So Georgia from George at Asda, tell us what you do
I’m a content specialist for George at Asda, and I look after influencer and social media content. I look after all channels, and also look after the influencers from macro right up to the celebrities, like Professor Green who we recently worked with. We’re a small team who work across planning, strategy, reporting, or communications. However we do have agencies that we work with and we rely on for their specialisms.
What work would you give to an agency, then?
If we are producing a bigger campaign, we will collaborate with an agency to deliver it for us. We’ll brief it to them and be quite specific with what we need. We still have a big say in who we want to use because we know the brand better than anyone. We always welcome ideas, and often want agency views on who they think the best person would be to work with on a campaign, and who they’ve seen that’s up and coming. But equally, based on performance in the past and the relationships that we have, we’ve got a bank of people who we’ll put forward ourselves, depending on what the aim of the campaign is.
If we’re looking to acquire new customers for a particular campaign, we’re going to look for new influencers, because we don’t want to inundate the same followers and audiences, for example.
How have you found that influencer marketing’s changed for you since the beginning of the pandemic?
I think a lot of brands are in the same boat now. The traditional forms of marketing went on hold during lockdown. It’s different for us because we’re a supermarket retailer [so actually stayed open], but more and more people were spending so much time on their phones and there was a big shift in where our customers were, so we had to change our strategies to then target them. We had to reposition our marketing spend, and we did put more to social media and influencers.
What are your ROI priorities? It’s obviously very hard to measure ‘brand awareness’
To be honest, our number one priority when we’re measuring influencer content has always been engagement. We have all the trackable links, Adobe analytics etc for that, but if someone’s post really blows up and has huge reach, we’ll look at sentiment of comments and how it was received.
What have you seen works for George, in terms of engagement?
With influencer content it’s someone who’s relatable to the George customer, and not someone who alienates them. We’re not going to go for someone with a “perfect life” with content that isn’t relatable to the majority of our George followers.
Yeah, you’re not gonna put Cara Delevigne in the next George campaign…
Exactly. It works for a lot of brands, to put up the most polished content, but for George we’re drawn to the people who are more real and relatable. People whose kids are driving them nuts! The attitude of the nation has changed and we want content that picks us up. We find the more emotional content is, the better it will work. Customers are smart, they know when someone’s promoting something that they’ve actually never used.
Are there any red flags that would stop you from contacting or using a creator?
A few things, yeah. We’re a family brand so anyone who posts anything that would be categorised as explicit would be out. Asides from the obvious, it’s more about attitude. This is a two-way partnership and we want to work with people who genuinely like the brand, and who can work alongside us to build a community.
Is it worth creators cold-pitching you and showing your their engagement rate, content style and previous campaigns – or even if they haven’t done a previous campaign?
If they haven’t done a paid campaign before then I’d say it would be better to reach out to our PR team and explore gifted content rather than sponsored. It’s a great opportunity to show us what you can do, that you share the same values as us and that you’re building community on your page. If you post something that’s great quality and gets a lot of engagement, you can use that post as collateral to ask to move up a level and try working together on paid content.
Who are some creators who you really rate, then?
Oh YES. So we started working with Ola Pelo and her family during the pandemic, and absolutely love working with her. We have an honest and open relationship, and will give her a very light brief without being too specific, because her creativity is amazing.
We also love working with the Thomas family. We work with Adam and Caroline Thomas and their two kiddies, and the family resonate so well with our customers. They’re genuinely excited to be working with us and are interested in the products. We worked with them recently on The Disney House and their content was just… it went above and beyond. Their storytelling is amazing.
Sarah reached out to us and asked about collaborations, and after she created this post for us it got picked up by a lot of national media, so that was wonderful and we loved working with her.
…and Emily is incredible. She always has a fast turnaround – this piece of content was created in under 24 hours! She’s amazing.