Imagine That: It’s Not Just About Ticket Sales!

In 2018, Imagine Music Festival was met with a critical decision. Their first option was to continue to power their ambassador program with the same tool they had used historically, an option that was focused solely on ticket sales.

Or…  

Imagine had an opportunity to engage outside-the-box thinking and select a new program that would maximize ambassador team efforts through a highly-engaged network of music fans, social media integration, and advanced field marketing tools.

The choice might have been difficult, but the outcome was clear! On-boarding SocialLadder (and stepping away from the expected approach) proved wildly successful for their fans and paid off in a big way for Imagine. Not only did it give their ambassador manager the tools to track the team, it also gave the fans a fun way to stay engaged.

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What were the keys to Imagine’s success? Utilizing the “ImagineNation” street team alongside the SocialLadder network allowed SocialLadder to run in tandem with the festival’s competitive ambassador program.

Similarly, the vast SocialLadder toolkit was used in driving social media engagement, field marketing, and innovative rewards that resulted in the following intrinsic upside for fan ambassadors:

  1. Fans were brought together in a cohesive, active fan-focused community
  2. The program helped to widen fans’ reach and social circles
  3. Fans were rewarded with elevated experiences for their efforts

And for Imagine, the increased engagement resulted in a program that produced THREE TIMES the ticket sales revenue than the competitor’s campaign did.

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The biggest win for the promoters was that 80% of the ticket sold by ambassadors to their friends were NEW ticket sales by buyers who had never purchased a ticket before.

The results were staggering:

  1. 682 Ambassadors Completed 16,673 fan engagement challenges
  2. In 100 days, more than 22 Million native social impressions were generated
  3. SocialLadder ambassadors were responsible for nearly $800K in ticket revenue

Optimizing the ambassador experience was a key driver in the success of the SocialLadder Imagine Festival program. SocialLadder made it fun for fans to be ambassadors. By giving fans more than just selling tasks, they were able to be rewarded for being active and engaged in the community.

Top ambassadors unlocked once in a lifetime experiences that will ensure their return in 2019.

The biggest headliner you’ve never heard of

Think about your group of friends. There’s usually that one person who always seems to be coming up with something to do — picking the restaurant, finding a new destination, or suggesting the next festival to attend. This is the planner — the one who convinces you to do something you may have no idea how to do and makes sure you have the time of your life doing it. Planners are the most important person to any event organizer, and luckily there is a way for organizers to harness their power and reward them for all of their hard work.

Firefly Music Festival realized the power of these fans and wanted to find a way to make them feel like they were a part of the festival’s planning process as a whole. By harnessing the power of natural planners, Firefly was able to create a robust program of 1,600 fans who became their biggest advocates. Then, using gamification, Firefly challenged these fans to start doing what they do best — round up their fans and make the plans.

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In just 90 days, these superfans rounded up over 2,000 of their friends to attend the festival and generated 13 million+ impressions by creating content and sharing their tips for how to experience the festival better.

By creating a “home” for the planners, festival organizers were able to say “thank you” to these valuable fans by making them the headliners — hooking them up with elevated experiences that are generally reserved for the artists and sponsors like backstage passes & VIP camping upgrades.

So next time you’re stressing about finding the big name to bring people to your event, don’t forget about the real headliner: the planner.

Need help identifying them? Ask us!

BREAKING NEWS: Ambassador Programs Drive Results

STUDY SHOWS THAT MORE THAN 80% OF AMBASSADOR SALES ARE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS

MYTH: Ambassador programs cannibalize sales.

FACT: SocialLadder ambassadors sell 80%+ NEW sales for brand partners.

SocialLadder ran a study of two repeat festival partners — Lights All Night, an electronic festival in Dallas, and 515 Alive, a hip-hop festival in Des Moines. Two communities of different fans in different locations with the same results.

Of all sales made by SocialLadder ambassadors for these two festivals, an average of 83.5% were NEW sales, purchased by first-time buyers.

 

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A few tips for how your brand can find new buyers:

      1. Build a community of authentic ambassadors

Festivals are always a reunion with friends I consider family. They’ve changed my life and who I am. They’ve taught me the meaning of community!”  –Nikki Breslauer, April Ambassador of the Month

The fan journey is the most important part of the festival experience. When a fan opts into being an ambassador, you want them to feel like they are part of a community that they can relate to and feel special about. Ultimately, they are going to be helping your brand extend its reach to their friends, so make them feel like family. When ambassadors don’t feel like they are promoting alone, their overall experience is reported as being better.

      2. Convert Your Customers

The best ambassadors are people who have already purchased your product — especially early-bird or presale buyers. These are the folks who are already committed to attending your event or who have experienced your brand — which makes them your biggest fans and thus most likely to help you reach new fans (aka their friends & family).

SocialLadder is able to help brand marketers capitalize on this by automating emails to customers encouraging them to personally invite their friends to buy.

      3. Align marketing strategy with ambassador team tasks

63% of marketers interviewed in The Pulse Report: 2019 Industry Trends said that word-of-mouth was an effective strategy, and 49% said that social media — especially Facebook and Instagram — is an effective strategy to drive ticket sales. Aligning your marketing calendar with ambassador tasks is a great way to reduce your paid media spend and get ambassadors to help you spread the word — ultimately boosting your content to their personal following.

     4. Use rewards to motivate your ambassadors

What’s more hype than an exclusive afterparty or VIP tickets to your favorite festival? Using fan experiences like artist passes, free tickets and exclusive merchandise are great ways to boost fan engagement and to say “thank you” to ambassadors for their hard work. Make it easy for fans to promote your brand by providing them with sample social media posts, email messages, images, logos, event descriptions, event hashtags, and any other brand assets that will make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word, and in return earn points to unlock priceless experiences.

     5. Track results

In addition to making it easier for marketing directors to track ambassador activities, SocialLadder’s integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Eventbrite enbles brand marketers to track the overall effectiveness of programs and view data to see which sales are new sales. Understanding what your customers enjoy and how they engage their friends is an important part of the marketer’s journey and an even more important factor in building a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

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Behind the Peer-to-Peer Marketing Revolution

 

The personal recommendation of a friend – whether it be for an event, service, or product – has a strong persuasive effect. Unlike company advertisements, the close connections we have with people who are part of our personal lives prime us to view the information as coming from a reliable source. This is the idea behind peer-to-peer marketing, and the operative principle of its success.

In this age of technology, the market landscape where businesses employed methods reliant on passive consumerism is undergoing a change. The digital age is decentralizing the one-way top-down relationship that businesses had with consumers, and power is rapidly shifting towards the hands of consumers. The result of this is a peer-to-peer marketing revolution.

According to Nielsen, people are 4x more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend.

Through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, businesses can actively engage and interact with their consumers. People can comment, like and share their opinions with other people who are interested in a product or service they have tried. An increasing number of people rely on customer reviews of businesses, products, services and events to guide their purchasing decisions.

Engaging with key influencers, consumers and fans makes customers feel valued and respected as individuals [Marketingland]. When customers feels like they are valued, this fosters long-term trust and loyalty which is the foundation for long-term relationship with your customers.

 

 

Tinuke

 

Tinuke​ ​Akintayo​ is an intern at SocialLadder. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Swarthmore College as part of the class of 2018. During her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music and drawing

Relationship Marketing: “Develop a Relationship and the Sales Will Follow.”

“Develop a relationship and the sales will follow.” It’s a saying that has been used time and time again to emphasize the importance of Customer Experience Management (CEM), and relationship marketing in particular.

Relationship marketing is an approach to product promotion where the seller aims to develop a relationship between their product and consumers. By focusing on achieving businessmeetingincreased customer satisfaction and retention, consumers are more likely to give you their continued business over a long period of time. This results in a larger overall volume of individual sales and thus profits.

Through this connection, retailers are also more likely to see an increase in user participation. Customers who feel a deep connection to your brand are more likely to recommend your products to others, write rave reviews, and provide you with valuable feedback; and as we know, word of mouth marketing is a good way to generate new business.

 

So how do you go about implementing a relationship marketing approach?

 

As technology advances, the user experience continues to become more and more complicated. You don’t want to discourage users from making a purchase because they can’t figure out how. Have a co-worker, employee or friend test your website and give feedback about any issues they encounter; then, implement changes based on their feedback.

Note: This tip also applies to any and all facets of your business that clients or general users will come in contact with, so be sure to have any other platforms or products that fall in this area tested too.

 

Take the time to personalize each confirmation email or promotional advertisement, such that all messaging is related to a user’s purchase history or preferences. Try to womanonphonesimplify this process by using an automated emailing system that automatically fills in each customer’s information. Similarly, put more resources into making sure each customer has a great experience with customer support. This can be as simple as expanding the hours that this service is available or taking a few extra minutes to add a little more thought to each email.

 

This is one of the easiest ways to develop a relationship with your consumer base, as it rewards them for being committed to your brand. One innovative way to do this is to create a brand ambassador program where customers are rewarded for advertising and selling your product, thereby generating revenue whilst strengthening the bond they have with your brand.

Relationship marketing is all about developing a relationship with your customers in order to continuously receive their business over a long period of time, and is therefore viewed as an effective way to garner more business. Implementing these suggestions is the first step to utilizing this powerful marketing strategy to further your brand. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

 

Automated Challenges: The New Addition to SocialLadder!

SocialLadder unveiled its newest platform change in July of 2017: Automated social media challenges! The goal of this new capability is to maximize efficiency for both clients and their ambassadors by automatically creating challenges when an event organizer designates a post on social media with a specific hashtag. This helps boost the amount of impressions for all posts created by the organizer, which in turn increases ticket sales for a brand’s event.

 

SocialLadder’s client-base is expected to increase with the release of their new Eventbrite extension, which you can read all about here. With the prospect of so many new clients, SocialLadder needed to find a more efficient way for their ambassador programs to run with as minimal manual input as possible.

 

Automated challenges helped address this issue by taking all posts with a hashtag on an event’s page and and creating challenges for them. With the single press of a button, event organizers can accept and publish a new challenge. From Facebook engagements such as likes and comments to image and link share posts, the automated challenge system has produced similar engagement to manual challenges while drastically improving time efficiency.

 

The new automated system ensures a high level of accuracy for our event organizers, since it is programmed to perform a task over and over again with no room for human error. This feature also allows event organizers to produce more challenges in a shorter amount of time. With the time saved from automated challenges, organizers can redirect their attention towards customer needs and focus on activities geared towards generating more revenue.

 

With the vision of eventually becoming a self-service product, SocialLadder strives to make their product as intuitive as possible for all of their clients. Investing in their automated equipment, therefore, is a valuable resource for brands looking to spread awareness for their event, get more impressions on certain social media posts, and increase ticket sales and profitability.

 

 

Mirayda

 

Mirayda Martínez is an intern at SocialLadder. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Computer Science at Swarthmore College, as part of the class of 2020, and is a member of the the Swarthmore Track & Field team. She loves going to parks and petting any and all kinds of dogs, as well as rock climbing.

6 Tips for a Successful Brand Ambassador Campaign

Congratulations! You’ve got brand ambassadors. Now what? It is important to create a unique experience for your ambassadors. Here are six tips for running a successful brand ambassador campaign.

 

  1. Set goals for your brand ambassadors – this will help focus the ambassadors on what you want them to achieve. Are you trying to increase social media reach? Increase sales? Recruit new consumers? That’s up to you to figure out, but is an essential starting point that will dictate the entire campaign.
  2. Market your brand ambassador program – this is necessary to build your ambassador community. Post on active social media platforms and send emails to fans to alert your followers of the opportunity to join the team. This is free advertising, so it can’t hurt!
  3. Help your ambassadors feel involved in the community – the more an ambassador feels involved in the brand, the harder they will work to sell tickets. Offering ambassadors exclusive items such as limited edition merchandise, ambassador exclusive raffles, or an alternative festival entry point will get them excited to sell tickets!
  4. Post early and often – if you are working with a company like SocialLadder, who incentivises ambassadors to promote live events on social media, providing plenty of interesting material for ambassadors to repost, like, and comment on is a crucial aspect of a successful brand ambassador campaign. It works synergistically with the recommendation of the ambassador in terms of delivering enticing content to the consumer.
  5. Interact with your ambassadors on social media – search for hashtags, like comments on FB posts, and retweet your ambassadors! Having an official music festival account like your post is pretty flattering. A little recognition can go a long way! Maybe even try following your top ambassadors on Instagram. Fostering a digital sense of community is part of what makes brand ambassador campaigns such effective marketing tools.
  6. Offer creative rewards – there’s no better way to motivate ticket sales than to offer some awesome rewards! Of course, free GA tickets and VIP upgrades are important, but get creative as well by offering weekend getaways or a case of beer delivered to the venue.

 

In short, the key is to create an exclusive experience for your brand ambassadors. This can be achieved in many ways, and without high costs. The more fun your ambassadors have, the more engaged and effective they will be in promoting the event.

 

For more marketing tips, click here or subscribe to our blog!

 

 

Andrew

 

Andrew Kaufmann is an Intern at SocialLadder. He currently attends Swarthmore College, as a member of the class of 2018, and is also a part of the Swarthmore College Men’s Basketball team. In his free time, he enjoys taking black and white and action shot photos for the college’s athletic department.

Top Firefly Ambassadors Generate over $500,000 in ticket sales!

For its fifth year, the folk music festival that takes place over four days at 105-acre festival ground of The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware was a smashing success. Firefly, produced by Red Frog Events alongside Goldenvoice — the folks who are responsible for Coachella — showcased headliners like The Weeknd, Muse, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper and Bob Dylan. Needless to say, it was THE ticket to get your hands on this summer.

With so many festivals popping up, how does a festival like Firefly continue to attract nearly 100K people year after year?  Their answer lies in building a strong brand and giving fans what they want. From top headliners and creative food vendors to easy-to-navigate grounds and access to exclusive experiences, Firefly allows fans to curate the experience.

Each year, Firefly attendees rave about the amazing experiences they have had at the event, posting eye-catching selfies and videos that captivate their peers and entice them to join in on the fun – so it made sense to set up an ambassador program to reward them for doing what they do best: proving their fandom.

Firefly teamed up with SocialLadder to create a brand ambassador program to engage their fans and reward the most engaged of them for helping them create another great year. Through the platform, ambassadors were given access to  exclusive rewards like backstage access in exchange for proving their fandom and getting their friends to pick up passes.

“We really enjoyed working with each member of the Social Ladder team. In the fast-paced festival environment, timing is everything, and whenever a question would arise SocialLadder always had a timely and insightful answer. Collectively, our brand ambassador program benefited greatly from the Social Ladder partnership,” said Firefly marketing coordinator Baily Gorey.

Ticket sales by ambassadors set a new bar this year, with sales from the ambassador program accounting for over $500K in just a few short weeks. This organic outpouring of friends bringing their friends, accompanied by the hundreds of thousands of social media impressions and Instagram posts generated by Firefly ambassadors, is a great example of the symbiotic relationship between brands that care about their fans and fans that are eager to support that brand!

 

For more information about creating a brand ambassador program like Firefly’s, or other ways to use the SocialLadder app check out our website.

 

 

clarissa

 

Clarissa Phillips is an Intern at SocialLadder. A class of 2019 student at Swarthmore College, she studies Sociology, Computer Science and Psychology. She is an avid music lover and enjoys going to concerts, as well as singing in her college’s newest a cappella group, Offbeat.

 

SocialLadder Partners with YogaClub

SocialLadder recently announced its newest partnership with YogaClub, a subscription box service that delivers on-trend, brand name yoga apparel at a discounted rate. This collaboration will open a new market for SocialLadder, which is traditionally known for working with live events.

Subscription box services have been growing in popularity and in number of offerings for some time. As of January 2017, there were over 2,000 companies offering weekly boxes delivered to customers! A clear sign of the growth and reliance of the new subscription economy business model.

With this increase in supply of subscription box services, the competition has been growing exponentially. Bloomberg reported monthly visits to subscription box service websites totaled more than 21 million in January – up 3,000 percent from just three years ago. This intense and saturated marketplace has led companies to look for ways to differentiate themselves, and get a leg up on competitors.

Recommendations from a friend continue to be the #1 reason people make purchases, so to stand out, YogaClub is using SocialLadder’s peer-to-peer ambassador marketing tools to create organic content & drive new subscriptions.  In a generation of consumers who tend to ignore and scroll past banner advertisements, this peer-to-peer marketing business model offers real authenticity to the consumer and helps a brand stand out from the crowd.

JOIN YogaClub Today!

 

Andrew

 

Andrew Kaufmann is an Intern at SocialLadder. He currently attends Swarthmore College, as a member of the class of 2018, and is also a part of the Swarthmore College Men’s Basketball team. In his free time, he enjoys taking black and white and action shot photos for the college’s athletic department.

SocialLadder Featured on Amplify

SocialLadder’s recent partnership with Eventbrite has the potential to make significant changes to the landscape of live music and concert promotion, a development which is not lost on Amplify Media’s founder and executive editor Dave Brooks. His writeup on SocialLadder’s integration with Eventbrite’s third-party API can be found here, or you can read the text below:

Peer-to-peer marketing technology provider SocialLadder has made its technology available as an extension to ticketing platform Eventbrite, integrating “the company’s online ticketing technology with its comprehensive brand ambassador management system,” according to a release.

“Our partnership with Eventbrite means that the world’s largest ecosystem of event organizers can now discover new fans and seamlessly access the power of word-of-mouth marketing to increase tickets sales and drive buzz,” said Raavi Iqbal, CEO and co-founder of SocialLadder.

This is the first on-platform extension for an ambassador marketing program to be built on Eventbrite’s third-party API. The integration allows event organizers to activate peer-to-peer marketing in one click by giving them direct access to SocialLadder’s network of on-demand ambassadors, and enabling attendees to secure tickets where they hear about most events: their friends.

“Eventbrite is focused on helping event organizers sell more tickets, and making the process of buying tickets as easy as possible, regardless of where people discover those events,” said Scott Van Brunt, Head of Partnerships at Eventbrite. “Events are inherently social, and the integration with SocialLadder helps event creators sell out their shows by tapping into the networks of the most influential fans through the power of ambassador programs.”

SocialLadder was founded four years ago to make professional ambassador teams accessible to organizers of events of all types and sizes, and sold millions of dollars of tickets in 2016 for thousands of the world’s most popular events.

“Event fans win with this partnership too – as more organizers turn to SocialLadder, we continue to be the best destination for fans everywhere to get rewarded for promoting the events that they’re actually passionate about,” said Alana Bly, Co-founder of SocialLadder.