5 Times When Influencer Marketing is a Fit

You know influencer marketing can be a compelling business strategy. After all, studies show that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from an influencer versus just the 33% that trust ads. All that said, you might not be sure that influencer marketing is the right fit for your brand, at this time. You’re a thoughtful marketer. You don’t jump into the latest social media fads and you value proven research before executing a new tactic.

While there are many opportunities for influencer marketing, we’ve taken the guesswork out of your decision making process. Below are five tried and true times when influencer marketing is the right strategic answer.

1. You know you need a long-term spokesperson but Kelly Ripa or Ashton Kutcher is out of your budget.

Don’t fret. The right online influencer has established trust with their audience and a proven track record of driving action, all at a palatable price point.

2. You need eyeballs on your latest white paper or infographic.

By hiring an influencer to help spread the word, you can guarantee that the right people will see the great work your team spent money and man-hours creating. Don’t let good content die.

3. You are launching a new product and want to direct traffic to a specific retailer.

You know who is regularly asked and trusted for recommendations? That’s right. Influencers provide “Where to buy?” info to their engaged readers

4. Your services target a very specific audience and you are unsure how to find them.

You don’t know any women ages 24-49 with 2+ kids living in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. Not to worry. We do. And we have a direct line to the people who are influencing them.

5. Your product is going through a recall.

During a sensitive time, it is imperative to share the facts and disseminate crisis information to your target audience as soon as possible. Continue to update the community on changes made and new processes in place through those they already trust.

Find yourself in one of these situations? Let us help you connect with the right influencers to form a lasting relationship with your consumers. By incorporating brand messaging in their organic content creation, our influencers will reach your very specific target needs in the right place at the right time.

A brand is no longer what we say it is. It's what other people say  it is.

As featured on Social Times, Capturing Gen Z on Snapchat Could Gain Long-Term Consumer Loyalty

Sway Group CEO Danielle Wiley’s latest guest column focuses on marketing to Gen Z on Snapchat. In addition to her professional background and expertise in social media evolution and marketing, Danielle shares real-life insight from her 13-year old daughter on Snapchat usage and industry theories. The thought piece was recently featured on Adweek’s Social Times blog. Below is an excerpt.

“Snapchat offers real-time connection with fleeting images, allowing users more freedom of expression. It’s a way to escape the curated content of other social platforms, and with a close circle of trusted followers, users don’t worry about broadcasting a perfect lifestyle. There is also no expectation for engagement as the platform doesn’t contain an option for likes, shares or comments. Snapchat invites users to be real and show their true selves with more casual and everyday communication. (My thirteen-year-old daughter and her friends use Snapchat to send funny faces while sitting in study hall, in the car, or any other point of rest during their day.) Snapchat is a noncommittal way to connect, but also truly intimate. By sharing the commonplace, users experience an ambient awareness of each other’s lives. Another interest aspect is that it’s not necessarily used to expand your social circle. Snapchat is primarily used to connect with those with whom you are already close (and perhaps to follow influencers you admire).

Without the easily available engagement metrics of a Pinterest or a Twitter, some marketers have dismissed Snapchat as a communications vehicle. However, there is a huge opportunity for lifestyle brands, especially those that appeal to the younger millennial or Gen Z demographic.

Snapchat is designed for mobile viewing, and as a result for teens who exclusively communicate via mobile. By decreasing image size and solving the text message delay teens so frequently lament, Snapchat has won their attention with a more instantaneous back and forth conversation. Email also feels antiquated to this demographic, making Snapchat’s notification feature a valuable interruption into a user’s day. (Parents of teens will relate to this. I ALWAYS have to text or Snapchat my daughter to alert her to an email in her inbox. For most teens, email serves just two functions; tracking of ecommerce orders and sending messages to teachers.)

Discover is Snapchat’s first foray into the marketing arena with publications beginning to experiment with digestible content that disappears after 24 hours. Those that offer short, fun anecdotes or are driven by celebrity news are shining. Others are still finding their way, as evidenced through long, feature recipes that offer no ability to save or print and are therefore rendered useless. Marketers need to take into account the attention span of their audience and the lifespan of their content before engaging.”

Marketing to Generation Z on Snapchat

The full article can be read here and gives tangible takeaways for brands seeking to engage on Snapchat. For more information on marketing to Gen Z, contact us to evaluate the right platforms for your goals.

Turn Sponsored Content into Earned Media

Digital influencers bring unprecedented value to a specific audience segment through their large following, established trust and expertise on social networks. Not only are they influential to their consumer followings, but news outlets also keep their eye on prominent online tastemakers for a first look at the trends and topics drawing the most social engagement.

We love when sponsored content turns into earned media (and so do our clients!). What steps can be incorporated into a content marketing strategy to give brand content the best shot at mainstream placement?

Our best piece of advice is to trust in your influencer. Influencers have long-standing relationships with their audiences and provide a platform for brands to have the appropriate voice, time and lasting influence with consumers. The right influencer understands their audience and knows what will resonate to increase engagement. Allow them the freedom to take brand messaging and incorporate their own voice and style. Doing so allows influencers to develop unique, genuine and organic content, primed for active engagement.

Want proof? Our influencers are consistently developing new and creative sponsored content on behalf of brands. Below are just two examples of posts that achieved mainstream attention and viral engagement.

Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper made BuzzFeed’s list of 31 Delicious Things to Cook in March (#14) for her Roasted Golden Beet and Carrot Dip recipe as part of a sponsored post with Wolf Appliances.

Brooklyn Supper

Amy Locurto of Livinglocurto.com developed a unique cupcake INSIDE a Coca-Cola can as part of a sponsored post program for Coca-Cola and Ritz Cracker’s Home Bowl. The recipe video was featured on mainstream news outlets and now has more than a quarter of a million views.

Sponsored content will go viral and receive third party endorsement in the form of mainstream news coverage when influencers are given creative freedom to develop content in their voice and style.

Earned media exposure not only expands the reach of sponsored content, but also extends the duration of a campaign to a second phase of shareability and engagement. Contact us for more information on the influencers we work with to drive results.

What Makes Brand Content Go Viral?

Your brand has great content – perhaps recent survey results, a new infographic or compelling commercial. Congratulations! Your team has done their job and is confident in the quality of the material you are ready to share.

Now how do you give your brand content the attention it deserves?

Consider Sway Group your secret weapon. Our team has recently developed Massive Reach campaigns as a dynamic way to generate brand activity through influencer outreach. By harnessing the power of influencers, Sway Group is able to effectively increase reach and impressions on the social media platform best suited to your brand’s content.

When a retailer sought to increase awareness and drive traffic to their YouTube video, they called on Sway Group to quickly and effectively generate significant online buzz. Sway Group recommended Twitter for this campaign as the best platform to quickly increase video views.

Unlike a Twitter party, which typically lasts just one hour, our campaign took place over a 48-hour period. During that time, we engaged influencers to send out one tweet each that included the campaign hashtag and AD, with a link to the video. We worked closely with the retailer to develop a variety of 140-character tweets that included the key brand messages before sharing with the selected influencers for distribution.

Achieve dynamic brand activity with massive reach campaign on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, to garner a wealth of impressions

The campaign achieved more than 20 million Twitter impressions, with 78% of these impressions garnered in just the first 48 hours. The engagement on Twitter was phenomenal with thousands of tweets and retweets encouraging followers to view the video. By the sixth day of the campaign, views of the YouTube video had increased 860%, an impressive result in less than a week’s time.

Contact us to discuss whether a Massive Reach campaign is a fit for your next program.

Don’t Forget About the Parents of Generation Z, as Featured on MediaPost

Allison Talamantez and Danielle Wiley recently penned a guest column for MediaPost’s Engage: Moms blog on the topic of marketing not only to Generation Z, but their parents. The contributed article is featured below.

“Parents of Generation Z, the name given to those born after 1995, are entering a new life stage as their children stand on the cusp of adulthood. Today’s parents are particularly hungry for content that relates to their needs, much like they received when they were parents of newborns. However, unlike that previous stage in their lives, they don’t have the luxury of looking to best practices from the past as they navigate for the first time what it means to parent in this digital age.

As Gen Z begins to experience the world in new ways, so do their parents. With every teenager exploring a new social media platform (and their own evolving online identity), you can rest assured that their parents are checking it out as well. Some use the opportunity to “keep tabs” on their child’s digital footprint and hone their stalking skills as they attempt to figure out what their kids are doing behind closed doors. Others see it as a way to connect and relate where Facebook or email just doesn’t resonate.

Marketers, take note. We often think of new social media platforms based on Gen Z as the largest user profile. While Instagram, as one example, has not amassed a wide audience of Boomers and Gen Xers, the platform is quite ripe with parents signing up to become familiar with the online destination consuming the attention of their offspring. There is an opportunity for brands and companies to reach a social media savvy Gen Z parent by relating to their specific needs and mindset.

A new baby truly only needs food and sleep in the first few months of his or her life. A teenager on the other hand, requires much more. It seems as if the list of needs grows even faster than the rate of their height, from clothes that fit to face and body care, as well as school supplies and sporting equipment. Not considered splurges, such as new fashion accessories or video games, these necessities often fall under household budget (and do not come out of the Gen Z’s allowance, summer job or savings account).

Brands that focus primarily on a Gen Z consumer but parent purchaser could endear themselves to both demographics by keeping the needs of each in mind. For example, in addition to the option of adding a product to a shopping wish list, offer teenagers the opportunity to send your latest brand news or most recent promotion to their parent for purchase consideration.

You may also consider talking directly with the purchaser, versus end consumer, on this platform where both are engaged. As parents navigate the needs of these new humans suddenly under their roof, they need all the help they can get communicating with them. Offer Gen Z parents conversation starters or tips for decoding their teenager’s jargon. Share a trend or newly popular Vine account with Gen Z parents, allowing them to earn kudos by introducing the latest to their children. If your brand collaborates with an influencer, consider giving parents the opportunity to surprise their teenager with a guest shout out or dedicated post from the influencer for a birthday or celebration. The real gold for marketers lies in uniting Gen Z and their parents creating real conversation for those rare moments offline.”

Marketing to the parents of generation Z