This is the second part of the two-part series on influencer marketing & the sport industries. It highlights the proper way to create and manage influencer marketing campaigns when your target audiences are sports-oriented. Sports brands can adopt the best practices mentioned in this post to gain new customers.
If you aspire to connect with potential customers on a personal level, you’ll find inspiration in the examples we shared in part 1 of Influencer Marketing & the Sports Industry. But how exactly do top sports brands work with peer-to-peer influencers to strike a chord with prospective customers?
Well, they take the same approach as brands in other industries, with some tweaks here and there. Mentioned below are the steps you need to take to leverage influencer marketing for your sports brand.
- Find Your Average Joe
It’s time that you start considering action-based performance rather than follower count and impressions when hunting for your influencer. That’s because sports enthusiasts are more connected to people who they share common traits with and who they can seek advice from: not a well-known athlete, as it’s next to impossible to get in touch with high-profile stars.
The ideal influencer is someone who:
- Is passionate about a particular sports
- Has a significant impact within his/her own online community
- Has demonstrated creative use of Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
To find your peer-to-peer influencer, look around your social media circles to see who’s active in the world of sports, who likes to report game scores now and then, and who gets conversations going. Another way to find the ideal influencer is to research hashtags like #snowboarding, #NFL, #cricket etc.
It will take a bit of time before you find the right person, unless you use Buzzoole. Influencer marketing platforms like these have a database of influencers in different industries, so all a sports brand needs to do is state their requirements to discover appropriate matches.
- Pitch An Idea For The Campaign
Sports fanatics have begun to turn a blind eye to radio ads, television commercials, and fantasy extreme sports advertising. They’re taking more interest in what people they like, know and trust are saying. As a result, your collaboration pitch to the influencer should mention an interesting way to deliver your brand’s message.
For instance, you can:
Host an Event: You can arrange an event and invite your target audience through the voice of your influencer. It can be a product launch or an exclusive fitness activity. Attendees can be encouraged to share the event experience through images and live video on social media.
Here’s an example of a live challenge hosted by Under Armour. Long-tail influencers promoted the activity by posting their achievements using the hashtag #thearmourchallenge.
Arrange a Competition: This is one of the most popular ways to collaborate with influencers. You can work with the influencer to set up a simple competition to boost the visibility and engagement for your business. For example, you can ask the influencer to post an image of a product you want to giveaway in the competition and invite his/her followers to follow your account and tag 3 of their friends. Remember to impose a time limit to create a sense of urgency. You can then close the competition and pick a random winner.
Do a Live Chat: In this approach, sports brands can ask influencers to do a live chat on their behalf with audiences on social media channels. Your target audience will cherish the chance to talk with the influencer in real-time, which will increase participation. You and the influencer can co-create a hashtag to enable people to easily join the conversation.
Also, ask the influencers to pitch their own ideas; they often suggest fun ways of collaborating for a campaign. In fact, peer-to-peer influencers may suggest ideas that excite people in their daily lives, allowing your brand to be a trend setter for a particular concept.
- Make a Compelling Offer
Every minute of the influencer’s time is important, so make sure their needs are met when it comes to receiving compensation. The thing with peer-to-peer influencers is that they’re not always after monetary compensation. Brands can satisfy their needs by giving some kind of recognition.
So what you can do is give them a shout out on your social media channels by mentioning their handle. For instance, if a local instructor is your influencer, you can tag him/her and share his/her campaign on your brand’s Instagram/Snapchat/YouTube account. Actions like these will get the whole community of instructors involved, and get your campaign amplified at both the national and local level.
Another option is to feature them in your monthly newsletter and share the work they’ve done for your sports brand (this may also encourage other influencers to join your campaign). Make sure you meet their basic human need by expressing gratitude. Perhaps referring them by listing their direct contact works better than any form of monetary compensation. Often, P2P influencers love being exposed to new brands and audiences, seeing their name and wisdom in lights.
At the end of the day, it’s all about working with authentic people. The tips mentioned above will serve as the founding element to unwavering loyalty that sports brands fail to achieve with high-profile athletes and celebrities. P2P influencers will stay loyal to their personal standards as well as your brand. As a result, seek individuals that fit your desired target persona naturally and let their creativity shine through.