Anyone who has tried to promote a new product will know how difficult it is to obtain media coverage.
Yet some organizations have now worked out how to get great coverage without relying on a finicky media, and they’re doing it in a unique and powerful way.
5 years ago, Ashton Kutcher hit 1 million followers on Twitter and the world was astonished to learn how a single person could potentially influence so many people. Before then, it took large, corporate media concerns to have that potential. Now, just five years later, Kutcher is at 15.7 million followers and several other celebrities and athletes have followed suit.
So clearly things have changed. The social landscape has changed – and companies need to change their approach to securing the attention of prospective customers. It’s no longer a dependence on big media or a huge Google Adwords budget. Businesses have new choices – choices that are more authentic and trustworthy in the minds of potential customers.
One of the best new marketing strategies is to work with influential people that have large social followings. As influential people increasingly build their own media platforms and reach, brands must consider how to best pair their product offerings with the influencers that can best promote them.
As it turns out, not only is this more effective than most digital advertising, the campaigns go well beyond the promotion period because prospective customers are more likely to remember the campaign since it features someone they trust and respect.
To learn more about this trend, my company did some research on how sports influencers want to work with brands to promote their products and services
No Need for Fancy Drinks - Just Drink Water
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, three-time gold Olympic gold medalist and one of the all-time greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon and long jump, is concerned about the consumption of sugary drinks that lead to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.
“I want to work with a company emphasizing how cool it is to drink water.
I would like to focus on the positive aspects of why drinking water is so important. I will utilize some of my athletic friends to post on social channels about why they drink water and share stories about how water has made a difference in their training.”
Impact: Imagine working with Kersee to promote nearly anything related to sports. She’d move the awareness needle – and your product with it.
BMX Around The World
“BMX “Flatland” pro rider Jorge ‘Viki’ Gomez and a fellow rider created the “BMXplore Tour,” traveling around the world and performing aerobatics with their bikes for all to enjoy. He would like to see the tour extended through 2014:”
“The idea is to visit places where BMX has never been seen before and to inspire people with new ways of expressing art and the use of a bicycle, meanwhile promoting a young and healthy lifestyle. The sponsors receive brand visibility and awareness through social media, in a new and modern way for the growing market in sports, travel and fashion.”
Impact: Not only will Gomez be promoting the products he likes around the world, he’ll cement them in the minds of his followers through social media.
A Fitness Campaign for Baby Boomers
World Champion, #1 in the world, and 17-time US National Tennis Champion and performance coach, Bob Litwin, would like to reach a demographic rarely targeted by sporting gear manufacturers: baby boomers.
“Baby boomers want to stay fit, feel younger and have fun. I’d like to see a sports manufacturer, like NIKE, Adidas or Babolat, create an influencer marketing campaign where players 60 and over can share their stories about growing younger through fitness. Boomers are growing at a faster rate than all other age groups combined and they outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion a year. With health care plummeting and old age knocking at our doors, it’s time to create an influencer marketing campaign that shows baby boomers defeating aging, getting fit and living brand new stories.”
Impact: To date, I haven’t seen many brands targeting physically active Boomers, but a campaign with active, fit, influential boomers promoting the benefits of physical activity and your product, is a winner.
Create Your Very Own Sports Reality Documentary
Long-time runner, triathlete and health-oriented mom of three Janice Smith believes that developing a long-term relationship with a brand is essential for sports influencers:
“A brand could fly me to a fun place to participate in an event that I wouldn’t normally be able to attend, say Hawaii for the Ironman championships, and provide me with virtual coaching and equipment. [My fans and I could get excited about the event and sponsor] as I Tweet/Facebook/Instagram/blog about my entire experience starting with my training, and ending with my race recap.”