Unless you’ve been on a sabbatical without access to the latest marketing news and trends, there’s a high chance that you’ve heard influencer marketing repeating like your favourite earworm on a hit radio channel.
Until today, the song has been telling a story about brands that use Instagram celebrities to promote their products. One or at the very most a few posts without a long-term plan and strategy – like ‘The Ketchup Song’ that brought the Spanish girl band ‘Las Ketchup’ into the spotlight for a short while, only then to disappear forever.
And most of the brands have been following the same rhythm.
That beat is about to change. Right now. Put your headphones on.
The hit song of 2018 is not about celebrities but about micro influencers; in other words, your most influential customers sharing their experiences using your products and services.
The most forward-thinking brands let these most engaged and influential customers tell their story, showcasing the brand’s products in actual use. They encourage these micro influencers to share feedback on social channels and place a call-to-action on all the marketing materials online and offline.
With social media aggregation tools like Flockler, they identify micro influencers and content is curated, categorised and displayed digitally - encouraging other customers to purchase the product too.
No? Need tips on how to engage micro influencers in creating user-generated content?
Let me throw you a few tactics that you can start using today:
- Contact some of your key customers and interview them about how they initially came across your product and how your product has helped to solve their problem(s). Ask them to provide images, create quotes from the interview content, and place them on your homepage and product pages.
- Ask your customers to share their experience with friends and mention your Facebook page, Instagram profile or Twitter account. The content gathered during the interviews will be a great example of the type and tone of content you are looking your audience to share. Trust me: if the content feels authentic, other customers will follow. Brands can’t dictate to consumers but they can set the rhythm; potentially creating a timeless tune instead of a one-hit wonder.
- Repost the content shared by your customers. Amplifying the content of your most engaged customers is an efficient way to increase the engagement and reach of your social channels. Buffer, a social media management tool, has been using this tactic to great success – by reposting the best user‑generated content, they increased the number of Instagram followers by 400% in one year!
Three brands using micro influencers to increase conversions
GlassesUSA, a major online retailer of eyewear, has built a ‘Social shop’ highlighting images posted by happy customers worldwide. The images are tagged with related products - making it easy for customers to purchase something they like.
The Social Shop serves as an excellent example of how brands can make user-generated content shoppable. Product feedback and reviews from peers inspire other people and encourage them to buy too.
At the time of decreasing reach for branded social content, what do forward-thinking brands do? They encourage their customers to share their experiences, engage with the content, and amplify it within their community.
That’s the beat Planet Fitness Community is playing! In addition to useful content created by the marketing team, Planet Fitness is actively promoting their most engaged customers on social channels. The higher engagement and visibility of this content enables Planet Fitness to reach out to a new customer base and build an engaged community. With 1400+ gyms and more than 10 million members, they are not running out of content anytime soon.
Women for Women: Driving brand awareness and donations with an engaging campaign
Are you looking to create an evergreen hit song with your influencer marketing campaign? Well, who wouldn’t?
A winning social strategy is to ask customers to share a story mentioning their loved ones or someone they think highly of. Sharing a story about someone you care about sparks the attention of your friends and increases engagement. It’s fuel for the algorithms of social media channels – the faster the engagement increases, the more visibility the post will get in our news feeds.
Women for Women take this approach with #SheInspiresMe. The campaign encourages women to share a story about someone who inspires them in their life. The high engagement around the hashtag helps Women for Women to increase brand awareness and drive donations.
P.S. still don’t remember ‘The Ketchup Song’? Don’t worry; I had to check their YouTube video when my colleague mentioned it as one of the songs and artists that were played intensively for a short period and then disappeared.