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The Right Reasons for the ‘Gram?

Influencer Marketing, Tent-Pole Event Strategies and ... the Bachelor?

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Effective marketing is being able to tell your story to a large and engaged audience. Which is why today we’re going to talk about … The Bachelor? You may be skeptical but bare with us for a moment. This is gonna get interesting.

There are two major pillars of social marketing at play here: influencer marketing and a tent-pole event strategy.

Influencer marketing is the new celebrity endorsement. In a world where we are tied to our screens and wanting to put the best filter on our life in self-promotion, there are some BIG bucks behind strong content-driven marketing campaigns. These influencers don’t have to be celebrities. With a little hustle, strong personalities, and desirable lifestyles, most of these influencers are self-made.

And it’s a pretty good gig when a single Instagram post can earn you $75,000. 

Influencer Marketing Earnings Chart
USA Today

And you know what helps build a social following? Locking 30 women in a house, pitting them against one another to win one man’s affections, add a dash of inflated self-importance + Queen Bee syndrome and voila!

But what if, and you may need to sit down, these contestants aren’t in this for the right reason!? What if they are just trying to build their personal brand?

Colton, The Bachelor, admitted on the LadyGang podcast that he became an Instagram influencer and, while they are not allowed to get paid while the season is running, Refinery29 speculates that Colton is likely earning at least six figures. At 1.2 million followers, it’s safe to say that he might have some influence on his following, and it’s not the shower shots that ABC is loving.

So what does this mean for the contestants? What is the future earning potential through Instagram for being on The Bachelor? We took a quick peek at how the women have grown their personal Instagram brand just in time for the two-on-ones.

No surprise, but their followings have EXPLODED. In fact, the sum total of Instagram followers for these contestants has increased over 4-fold from under 700,000 to nearly 3 million at the time of this writing. If we start to look at contestant cohorts, it’s obvious that staying around longer means much larger follower growth. In fact, if you don’t make it to week 5, odds are your follower count isn’t going to grow much at all. However, once you prove you have staying power, you’re probably going to see your Instagram following at least triple in short order.

(side note: the spike in Week 3 is almost entirely from Catherine, which if you watch the show tells you everything you need to know)

With 2 more weeks to go, and the rate of follower growth increasing, it’s likely that we’ll see the final audience end up close to 5 million when it’s all said and done. In other words, if you were able to contract every Bachelor contestant at the beginning of a season you would see your cumulative reach increase by 7x in 8 weeks. When major marketing strategies and platforms are becoming table stakes across the industry, using data to find little hacks that this can have a huge impact.

What does this mean for individual contestants? Well “Never Been Kissed,” Heather M. has grown her following 973% since the premiere and has seen the most growth out of all the women. Spoiler alert – she also got her (super awkward) first kiss in week 5, so let’s see if this growth continues.

In case you were unaware that “dating on the Bachelor is not like real life,” Elyse Dehlbom realized in week 5 when she rocked her statement dress and ended up sending herself home because she was unable to handle the pressure. Her following has also grown significantly since night one; currently, at over 100k followers, she’s seen growth upwards of 817%. Wowza – as a makeup stylist and one that just crossed that key influencer threshold of 100k followers, I cannot wait to see what products she starts to recommend!

But the other part is that these women aren’t seeing this progress just on their own hard work. They have been able to plug themselves in to a TV show that has has a dedicated following over 23 seasons, and currently sees about 6 million viewers every week. There’s no shame in the game, and connecting your brand to major events can be a huge awareness and sales driver.

Recently we worked with Coca-Cola to design, launch, and market a custom bottle celebrating Clemson’s National Championship.

This bottle went on sale January 8th, the day after Clemson beat Alabama 44-16, and went on to account for half of the total sales on cokestore.com that month.

Of course not every company can pull off a licensing agreement with NCAA schools, but through researching what your core customers love (other than you, of course) it’s possible to identify unique opportunities to extend your brand’s audience and storytelling. Like, for instance, getting in contact with people whose social audiences you think may grow by an order of magnitude in a couple months’ time.

So can the contestants find love? I don’t know, but they certainly can capitalize on their new audiences. Can your company?

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