Uber fans of every brand are out there. People like to find their niche, whether they have a favorite clothing or cosmetics brand, restaurant, or television series. Then, once they’ve latched onto their focus, their passion draws attention from other fans with similar interests. And naturally some of these passionate people become highly influential, either through their obsessive nature, ability to market their interests, or their position as a blogger or video guru.
So how can you tap those uber influencers? Consider these two brands that have discovered how to get the attention of their biggest influencers—in organic ways that benefits both the brand and the influencer.
43 Potter Influencers
In the world of Harry Potter, a brand worth more than $21 billion, the seven-book series has been purchased more than 400 million times. So with those kinds of numbers you would expect to see hundreds, if not thousands, of Potter-fied influencers.
It turns out there are 43. That is the magic number according to Forbes. These 43 influencers control the online conversation when it revolves around Pottermore and the Wizarding World.
Bob Pearson, president of W20 Group, a marketing and communication agency conglomeration, wanted to figure how to tap into that small segment. This staunchly supportive fan base was called on to help keep the Potter world of lore alive, such as through the opening of the latest Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California. How did the W20 Group tap into this segment of influencers?
- Personal invitations to attend Harry Potter themed red carpet events
- Webinars geared at the Harry Potter fandom
- Content-driven events that extended the content opportunities for these influencers
- Individual emails to these 43 to gain their appreciation
- Telephone calls where marketers speak with the influencers, in person, to gain their trust and respect
If these methods sound old-fashioned in today’s online marketplace, that is because they are—but they also work successfully.
For connecting with the most powerful influencers in the Potter-sphere, this process helps marketers become more than acquaintances to influencers. It helps influencers and marketers have mutual respect for each other, a move that stretches a lot further than blanket email broadcasts. And it encourages influencers to want to help marketers make the Harry Potter brand even more powerful and influential.
Going Gaga for Gap
Have you ever been to the site styld-by.com? If not, take a pause to discover a whole world of influencer-created content compiled by Gap. Yes, Gap, that clothing brand famous for American style since 1969. Among these influencers you get a real-world account of Gap style, told through the lens of styld.by.
Refinery29, Maricel Mansano, Sandra Riley Tang, and Jenni Kayne are presented along with SPIN Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler in user-generated images showcasing Gap clothing. The clothes aren’t the highlight, the captions don’t come with a price tag, and authorship is granted with hyperlinks to the influencers’ sites. It is the anti-catalog for selling clothing. Yet it works by pulling forward connections formed by influencers and their followers.
By giving influencers credit, where credit is due, the styld.by vibe remains fresh and authentic. Plus, it gives readers a chance to connect with like-minded influencers who represent the Gap brand, along with plenty of social sharing power through Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, and image links.
Take inspiration from influencer marketing strategies, but remember that you’ll need to find your own beat for your brand. Think outside the box for ways to capture the attention of influencers, while supporting them in their own online, content marketing efforts. Remember that everyone has their own strategies, so your goal is to find ways for both of your brands to stand out from the competition.