With quick fixes flying off the shelves and new ranges flooding the marketplace, the teeth whitening and oral care market is a congested place.
The challenge for communications agency O, was to introduce the new Nano range from oral care brand WhiteWash Laboratories to predominantly female consumers aged 18-35 years old using a mix of media and influencer outreach.
O’s digital content director, Holly Peacock said: "We know that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands, even if they don’t know them, which is why bloggers and digital influencers' recommendations are so powerful.
"We also know that this is not ‘news’. 59 percent of marketers are said to be increasing their influencer marketing budgets in 2016, so it is imperative for brands to connect with the right influencers to maximise their relationship with customers – and for many, that doesn’t just mean those celebs or bloggers with the highest UMVs or followers but those hyperlocal digital influencers - those with followings in the area they hail from - who can drive real sales and footfall."
The challenge here was to get the influencer mix right. To harness those bloggers, celebrities and social media personalities who really connected with the target audience but who also added credibility to a product whose USP aligns with health over the ‘Hollywood white' style teeth the audience are so used to engaging with.
The additional challenge was that the existing social media following for WhiteWash Laboratories was fairly small in comparison to its competitors, so the influencers we worked with had to serve a dual purpose of engagement and follower acquisition.
"The impact hyperlocal influencers had on our online sales and social media following meant we were comfortable with shifting our focus to be more grass roots" Tom Riley, WhiteWash Laboratories founder and director
Instead of focusing outreach on one hero ambassador, O chose to collaborate with a mix of influencers to raise awareness of the new range and boost the brand's own social following by tapping into their niche but engaged following.
The process was about "relationships", says Peacock.
"Through our existing network and organic research we discovered hyperlocal influencers to work with to trial the new range and share their views with their social following."
But putting all its eggs into one basket wasn’t a wise approach for a brand with fairly low awareness.
"The endorsement of celebrities is still a powerful tactic but our audience gravitates towards emerging, reality TV stars so we collaborated with "new" faces such as the recent cast from Love Island."
The idea was that cast members would connect with consumers on a hyperlocal basis, building awareness of the product in the areas they hailed from.
Alongside this, O arranged a collaboration between beauty bloggers and WhiteWash Laboratories to harness their credentials by engaging them in the quality and ingredients of the product.
"The Nano range was developed by UK dentists and is free from harmful ingredients such as SLS, alcohol, paraben and PEG [polyethelene glycol] which we knew would appeal to our increasingly health-conscious target consumer.
"To complement this activity we also joined forces with bloggers to help push the brand’s teeth cleaning regime Floss-Wash-Brush which is akin to the commonly adopted 'cleanse/tone/moisturise' providing a clear synergy between the health and beauty sector which this product straddles," Peacock adds.
It became apparent quite quickly that it wasn’t always the most well-known influencers who provided the biggest ROI but those hyperlocal and emerging influencers who captured the attention of the brand's target audience.
WhiteWash Laboratories founder and director Tom Riley said that "seeing the impact hyperlocal influencers had on our online sales and social media following meant we were comfortable with shifting our focus to be more grass roots".
Once the influencer campaign was in full swing, O amplified these engagements by implementing a paid social media advertising push to boost the campaign reach and increase the owned social media audience.
Initially targeting the desired, and fairly broad, demographic they used real-time analytics to get to know their most engaged audience helping to inform and develop a more targeted and cost efficient campaign.
Peacock continues: "We used these collaborations to initiate conversations with the media and attract both a new consumer audience and an influencer following who were excited to try out the new product for themselves."
From the launch of the campaign the Whitewash Laboratories Instagram following increased by 93%.
Its endorsement and product reviews equated to a spike in digital sales and awareness which caught the eye of health and beauty retailer Boots which has now introduced the Nano Whitening Toothpaste to over 200 nationwide stores as well as online.