How Diff Charitable Eyewear is Winning with Influencer Marketing

Unless you have been living off the grid for the past three years, I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of influencer marketing. But on the off chance you are living in a Pre-Donald Trump Presidency world, spending your time eating bonbons with Richard Simmons (, here’s a quick recap.

Influencer Marketing – a tactic that employs the help of individuals who have a significant digital following on social media, a blog, website, podcast, etc. The goal is to engage an influencer who will promote a brand or product in a post that appears to be organic and genuine, in order to obtain brand awareness and reach a new audience.

You’re officially caught up. Now that you understand the premise of influencer marketing, let’s address how to succeed using this tactic.


How Do You Succeed?

The idea of influencer marketing seems simple: pay famous people to promote you brand, but you should consider the following:

These are important questions you need to ask yourself before engaging in influencer marketing. Influencer selection and strategy is very important. A post from Kylie Jenner will not positively impact every brand, just as a post from Donald Trump will not negatively impact every brand. You need to find the right fit.


Success for Diff Charitable Eyewear

Like most people, I have been exposed to influencer marketing — most commonly on Instagram. I am a reality TV junky, and Bravo is my drug of choice.

I follow a multitude of Bravo personalities on social media, and a few months ago I noticed a growing trend of posts featuring sunglasses by a company named Diff. The posts all had similar messaging promoting the company’s commitment to low prices, designer frames, and charitable donations for every purchase.

Famous people promoting sunglasses. This seems like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. This is actually a fairly sophisticated campaign based on audience data, calculated risks, and a clear, cohesive message. Let’s discuss.


Audience Data – Who Do You Want to Influence?

You may not be familiar with Bravo, but you have probably heard about the “Real Housewives of [insert city of your choice].” The franchise is Bravo’s crown jewel … and yet not one of the pictures above features a Real Housewife influencer. No skinnygirls, no jailbirds, no former child actors, no countesses. Why? Because Diff didn’t just want famous influencers, they wanted the right famous influencers who would connect with their target demographic.

Diff promotes designer frames at affordable prices. A pair of trendy Diff sunglasses typically costs between $75 and $85. So ask yourself, who has disposable income and wants to stay on trend? Millennials, primarily those without children.

Now look at Bravo’s viewer demographic.

Bravo’s viewers are females between the ages of 25 and 44, primarily childless, with a college degree, who on average earn $100,000 per year or more. This sounds like a perfect match for Diff.

So, to answer my above question, why don’t you see any Real Housewives promoting Diff? Because they do not personify Diff’s key demographic. Bravo’s viewers may want to watch middle aged, upper-class society women, but they do not identify with them nor do they believe these women would ever be caught dead in “affordable” sunglasses.

The images above feature personalities from “Vanderpump Rules,” a show about 30-something restaurant servers / bartenders, and “Million Dollar Listing”, a show about 30-something real estate brokers in New York and LA. The influencers are primarily female, childless, and claim to always be “hustling” to make their careers happen. These are people Diff’s key buying audience can relate to.

It’s also worth noting that Diff has chosen the perfect platform to promote their brand. Instagram is image based. People from around the world can view the same post with no language or cultural barriers. According to a recent study by Mediakix, the average person spends 15 minutes per day on Instagram. 15 minutes is a large amount of time to do nothing other than scroll through pictures, so it seems likely that your paid placement will be seen by a large audience.

Instagram is also a place where reality stars shine. It gives them the ability to allow their audience into their lives and therefore create a bond and sense of trust.


Why Selecting the Right Influencer is Important

Diff is successful not only because the company targets a specific audience and places its product where potential buyers can learn about it organically, but also because they select influencers who personify a trendy, young, jet set lifestyle that appeals to the Diff audience. This is where brands like 310Shake miss the mark.

310Shake is a meal replacement plan that promotes weight loss and a fit lifestyle. 310Shake chose to engage Real Housewife of Atlanta Kim Zolciak-Beirmann, who has a following of more than 2 million on Instagram alone, to be an influencer for their brand. The problem? She doesn’t embody the core values of the brand.

Kim Zolciak-Beirmann, age 38, was most recently in the news when she suffered a mini-stroke while competing on “Dancing with the Stars” as a result of increased physical activity. This does not scream peak physical health. Bravo viewers can also attest to the fact that Kim proudly talks about her unwillingness to diet and exercise, instead relying on plastic surgery to stay young and fit.

Here is the final problem: she supports more than one fitness drink. As you can see with a quick scroll through her Instagram account @kimzolciakbiermann, she is also an influencer for Flat Tummy Tea. So which product is keeping her in peak physical condition? Is it the 310Shake or the Flat Tummy Tea?


How Diff and 310Shake Can Improve

I only have one suggestionfor Diff — diversity! As you can see in the image below, the majority of Diff influencers are white females. The company may be missing a large market. The primary ethnicity of Bravo viewers is African American. I admittedly do not have data to back this up, but I think it makes sense that by increasing the amount of influencers their buying public can identify with, they would subsequently increase their buying audience.

310Shake should reevaluate their influencers and how their actions reflect on the brand. If an influencer goes on a politically charged Twitter rant, you can reason that no press is bad press and their actions are not a direct reflection on your product. If an influencer has a serious health scare while using your healthy living product, that’s a problem.

310Shake should also try to work with influencers who are not already affiliated with competing products. You may find Diff influencers wearing non-Diff sunglasses, but you certainly won’t find them promoting a different brand of sunglasses.


Tips for a successful influencer marketing strategy:


Curious about how influencer marketing could fit into your content marketing plan? Download our free content organization kit to map your content and see where influencer marketing falls in your buyers journey.