General Mills is spending 33% of their budget on influencer marketing

General Mills, an American multinational manufacturer of consumer foods sold through retail stores. And you probably know from brands like Cheerios (cereal) and Häagen-Dazs (ice cream) is increasing their spent on influencer marketing.
A few days ago, General Mills announced that they decided to spend more of their budget on influencers. In a recent campaign to promote vegan and fruit snack Lärabar, almost 33% ($298,000) of the digital campaign budget was spent on influencers. The head of marketing for Europe, Arjoon Bose, decided to do so to be able to show his bosses how effective influencers are, especially when comparing it to more traditional types of marketing.

Arjoon Bose states that they haven’t figured out all the details related to influencer marketing, but so far it certainly brings business to the company. Therefore they attempt to nurture long-term relationships with influencers. Natalie Glaze is one of those who promoted Lärabar. With 27.6k followers she is a micro influencer, but the collaboration between Natalie Glaze and General Mills is nevertheless proven to be successful.

Healthy food brands were once considered a niche, but thanks to younger people changing the way they eat this industry is becoming mainstream. This younger audience is very important to General Mills’ future. Influencers are a way to realize growth in this consumer packed goods (CPG) industry that previously relied on mass marketing.

Naturally it hasn’t all been champagne and caviar. Working with influencers has some challenges, the market is relatively new and brands as well as consumers are somewhat cynical due to scandals like the Fyre Festival, fake followers etcetera. To develop the most authentic and effective influencer marketing strategy, General Mills applies six criteria’s: truth, transparency and trust (the 3 T’s) and reach, relevancy and resonance (the 3 R’s). That kind of sums it all up, and shows that you shouldn’t just start with influencer marketing without a strategy.

Bose confirms the above, he admits that influencer marketing isn’t always easy, but is also confident that it will become more important. Not only for obvious industries such as beauty, fashion, food.

To conclude, advertisers are taking influencers seriously. General Mills is just one example of a brand that increases its digital spending on influencer marketing.

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