Katie Greenlaw

The Value Of Co-Promoting An Influencer Campaign

 

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Katie Greenlaw. I am the Director of Public Relations at Rinck Advertising.

We are a full service marketing and PR agency located in Auburn, Maine. One of our specialty services is our Blog Beat digital word-of-mouth service, which harnesses the power of influencers to serve as third-party ambassadors, create significant social media buzz and brand awareness for our clients.

In today’s presentation, I’d like to share with you the value of co-campaigning. This presentation will highlight a great Blog Beat campaign that we ran for our client, Daily’s Cocktails.

For this campaign, we partnered with one for our favorite brands, Wholly Guacamole and capitalized on a popular social event to create a remarkably successful co-promotion.

Jennifer Sawyer from Wholly Guacamole, my colleague Kristy Phinney and I are all on Twitter today to answer any questions you may have about how co-promotions can increase the value of your influencer marketing strategy.

You can tweet to Kristy and me at @RinckAd and to Jennifer at @eatwholly. Please remember to use the hashtag OutreachMarketing.

To begin, a brief introduction of the brands and why we decided to partner together for a brand awareness campaign.

Daily’s Cocktails, a brand of American Beverage Corporation, was the first to introduce frozen pouch cocktails. These pouches come in a variety of flavors such as margarita, strawberry daiquiri, Pina colada. The alcohol is already in them, so you can easily create no-hassle blender style cocktails without any prep or mess. Fantastic, right?

The challenge for Daily’s is that the pouches were so successful that several large competitors instantly jumped on the idea. These are competitors who were already established in the beer, wine and spirits category and who had the marketing dollars to push the products.

Things quickly became a little bit cramped in the frozen pouch market. Thus, Daily’s charged Rinck as the marketing and PR agency of record with maintaining the leadership position and driving trial and sales.

Meanwhile, Wholly Guacamole is the largest manufacturer of pre-prepared fresh guacamole. In addition to a broad line of guacamole products, they also offer Wholly Salsa and 100-calorie guacamole minis.

Wholly Guacamole was looking to increase awareness of their brand and drive trial and sales, particularly by gaining attention from consumers shopping in different sections of the supermarket.

Both brands saw the benefit of working together on a co-promotion. In addition to budget efficiencies, a co-promotion offers the brands the opportunity to promote their brands simultaneously and introduce the brand to a new established audience.

The target audiences for both Daily’s and Wholly were similar, women ages 21 to 54. What goes better with a cocktail than some delicious guacamole?

These and other factors, including a similar brand voice, overlapping peak seasons and familiarity with influencer campaigns, made these two brands ideal partners for a co-promotion.

The teams first developed a goal to increase brand awareness for the Daily’s Cocktails and Wholly Guacamole brands and share with consumers the reasons to select these products over other brands.

Then we developed some specific objections and the strategy for achieving them. The team developed a co-branded influencer marketing strategy centered around the 85th annual Academy Awards or the Oscars.

By capitalizing on a pop cultural event that was already sure to generate heavy social media traffic, we were able to jump in on a conversation that was relevant and trendy, one our target audience would likely be talking about.

We developed the Red Carpet Ready campaign to include two major tactics, Rinck’s proprietary Blog Beat digital word-of-mouth service and a Twitter engagement driver, the Twitter party.

Here’s how it worked. The Blog Beat team researched and pitched 150 top-tier influencers to participate in a review and giveaway opportunity program. For each influencer, we used the group [High Software] and an established a database of bloggers from both Daily’s and Wholly Guacamole.

We looked at each influencer’s audience reach, the related content, the quality of their blog content. We determined from there who would be invited.

Each participant that signed up received a welcome kit, including $20 gift cards to purchase an assortment of Daily’s pouches. Because it’s alcohol, it’s can’t be shipped in many states. They also received a variety of Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa products, Daily’s stemless martini glasses, branded Wholly Guacamole items and their very own red carpet.

We also created a campaign platform that included downloadable assets, URLs for both brands, social handles and more, making it easy for bloggers to participate.

The influencers were then asked to host a movie night with family and friends, ages 21 plus only of course, where they screened films that were Oscar-nominated or previous Oscar winners and serve Daily’s and Wholly products. They were encouraged to share images of their night on their own social media outlets.

After the movie night, they were asked to create a blog post, including photos and reviews of both brands.

Each influencer was given the opportunity to host a giveaway for one reader, age 21 plus, to receive the same Red Carpet Ready prize package that the blogger had received.

We also asked each influencer to encourage and incentivize their readers to visit both brands’ websites, sign up for their e-newsletters and follow and interact with both brands on social media.

A special incentive was also offered for those influencers who created a Red Carpet Ready Pinterest board, repining images from both Daily’s and Wholly Guacamole.

The reviews we received were fabulous. Influencers generated significant exposure for both brands, with great high quality third-party endorsements, including quality images and brand messaging.

Additionally, there was a remarkable amplification of each of these reviews, as they were shared on Facebook, tweeted and then re-tweeted on Twitter. Photos were posted on Instagram and Pinterest. The campaign quickly went viral.

The second tactic of the Red Carpet Ready campaign was an Oscar night and Twitter party. Influencers from the Blog Beat campaign were encouraged to participate and invite their readers and followers to join in as well.

The Rinck and Wholly Guacamole teams developed Oscar-themed questions, focused on both friends and offered dual-branded prize packages.

Some sample questions were, “What Daily’s Cocktails drink would you whip up for a girls’ night with Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, hashtag RedCarpetReady, hashtag Oscars. If you could name Eat Wholly guac or salsa or Daily’s Cocktails flavor after an Oscar’s nominee, what would it be? What would you do for the change to have Daily’s cocktails with your favorite Oscar’s nominee?” Tell us for a chance to win.

On Oscar night, Oscars was the top trending hashtag. By incorporating this hashtag and the hashtag we had already established, hashtag RedCarpetReady, we were able to jump in on additional conversations and gain increased exposure, with over 17 million Twitter timeline deliveries during the party.

In addition to it being a great, fun promotion that consumers really enjoyed, the overall results were staggering. We received 102 highly branded premium-quality third-party endorsements through the Blog Beat campaign. The reach of these reviews were amplified tremendously by being shared across social media platforms.

Of great importance to the Daily’s brand team were the post-campaign net promoter scores, which indicated significant increases in both aided and unaided brand awareness.

A Twitter party was also extremely successful. They exceeded 17 million Twitter timeline deliveries. In over the course of the campaign, Daily’s Twitter followers increased 35 percent, with 9 percent of those new followers coming during the two-hour Twitter party.

In addition to all of the great results seen by both brand teams, this campaign earned some excellent recognition on both the state and national level, which is why we wanted to share it with you today.

At this point, I’d like to share with you some tips for running an influencer campaign and particularly, a co-branded one.

The first tip is to find the right partner. Daily’s and Wholly Guacamole were great partners, as they are both pre-packaged food items, often served when entertaining, that communicate a taste and convenience message. You’ll want to identify a partner that offers a related product and has a similar brand voice.

Another suggestion is to use a cultural event or other tie-in to give your campaign additional lift. Hosting our Twitter party during the Oscars proved to be a fabulous strategy for our two brands. When planning your promotion, you might consider a relevant TV show premiere or finale, or a sporting event like the Super Bowl or March Madness.

Hosting an engagement driver like a Twitter party during a time when there’s bound to be significant activity online only adds opportunity for exposure.

Thirdly, researching bloggers is also key, set some qualifiers in place in regards to audience size and blog content. Be sure to consider each case individually. We typically include some smaller bloggers who offer great content in each of our campaigns.

Another very important step when developing the tactics of your campaign is to be respectful of the influencer’s time, investment and compensate them fairly. The influencers in our campaign received welcome kits that had a high retail value. They also had the opportunity to earn additional incentives.

Our Blog Beat team also created an online campaign platform, including downloadable brand assets, brand URLs and social media handles, as well as a way to submit their own mailing information and their giveaway winners’ information. This made participating in the opportunity easier and less timely for bloggers.

The next tip is to over communicate. This is something we hear from influencers regularly about. They appreciate clear communication and particularly, regarding expectations from the get-go. They also appreciate it when you return the favor and share posts on your own website and social media.

Finally, and this is the stuff that cannot be underestimated, is to have a sense of humor. One of the reasons that our Twitter engagement was so successful is that both brands had the leniency of having fun online when talking with consumers and influencers.

That’s it. I hope that this has been helpful, informative and gives you a reason to consider doing a co-promotion on an influencer campaign. Thanks for joining us today. Please feel free to reach out to Kristy, Jen or myself with any follow-up questions. Cheers.