Client Spotlight: Making Ladder ‘Instagram-Famous’
It is becoming nearly impossible to scroll through your Instagram feed for even a minute without encountering a sponsored post. Consumers’ desire for transparency and validation from sources they feel they know and can trust has given rise to the age of the digital influencer. In 2019, a shout out or a review from a social media influencer is far more valuable to a brand than a traditional ad in a glossy magazine. Both the team here at March, along with our consumer clients, recognize the importance of authentic brand storytelling, and the role that influencer marketing campaigns can play in helping brands relay that story in a transparent way.
One of the more popular ‘breeds’ of social media influencer is the health & wellness influencer. However, just because someone has over 1 million followers on Instagram and posts shirtless selfies in the gym, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the ideal trainer for everyone to work with or even relate to. This disconnect is driving the yo-yo effect many consumers experience when it comes to health and wellness, and our client within this space, Ladder, is trying to change that by connecting anyone, anywhere, with the right coach for them.
Ladder is a national consumer health and wellness coaching platform that is offered as a mobile app and targeted at consumers who are looking for a personalized fitness/wellness coaching experience but want to do so on their own time and budget, something that the traditional personal training model cannot offer.
Faced with the challenge of standing out within the incredibly crowded health and wellness technology space, March launched a paid social media influencer program with the goal of partnering Ladder with influencers who may not have 2 million followers, but instead have a targeted, loyal audience that truly connects to their content and trusts their opinion. This strategy would turn Ladder’s users into brand advocates and drive awareness amongst the target audience March and Ladder had defined during our brand strategy work.
The three pillars of the campaign were identification, relationship and campaign management, and measurement.
Finding an influencer who can reach this type of buyer isn’t as simple as looking up “fitness bloggers” or picking a handful of celebrity fitness models and calling it a day. Some of those highly followed influencers might be hardcore workout fanatics, and their content and voice won’t get through to that audience that Ladder is best for, the beginners or people looking to dedicate a bit more time to health and wellness.
Instead, you need to identify micro influencers – a labor-intensive process that would normally take an army of marketers to locate, which is why brands used to go to specialist agencies to find them.
- March set out to partner with at least 20 influencers who have a follower range of 25K to 75K, a range that typically contains influencers with a more engaged, dedicated audience than macro-influencers.
- Utilizing both traditional research tactics and new digital tools, March combed through the vast sea of health and wellness Instagram influencers and narrowed down the target profile, based on the brand strategy work the team had done for Ladder.
2. Relationship Management
Once the final group of influencers had been identified, March collaborated with each contact individually to determine what their content outputs should be, how they should look and feel, and land on an ideal timeline. March pulled from Ladder’s brand story to create content output recommendations to guide the influencers, but ensured the final posts felt authentic to everyone’s brand. Serving as true project managers, March also handled quality control and deadline management, in addition to more transactional elements like payments and troubleshooting.
March tracked engagement, including clicks, installs and trials resulting from the partnerships to help gauge the success of the program. The team also monitored comments and likes on the content to help Ladder engage with the influencers in an organic way.
At the conclusion of the program, the team had:
- Signed & managed 35+ influencer partnerships
- Partnerships generated 85+ pieces of promotional content
- Influencer content generated 3.2K clicks and 150 app installs
The number of clicks generated by the content led to increased awareness amongst Ladder’s target audience and established a group of brand ambassadors for Ladder that we could come back to for future, ongoing campaigns.
At the end of the day, an influencer marketing campaign is all about generating conversation that is meaningful to your brand. As PR folks, we thrive off of relationship building and pushing those conversations to happen, and digital influencers are new people to converse with. At March, we are focused on engraining the right influencers into the brand so they can offer an external view that helps shape the brand’s interactions with buyers.