[Welcome back to our Word of Mouth Marketing Lessons newsletter. This is text from the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using this handy form.]

Right now, if you want someone your customers trust to talk about you, you’re not alone. You’re competing with marketers from some of the biggest companies in the world to get popular people, or “influencers,” to say you’re cool.

And since you’ll never beat these companies with bigger budgets and better incentives at buying “influencers,” why not do it the more remarkable (and ethical) way.

Here are some takeaways from how the big guys do it:

1. Don’t try to brand them
2. Ask them how you can help
3. Give their work a bigger stage

1. Don’t try to brand them

Improv Everywhere, a New York comedy group famous for their annual No Pants Subway Ride, says they get approached by companies all the time for ad campaigns and sponsorships. According to their founder, Chris Todd, they turn down a lot of offers to include product placements or wear company logos. Instead, they accept partnerships like the one they did with Target: No logos, no Target products, just a comedy troupe surprising people with “Epic Christmas Caroling.” He said it’s all about staying true to the comedy and making people laugh. Their audiences can tell when it’s a commercial, and that’s not what makes their pranks fun and buzzworthy.

2. Ask them how you can help

When LifeProof reached out to extreme athletes to help them shoot amazing stunts for social media marketing, they didn’t bring them a storyboard. Instead, they asked each influencer, “What have you always wanted to do, but don’t have the budget or time for?” But it’s more than that. They also worked to build relationships with each influencer before even asking them for a favor. They found athletes who were already using LifeProof cases, sent them more stuff, and kept up with what they were doing. Then, when it came time for the campaign, LifeProof helped them do the stuff they didn’t think was possible yet.

3. Give their work a bigger stage

Google has to do more than just advertise their self-driving cars to earn the public’s trust. So they’re working in communities to appeal to local influencers and start conversations. For example, in Austin and Mountain View, California, they’re opening up contests to feature local artists’ work on the side of their self-driving cars for months. That’s about more than just visibility, it’s about building a relationship with the community’s influencers through a mutual benefit.

email

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Featured Downloads

Download: “The Difference Map” by Bernadette Jiwa

We’re big fans of author of The Fortune Cookie Principle and TEDx speaker Bernadette Jiwa, who says that good marketing…

Read More

The first chapter of “The Social Media Side Door” by Ian Greenleigh

Ian reveals the best ways to earn the attention of influential people using social media channels.

Read More

9 Things to Share That Start Conversations

Use the examples in this guide to help inspire ways to make your message more portable and shareable.

Read More

3 Must-Use Word of Mouth Marketing Tools

These tools will help you kick off any word of mouth campaign no matter what topic, industry, or budget.

Read More

The Top Four Tips for Multiplying Your Word of Mouth

These tips can help you get your marketing to do more work without a lot of extra effort.

Read More

10 Ways to Turn Around Negative Word of Mouth

The most effective ways to stop negative WOM with examples from Zappos, FedEx, Dell, and more.

Read More
Get our free weekly newsletter

Join 35,000 brilliant word of mouth marketers by signing up for our free weekly email newsletter filled with actionable word of mouth ideas.

You’ll be blown away by just how good you can be at this.

Never display this again