Amika, with the help of Traackr, has honed its influencer strategy.

The brand, which was sold mostly in the professional channel until 2018, saw an opportunity to up its influencer strategy in conjunction with a packaging relaunch and Sephora push, said Chelsea Riggs, brand president.

“We’re treating it like a brand launch,” Riggs said in a conversation with Traackr’s Evy Wilkins. The brand engaged Traackr, which provides influencer marketing resources, to roll out an influencer strategy in conjunction with the relaunch.

“This was going to be the first time we were going to have hair care in store,” Riggs said, noting that previously, only Amika’s styling tools had been carried in Sephora. “Our goals were really to raise brand awareness among end consumers, especially the Sephora shopper, as well as drive conversion and traffic on sephora.com and [in stores].”

After thinking about where it wanted to spend its energy and budget to best ensure the launch’s success, Amika landed on influencer influencer marketing, Riggs said.

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“We really felt influencer marketing was that thing for us. We’d been doing influencer marketing for years though looking back probably not in the right ways and we really wanted to invest in that channel,” she said. While the brand had a strong foothold with the professionals, in part due to its distinctive and colorful packaging, it needed that recognition from the broader consumer climate.

According to Wilkins, Traackr developed a “three-pronged approach” for Amika. It started with the establishment of a system to track the programs, then figured out a framework for discovering and picking which influencers to work with, and then included implementing and managing campaigns.

Inside Amika, things had to change too, in order to implement the new strategy, meaning interns were no longer in charge of social media, Riggs noted, and the one social media employee was not overseeing all things remotely related to the topic.

For Amika, honing in on what types of influencers worked for the brands was key, Riggs said. The brand narrowed options down by things like audience demographics — where an influencer’s followers live, for example. If they don’t live where the products are sold — at Sephora int he U.S. — then it wasn’t a good match. They also narrowed by influencers who skewed towards female followers and went for a blend of age groups.

Engagement is really the key metric when it comes to picking influencers, Wilkins noted. “When they are talking about your brand, when they’re talking about competitors, when they’re even talking about the category of dry shampoo or blonde hair, are they getting engagement around those things?” she said.

In the end, the strategy seemed to work. Amika launched in 58 end caps, and expects to be in 150 locations by March. Traackr said the brand saw a 22 percent uplift in organic influencers, mentions almost doubled, and engagement was up almost 200 percent.

For part of this year’s influencer strategy, the brand has contracted several influencers called the A-Team for six-to-seven-month contracts — overlapping with a period of rapid brand launches, Riggs said.

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