Gone are the days when it was only the morning news shows and Oprah who told us what products to buy. Now, we just trust strangers.
That’s right, 33 percent of millennials, which represent about a fourth of the American population and possess $200 billion in annual buying power, rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase.
Marketers are taking notice, trying to find ways to implement blogs and other user generated content into their marketing campaigns. But a blog can’t simply be written by your CEO, that’s not who millennials want to hear from. What these powerful shoppers are looking for is content from peers and celebrities on what’s hot and what’s not.
To achieve a successful blog or user generated content marketing campaign, companies need to find brand champions to help spread the word about how hot their company is – but how? Here are a few tips to help get you started.
Determine Your Audience
The first step in developing a successful brand champion/influencer program is to identify the key members of your audience. What age group are they, what are their marketing and shopping preferences? Once you know who you’re targeting, you’ll be able to better identify an appropriate brand champion.
Do Your Research
Find out who’s talking about your brand or similar brands and see how people are responding to these posts. Find out what types of content resonates with people best – from blog posts, to infographics, to Pinterest boards and take note.
What Makes a Good Brand Influencer?
When you’re deciding who you will reach out to ask for help with your marketing efforts, there are a number of characteristics to look for in a successful influencer. Successful brand champions have a solid following (whether they’re a celebrity or just a social media maven) they are able to explain a product or service in terms that resonate with their audience and they are passionate about the content they post.
When you find a blogger you think would be a fit for your brand champion program, reach out with an introductory email and offer to share some product or discount for them to get a better feel for your company. Remember, these influencers want to be honest and open with their readers, so you’ll want to begin a relationship somewhat organically, so that the blogger is truly a champion of your brand and not just of free stuff.
Help Your Champion Out
Your brand champion may already have an audience, or may just be building his or her audience. Since your brand champion is helping to spread the word about your product or service, do the same and share his or her blog posts, tweets and Instagram posts on your own accounts and encourage your users to follow your brand champion as well.
Learn from Those That Do It Best
Need some inspiration for how using brand influencers works? Take a look at these companies that are great at utilizing brand champions, from Birchbox to Boxed Water to NatureBox.
Brand champions can be an important aspect of your marketing plans, but blogging and other social media completed through the company itself will also be valuable in getting your brand known and recognized. Who are some of your favorite brand champions? Let me know and good luck on finding your brand rockstar!
Learn to use content to attract more customers, influencers and brand champions.