A Case for Finding the ROI in Influencer Marketing

Alarice Rajagopal
Senior Editor
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As one of the fastest-growing gluten-free brands in the US, Schar is a trusted household name, backed by over 30 years in the marketplace and a world-class team of food technologists, dietitians, and scientists. The company provides the celiac and gluten sensitive communities a flavorful selection of quality, gluten-free and trusted products so that they may lead a care-free, pleasurable life.

According to Alexandra Lazar, community manager for Schar, “Research has shown us that consumers are looking for their information on a gluten-free diet online. What better way to connect with that community than with influencers they know and love, and lean on to provide information about their new lifestyles.”

Enter Perlu, a professional community that brings together brands and influencers, and provides them with the tools that help them easily discover and grow audiences, build exposure, and collaborate on a wide range of projects.

Schar had seen success on a smaller scale and decided to expand its reach to new consumers. Lazar in turn engaged with Perlu as they had a proven track record of supporting brands with these intricate and detail-heavy campaigns.

Andres Echenique, CEO and co-founder of Perlu, explains that though the gluten-free market continues to expand, it is highly fragmented with many brands vying for consumer attention. To supplement campaigns in core traditional and digital advertising channels, Schar and its agency partner MRM/McCann wanted to evaluate more directly engaging its key celiac audiences.

The numerous celiac-related communities existing in social media platforms presented a significant opportunity to find and engage concentrated populations of prospective customers with the dietary needs that best align with the Schar value propositions and products.

Lazar notes that Schar and MRM/McCann engaged the platform because of its proven active influencer member base in the target celiac community. Influencer members of the Perlu community contributed ideas and points of view on the preferences and interests of their audiences, and how Schar might most effectively and impactfully engage them.

The Perlu strategy team then used these insights to help craft a multi-channel social media program based on key celiac influencers from multiple segments in the community, making a compelling case for significant brand awareness and engagement.

So, what were the results? Lazar says that in the course of the campaign, Perlu built a network of more than 400 influencers in the celiac community, partnering with more than 50 of them in 2020 to promote Schar’s new hot dog rolls, hamburger buns, and other gluten-free products.

“Influencer partners created recipes using these featured products and shared them across Instagram, Facebook, and blogs. The most successful partners were re-engaged to share Instagram stories promoting Schar’s new sampling box,” Lazar explains. “So far, the campaigns have totaled 5,212,000 impressions.”

Schar and Perlu also conducted a test to measure the degree to which Schar content authored and published by influencer partners can drive e-commerce sales. The technology includes a tracking infrastructure that counts actions like Instagram swipe-ups and taps on “Buy Now” e-commerce calls to action.

“Content was deployed using this tracking infrastructure and providing encouraging results. Campaigns that drive direct e-commerce transactions will be part of 2021 program planning,” Lazar adds.

What’s more? Lazar says they're hoping to make an even bigger splash this year as its consumers shift to online shopping. "With the help of Perlu, we’re looking forward to seeing some of our e-commerce exclusive items — new this year!  come to life.”