Capitalizing on Big Events

Timing is everything, and there’s no better time to partner up with an influencer than throughout big events.

On April 28, Chicago hosted the NFL 2016 Draft showcasing the best upcoming talent in the NFL. With major media coverage, these popular players — such as Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliot — were some of the most followed men on social media, making them prime candidates to act as influencers throughout the the draft.

Let’s start off with Jared Goff. The highly ranked player worked with Gillette, Pantene and Redbull throughout the draft process. He posted three tweets and one Instagram post, mentioning the brands in each post.

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What did he do right? 

Both Gillette and Redbull knew that the majority of his followers would be friends and fans similar in age to Goff (young 20’s). Redbull did a great job of showing Goff in a casual setting with his friends, showcasing the product and how it fits into any situation among friends.

Carson Wentz opted to work with JCPenny, posting a video on Youtube of him preparing for the draft wearing a suit from the company.

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What did he do right?

The brand knew that he would be wearing a suit for the draft. It’s also important to note that he stated #ad in the caption, a must when working as an influencer.

Ezekiel Elliot also had a high brand count, working with FedEx, Old Spice and Quest Nutrition.

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What did he do right?

Ezekiel Elliot did a great job at keeping his personality in his posts with the brand. Following Elliot for awhile, it’s obvious he’s a lighthearted person and the brands that he worked with recognized that and capitalized on his personality as well as his draft placement.

So what does this mean for influencers? 

These brands were successful because they recognized who the influencers were in the moment. High numbers of followers are great, however, sometimes the best way to get customers attention is catering to the events they’re already watching.

Working with high profile athletes might not be in the budget of every brand so consider thinking outside of the box. Work with the family members of athletes or those being featured, chances are the celebrity will retweet or repost the image of their friends and family anyways, reaching that extra audience.

 

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Multiple Faces, One Brand: Creating A Group of Influencers for A Multi-Demographic Target Market

Brands tend to pick influencers with whom they know their target audience can identify with. Marketers know that if someone can ‘see’ themselves in the product, or the products advertising, they are more likely to identify with the product and make a purchase. However, this gets more complicated as your market becomes more diverse. How does a brand create a cohesive, appealing to their entire demographic, without turning anyone off to their products? While a complicated answer, one brand has mastered this.

What Do All Of These Women Have In Common? 

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These women are singers, models, actresses, athletes, comedians, television personalities, and activists – they are also all Cover-Girls. (Note: Not all Cover-Girls have been represented above)

CoverGirl has masted reaching the multi-demographic market. As a socially conscious company, they focused on celebrities  who had a positive personal brand. CoverGirl has realized the magic formula before every other company. Their success can be tied to one basic question:

What Is Beauty?  

“Beauty” has been such a buzz word and has had many negative associations surrounding the industry as a whole. Many people struggle to identify with a brand because they do not see themselves represented in it.

Within the group of above celebrities, many have made headlines on hot topics, defending their personal choice in lifestyle and looks, including Zendaya defending her dreadlocks, Ellen DeGeneres speaking out on being gay, and Tyra Banks shutting down body shamers.

Young women now see themselves as a face of a brand. CoverGirl’s success comes in representing all colors, backgrounds, shapes and sizes, in a very superficial industry.

                   How Can Your Brand Reach A Diverse Market                   Through Multi-Demographic Influences?

1) Know Your ENTIRE Audience

Ensure that there are no gaps in your target audience. Jayson DeMers a contributor for Forbes, has outlined 6 Steps to Decoding Your Target Audience. The final point that Jayson outlines, it “Who Do They Trust?” This is key in ensuring that you are creating a cohesive front of trustworthy people. Ensure that your influencers also cover each sub-market that you are targeting.

Hint! Before you decode your audience, make sure that it is clearly defined. Need help? Check out “How To Define Your Target Market” 

2)  Avoid Controversial or Polarizing Celebrities

When dealing with multiple influencers at once, it is typically a good idea to avoid controversial or polarizing celebrities. Kayne West says many off-the-cuff things and can be loved and hated by many within the same sentence. You want to ensure that you entire market feels welcomed by all influencers.

If a Cover-Girl was making negative comments about race, nationality or sexuality, the united front would be broken as the Cover-Girls’ represent celebrities of many minority groups.

You want to ensure that you trust your influencers that when they go out on appearances, whether for your brand or personally, that they are putting their best foot forward at all times. You do not want to have to hire a great PR firm at the end of the night to do damage control.

Hint! Here’s a cheat sheet of the 10 Most Controversial Celebrities

3) Ensure a Good Balance  

Everyone has seen adds that have the “token” minority as a way to make the brand appear more inclusive to everyone. That just does not work. There needs to be a good balance of all of the faces representing your brand.

Many drugstore makeup brands carry a majority of their products for lighter skin while others carry a majority of products for darker skin. While CoverGirl continues to expand its line, they want to ensure that they have a wide enough variety of products and also influencers who represent all skin tones that can use their product (as shown above).

Bonus! CoverGirl even made #8 on the list of  The 10 Best Foundations for Dark Skin Tones

If you are struggling to figure out how to create this mix, try to identify a persona for each demographic that your brand is targeting. Once you have identified your personas, identify how much of your market is made up of each. By ensuring that each group is accurately represented, you brand will feel inclusive to your entire diverse market.

Example:  20 Total Influencers

40% Persona 1:    8 Influencers

30% Persona 2:    6 Influencers

15% Persona 3:    3 Influencers

10% Persona 4:    2 Influencers

5% Persona 5:    1 Influencer

Follow these 3 simple rules and you’re on you way to success! 

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How and Why To Use Influencers In Your Marketing Campaigns

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In this post we will try to define and illustrate the importance of using influencers in your marketing campaigns in order to guarantee success. But before we do that, let’s make sure we all share a common understanding regarding the general goals and objectives of marketing campaigns.

Some of the goals that marketing campaigns have, include but are not limited:

All of the goals and objectives, however, in marketing campaigns need to be “SMART” . In the marketing world, as you all know, “SMART”  stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-scaled objectives.

But, Why Do I Need an Influencer to Achieve these Goals?

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Well, according to a report from Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, 83% of the consumers say that they trust the recommendations of their friends and family. This type pf advertising is also known as “earned media” and it sets the foundations for influencer marketing.

Influencers are people who are able to affect the purchase decision making of others due to the “authority”, knowledge and expertise they have established for themselves in a specific field. The following bullet points are some of the characteristics of influencers on social media and at the same time the reasons that you should use them in your marketing campaigns:

  1. They Are Trustworthy. They only use original content-their content and thus, people trust their information and thoughts.
  2. They Are a Thought Leader.  They are focused in one topic, with a specific audience that follows them and with which they interact on a regular basis.
  3. Their Words Have Impact.  Their knowledge and expertise have the power to affect people’s decision making.
  4. They Are Engaging. Engaging with their readers is a priority to them. Readers appreciate that and as a result, they expand their trust and love.
  5. They Go To Their Audience.  They use the the same platforms with their audience.  They make sure their voices are being “heard” by the people who they want to be heard from.

All of the features that we mentioned above will be more than valuable in your marketing campaigns. With the help of influencers, your “SMART” objectives and goals will be accomplished before you know it!!

How Am I Going to Use An Influencer?

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Now that you understood why it’s important and helpful to use influencers for your marketing campaigns; we can move to the next step, and give you some tips on how to use these influencers.

  1. The first and most important tip we have to give you is: Find the right fit for you, your brand and most importantly your product!
  2. Secondly, use his audience!! a)Request from your influencer to write about your brand on his blog. b) Ask him/her to tweet for you once a week and c) ask your influencer to post once a week on Instagram and Facebook, content that promotes your company.
  3. Last but not least, become active in his/hers community. When your influencer is not posting for you, do it by yourself. Comment and share his content in order to make your brand visible  and recognizable.

Let’s Wrap it Up…

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Marketing campaigns are essential for every business, big or small. Statistics show that word to word advertising is what people prefer and trust. Influencers are people with authority, who affect the decision making of consumers and certainly have their trust. As a result, influncers are the people you need in your marketing campaign to ensure positive results. Find the right person, take advantage of his audience and influence, and get ready to take your company to different levels!!

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Spotlight: Success Stories

Success is inspiring! While there are certain things that are always in the forefront of our minds, sometimes we forget the greats. Here is a reminder of a few influential campaigns over the past few years that should be an inspiration (or challenge) for others! The below three success stories all took different approaches and achieved their goals. They knew how to target their audience, execute their message and drive results.

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“Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?”

Problem: Sell more Tyson chicken nuggets during the holiday season

Goal: Sell the surplus during an 8-week period and generate 2.6M+ social media impressions

Solution: Instead of taking the traditional route of just marking the product down and getting rid of it, Tyson focused their efforts around two ideas: creativity and influencers. Tyson started created in store demos around their central message “Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?” They modeled their demos around cookie decorating, switching out the cookies for nuggets and decorations for condiments. Tyson encouraged everyone who participated to share their experience. They asked mommy bloggers Wendy Wright from Choosing Love, Shannon Gosney from The Mommy Files, and Mellisa Swigart from Mom Luck to participate in in-store demos.

Results: Tyson sold its surplus in 4-weeks and achieved 8.8M+ impressions on social media. They also saw and average 42% sales lift during that period

Why It Worked: Tyson understood their demographic and appealing to families was crucial to their success. They were engaging and accessible and created a clear call to action. Tyson’s choice of influencer was also key in driving their success. The community around Mommy Bloggers is large and relies on these influencers as trusted sources of information. By tapping into their larger network, Tyson was able to generate success.

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“My After”

Problem: Change the perception that chocolate milk is just a kids drink (target adults)

Goal: Increase sales and audience

Solution: They reached out to Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They created a campaign around “My After” following the athlete through workouts, sports dieticians and at sports medicine conferences. The goal was to educate on the science behind chocolate milk. Weber Shandwick understood that there is a lot of influence in this industry peer to per and word of mouth and utilized that activity. They also provided this network with resources to become knowledge experts in this subject area.

Results: There have been generating year over year sales since the campaign launched

Why It Worked: This campaign really highlighted the benefits and value of the product. Traditional “Got Milk” ads focus on engaging with the current customer base, while this campaign focused on growing and expanding their reach. By going through the athletic network, it taps into a network that is naturally excited by health, fitness and well-being. This influencer partnership on this endeavor would be seen as a perfect match between the product, the influencer and the end user.

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“May Box – Instagram Takeover by Emily Schuman”

Problem: Wants to reach more Instagram followers to discover newest beauty products

Goal: Drive sales of their May Box and increase followers and engagement

Solution: Birchbox paired with lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. They collaborated on the May Box and promoted their partnership across both Instagram accounts; Birchbox has 469,000+ followers and Emily Schuman has 260,000+ followers. They shared exactly 5 Instagram photos to promote this partnership in what they call an Instagram takeover.

Results: The Instagram takeover was successful with the five photos reaching more than 550,000 customers and accumulating over 18,000 likes.

Why It Worked:  This was not the first time Birchbox has done an Instagram takeover. Back on Mother’s Day 2014, They had a very successful experience with Christina Zilber. That campaign generated 1,135 user-generated posts and high levels of engagement. These tactics are working for Birchbox because they understand their audience. In beauty and fashion, people typically do not try new products until someone reputable stands behind them. By creating strong partnerships, they are creating a link between the two communities. By doing them for a short period of time it is creating exclusivity of, for example, the May Box products.

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All three companies took slightly different approaches to their influencer strategy. As long as you understand the foundation of your business, the mission of your influencer and the target audience, you should have a successful campaign just like them!

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How to Leverage Influencers to Build Trust for your Brand

Is your brand having trouble getting noticed online? There’s no denying that online branding has become increasingly challenging as consumers have become less trusting of any marketing content posted across social media channels.

It used to be that consumers wanted to interact with brands after viewing advertisements they actually enjoyed. Nowadays, consumers don’t even want to communicate with companies anymore. Instead, they want to communicate with real people with strong personalities.

Social media’s constant influx of content is a problem most brands have to sift through in order to reach a target audience authentically. The surefire way to build your brand online is through trust.

For example, Nike conducted a study and found that less than 25% of consumers trust advertisements online. Thus, its evident that the level of success of a brand’s marketing campaign online is centered on its ability to build trust.

While the advertising industry, overall, has been slow to adapt to the changing media landscape, newer opportunities are available for brands to influence their consumers. Welcome, influencer marketing.

Influencers are a great way to connect your audience to the ever-changing media channels. Yet, it’s important to utilise the most relevant influencer specific to your brand and audience in order to produce high-quality content that resonates amongst your followers.

Marketing content cannot reach its intended audience, no matter how creative, without trust, which is why influencer marketing remains a powerful tool for marketers. Influencers are essentially relationship-builders. They genuinely combine brand messages into their personal narratives which effectively leads to building consumer trust.

Why do you need a brand influencer?

It’s fair to state that most brands face an uphill battle in the digital world. A report from The Guardian saw that 69% of customers use the Internet as their main source of information.

Influencer marketing is powerful because your brand has access to a tailored audience. When carried out appropriately, marketing content appears more genuine and authentic. So, it’s time to move away from the banner ads and move towards implementing a strong influencer for your brand.

A study conduct by McKinsey discovered that online word-of-mouth advertising produces twice the number of sales than paid advertising, while also leading to a 37% higher retention rate. The optimal way to drive sales is to clearly identify influencers in your specific industry and leverage their voices to promote and communicate your brand’s message.

 

Benefits of Brand Influencers

1. Grow your brand equity

Influencer marketing does not only increase brand awareness, but also your brand’s true value. In addition, personalised campaigns can grow your follower base and increase overall engagement with your audience.

2. Gain customer trust and loyalty

When there’s an increase in consumer activity on social media, your brand grows. Consumers want to be reached with marketing content at the right time with relevant and applicable messages. Thus, trustworthy influencers can reach this audience and generate genuine engagement that could possibly go viral on the Internet. Moreover, they can also generate customer acquisition and nurture new leads.

3. Influence consumer buying behavior

We all do it. We’re all influenced by other people’s opinions and actions. But it’s important to note that we tend to admire people who we trust. More than 81% of consumers begin their buying journey online and 70% trust and follow the recommendations posted by others.

So, start implementing influencers for your brand today! The authentic messages they create and share on behalf of your brand will only result in a surge of consumer behaviour and an overall increase in your brand equity.

Since consumers are less trusting of marketing content online, branding has become increasingly challenging. Consequently, brands have to work carefully to build the trust needed for their target audience. If your brand takes the time needed to identify a specific influencer to highlight your brand to their audience, then earning that trust is relatively easy.

Does your brand currently work with influencers? Has it worked for your brand and built trust amongst your consumers? Let us know in the comment section below!

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The Perfect Match

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Finding the perfect match is hard, it takes time and effort. Sometimes things just flawlessly fit together and other times it takes significantly more work.

Everyone, at one point or another, has played the word association game. If someone says “Tell me the first word that comes to mind when I say ‘blue”, most people will respond with ‘sky’. The same idea applies to people and brands.  Every person and brand has that one main identifying quality.

When brands go out in search of an influencer in which to partner with, the first step always seems to be the obvious match. But what if it’s not that simple? When brands are looking for influencers and endorsers, it goes well beyond the initial identity.

When It Worked: The Power (Couple) Play

Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, is the face of football, so his deal with Under Armour seems like a seamless fit. He’s active, athletic and clearly an obvious (and ideal) consumer. What about his relationship with UGG Australia? What makes the ‘face of football’ a good fashion influencer? For those who don’t know, Tom Brady is married to one of the highest earning super models, Gisele Bundchen. Their marriage has allowed him to bridge the gap into the fashion industry. Since the partnership with Tom Brady, UGG has been able to increase their number of customers and sales, drawing from Brady’s fan base and the male population as a whole. The power couple’s status also extends to Gisele’s modeling career. She just signed a contract, breaking into the sports modeling industry, to be a face of the Women’s Under Armour Campaign, which one can only assume stems from her clear tie to the athletic community.

When It Didn’t Work: The Girl Who Doesn’t Drink

While some of these influencers are a perfect match, others are not. When Midori Liquor was looking for a spokesperson for their melon liquor, they turned to the elite Kardashian family, specifically Kim Kardashian (Now Kim Kardashian West). They assumed her lavish life-style, nightclub appearance and socialite status would attract a large audience to the product. One problem – Kim Kardashian does not drink. DailyMail obtained a quote in which Kim herself states, “Well, I’ve never really been a drinker. I hate the taste of alcohol.” Just a little outside knowledge and the consumer would realize that Kim Kardashian, in fact, does not drink Midori as much as was portrayed by the campaign. To those who follow Kim’s every move, her endorsing alcohol would be like a bald man endorsing hair dye. It just doesn’t work.

How do brands ensure that they have the perfect match?

In order to ensure that the perfect match is created, brands need to start with the obvious. Brands should think of entering the relationship with an influencer like a funnel. You want to move from the very high level of association to the finite details of their personal mission and values.

Below outlines how someone may choose whether or not to pair with Victoria Beckham. This chart serves as a basic outline for any brand to use when identifying an influencer. If at any time the brand and the person seem to be on two different pages, it may be time to reconsider.

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While a quick google search can reveal a majority of these attributes and answers, an interview along with in depth research will yield the best results. Brands need to ensure that they are connected to their influencer. The brand needs to have some form of overlap in order for there to be an understanding and reality.

ASK: Could I see this person representing this brand in their daily life without changing a thing?

 

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