Influencer marketing is increasingly recognised as a key channel for boosting brand affinity, engagement and sales. Many brands focus on finding influencers that match its own brand values – as can be seen from hastily cancelled contracts when those values are compromised by said influencers. What is often over-looked is building partnerships that are mutually beneficial for influencers and brands – extending reach and building stronger relationships with the audience for both parties.

This is something that we at Viber, one of the world’s largest messaging apps, have been working very hard at. We have partnered with global Grammy award-winning music superstar Shakira and leading sports teams and their players including FC Barcelona, NBA champions – Golden State Warriors and French football team Olympique de Marseille (OM).

Leveraging the power of nearly one billion Viber users worldwide, Shakira and team launched a dedicated Viber public account, sticker pack, and other features. Shakira sought to engage her fans while driving tour buzz and ticket sales in line with her new album and global world tour; a method we will see more of in 2019.

Using this in partnership with Viber, Shakira was able to create a comprehensive and engaging tour promotion strategy which included a Viber-exclusive ticket pre-sale to 40M Viber users, the target audience for her tour destinations, directing them to the Shakira public account with the option to receive a unique promo code.

Shakira amplified the campaign through cross-promotion on her social channels, and also leveraged her public account to poll Viber users on songs for her upcoming set-lists. Within a short time-span, Shakira had utilised her digital presence, creating hype and driving ticket sales – giving her fans a voice and opportunity to re-engage throughout her tour.

For Viber, offering exclusive content and access to Shakira for her super fans drives new customer acquisition and immediate active usage. It is a win-win.

Viber also set out to produce an innovative way relationships could be built between sports brands and users, knowing that the global appeal of sports teams offered a great opportunity to encourage more users. In a separate collaboration, Olympique de Marseille’s (OM) and Viber forged a new long-term and fan-focused relationship which could further connect the club with its passionate global fanbase.

Viber leveraged their suite of business solutions to deepen OM’s connection with their fans through unique and engaging experiences. This included a first of its kind president chat, lasting one hour and allowing fans to quiz the president on everything from recruitment strategy to the President’s personal career goals. This holistic and fan-first strategy has already delivered tremendous results, with over 100,000 views and some 25,000 gained followers with more plans to evolve this approach as the Viber relationship grows.

Ultimately growth of influencer marketing has gradually steered more and more companies to increase their marketing budget in this area with most realising working with influencers can help in effectively reaching new audiences and raise further awareness for a brand. Where this can be taken to the next level is identifying partnerships that offer both parties advantages to build deeper connections with their existing audience and reach more people.

The February issue of Admap – Influencer marketing: beyond the hype – features a selection of articles by thought leaders from across the globe. WARC subscribers can access a deck which summarises the expert advice and key recommendations from all the authors.

Click here to register for our upcoming webinar: 5 things to consider when selecting an influencer.