With real life events being cancelled, the Flymo team and O threw our carefully laid plans out the window this year and went back to the drawing board on how to inspire children and families to get out and enjoy their outdoor space.
The end result was an incredibly successful collaboration with influencer Skinny Jean Gardener, for a digital activation which reached just under a million families across the UK. Over the Easter holidays, Skinny Jean Gardener took over Flymo’s Facebook page every morning to encourage families to get gardening while socially distancing, resulting in over 60,000 families tuning in every day to watch the show.
From top tips on how to make gardening fun for families, games and top tips for growing your own, the content kept families coming back for more each day and increased engagement on their social media channels dramatically. The O team worked closely with Flymo to understand the problems that the brand was facing during these strange times and align with the overall business strategy for handling the crisis. Flymo was keen to keep brand awareness high with one of their core markets, families, as well as share positive, helpful and engaging content that their consumers would love.
Working with influencers
Working with influencers successfully isn’t always about picking the person with the highest following online, it’s about choosing the right person at the right time and keeping your target audience at the front of mind at all time. Influencers can be anyone, from celebrities to your next-door neighbour. And influencers with smaller communities are proving more influential than their celebrity counterparts with 54% of consumers believing that the smaller the community, the greater the influence. All in all: bloggers, even the smaller community ones, are influential.
Skinny Jean Gardener fits the Flymo brand perfectly, down to earth, fun and likeable, he makes getting out in the garden an activity to do together as a family, not a chore that has to be conquered before you can enjoy your space.
Flymo is no stranger to pushing the boundaries when it comes to influencer activity. From launching the #FirstCutSunday campaign each year through bloggers and influencers to encourage millennials to get out and get mowing, to getting product into the hands of celebrities that their target market love, including Joe Wicks.
So why has this strategy been so successful for the brand recently?
While the UK is in the midst of an unprecedented national crisis, we have seen huge spikes in online and social media consumption as people stay behind closed doors. Research by Global Web Index found that we are seeing substantial increases in people checking social media across all ages; 27% among Gen Z and 30% among Millennials, Flymo’s two key markets in the UK.
Influencers doesn’t just mean bloggers. Stars of Instagram, Facebook and more recently Tik Tok draw in huge audiences, and if you can’t physically get your product into the hands of your potential customers, this is the next best thing. If you currently have stock to sell or want to continue to be front of mind and build a connection with your audience, getting your product into the hands of influencers during this period can be extremely powerful, but only if it is handled sensitively, strategically and with expertise. Our message had to be relevant, community-minded and ultimately useful, hard sells are not going to resonate and could be considered insensitive as thousands of people across the UK struggle to make ends meet. As consumer spending habits change, influencers like Skinny Jean Gardener are uniquely placed to provide useful content including great recipes to cook at home, fashion tips for home working, how to entertain the kids, staying fit indoors and healthy or make-up and hair tips if you can’t get to the salon.
Emotion plays a strong role when it comes to choosing a brand
Emotion plays a strong role in the decision-making process, especially if we are feeling confused or scared in other areas of our life – your customers have warm, friendly feelings towards the people they follow online. The lines are blurring between who is a friend and who isn’t. It’s clear that a brand is only as good as the consumer’s mental representation of it. If this representation is only made up of certain attributes like features and pricing, the consumer doesn’t have any emotional connection with the brand that will influence their preference and action. Positive emotional content in the mental representation will not only encourage sales, but also drive loyalty. Basically – we like things that make us feel safe and happy, especially now.
But ultimately your strategy needs to result in sales right? Well here’s the thing, Millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than other media and more than 55% of over 45’s trust a review on a personal blog and 92% of customers trust earned media over all other forms of advertising. Not only that, 61% of people have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blogger and user generated content is 35% more memorable than other types of media. Working with bloggers and influencers is an effective way of building your brand credibility and speaking to your potential customers in an authentic way, and they have their audience’s attention now more than ever.
As we all look for ways to cope with self-isolation and social distancing, we are seeing more than ever people looking for ways to simulate real human contact, exactly where social media and influencers come into their own. We have to remember that influencers are also in the same situation as us and with more time on their hands they are certainly not going to stop producing content any time soon, the trick is to harness their increased visibility and use it to form real human connections with your customers, they won’t forget it.