Your Basic Guide To Influencer Marketing

Companies have used influencers for their advertisements since the dawn of businesses. We're sure that when the first cavewoman that started selling produce to her fellow cave-dwelling friends, used the influence of a powerful caveperson in the community. Maybe it was the buffest, most athletic mammoth slayer who loved getting a boost from her freshly picked veg, or the Regina George of the village who wore the coolest sabertooth necklaces and ate only the crispiest produce. Having a spokesperson who had used the product, enjoyed it, and had the prominence to get others involved really does help boost a business. An influencer connects the audience to the product. It allows the audience to see themselves using it. If it worked for the influencer, they believe it can work for them too.

Even if you have a small business, you can still obtain an influencer and boost your sales. The influencer you use might not have a major celebrity reputation like Beyonce or Justin Bieber, but they can still hit the target market that you need. Think like that cavewoman and pick out someone from your area who fits your target market. Using a local social media influencer can truly help to up your reach as well as your sales. Luckily enough, we live in the 21st Century. So influencing a wide audience it very possible through the channel of social media.

Take Parabo Press for example. They are a small photo printing service located in California, who ship printed images to their customers. They recognize who their target market is and found a clever way to make their audience become their influencers. A large chunk of their target market included millennial girls who use the prints to decorate their space. Most millennials are heavily involved in imagery, as they are consistently on social media sharing pictures. Instagram itself is specifically designed with photos in mind and allows a printing service to be strongly relevant. A customer can use their service to print their Instagram photos. This opened up a perfect opportunity for Parabo Press to sell their service through their own audience of Instagram users. Why not make the young people who already use the service into influencers? That's just what they did. The post below shows how they even advertised to their audience to become a Parabo Campus Rep.
Here's an example of using an influncer account to promote your local business. If you click the tags in the image, you can see that this young influencer is hosting a giveaway for a variety of small businesses. She's wearing the swimsuit, using the wall hangings, and therefore proving that these products are just as cool as she is. She's local and gets tens of thousands of views, which makes her perfect for small businesses in the area to get a spotlight. This post shows that a real person uses these products, and so should you.
Even larger companies use local Instagram influencers to promote their services. The Von family from Salt Lake City uses their high follower account to post about their vacations. Royal Carribean uses the Von's real-life life experiences to promote their cruise services. Other moms scrolling through their social media will see this average everyday family having a blast at sea, and it could influence them to prep their own family vacation with Royal Carribean.

Still curious about how the big shots make it work? Here's an example from Puma's partnership with model/actress Cara Delevigne. It almost seems like a print ad, but it's casual enough that it looks like Cara just posted about it herself. (We personally think adding the hashtag #ad is a little tacky, but mentioning that it's a partnership is necessary. A better way to do so is just to casually talk about the brand and tag them in the post. A paid partnership location option is also available at the top of the post.) This post collected millions of likes, proving its success. It's a relatable picture and quote, which is exactly what an influencer post needs to be.

Be your own #Muse. #ad

A post shared by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Ready to start influencing? Contact us at Avant8 and we'll match you to the perfect influencer for your business!  Head to our contact page to get started.


iHob: International House of Bad Marketing Decisions??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.

The change from pancakes to burgers created a buzz of both positive and negative reactions.

Initial reactions around our own office were along the lines of the tweet below. IHOb stood for the International House of Bad Marketing Decisions. Many of our employees still think that. But researching into the brand’s reasoning may help the haters realize that the idea isn’t as bad as they think.

IHOb is circulating a storm of media, both positive and negative. But here’s the thing, it got people talking. How often were crowds mentioning IHOP before? It’s all they can talk about now. Even other brands are jumping on the virality of the pancake house’s big announcement. Burger joints like White Castle, Whataburger, Burger King, and Wendy’s all attached themselves to the marketing hit from IHOP.

Here’s our two favorite IHOb memes:

IHOP has had burgers on the menu since they opened in the 1950s, but how many people actually knew about them or actually ordered these burgers? According to AdWeek, “IHOP accomplished exactly what they were after: drawing attention to an increasingly popular non-breakfast item that’s always been on their menu.” The new “steakburgers” are the centerpiece to this marketing ploy, and the brand wants to emphasize people to come and try them during lunch and dinner, when less customers enter the store.

The burger business is growing. At least by 3 percent a year, and ‘burgers’ have a high clout score…a much higher score than pancakes. IHOP jumped on the trend not only to increase it’s own social media engagement, but to sell more of its lesser popular menu item.

According to an article by CNBC “the name change isn’t permanent. The same day the meaning behind the “b” was revealed, the chain restaurant announced in a press release that the move was “just for the time being.” The marketing strategy will promote the seven new burgers that the restaurant is adding to its menu.”

This name-changing marketing tactic is no new strategy. Pizza Hut once changed its name to Pasta Hut in 2008 to promote their new kinds of pasta.

Stephen Anderson of the Maxim Group claimed that despite its mixed reviews from audiences, the pasta sales at Pizza Hut increased by 1.5 percent.

If nothing else, IHOPs popularity and mentions have skyrocketed since the announcement on June 11th. But will it translate to sales is the big question. Only time will tell.

What do you think about IHOPs temporary name change??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.


BOO! Using Prank Videos in Marketing

Audiences consume viral video content like a fat kid in a candy store. It's no wonder brands and businesses are wanting to satisfy this craving. A viral video means an enormous audience reach and marketers are looking to take advantage by filling social media feeds with promotional prank videos.

This prank approach fits right in with the entertainment content consumed on social media. Audiences will laugh, tag their friends with phrases like "This is so funny!" or maybe "You'd totally fall for this!", and the best of these videos will be shared to personal profiles to show all their followers/friends. Sharability skyrockets with a viral video. Comedy is universal feel-good content that can be shared across age-groups, demographics, psychographics, etc. which is why brands have utilized pranks to create this shareable social media content.

The brands that seem to use the viral prank video approach the most are movies. Usually, action or horror films use this tactic. They have an exact goal in mind of turning the movie's element of fear into a funny prank. They ask the question, "What would you do if you were in this situation?" If you witnessed a telekinetic teen attack bystanders, or if you saw that a flash freeze was imminent via the news, how would you react?

This first video gathered over 68 million hits to promote the remake of the famous classic horror film, Carrie.

Here, the action film Geostorm (which depicts crazy weather events destroying cities) tries its hand at the viral prank trend.

Besides films, products have also fit strongly into this trend. LG, the electronics company, used two prank videos in two different countries to promote the 'realness' of their tv screens. The first was placing their TV screens on the floor of an elevator to mimic falling tiles.

The second video by LG involved using their TV as a fake window and simulated a meteor falling on the city. Reactions to this one are golden.

One of our personal favorites is a prank video geared to understanding the design and marketing process of ad agencies.  What if the ridiculous questions bad clients asked of creatives was also asked of everyday business-owners, park-goers, taxi-drivers, and the like? It's funny, but also teaches customer's how to better work with marketers.

Prank videos have always been popular, and they bring a brand right to the forefront of a customer's mind. Many brands are using prank viral video marketing to boost exposure and sales. Is your brand suited to this humor-based marketing tactic?


The Success of Wendy's Twitter Roasts

It seems like all fast food chains have social media on lock these days. Brands are getting smarter on the internet and learning to become "one of the guys" with their followers. Wendy's is uber successful in employing this tactic of fitting in with social media culture.  They've become one of the most popular brand accounts on the internet, and it's all about their unique customer engagement.

The Wendy's Twitter Roasts all started with their Twitter account responding to negative comments from internet trolls in ironic and tongue-in-cheek ways.

Audiences began to crave receiving the honor of being roasted by Wendy's so much, that Wendy's now answers hundreds of questions and comments a day.

The tweets between Wendy's and their followers became so massive in number, that it became popular for YouTubers to film reaction videos to the tweets.

 

This brought the conversation to a whole new social media platform, and it became just as trendy to react to Wendy's tweets via YouTube. The video above has 9 million views, and many of the other popular Wendy's tweets videos each have millions as well.

Wendy's has even responded to the YouTube videos, poking fun at the comments YouTubers made towards their Twitter content.

Perhaps what brought Wendy's the biggest Twitter fame was the accidental success of #NuggsForCarter. It all started as a classic Wendy's Roast towards a follower who wanted free nuggets from the restaurant.

The tweet became so popular that Ellen Degeneres herself met with Carter. She joked that she'd ask her audience to keep retweeting her Oscar's selfie, which was crowned the most retweeted tweet ever at the time. But despite that "threat", Carter's nugget tweet beat the all-time retweet record...even though it didn't make it to the highly improbable 18 million.

No brand could have asked for better social media publicity.

Other brands have attempted to step foot into Wendy's spotlight. Some have also gotten that classic roast:

And others have played along and drawn in more followers:

Wendy's achieved the seemingly impossible and achieved mega-internet popularity as a brand. And it's all because of this: Wendy's social media marketing strategy connects the brand to the new generation by making their content personal. It creates that one-on-one conversation between customer and restaurant, that draws more and more people to click that follow button. Audiences on Twitter were excited to be engaged with by someone who spoke their cultural language and liked to make jokes just as much as they do.

The Wendy's Twitter account hooks younger audiences to their brand all by being funny and ironic. But how many brands could go this far? It's all about understanding your audience. Many young people eat at fast food restaurants because it's affordable for them. So, Wendy's reached out to these young people through a channel young people love...social media.

Maybe we'll be next and have the honor of being roasted on Twitter by Wendy's.


How to Overcome Data Dump and Conquer Analytics

It’s easy to fall prey to accumulating tons of data. But how many businesses actually know how to utilize this monster of data they’ve collected? When data needs to be presented, why go through slide after slide of super-small text just to fit all the analytics in? Will any of the information stick in the client’s mind with that much content to sift through? Without having a specific purpose or end-goal in mind, you may as well not talk about data at all. Don’t waste company time on info that is only interesting. Instead, center on what will make a difference.

It’s time to make these analytics presentations not only easier for you, but for all involved. Get out of the data dumping habit, and learn how to share your analytics the right way.

It’s time to hone in on only the data that is "need to know". Data that will help improve your business rather than just be intriguing to look at.

You Need More Than Metrics...You Need KPIs

There can be plenty of interesting metrics in your collective social data. Metrics range from page views (and who doesn’t want to see how many times people clicked your blog right?), impressions, followers, and time on page. These are all interesting factors to look over, but how do these numbers connect with business success? Here enters the importance of KPIs. These metrics are specific to your core business outcomes.

KPIs that could be imperative for your company include monthly active users, loyalty members, and conversion rates. These adhere more specifically to how your company may want to improve. If these numbers are low, you know where you need to improve. If they’re high, you can see what you’re doing right.

Now don’t go overboard and consider too many analytics as a KPI. That misses the point. Pick maybe a few per department. Get as specific as possible. Narrow it down. Don’t dump tons of info into a small funnel.

Shoot Towards a Target

It takes a lot of hard work to forecast what targets your company should aim for. With this in mind, remember to target KPIs that are worthy of this hard work. The analytics you’ll uncover will be well-worth the time.

What does your company consider as an indicator of success? Before you comb through data, make a specific numerical target. Without these, there won’t be a way to chart whether performance is good or bad.

With time, your company will be much faster in finding helpful information, forecasting company plans, and directing money solely towards analytics that make a real difference.

Now get out there and conquer your mountain of data! Impress those clients and prove that your company knows how to make a campaign successful. After all, you’ll have that right data and analytics to prove it.