Pattern your influencer marketing campaigns on comic cons and you can’t go wrong: people dress up in cosplay, who knows what happens at night, and there’s shameless branding, selling, promoting, marketing, and influencing everywhere you look. It’s built in! Every TV show and movie trots out their actors, trailers, and rough cuts to these things. Oh, and lots and lots of swag for the taking, with quite a lot of it for actual sale. While I go into wedding, bar mitzvah, and quinceañera analogies below, you can’t go wrong funwise if you think cosplay cons!
I’ve been running influencer marketing campaigns since 2002, back when it was called buzz marketing and word of mouth marketing. I ran influencer marketing campaigns through the years when it was called cyber-striking, blogger relations, and blogger outreach and engagement. I still run online influencer marketing campaigns today, when it’s called creator relations and affiliate marketing.
Fun Fun Fun
There’s been a single thread that’s stitched together and been woven through the last 16-years of reaching out to online influencers, be they Instagram fitness models, YouTube haulers and unboxers, the Twitterati, the most Facebookish, the SnapChatters, the WhatsAppers, the randiest of redditors, and then the denizens of the deepest darkest forums and message boards: fun.
Feed Their Inner Child
What is fun? It can be actual fun: wee! It can also be diversion or the opportunity to look good in anothers’ eyes. It can come with status or prestige (hey, look who tapped me for help!) It can come with promotion (every influencer loves shout outs and needs more followers, friends, Likes, and subscribers). It can come with friendship or attention or respect or approval or support (most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them). Fun can also be the promise that this opportunity will be a springboard to even higher cast opportunities. Upward mobility is as American as apple pie and never goes out of style.
Money is the Spurs and Riding Crop
Crappy jobs from the beginning of time have indeed proven that money trumps fun at the end of the month when rent is due; however, even the most high-compensated denizens of The City of London, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley do much better work when they either love what they do or have enough fun and diversion to balance out their métro, boulot, dodo existence–the tedium of the commute, the toil of the work, and the respite of merciful sleep).
Influencer marketing really benefits if it’s handled less like a Madison Avenue ad campaign or an SEO linkback email blast, or even like a generic, banal, premasticated, “congrats on your jobaversary” LinkedIn player piano, and more like a festive event.
What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas
Their–and your–goal is to make sure they have fun! That’s why you love attending conferences and off-site meetings! You may be expected to suffer through some dry seminars and keynote speeches, it’s true; however, your accommodations are lovely, your flight was nice, and you got to party, play, flirt, dance, and socialize as well. No matter how much you complain about your business trips to your spouse, SO, and kids, you have fun! Every single time. And it’s the job of the event planner to make sure there’s always a spoon full of sugar to make the medicine go down, the medicine go down, the medicine go down, in the most delightful way. Event planners need to make sure you have fun.
Vegas is an Amalgam of Shows and Games
And it can also be as simple as building contests and competitions and lottos and raffles and games into the campaign as well. It always requires a hell of a lot more work, but it’s almost always worth it as Google Adwords has yet to figure out much more than ads, ads, and more ads. Soon enough, Eliza will transition from being a therapist to become a Google Advertising employee, but for now we influencer marketers have the X-factor of actually being human, mostly.
Always Bring the Party to the Influencer
Not only did all of Kristen Matthew’s TUNGBrush influencers have fun (about about basically a tongue scraper), but my Mizuno influencers had fun, my Skinny Coconut Oil influencers had fun, and even the patriotic Americans, vets, service men and women, and their families are having fun being Good Samaritans by helping 4Vets4Life find 10 wounded warriors to give money to over and above their VA benefits: $100,000 to each of the ten and a home specially-designed for the winner according to the adaptations needed to accommodate their injury.
I’m making this harder then I should because I can’t help but write in riddles, analogies, metaphors, and similes; however, it all comes down to making things fun. How do you make things fun? Trust your influencers. Give them an amount of creative control and agency. Listen to them when they have ideas. Give until it hurts–don’t just assume they’re taking advantage. When they have an idea or a suggestion that will allow your campaign to better make a love connection with their community, don’t shut them down–advocate for them.
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