Under the influence: how influencer marketing is spreading the macadamia message in key Asian markets

Influencer marketing has been a successful element of Australian Macadamias’ consumer promotion for some time, with campaigns executed internationally in partnership with bloggers, key opinion leaders, celebrity chefs and food, beauty and lifestyle influencers.

Influencers are carefully selected, based on their audience size and profile, area of expertise, and alignment with Australian Macadamias’ brand values, with these partnerships enabling us to share the taste, health, versatility and purity layers of the macadamia story with a wider audience. The last six months has seen a number of exciting campaigns take place with influencers in China, South Korea and Japan.

Illustrating the relevance of macadamias during Chinese celebrations

Cutting through the online noise during China’s festive period requires a creative approach. For the 2020/21 season, we shared macadamia messaging via a series of comic strips on WeChat and Weibo, showing how macadamias can play an integral part in these occasions.

The Christmas comic depicted macadamias being gifted in a scene featuring a koala, wombat, pig and kangaroo. When koala misses out on gifts from Santa, wombat surprises her with a gift of macadamias. The comic was popular with Australian Macadamias WeChat fans, and it generated strong engagement, including comments such as, “This cartoon is so adorable”, and “Our family will always prepare some Australian macadamias for festivals and holidays as family members and kids love eating them.”

Chinese comic

The New Year comic featured a koala and panda celebrating the new year apart, with the panda gifting the koala a fan to keep cool during the hot Australian summer, while the koala gives the panda some delicious macadamias. WeChat fans responded warmly to the campaign, with comments including “Australian macadamias are tasty and healthy. Wishing good health in the new year.” It also prompted some more emotional responses such as “Festivals are meant to be about reunions. The only love I can give to my parents in my hometown is to purchase gifts online and have video chats with them…I never shed tears but reading this warm moment, I can’t help but cry.”

New year comic

For Chinese New Year, we partnered with popular Chinese illustrator, Tough Publishing, known for their warm and emotional depiction of urban life. While not a food, beauty or lifestyle influencer, the collaboration proved just as powerful, thanks to Tough Publishing’s engaging illustration style, high profile, and almost 2 million WeChat and Weibo fans.

The comic, called I’m Sorry I Couldn’t Be By Your Side, showed how families could still celebrate Chinese New Year together, even if they couldn’t visit their loved ones, with macadamias as the gift that unites people. This campaign was viewed around 700,000 times, had more than 16,000 engagements and attracted new followers to Australian Macadamias’ WeChat and Weibo accounts.

Chinese New Year comic

Instagram takeovers inspire Korean macadamia fans

2020/21 has seen the commencement of six influencer collaborations in South Korea, in the form of Instagram takeover campaigns. Designed to drive awareness of the various benefits of macadamias, every two months, a different influencer ‘takes over’ the Australian Macadamias Korean Instagram account, posting inspiring content that shows how they personally use macadamias.

Instagram takeovers are a fun way for a brand to bring a fresh and credible voice to its account. Having a trustworthy influencer temporarily take over is a great endorsement, as it demonstrates the influencers’ trust in the brand.

Four takeovers have been completed so far, with a variety of lifestyle, food and fitness influencers who have a combined Instagram audience of more than 830,000 followers.

Millie Sy: Seoul-based food stylist and recipe developer Millie posted beautiful, vibrant macadamia recipe images.

Yuuhyemin: Beauty and wellness expert Yuuhyemin inspired fans with macadamia health and beauty tips, including a recipe to make your own Macadamia Oat Face Mask.

Korean influencer posts

Cook and Candle: This food influencer produced a series of macadamia cooking videos including Macadamia Corn Cheese, Macadamia Tofu and Kimchi, and Macadamia Prawn Salad.

Sssoonma: This health and beauty influencer’s posts focused on the taste, heathy fats and satiety benefits of macadamias.

To prepare for their takeovers, all influencers were invited to a Macadamia Masterclass, where a chef demonstrated healthy macadamia recipes, and a beauty expert shared macadamia health and beauty tips.

This provided inspiration for the influencers’ content and further familiarised them with the macadamia health, taste and beauty story. The masterclass was also livestreamed on the Korean Australian Macadamias Facebook page, and later shared on Instagram, ensuring our consumer fan base could enjoy the content as well.

Multi-layered collaboration in Japan yields impressive results

The launch of Kikkoman Macadamia Milk, made with Australian grown macadamias, presented an ideal opportunity to collaborate with brands and influencers to create a dynamic consumer promotion.

In partnership with Kikkoman and TJs Nutcrackers, we engaged three high-impact Japanese food influencers. Tesshi, Pepe, and Tomoki Takemura created innovative macadamia recipe content and shared it with their substantial Instagram and Twitter audiences, while offering the chance to win one of 150 macadamia prize packs.

Images: Instagram / @tmytsm @pepe39 @tomoky_take

This was supported by a beautifully produced video from YouTuber Peaceful Cuisine, who showed his 2.3 million subscribers how to make Macadamia Nut Cookies and Latte, with the video amassing more than 200,000 views.

Image: YouTube/Peaceful Cuisine

The campaign generated close to 9,000 competition entries, and more than 70,000 post engagements.

Japanese audiences loved discovering the influencers’ new and exciting ways to use macadamias and macadamia milk, with comments such as, “I want to try making sweets with this milk” and “I had no idea macadamias were the hardest nut to crack!”.

With more influencer marketing activity planned in the months ahead, it will be exciting to see unique macadamia content continuing to roll out across key markets. To keep up to date, follow us on our consumer channels on your favourite social media platform: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.

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