As audiences increasingly ditch TV for social media, many brands are enlisting influencers to connect with consumers on a more authentic level. While personal care categories are often ill-suited to influencer marketing due to a lack of aesthetic appeal, Olay’s #Olay28Day campaign exemplifies how a personal care brand can overcome this disadvantage and sustain both influencers and audiences on social media.

For the challenge, Olay asked influencers to document their experiences using Olay products for four weeks. These posts saw 20% more engagement then other influencer posts mentioning the brand, according to L2’s report on personal care influencers.

The routine aspect of the campaign kept influencer posts evergreen and encouraged followers to check back frequently for updates, while the narrow focus ensured that the spotlight remained on the products, rather than influencer content. This spotlight was amplified by the free samples and discounts offered in almost every post, a tactic that could also be credited for the 22% increased interest in monthly Google searches for Olay products in November 2017.

Olay also used the campaign to experiment with connecting content and commerce by having several of the influencers link their posts to the brand site. Most personal care brands have yet to perfect this handoff: looking at all the brands featured in influencer posts last year, 57% failed to have influencers link posts to a brand site or retailer. In addition, fewer than 10% of brands with Instagram accounts made their own posts shoppable in 2017, underlining a reluctance to connect content and commerce. In contrast, Olay dedicated a section of its site to the 28 Day Challenge and set up a product collection on Walmart called 28 Days of Olay.

While Olay’s campaign succeeds where many other personal care brands have yet to even try, there is still room for improvement. The risk that the brand took in connecting its social media campaign to its website could have paid even greater dividends if Olay had equipped these pages with links to the influencer content.

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