How often do you buy a product because someone on YouTube gives it a good review? Or try a new café based on Yelp reviews? The answer is pretty simple…you do it all the time.
We are consumers in a time when digital social media heavily influences how we live. With the advent of social media, consumers look at fellow buyers for information about products and brands. While this is great for consumers, it’s even better for businesses.
It’s one thing for a brand to promote itself, but when a customer/employee/person markets the company voluntarily, then it stands as advocacy and means that love between the consumer and brand is real.
Here’s how advocacy can benefit brands:
- If your advocates have a large band of followers on social network platforms, then larger audiences can be influenced.
- Reviews, testimonies and user-generated content contributed by the influencers can contribute to the company’s earned media, and help the brand to build its reputation.
- Sales and new businesses become possible through referrals.
- Influencers become happy and loyal customers.
So how do you find influencers for your campaign?
Before reaching out to influencers, businesses need to consider the following 3 R’s.
Reach: The number of people you could reach via the influencer’s follower base that would add value to the business.
Relevance: Consider if the influencer is creating content that resonates with your business objective and campaign goals and whether he has the following base that represents your target audience.
Resonance: The influencer needs to be able to create a sufficient level of engagement with the audience that is relevant to the brand’s message.
Researchers at Twitter found that people older than 45 years of age prefer celebrities as their influencers, while millennials look at digital content creators.
Let’s look at how brands are already making good use of this. Targeting the millennial market, Contiki has been using influencer marketing through its #RoadTrip series where YouTube stars follow Contiki itineraries while they travel the world. Some of their videos, like the one below have had more than a million views.
It’s no surprise, that after the 2015 travel series to South East Asia, Contiki saw a 25 percent rise in online traffic to Asian trip packages on its website, and a jump of 175 percent in owned YouTube audiences.
How can you incorporate influencer marketing in your social media strategy?
Influencer campaigns need to be aligned with the brand image and content strategy.
- Businesses can piggyback on their followers, and work with these influencers to create and post content about the brand on their social media channels. For instance, National Pork Board partnered with Latino social media influencers to encourage Hispanic American families to serve pork during the holiday season.
- Companies can also boost their credibility by recruiting influencers to participate in sharing content. Recently, clothing company Threadbeast did this by creating a series of Facebook Ads where streetwear influencer Nightwing2303 unboxed Threadbeast packages.
So, brands- you need to find your brand advocates and take good care of them. Both the company and influencer needs to create mutual value, and this does not mean cold cash exchange. Love them back, and you will receive so much more in return.
Are you taking advantage of your experts, influencers, and fans on social media? Don’t miss out on advocacy marketing!!