How The Value of Influencer Marketing Has Shifted

Since the initial introduction of the Influencer to the world of marketing, it has been viewed as one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways for brands to drive awareness and expand their audience. The concept of using trusted personas to sell to consumers who already have some level of affinity for those who are selling to them, made perfect sense and seemed to be an almost fool-proof strategy to gain brand awareness. But as Influencer Marketing has evolved, it has become more complex and more expensive. 

Below, you’ll find what you need to know about the current state of Influencer Marketing, as well as the best ways to get the most out of Influencer Marketing in 2020 and beyond

Oversaturation

One of the most prominent issues within Influencer Marketing is oversaturation. Being paid to post to social media has become the new “American dream”, so as the trend has emerged, everyone with an Instagram account has attempted to capitalize on it. 

There are far too many accounts attempting to gain influencer status. Many of these aspiring influencers may have the follower count to support their status, but lack the key trait that is essential to securing returns on investment — actual influence. The value of influencer marketing relies on the credibility and relationship that an influencer has with their audience. This has caused brands to shift their focus to micro and nano influencers, because consumers trust opinions and recommendations from sources they deem personal and authentic — real people

Effectiveness 

High follower count isn’t always congruent with high engagement. Far too many Instagram accounts have inflated follower numbers when compared to the actual reach they offer. These inflated follower counts could be considered “empty calories” with high percentages of the follower accounts being inactive, un-engaged, or simply being paid-for-bots. All of which are worthless to a brand that is trying to generate a thriving and authentic online community. 

Cybersecurity firm Cheq estimates that businesses lost 1.3 billion dollars to Influencer Fraud in 2019, so it’s imperative that when laying out your Influencer Marketing strategy, you’re able to identify the right influencers to get significant value out of your investment. Luckily, the industry is now recognizing the most efficient and cost-effective path forward, which is building more authentic online brand communities.

The Best Way To Work With Influencers

In the past there’s been no true industry standard for how much influencers get paid per post. Traditionally, companies have roughly estimated the value of an influencers reach based off of their follower count, which we now know can’t quite be trusted. 

While companies used to develop relationships directly with their individual influencers, the landscape of Influencer marketing has shifted to a more reliable model, where influencers are working with agencies to find the right brands for them, and vice versa. This new system is much more efficient and reliable for companies and brands as they’re making more manageable payouts to the influencers with a more certain guarantee of the reach and engagement they’ll be receiving in return. In turn, this has developed a new industry standard for how this form of advertisement should be conducted.

What will Influencer Marketing look like beyond 2020?

Despite the recent discoveries of a few glaring flaws, there is still value in to be found in Influencer Marketing. However, like all forms of advertisement, it should be conducted with focus, strategy, and efficiency. As consumers trust traditional advertising less and less, it’s important to look at how to solve the issues within influencer marketing, like effectiveness and fraud. The most authentic way to get people to talk about your brand is to invest in real people. 

Brands should look to build a community of real people who are authentic brand fans. By focusing less on follower count and more on the relationship they have with their community,  the increased ROI will follow naturally. 

A Deeper Connection Between Consumers and Brands: Why User Generated Content Should Be Part of Your Social Strategy

Trust has a significant and direct effect on consumers’ intention to buy. Social media, specifically Instagram, is becoming an increasingly strong Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales channel. With more consumers using social media than ever — 3.5 billion to be exact — it’s important to mobilize the marketing power it provides. 

Beyond the experience a consumer may encounter with a brand through different marketing touch points, social media is a powerful tool because it provides a voice that consumers deem more reputable and trustworthy than a banner ad or billboard. People follow their friends, family, and public figures like celebrities and influencers that all have an influence on what and why they buy. 

As consumers browse social media, the content created by people they follow, begins to inform their opinion and ultimately drives their decision to purchase. Ultimately, for consumers, it creates the sense that they have more control over their own purchasing journey because it feels relatable and personalized. 

Given this, brands have two options. They can choose to place paid-ads in their consumers’ newsfeeds, or they can enlist their brand fans to create content that reflects a positive consumer opinion of the brand or product. The choice is clear, given that user generated content (UGC) affects 90% of shoppers’ purchasing decisions. This type of content also tends to be the most engaging, compared to paid-ads. 

This is why brands are relying on UGC to support their word of mouth marketing strategies. People trust real people and real opinions. Especially given the rise of the Influencer (and with it Influencer fraud) over the past several years, social media has provided a platform for brands to heavily influence buying decisions using UGC.

With social media quickly becoming a strong DTC sales channel, more brands are deciding to  invest in UGC. As more content is created and engaged with, the brands gain more earned media — ultimately the most credible form of content for the brand because it is being created by highly satisfied customers. This content, when given increased distribution via social media, will drive higher conversions than any other paid channel. 

According to a study in AdAge, brands that replace their traditional paid media with earned media see their conversion jump from 1% to 5% or higher. Still, many brands are still paying rent to Facebook and Google to drive clicks when they should be focusing on content strategy. Consumer opinion can’t be bought — brands should be investing more in relationships with their brand advocates, as it is ultimately what drives earned media and in turn, deeper connections with the brand and lasting ROI.

UGC is valuable because it broadens the reach of a brand in the most organic way. Consumers want to hear from people with authentic perspectives, who have already experienced a product. 83% of people trust recommendations from someone they know. When a majority of consumers live on social media, it makes sense to engage active users of your product to create and share content about their experience with it — particularly when more than half of these posts are based on a positive experience with a brand or product. UGC humanizes a brand and allows them to create deeper, more emotional connections with consumers and should be used as a way to maintain human touch between brand and consumer. 

Ultimately, UGC humanizes a brand and allows them to forge stronger connections with consumers, and word of mouth plays an integral role in introducing those connections. Having a broad reach with multiple voices advocating for a brand allows them to cultivate stronger relationships with their customers. In an age where social media encourages and fosters consumer trust, it’s important for brands to activate word of mouth through their social media channels in a way that resonates more deeply with consumers. 

4 DTC Brand Communities We Love

Building a brand community is more than just a marketing strategy. Whether based in the physical world or digital, these communities foster authenticity, trust, and loyalty in a brand. 

Online communities are incredibly important when it comes to building brand awareness and driving word of mouth referrals. Each of these components have a role in developing and maintaining meaningful connections with the people who love your brand the most. 

Inviting the consumer into your brand experience removes any layer of separation and allows them to become an advocate for your brand. As the popularity of the brand community continues to rise, we’ve decided to share some of the brand communities we love: 

Sephora

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Beauty is personal, and this has a remarkable influence in beauty brands’ ability to cultivate such strong and active communities. There is so much to love about how Sephora built their Beauty Insider Community. Sephora created an online social platform that provides a unified brand experience for their biggest fans to connect with one another through their love for beauty, skincare, and cosmetics. 

Inside the community, Beauty Insiders post photos, reviews, and recommendations on products or looks they love. They can also chat with other Beauty Insiders to gain inspiration for the next look, product, or tip they want to try. It truly is a hub of knowledge and content that keeps Sephora’s brand community engaged — and it comes with perks. 

Through the community, Beauty Insiders have access to special events, live streams with famous beauty gurus, and exclusive discounts on products. Sephora’s combination of consumer connection, engagement, and rewards is what keeps Beauty Insiders so close to the brand. Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community is truly a culmination of everything that makes a brand community successful. 

Peloton

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Blending together fitness, socialization, and inspiring instructors, Peloton has become a cult brand. They’ve grown a community that promotes the kind of healthy competition that keeps users motivated and coming back for more, right in their own living rooms. 

Through gamification based on personal and social competition, Peloton uses both their equipment and class technology to create a fitness world that is entirely their own. Users hop on their bikes in their own home and connect with people exercising across the globe. Peloton has enlisted approachable and motivational coaches that implore their users to “show up”, motivate them, and consistently invite these users back in to be a part of a larger community. 

With a social integration through Facebook and elements like leaderboards, badges, and challenges, Peloton keeps their users active in their workout and with one another. Everyone is in it together. 

Aerie

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Aerie has always been a brand that represented women’s empowerment, inclusivity, and body positivity. With their #AerieREAL Ambassador community, the brand has taken these ideals a step further by curating a diverse group of women including students, mothers, working professionals, and more. We love #AerieREAL because it’s just that — real. No airbrush, no retouching. It challenges stereotypical standards of beauty, and inspires customers to be their true selves and comfortable in their own skin. 

Not only do their ambassadors live in Aerie products, but are inspired to promote change through Aerie’s mission of empowerment and positivity. Through body positive ad campaigns, inviting customers to tag #AerieREAL in their content, and changing the conversation about beauty standards, Aerie has built a strong community of advocates. 

Hims 

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As telemedicine grows in popularity, Hims is setting itself apart from the rest as one of the fastest growing men’s wellness brands in America. Hims has built an incredible community focused on “empathy first” and breaking the barriers of vulnerability and stigma that surround men’s health. They understand that the stigmas around healthcare, especially when it comes to topics like erectile dysfunction and hair loss, can be difficult conversations to have. That’s why Hims uses real people to drive awareness and create better dialogue around men’s health and wellness. 

Not only is Hims taking an authentic approach to their community by using normal, everyday people to talk about their products — they’re utilizing their community to educate a broader consumer audience. Hims’ blog, Instagram, and other online platforms serve to inform consumers more about men’s health and instills trust in Hims as a leader within the telemedicine space.   

Building Your Community.

What do each of these brands have in common? They invited their biggest fans — real people —  to be a part of their story. So, how can you cultivate your own brand community? Let your fans help you tell your story, engage them, and reward them. Brand communities evoke a more valuable brand experience for your consumers, and strengthens their relationship and loyalty to your brand. 

Keep Up with These 3 Influencer Marketing Strategies for 2020

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Influencer marketing is an effective and inexpensive way to help increase brand awareness, boost social following and drive more sales. It’s important that you’re building a strategy that includes influencers that align with your brand to create a better experience for your customers.

The strategies below include expert tips that are helpful for building and scaling your Influencer Marketing campaigns.

1. Continue Recruiting…but focus on the Right Recruits

Influencer marketing has no signs of slowing for 2020. The cost per acquisition stemming from Influencer Marketing has been proven to be lower than paid advertising campaigns. But with fake follower counts on the rise and engagement rates declining, make sure you scout for influencers who match your brand and have the highest engagement rates with an audience who will respond to your brand. 

Great content, created by experts is the key. So look for influencers who have high engagement and showcase they are sharing knowledge and you will find the ROI you are looking for, because their followers are interested in the influencers’ content and paying attention to their recommendations.

2. Engagement Trumps Follower Count

This year also marks a rise in paying attention to content creators who have smaller audiences. They often have a more relatable voice and therefore the results convert at a lower cost, but a higher rate. Marketers find themselves asking “What should I be paying for this and was it successful?”

In 2019, there were reports about influencers being too “pay to play” and as a result, were losing the trust of their following. Brands should take a holistic look into their influencers’ earned media value, including insights from each post to see the number of likes, comments, and engagement rate to see how the content is converting from a sales perspective as well. 

Look at your customer base and see who has the highest engagement and lean on them to help your team find new brand fans, evangelize new products, and share positive feedback about your brand to their networks. 

Bottom line, engagement trumps follower count, meaning a micro influencer — or even consumer ambassador — with influence over real people not bots, could be more effective than a more general influencer with 10 times the following.So don’t be afraid to build a bigger community of smaller voices to drive the results you are looking for.

3. Invest In Your Community 

As social media platforms and digital advertising continue to evolve, customers want to hear from relatable influencers who stand behind a brand’s products, services, or mission. Receiving genuine insight from real people, like active customers, resonates with consumers more deeply than a repetitive Facebook ad filling their feeds. 

DTC Trends To Watch in 2020

2020 is here, and a new decade means new trends for direct-to-consumer brands. “DTC” no longer describes solely a means of distribution, but rather, the increasingly holistic value that this type of brand provides to consumers. It’s not just about connecting with consumers through the ease of a direct and online transaction, but connecting with consumers by engaging them and establishing a sense of community. 

So what does this shift mean for brand strategy in 2020?

ACTIVATING THE BRAND COMMUNITY

As value to consumers expands beyond means of distribution, the way that investors value these DTC brands shifts as well. 2019 brought an influx of new DTC brands, unicorns, mergers, and acquisitions that have led investors to look for companies with proven and reliable market potential. 

There is incredible value to be built through establishing and activating your brand community. A strong community is an indicator of organic growth and helps you build and maintain relationships with consumers. Ambassador programs help you promote brand loyalty and incentivize repeat buyers while maintaining a human touch between your brand and your biggest advocates. 

Outdoor Voices, one of the fastest growing DTC athleisure brands, activated their brand community by launching city and college ambassadors and has seen tremendous growth as a result. They invited their community of advocates to share digitally how they live in their brand in the real world, #DoingThings, and established relationships with their most avid consumers, which helped fueled the rise of the OV brand. 

Ambassadors are a cost effective strategy to build relationships with real people that advocate for your brand and exhibit the kind of organic growth that investors are looking for this year. 

EXPERIENCE AND ENGAGEMENT

As DTC companies evolve and begin to use more immersive marketing strategies like word of mouth, we will see them engaging the communities they’ve activated through more engaging and educational efforts. This becomes especially important as we see more DTC lifestyle, wellness, and health brands emerge. Those same brands are shifting their missions toward sustainability, which helps connect to consumers to a greater collective cause. 

DTC intimates brand, Thinx, has made “period-proof” a lifestyle through their mission of sustainability and breaking the taboo around periods. Thinx’s commitment to their mission has allowed them to connect with consumers and cultivate stronger relationships with them, not just as a brand but as a driving force of change within a larger community. Thinx tapped into their ambassador community on college campuses to start a conversation with new consumers, educating them not only on their brand and product, but on how using their product invites them into a larger community of change. 

People want to connect with a brand personally and feel that they are doing good by using a sustainable, ethical product. Engaging consumers in a personal way, like Thinx engaging women to break the taboos around their bodies, and educating them to better understand the value of both your product and mission strengthens consumers’ personal connection to your brand. In 2020, it’s connection that causes conversions. 

AN OMNI CHANNEL APPROACH

Physical and digital will become one unified experience for consumers in 2020. In this new decade, we’ll start to see more DTC brands taking a hyper local approach as they shift away from sole eCommerce strategies to include brick and mortar retail avenues. 

Brand communities that have been activated and engaged are able to take a hyperlocal approach as they have now cultivated a community of advocates that want to talk about their products in the real world and digitally. A hyperlocal, boots-on-the-ground approach is an integral component of this type of shift in strategy. 

“Micromobility” brand, Lime, is taking a hyperlocal approach with real, local ambassadors who are active and enthusiastic users of their electric bikes and scooters to create content and social impact within their communities. As DTC brands begin to live in the real world, they need to be engaging their communities not just online, but through these grassroots efforts as well. 

2020 will see more DTC brands activating and engaging their brand communities to cultivate personal and lasting connections with consumers as they shift into an omni channel approach.

The Way We Think About Influencer Marketing Is Changing — Are You Ready?

Marketing professionals aren’t the only ones getting turned off from working with paid influencers. With the rise of influencer fraud, consumer– especially millennials and Gen Zers– are losing their trust in paid partnerships, and are instead looking for more authentic voices for new recommendations. 

To reach this hard-to-reach audience, it’s important to first understand how they engage with each other online and in the real world. They’re no longer looking towards celebrities and macro-influencers with millions of followers for insights — they want to hear about new brands from people that are actually like them and relatable.

This means your audience is starting to move away from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and shifting their focus elsewhere. Texting, DMs, email, and even real-world communication are playing a bigger role than ever in word-of-mouth marketing. 

Once you identify where communication is happening and how your top customers are talking about your product, you’re ready to tap into that community of super fans. These fans thrive off feeling like they’re part of a community, and they want to get their friends to join the community as well. Creating a brand ambassador program will give them exactly that, and allow you the insight into what makes these consumers successful so you can amplify their power. 

Building lasting relationships with your ambassadors is about more than just offering them free products or payment in exchange for posts. It’s important to make sure your ambassadors feel valued for their work and that they’re an integral part of your brand’s journey. Through community chats, meet-ups, and even hosting exclusive events, you can help ensure that your ambassadors feel valued and that your brand is growing via word of mouth referrals.

With this changing landscape, it can be overwhelming to think about how to engage your top fans in a way that fits your growth goals for the new year. That’s why we’re here to help you think about your ambassadors and keep you updated on best practices to continue to authentically and strategically grow your brand.  

5 Tips to Boost Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

In 2018, more than 174 million Americans shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period. Thanksgiving Day brought in $3.7 billion in online sales, Black Friday brought in $6.2 billion and Cyber Monday topped out at $7.9 billion. 

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How can you make sure your brand is getting a piece of these whopping sales numbers? Black Friday is a great opportunity for marketers from every business to get out in front of the holiday buying season and maximize profit. 

From eCommerce to concert promoters — brands should engage their ambassador teams to help drive sales and create more organic impressions.

This is the chance to really create buzz around your products and get early bird sales rolling before the end of the year. 

Here are five ways to get the most out of the biggest shopping holidays of the year by utilizing ambassadors:

  1. Harness the power of word of mouth – Referrals work, plain and simple. Get your ambassadors engaged and ready to promote your upcoming deals and products out to their friends.
  2. Save money – Because organic referrals have the lowest cost of acquisition and the highest LTV of any other marketing spend, why not utilize referrals during this time when ad rates are at their highest?
  3. Think different – With brands like LuluLemon – they didn’t use famous athletes, they hired elite local yoga instructors to be ambassadors so the brand could take on a hyper-local neighborhood feel. You don’t have to break the bank to run an ad campaign this time of year, think about your audience, and find a way to reach them.
  4. Find your advocates – These are the “diamond in the rough” consumers. Every brand has them. They will talk about you wherever, whenever, however and to whomever, both online and offline. Utilize your advocates to drive organic content & create the strongest referral sales conversions. 
  5. Amplify your socials – When you have your ambassadors create or engage with content on Instagram or Facebook through SocialLadder, that’s money that stays in your pocket, not the pockets of a tech giant.

 

 

Sources:

Forbes – “Every Result You Need To Know From Black Friday, Cyber Monday And The Holiday 2018 Season So Far”

Washington Post – “Black Friday’s not dead yet: 70 percent of American adults shopped Thanksgiving weekend”

Are You a Victim of Influencer Fraud?

$1.3 billion. That’s how much influencer marketing fraud will cost brands in 2019. Influencer fraud can do more than just financial damage to your brand. It can also weaken your brand’s reputation and affect its credibility. Fake influencers seem to be legit at first glance, but their biggest identifier is that their followers are almost entirely fake accounts or bots. It’s important to identify some of the key warning signs that you might be experiencing fraud. 

Some warning signs of fraudulent activity are: 

  • Recently created accounts with tons of followers, but very little engagement
  • Unusual spikes in followers or engagement soon after a post 
  • Generic comments that have nothing to do with the post 

This is why more and more brands are shifting their focus away from influencers to ambassadors, who typically don’t have the same high follower count, but instead have a much more engaged audience. Brand ambassadors are real people who already love your brand and want to spread the word about your products or services to whoever will listen to them. 

Ambassadors are experts on your brand, and rather than searching for them through databases or hiring agencies to find them for you, they’re often living right in your backyard. Your employees, interns, partners, and existing customers are already engaging with your brand on a daily basis and they make great ambassadors. And you already know they are credible people who post authentic content about your brand. 

The numbers don’t lie — it’s time to make the shift away from focusing on follower count, and more on the things that actually drive results: organic content creation coming from real people your audience trusts.

5 Tips for Building a Campus Ambassador Program Without Losing the Human Touch

Looking to tap into the nearly $574B spending power that 21.4M college students have? With school back in session, college students are a great way to expand your brand’s footprint & discover a new crop of brand loyalists–the key to success is building a campus ambassador program.

Whether it’s flyering around the dorms, hosting events on campus, or driving social engagement, college ambassadors can help you increase brand awareness and sales with the target Gen Z audience.

 

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Check out some of our best tips & tricks for activating your brand on campuses.

1. Choose the Right People

Hiring students who are naturally motivated to talk about your brand to their friends is important. Your brand has an identity, so the people who represent it in the real world should share some of its qualities and the brand should seem like it authentically fits into the ambassador’s lifestyle. 

Lululemon, for example, when they built their ambassador team, they wanted the brand to feel like it had a hyperlocal feel, so instead of paying for traditional endorsements with celebrity athletes, the yoga-focused brand built an ambassador program of local influencers, elite athletes & top-notch yoga instructors who create a community, provide feedback on product and partner with the brand for social impact programs. 

By fostering more on a grassroots model the ambassadors feel connected to HQ and therefore take pride in their role. For example, if you have a women’s clothing brand you probably don’t want members of a men’s basketball team representing you on their campus.

2. Clearly Outline a Path for Success

If you don’t have a strategy with a quantitative plan in place — with clear expectations mapped out —  managing hundreds or even thousands of college students will immediately feel like herding cats. Don’t forget — their #1 priority is being in college — so don’t make it complicated for them to spread the word about your brand.

Once you have hired the right people, you should make sure you give them a clear checklist of what they will need to do and give them tips and tricks on how to be successful. By being transparent about the standards and the goals you have for the program your ambassadors will be more likely to stay engaged. Checklists and leaderboards will help you keep everyone on track. 

For example — if your ambassadors are expected to hang 50 door hangs, ask them to submit evidence and then automatically verify via photos and Google Maps that they completed the task.

Once you have your foundation tasks in place, give ambassadors easy ways to unlock more rewards / payment in exchange for creating increased value for your brand. For example — if your #1 goal is new subscribers, increase the compensation model for your ambassadors to get more emails/downloads/sales. 

3. Establish Expectations

Don’t forget that most college students have never been salespeople — in fact, most have probably never had a boss or even a job (other than maybe walking dogs or mowing lawns) — so you need to give them the tools and training they will need to be successful critical thinkers and problem solvers who can — most importantly — meet deadlines, without losing the human touch between you and the ambassador. 

Create an onboarding experience that clearly communicates your expectations so you can get them set up to succeed from the start.  For example, use calendar reminders for important deadlines or create forms for them to fill out that makes it easy for you to collect important information rather than going back and forth via email.

For teams really looking to scale, identify Team Leads and empower them to take ownership of managing the ambassadors on their teams and then compensate the top-performing Team Leads when they deliver great results. The key is to continuously reinforce the ambassadors and what they are contributing to the business so they feel that they have ownership in the process and help to validate that their relationship with you — the brand — is priceless.

4. Streamline Communication

“I don’t want to lose the relationship we have with our ambassadors, our program needs a human touch,” and we agree. But this doesn’t mean that your brand’s full-time employees need to be bogged down with every individual request that comes from an ambassador. Trust us, it’s a slippery slope and it actually means your ambassadors are confused if they keep reaching out with questions.

Use community-focused tools like group chat, message boards, and Team Leads to help keep your ambassadors engaged.

Put everything in one place — like a Google Drive — so they can easily find answers and get back to repping your brand in their voice. By giving them access to things like up to date logos/brand guidelines, knowledge banks / FAQs, articles, receipt folders, event recap forms, templates, and approved sales language, you are empowering your team to quickly discover the resources they need.

This will give ambassadors an easy path to get their questions answered quickly and your brand team time to focus on the overall strategy of the program. 

5. Empower the Team to be Creative

Now that you have your team selected, on-boarded and have clearly communicated expectations — unleash your team and challenge them to tell you what will work on their campus. For example for a Big 10 School, a tailgate for a homecoming football game might provide the perfect backdrop for your brand, but for a Northeast city school a St.Patrick’s Day event might create a bigger impact.

Create event forms for ambassadors to fill out. When approved, set a budget and set them loose. Just remember to make sure you give them the checklist of things you need in your event recap at the end like photos, surveys, etc.

Always remember, campus reps are there to give you feedback about your brand. Listen to them. They know what will work with their friends so trust them to meet your expectations. This way your brand’s persona will match what works on their campus vs trying to give your ambassadors a “one size fits all” list of tasks that work for your brand. Ultimately this will feel more authentic which will result in more conversions & organic impressions.

A college ambassador program can act as a powerful tool for all kinds of businesses– festivals, consumer apps, retail brands, political candidates, privatized campus housing, and more. And the best part is that there is mutual value because college students are hungry to learn and to improve their skills. By giving them a meaningful introduction to the world of business — and more importantly, teaching them the fundamentals of sales process & entrepreneurship– you can develop a network of lifelong brand advocates–and potential new employees after graduation.

SocialLadder: The Shiny New Asset That Your Sponsors Will Love!

Properties ranging from concerts and festivals to sporting events and local fairs are increasingly facing more scrutiny over sponsorship assets and offerings. They are under constant pressure to provide more value and a concrete measurement of ROI for that value. Rights holders need to take a proactive role in their partners’ success by moving beyond packages that simply provide signage and other standard inventory in favor of imaginative, impactful and measurable engagement assets.

Boots and Hearts, Canada’s largest country music festival did just that. They offered a top tier sponsor, Coleman, the opportunity to name a collection of challenges that were published to ambassadors. Coleman was tagged in all ambassador’s posts, and their affiliation with the festival was shared across all ambassadors’ social accounts. The Official Checklist Challenge (pictured) alone generated over 38,000 impressions for Coleman. Boots and Hearts used the SocialLadder platform to boost their sponsors’ visibility and impact in and around the festival, unlocking increased value and possibilities for strategic upselling of future festival sponsorship packages.

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The SocialLadder technology provides a range of features that properties can take advantage of, and offer as an added value to their sponsorship partners. By offering sponsors access to the power of a SocialLadder ambassador team clients are creating solutions that can drive their sponsors’ business objectives while weaving the sponsor into the fabric of a highly engaged and connected community.

Here are a few ways to leverage SocialLadder ambassador challenges:

  • Sponsored Challenge: Name a set of challenges for a top tier sponsor to increase their visibility and brand awareness amongst the ambassador community. 
  • Sponsor Check-In Challenge: Task ambassadors with attending a Sponsor’s store opening, retail location, or event.
  • Sponsor Survey: Circulate a sponsor’s market survey digitally to a new, engaged, online community. 
  • Share and Sign Up: Drive signups for a sponsor’s blog, mailing list, or newsletter.
  • Sponsor Tags: Don’t forget to instruct ambassadors to tag your title sponsor on their unique content challenges. Imagine being able to report to your sponsor that you generated hundreds of thousands of additional impressions on their behalf!

Add these features into proposals to secure interest from new prospects or into existing agreements to enrich relationships with existing partners. Including sponsor-specific content in your SocialLadder ambassador initiatives, whether online or in the field shows your increased efforts in finding new ways to drive ROI for your partners, and keep them coming back for more.