The Value Of Brand Ambassadors Vs. “One And Done” Customers

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By Courtney Moser

 

“True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

This quote from marketer Jay Baer illustrates a major difference between long-term brand ambassadors or advocates and one-time customers. Are you driving action or just awareness? What about your influencers? The key lies in your brand objectives and campaign strategy. Determining your intentions for an influencer marketing campaign will set the stage for everything that follows.

If you’re focused on pushing a specific product through a short-term campaign, for example, you’re likely to end up increasing awareness with one-time customers. But if you enter into a campaign with the idea that you’re building a relationship with influencers and connecting with future customers, you’re more likely to gain brand ambassadors and see long-term results down the road.

In fact, a recent study found that building brand ambassadors is the most effective influencer marketing strategy. Why? It takes us back to the basics of influencer marketing: the reason that its thriving over more traditional ads and methods. Effective influencers have an ongoing relationship with brands they admire and purchase from personally – increasing authenticity and trust with consumers (and ideally, future brand ambassadors!).

Influencer marketing isn’t just about selling products or services right now, it’s about increasing brand awareness, brand affinity and intent to purchase in the future. And this is done by way of meaningful connections with influencers and consumers (with mutually beneficial value) through quality content and genuine engagement.

“At its core, influencer marketing is the latest iteration of word-of-mouth marketing. You like something, you tell two people, they tell two people and so on,” said Find Your Influence founder Jamie Reardon.

The best influencers drive action – they spur their readers and followers to do something, rather than just listen. These actions vary, from following the brand online to clicking to their website to making a purchase to recommending the brand to more people. That wealth of possibilities illustrates the power of influencer marketing: Ultimately, the influencers you work with will become brand advocates or ambassadors, and inspire consumers to become them as well.

How can you help your influencers drive action? It goes back to your brand objectives and campaign strategy – make sure you’re giving them value and content worth sharing. And of course, choose the right influencers to represent your brand. Partnering with influencers you admire and trust – who bring something fresh to your brand – will make a long-term relationship easier.

“Businesses turn influencers into ‘brand advocates’ by providing them with personalized experiences that motivate them to share positive brand impressions with others,” as said in this MediaPost article.

By now, it should be clear why we recommend working with influencers who can deliver long-term results and inspire consumers to become brand advocates – instead of just “one and done” customers. After all, who doesn’t want long-lasting success?

If you have more questions about influencer marketing campaigns and strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Find Your Influence team here.

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Influencer Marketing Strategy: Front Loading Your Campaign Content

 

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By Courtney Moser

 

Go big or go home.

There are many ways to execute an influencer marketing campaign, but for those looking to make a bang right from the start? This is how you want to do it.

Front loading your influencer marketing campaign means that the majority of your content goes live within the first day or two of the campaign. Then, the rest of the time is spent supporting that content – whether its blogs, YouTube videos, etc. – on social media. This is a popular strategy for many brands, because it allows for a controlled, quick content roll out within a short period of time. Then, simple social promotion follows the posts.

What are the benefits of front loading your campaign content? You make a lot of noise from the start. And, analyzing impact and ROI is straightforward, because you aren’t waiting for a second batch of blogs or follow up videos. You can begin tracking blog views and URL clicks immediately – with updated numbers based on continued social promotion, of course.

Cold Stone Creamery, for example, ran a front-loaded influencer marketing campaign for Mother’s Day. They asked participating influencers to each post one blog focused on their mom-centric #MyIceCreamMemories, while highlighting their Strawberry Splendor ice cream cake product. Blog content was posted during the week before Mother’s Day, and then influencers had to publish two to three social posts within 24 hours of their blog content going live.

The fast turnaround for blog posts and social posts in the Cold Stone campaign helped the brand make a bang right before the holiday. By ensuring that their campaign hashtag was used often during a short period of time, they upped their odds of trending on social channels and increased visibility and engagement.

“Largely thanks to the volume and interconnectedness of social media accounts, influencer campaigns can also earn almost 10 times the earned media value that paid media does,” Dan Sayer says in this article. “And this isn’t just a short-term achievement. These influencers’ brand endorsements stay online, continuing to influence consumers long after they’re penned.”

So, front-loaded or shorter influencer marketing campaigns aren’t missing out on long-term benefits: that content stays online. Although there isn’t continually new content for that brand, those endorsements and partnerships live on blogs and social channels – and in consumers’ minds.

What’s your influencer marketing campaign strategy? Which other brands are front loading their content and finding success? Share your thoughts below!

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Influencer Marketing Strategy: Spreading Out Your Campaign Content

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By Courtney Moser

 

We’ve all heard the expression “slow and steady wins the race,” right? Or the story about the tortoise beating the hare? It can be frustrating waiting for results or success down the road when you just want it right now.

But, patience is a virtue – especially when it comes to influencer marketing. By spreading out your campaign content, you will gain prolonged results over a longer period of time. This strategy requires plenty of patience, for sure, but it can also deliver long-term success for brands.

Planning to have content published or promoted across an extended period of time helps build a sustained influencer marketing campaign. Fruit and vegetable juice brand V8, for example, recently ran an influencer marketing campaign in which they spread out their content and messaging over a four-month period. In the first part of the campaign, the brand asked influencers to complete a series of “challenges” promoting the new fruit and veggie juice blend products using the hashtag #V8VegOut. For the second campaign part, V8 asked influencers to create two unique blog posts each and promote them on social media using the hashtag #V8VeggieBlends.

V8’s influencer marketing campaign promoted the same new product line throughout, even though they changed up content, objectives and hashtags to keep it fresh across the several month span. This strategy led to great success for V8, with the following results:

  • 4.3 million total reach
  • 17,000 blog views
  • 322 blog post shares

Consistency is key when it comes to spreading out your campaign content. Many brands create an editorial calendar and give influencers specific dates in which to publish blog posts and social content, so that the messaging is monitored and steady across a longer time period. This also helps brands connect with influencers and build trust among consumers.

“Influencer marketing is very much a long game. You have to build up relationships and garner trust with the right people before hoping to reap the rewards,” said AJ Agrawal in this article. “The companies gaining the most from influencer marketing are also the ones who have been in this game the longest.”

So if you’re just getting started with influencer marketing, remember to be patient. One day, you may be the successful brand others look to for long-term campaign inspiration.

For more information about different influencer marketing strategies, visit the Find Your Influence blog. Or, contact the FYI team with any questions.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Fully Integrate Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

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By: Courtney Moser

“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” – Aristotle

I know, I know – we’re getting philosophical on you again. So what does this mean? The end result of individuals working together is greater than if they all were added together separately. A special something is gained in the group effort, often referred to as synergy.

So,  for example, influencer marketing is effective on it’s own – as is email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, paid advertising, etc. But what if you ran a campaign that encompassed all of them, spanning networks and audiences? It would be far more impactful than smaller, siloed campaigns.

Influencer marketing needs to be part of your larger marketing strategy to make a more meaningful, lasting impression and win over consumers. Before you begin any influencer marketing campaigns, then, you should first take stock of existing campaigns and determine overall brand goals. If your upcoming influencer marketing campaign is a continuation of a current brand campaign – such as inviting influencers to share a new product or service that’s being promoted elsewhere – you’re golden. Just make sure your messaging aligns across the board for consumer consistency.

If you’re about to start a completely new influencer marketing campaign, on the other hand, you should plan out how to carry it over throughout all marketing efforts. Budweiser’s FYI campaign is an excellent example of this. To celebrate National Burger Day and promote the Bud & Burgers Championship event hosted at their brewery, Budweiser turned to influencer marketing to complement the rest of their marketing and advertising strategy. Along with local event promotion, influencers helped spread the word on social media using the hashtag #BudandBurgers and #STL. This increased awareness and audience reach.

Consistency and quality are key in all of your marketing efforts in order to accelerate growth. Get creative with crossing campaigns and messaging so that your branding is powerful and relevant. To recap, you need to integrate influencer marketing with your overall strategy by:

 

o   Tying together current and future campaigns

o   Defining brand goals from the start

o   Aligning messaging across all platforms and methods

o   Keeping your influencers genuine and on brand

 

Take a look at the rest of our influencer marketing best practices here to learn more.

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