Social media has opened up celebrity status to anyone, allowing them to build an audience, gain their trust and influence their decision making. It’s no longer just All Blacks in their undies persuading us to buy Toffypops. 

More and more small businesses, including here in Hawke’s Bay, are taking advantage of Influencer Marketing to make more sales. 

Influencer Marketing is when a brand collaborates with an online personality (influencer) to market its products or services. It can catapult a brand’s success overnight. 

A well-known example of Influencer Marketing is New Zealand entrepreneur Iyia Liu, who paid Kylie Jenner almost NZ$300,000 to leverage her massive audience to sell Liu’s waist trainers. Liu recouped her financial outlay in orders within just 3-4 weeks from a single Instagram post.

But for Hawke’s Bay skincare brand, Corbin Rd (@corbinrd), choosing to work with an influencer was about more than just quick sales. Instead, the focus was on increasing awareness for the 3-year-old beauty brand.

Corbin Rd was born right here in Hawke’s Bay, from the idea that we can do more with much less. Founder Wendy Nowell-Ustike (beauty entrepreneur and co-creator of the iconic Thin Lizzy brand) approaches beauty like the slow fashion movement; buy what you need, choose quality and create less waste.

Wendy enlisted brand and marketing consultant Jane Willersdorf to help spread the Corbin Rd message. 

Rather than focusing on audience size, Jane’s strategy was to find a brand ambassador who embodied similar values and ethos as Corbin Rd and form a deep partnership between brand and ambassador.

Hawke’s Bay nutritionist and women’s health specialist, Gina Urlich (@gina.urlich) was a perfect match.

Gina has built a following of over 35,000 across Instagram and Facebook by sharing her expert knowledge on women’s health along, with behind the scenes glimpses of the life of a busy Mum of 4 raising a family in Havelock North. With a natural, holistic approach to women’s health, Gina educates and empowers her community to make considered choices about their health and wellbeing.

Her followers know, like and trust her. 

So when she introduced them to the Corbin Rd brand, it was no surprise that they were excited to begin their slow beauty journey.

Gina created photo and video content to share across her own and Corbin Rd’s social media channels. Posts of Gina using Corbin Rd products in her daily beauty routine and explaining why she recommends them resulted in a very powerful, yet authentic endorsement.

The campaign has already reached tens of thousands of people, resulting in both an increase of brand awareness and sales for Corbin Rd.

If you’re keen to try Influencer Marketing in your business, find an influencer who aligns with your business values and has a similar target audience to yours. Expect to pay a fee and make sure you have clear expectations in place. 

Check the Advertising Standards Authority’s guidelines to make sure your campaign meets the criteria required here in New Zealand.


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1 Comment

  1. Influencers have been powerful as far back as biblical times when Evangelism was the means of preaching, announcing, or otherwise communicating the gospel. “Word of mouth” is still the most powerful influencer, with the added advantage of delivering that message by social media via happy customers and product users. Everybody wins!

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