Millennial Influencers Should Be Telling Your Brand Story
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The internet is buzzing with influencer marketing, millennials, and the art of storytelling. In case you live under a rock here are some quick statistics to wake you up on why these three topics are on every digital marketer’s mind.
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
- 68% of global marketers see Influencer Marketing as a lead generation and customer acquisition tactic
- Offers shared by trusted advocates convert at 4-10x higher rate than offers sent by brands.
- 73% of millennials feel it is their responsibility to help friends and family make smart purchase decisions.
- Millennials in the US wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power
- Five out of six millennials in the US connect with companies on social media networks
- GE combined storytelling and influencer marketing for their InstaWalk campaign. The results were 3.5 M Instagram followers across the InstaWalk feeds in aggregate and 200K+ social engagements in the first 48 hours.
Now, the question is how do you combine the three hottest topics in digital marketing into a campaign that propels your brand? I can solve that for you in five steps.
1. Craft your brand story. A lot of companies get hung up on this, but it’s actually beautifully simple. Tell the story of your mission statement, how your brand came to be, and how it helps consumers. It doesn’t hurt to shower sentiments of love for your consumers in there. I recommend hiring a great copywriter who can sit down with your marketing team and craft a storybook worthy heart-grabbing tale of your brand.
2. Forget the obvious. The campaigns that will drive the most unique views will be from people who may not have been looking for you. Get creative when deciding which platform and what type of millennial influencers will help you reach your goal.
For example, Buick created the “Pinboard to Dashboard” campaign which solicited the help of 9 heavy hitting food and style Pinterest influencers to creatively determine a brand image from pinboards. Food and style are not the keywords we’d typically associate with a vehicle campaign, but in this case they worked a magical viewership of over 3 million.
3. Find your millennial influencers! The good news is they are abundant on social media, but to find the perfect ones for your campaign it’s best to research them. Does their style of post match your brand message? Fit is crucial in influencer marketing. Check their engagement not just their followers numbers. You’re looking for millennials with audiences who are HIGHLY engaged. This may mean choosing influencers with a lower following numbers but a higher engagement ratio. The more influencers you get to commit to the campaign the greater the result of course, but the often overlooked advantage in numbers here is if you can make cross promotion part of the campaign you can usually get more commitments from the influencers you want. After all, the name of their game is engaged users. So, they want more of those as well.
Resource: If you are on the struggle bus finding influential millennials, there are several companies that connect influencers to brands. I personally have had the most success with Niche but I’m a big fan of InstaBrand after their Social Media Week Influencer class. There are Twitter chats for influencers to take part in such as #InfluencerChat This is typically an older crowd though. I would recommend jumping in the #MCEOtalk (Millennial CEO) This chat usually features a panel of millennial influencers and young marketing heavy hitters.
4. Encourage interpretation. This can be the scariest part. Influencer marketing is the slightly prettier taller sister of Word of Mouth Advertising or Peer to Peer Marketing. While it may be tempting to have your in-house copywriters write the exact tweets for influencers don’t do it! Authenticity is key! Just like in word of mouth or peer to peer. The reason great influencers are so effective is because their posts read more like original posts instead of ads. If you force them to post what you provide you lose their voice, style, and authenticity. Provide them with your brand story (from step one) and let them create their posts to tell it with their unique voice. You should provide prompts or examples of the posts that perform the best on your brand’s social media accounts. This gives your millennial influencers a better idea of how to create content for your consumers and their following.
5. Track it! Track it! Track it! It is crucial to know the success rates for the different platforms, influencers, and type of content included in the campaign. The compared statistics are the data that should determine your next influencer campaign. Repeat only what was the most successful. This includes influencers! If an influencer performed exceptionally well it is worth your time to continue to build a relationship with them for future campaigns. Finally, give the results to your influencers. They care about campaign success as much as you do. Great results often end up in a corresponding blog post, social media post, or on the LinkedIn profile of your influencer. Which equals more traffic for your brand.
I even made you a nifty Infographic with tips. Pin this and refer back to it while you are strategizing your millennial influencers campaign.
About the Author: Cara Parrish (@CaraFnParrish) is an International Marketing Consultant and Influencer for brands such as VH1, Dove, MTV & more. She founded @TasteTheWildAir, a travel guide company with a “Keep It Local” promise to only feature small and local businesses never chains. She travels in her vintage Airstream with her photographer boyfriend, Dan, and her Texas Heeler puppy, Merle. Her hair is never done and she wears cowboys boots too often.
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