The path for victory in earned media today is summed up perfectly in Demonstrate PR’s guiding tenet: experienced by few, seen by many. We accomplish this through experiences, where our partners engage with consumers and influencers in a memorable way and then turn them loose to evangelize within their own tribes. This is the best way to create a network of advocates who will continue to tell the brand story long after the event itself has faded into the shadows of their memory. While we keep consumers at the epi-center of everything we think and do, identifying the broader audience of key opinion leaders, social and digital influencers and celebrity endorsers who can amplify your story often pays dividends.
This is exactly what happened when we hit the streets of Austin, Texas during SXSW to launch Cool Effect, a platform dedicated to crowdfunding against climate change. Through an immersive experience, passers-by who answered the question, "What on Earth do you want to save?” and posed for a photo were given wristbands for free rides throughout the festival. And free rides equal a lot of social shares to friends in a city where rides were at a premium! A visit from actress Brooklyn Decker kicked brand amplification into a whole new gear, as her photo engaging with the Cool Effect activation was picked up by entertainment press and shared and re-shared across all social platforms, leading to an 816 percent increase in Cool Effect’s social media community.
This power of the influencer effect was seen in action again later in the year, when actress and environmental activist Alysia Reiner joined Cool Effect and a group of brand ambassadors dressed as snowmen as they canvased NYC on #GivingTuesday, encouraging people to view its melting snowman “mockumentary,” contribute to a Cool Effect carbon-reducing project and share the campaign on social - netting 1.3B+ earned media impressions and a not-to-shabby 54M+ social impressions.
And it’s not just celebrities that generate such a brand awareness ripple effect. We’ve found lesser-known social and digital influencers who target the niche market our partners are trying to reach, as well as the customers themselves, to be just as – if not sometimes more - effective in “megaphoning” a brand and leaving a lasting impression. Supplementing this organic interest and engagement with earned media, paid advertising and a brand’s own communication channels creates the ultimate 360-degree marketing plan, aka, the foolproof recipe for success in today’s ever-changing media landscape.