Brands that go Social, go global: Top takeaways from IMS New York

Lauren McFarland, who leads all things Influencer and Social at Journey Further, set off to the Influencer Marketing Show in New York City where she took to stage together with Katy Clark, Head of Marketing from St. Moriz, and Content Creator Ilinca Sipos. The trio sat down in front of a live audience to rehash their partnership which helped St. Moriz grow into a global beauty brand on Social. Here are five things you can learn from their conversation.


Social driving sales

Social media’s role in the purchase journey and product discovery is ramping up. As the number of shoppers discovering brands and products via social media is now overtaking traditional advertising, there’s a growing need for brands to leverage strategic affiliate and creator partnerships. Leading UK self-tan brand St. Moriz has been able to carve out a significant presence in the highly competitive US beauty industry by reallocating their investments into Social, increasing sales YoY at JCPenney by 31%.

“We were looking for an international approach to our marketing, one campaign run across key markets, with country-specific nuances”, said Katy Clark at IMS. “Social enabled us to do that – same campaign comms but activated locally via voices, words and faces that feel familiar and resonate.”


Authenticity, buzzword of the decade

There’s a reason why some social content lands flat. It’s just not authentic. Good social content has to strike a balance between what the brand wants to say, what the creator is authentically speaking about, and what the audience wants to hear. “Audiences are astute these days and they pick up on videos that don’t feel true to the creator”, Ilinca Sipos shared.

From the brand side, Katy pointed out that a clear brief offering enough detail for clarity and leaving enough space for creativity is key for a great collaboration with creators.


Think outside the box

If they want to engage potential customers and have them stay longer on their social channels, retail brands should no longer revert to beautiful static imagery. One way to go is to collaborate with influencers in their relevant niche and allow them to be experts on the topic. However, not even that is enough. There are now limitless opportunities for brands to plug into relevant trends to bring content with a native feel to the audiences, such as BF voiceovers, silent reviews, or weaving the product into a conversational video. For example, using our proprietary tech, Salient, which reports on TikTok trends, Journey Further helped St. Moriz tap into the #GRWM or “get ready with me” content that brought the brand 31M+ video views.


Affiliate vs. Brand partnership

When asked about the difference between an affiliate partnership vs. brand collaboration, Ilinca said it’s a question of “how” vs. “why”. She would approach an affiliate video as if she’s organically testing the product out. On the other hand, she would focus more on the reasons why she is using the product and why it’s bringing an important change to her lifestyle when creating a brand campaign.

From Katy’s side, long-term creator partnerships are important for increasing brand awareness. Affiliates kick in when the brand awareness in the specific market is high enough that both the creator and brand can benefit from the commission based program.


Retailers dig Social

Finally, what does this mean for retailers? “Whilst brands would have previously presented their latest ad campaigns to a retailer, they now present their latest social media campaign as a means of showing how they’re driving awareness”, Katy shared.
On top of that, since Social offers the benefit of immediate CTA’s, brands can now easily support their stockists by adding the “Shop now” function to their profiles.
Not only that, retailers are social followers too. They look to creators to find out what’s on trend, who’s who in the industry, and most likely work with them too.


Want more?

Take a peek into the content that Ilinca created through Journey Further that increased St. Moriz’s TikTok Shop revenue by a staggering 952%.