showing their followers that they’re not suffering alone.
People trust and look up to the influencers they follow on social media. If an influencer speaks honestly and frankly about an uncomfortable issue or risque product, the taboo gradually fades away as the conversation continues.
Although brands serve as the official content marketer for the campaign, they should give influencers the creative freedom to talk about a topic in a way that feels authentic to them and relevant to their influencer audience. Big brands often miss the mark by using the wrong tone in their ads. But influencers have a communication advantage over a 30-second television spot – their ability to respond to their followers’ reactions and keep the conversation going so that all voices are heard.
Influencers Can Demonstrate Their Expert Knowledge on a Topic
A topic is often considered taboo because it’s not well understood. The more it’s hidden, the less opportunity there is to get information that will dispel the taboo and reveal solutions to problems people are afraid to talk about.
Influencers who demonstrate their expertise help remove the taboo surrounding the topic or problem. But as your brand advocate, they can also reinforce your brand’s position as an industry leader and industry expert. When your brand is associated with educating the public and combating misinformation – and influencer recommended products are promoted by respected and trusted social media accounts – your brand will be seen as more credible, trustworthy, and better equipped to solve problems.
Influencers Can Encourage Their Social Following to Contribute to the Conversation
Aside from its ability to reach niche customers, influencer marketing offers regular consumers the opportunity to get involved in conversations and become more engaged with a brand.
But the benefit of engagement is not only brand affinity or increased sales. As consumers interact with influencers and other followers on a post’s comment thread, a brand can get crucial feedback that could help with product development, messaging, or marketing strategy on another offline or digital marketing platform.
Consumers may be reluctant to share their experiences on a brand’s content, but their relationship with an influencer often makes them feel more free to disclose their opinions and share user-generated content. Brands should take advantage of these makeshift “focus groups” to refine their broader communication strategies.
An Influencer Marketing Campaign is a Brand’s Best Marketing Tool for Breaking Taboos
Product messaging has come a long way since women were required to model bras over their clothing and advertisers used euphemisms to make controversial products seem more sanitized. Today’s consumers – especially the younger generations – appreciate brand transparency and want real talk about the issues that matter to them.
Influencers are in a unique position to banish taboos because they create a safe community where consumers can discuss their needs without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Once consumers overcome their reluctance to talk about uncomfortable topics, they’ll feel more empowered to ask for what they want and will remember those brands that finally recognized that their needs are relevant and should not be swept under the rug.
Influencer marketing for taboo products requires that each potential influencer be thoroughly vetted to ensure a good match between your products and the spokesperson who will become your brand advocate. An influencer marketing agency that has experience working with controversial products is your best resource for developing an influencer marketing campaign that can change the conversation, establish expertise, and engage consumers for breakthrough results.