As marketers we can learn how to implement success by observing two things. (Yup I've just our career learning curve to two things, I feel bold today)
We observe other marketers implement tactics that simply don't work. In fact when we see ones that "just don't seem right" like Mickey Mouse yelling "f***" at Disney World, we take strict mental notes as to not find ourselves at the center of that sort of #marketingfail.
We also observe campaigns, tactics, strategies and plans that make us sit back in our chairs and say "I wish I did that for my company." And we quietly hope our boss doesn't get word of that awesome strategy and hope they hired them not us...
Bottom line: we learn about marketing from what others test out for us. A good strategy is comprised of what we observe in awful campaigns and in epic campaigns.
I am passionate about cooking so I love recipes. I apply them to every area of my life. Recipes for the perfect relationship (albeit still looking for a good recipe), for a balanced life and for a successful marketing career. So of course I've observed many campaigns closely. Some that made me cringe and some that have made me jealous. And I've noticed 6 components in every successful outreach marketing campaign.
I invite you to try out my recipe and see if you can create a yummy outreach marketing campaign. Don't forget to let me know how it goes and share your amendments!
Blend in the Fact that Consumers Want a Third Party Recommendation
We all know by now that consumers don't want to hear about your brand from your brand.
So, why aren't we all weaving this in to all elements of our marketing strategy?
Equip people who love your brand with the resources, product, images, content, etc. to get out there and keep talking.
People may love you but they get busy. Sending free products, exclusive content updates and other "goodies" keep your brand on their brain.
Basically you just want to give your influencers and advocates something to talk about.
A Heap of Authentic Relationships
My go to example of a brand rocking it with the whole authentic relationships strategy is Char-Broil. Check out this detailed post if you want a brand to look up to.
Creating a network of influencers and advocates leads to authenticity and a continuation in brand recommendations which is the way to get consumers to act upon a recommendation instead of contemplating it for a second and move on.
Treat your influencers as part of your brand instead of an extension and I think you'll be pleased with the authentic relationships you create.
The Best Campaigns Go One Step Further
The most creative and successful campaigns I've seen play with giving influencers and advocates an entire experience to share instead of paying them to simply say something cool about a product or service.
Here are some concrete concepts to illustrate what I mean:
· Travel industries organize trips tailored to each travel blogger they work with so the blogger's post is about their experience in the destination instead of sending them information or "a super cool infographic."
· The fashion industry allows Instagrammers to try on a bunch of outfits from their brand and let their audience vote on their favorite one.
· The restaurant industry hosts a whole night of blogger food extravaganza at their restaurant.
· This grocery store organized a cooking contest with bloggers to show how well families could eat on a budget.
· Ginormous food brands invite influencers to their best farms so they can talk about how friendly and eco consciously their food is produced.
· SAAS companies give free software to influential voices or even run a project with them so they can talk about their experience with the software instead of regurgitating information from a press release.
· Publishers/authors work with bloggers to review a book before it's even released instead of giving them a synopsis of the book and hope they bite.
A Multichannel Approach is Designed at the Beginning
Just like you are building your brand, influencers are building their personal brand. Do you know what that means? They are active on so many social channels. As to why so many marketers put a plan in place that utilizes only one channel at a time beats me.
Again, I love fabulous examples so check out this one on how Rick Advertising implemented a multi-channel campaign for their client Daily's Cocktails.
When you sit down to plan your strategy (the backbone of your campaign) think of how your project can span across many digital channels so that you can equip influencers with the right assets.
What visual pieces can you give your influencers to share? What experience can you design just for them so they have so much to write, tweet, pin, post and Instagram?
In your virtual pocket, have a designated hashtag, social media monitoring platform, visual assets and other creative goodies before you even thinking about reaching out.
Stir in An Acceptance of Going with the Flow
Because we want authentic mentions from influencers, it's best to foster a relationship in which the blogger or social media user can reference your brand in a way that fits organically with their content and style.
Many of the most effective outreach marketing strategies that I've seen don't hold people to a timeline and contain a bunch of guidelines. There is a place and time for rigid processes and outreach marketing isn't one of those places.
What I've seen happen is that when brands work with ambassadors, influencers, etc on an ongoing basis is that the womm comes in the best way and time for all three parties involved: the brand, the influencer and the influencer's audience.
A Pinch of Kumbaya
Instead of designing a cut throat campaign that bashes a competitor, uses influencers and is all business like-good strategies practice collaboration, respect for competitors, kind words about everyone and a practice of gratitude. This gratitude is extended to everyone (yes even the people who have less than a thousand twitter followers) and includes lots of thank you's and shout outs for brand recommendations.
Anything you'd like to add to my recipe!? Please share in the comments below. Maybe together, we can change the world of marketing.