What makes marketing amazing is that there is often a chance to learn a trick or two from situations that aren’t really related to marketing.
UFC Fighter Conor McGregor recently created one of these situations marketers can learn from when he used his social media profiles to prove why he does not need to do as many press conferences to market his fights. McGregor wants to spend more time training and less time doing press, so he cooked up a social media storm.
With just nine social media posts Conor McGregor reached far beyond MMA media. Some of his tweets were retweeted close to 90 000 times and he reached major news publications like The Guardian and The Daily Mail.
Reaching 20 million plus people in one week is no small feat, and by taking a closer look we can learn few things about marketing in the digital age from Conor McGregor.
1. You are not going to sell without marketing
No matter how good your product is, even if it is a fight between two of the best fighters the UFC have ever had in their roster, you will not sell anything without marketing. Even though the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is one of the most highly anticipated fights in the history of MMA, McGregor knows that the UFC needs marketing to sell tickets and Pay Per View buys.
McGregor also understands that if he is not going to do traditional marketing like press conferences he would have to prove that he can generate the same marketing effects via his social media channels. Something he not only set out to do, but did.
As this Snapshot Report by Webfluential shows with just nine social media posts McGregor reached over 20 million people worldwide. Hundreds of news articles were written about every new tweet or statement McGregor would release digitally. To such an extent that his social media posts completely overshadowed the UFC’s own 197 event that was happening in the same week.
Even if you have the best product, you will only sell it if you are smart about your marketing efforts.
A graph showing the trending searches in the week of UFC 197, Searches for Conor McGregor outweighed the UFC 197 event event with it’s massive press conference.
2. Know who you are marketing to
Yes, you might not even be a MMA fan, but you know of the UFC and you have likely heard about Conor McGregor. But those that follow him on Twitter and Instagram, those who like his Facebook Fan Page are the people who will buy the tickets to see him fight. Conor McGregor is perfect to promote his fights, because he speaks directly to the people who would want to see him fight.
Some might even buy the ticket because they want to see McGregor loose. McGregor is vocal, but so are the people that don’t like his “big mouth”. Regardless, all of these people fit directly into the UFC’s target market.
For the rest of us that don’t really want to see anyone fight, at least we see the buzz going on around Conor McGregor and the UFC. Are you marketing to people who want or need your product?
3. Your marketing message means nothing if it’s coming from the wrong person
UFC fans don’t want big corporate marketers telling them how awesome a UFC fight is going to be. The fans want to hear it from the fighters themselves. Conor McGregor knows that he is the perfect marketing tool for not only the UFC but also his fans.
Conor McGregor made a perfect example of how powerful Influencer Marketing can be, by simply being the ultimate influencer for his fans. McGregor has been very vocal all the way to the top and he is good at gauging what his audience reacts to best. Influencers know how to speak to their audience, the key is to let them do it. If the UFC were to get involved in how Conor McGregor tweets, his influence would immediately drop. Nobody knows his audience like Conor McGregor does. Using influencers is a great way to share your marketing message, without having it sound like a marketing message.
4. Controversy is not always a bad thing
Conor McGregor hypes up his fights with his smart mouth and witty responses. Interlaced is a bunch of foul language and in your face behaviour that would scare most brands into hiding, he get every one talking, love him or hate him. McGregor is fully aware that this is what his fans want, and what keeps his haters talking.
He has become the king of pre-fight controversy and he has also become the UFC’s biggest draw, making them millions. He can be salty and yes, it is not for everyone but it’s been a great marketing tool for Conor McGregor. Walking the controversy line can be scary, but if done correctly it can pay off in huge ways.
5. Out with the old and in with the new
Gone are the days of traditional press and media channels being where you should spend your marketing budget. Flying UFC fighters in from all around the world and hosting a massive press conference must cost the UFC millions, to reach millions.
With a couple of tweets, Instagram posts and a Facebook post Conor McGregor single handedly generated more hype and conversation for the UFC than any of their previous press conferences that cost millions.
It cost Conor McGregor nothing other than a bit of creative language and sharing of some images and videos to set the whole world alight. Maybe it’s time for the UFC to invest in more content creation like UFC Embedded, while using their roster of fighter’s social media followings to market their events to the masses.
Influencer Marketing is not new, but it’s paying off in big ways for brands that find the right influencers to work with. Don’t get stuck in a rut with your marketing efforts. What worked in the past might not work as well now, try new marketing tactics like Influencer Marketing as soon as possible.
Please note the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not those of Webfluential.
On 28 March 2016, Instagram continued with its plans to change its photo and video feed model to one which is algorithm-based rather than organic. This is not on the cards just yet – the plan is to introduce it over the next few months – but for a platform which supersedes the others in terms of engagement and interaction, this move is very interesting indeed.
It is also one which is going to have a marked impact on brands, users and consumer behaviour. Like Facebook, this new structure will now see images slotted into streams based on user actions, not in reverse chronological order. For the A-List it probably means very little indeed. For the rest, well, there is a now almost dreaded ‘turn the notifications on’ post waiting for your eyes to land on it.
It’s probably not a good idea to tap that Follow Me unless you’re desperately keen to keep up with your favourite Jones’, there are enough pings and dings in our lives as it is. However, as a brand, you’re probably wondering what this is going to mean for you and your audience.
“The new Instagram algorithm is designed to focus on quality not quantity,” explains Kirsty Sharman, Head of Global Operations at Webfluential. “What it means is that brands are now required to focus on relevance to drive engagement, not just on volume. This is a powerful shift in how Instagram will play out for the brand and is the perfect opportunity to harness the right influencers in the Instagram market. There’s no need for the audience to tap the Follow Me button at all, they need only Like posts from their preferred Instagram personalities to see them recur in their feeds.”
Ultimately, as put forward by Instagram themselves, the goal here is to show the moments which map back to user interest and engagement. The optimised order means that if people frequently interact with a specific person or series of posts, then those are the ones they will see first. It’s simple – if a brand wants to be featured as part of the new algorithm they need to create posts which get more likes and audience engagement, or they need to work with the influencers that do that already.
It is the ideal time for brands to work together with influencers who understand the value of relationships and powerful content.
Webfluential has found that Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms for our brands and influencers with significant reach and superb results. These are not come about as a result of volume, but as a result of focus, quality and targeted user engagement. Brands should start aligning to the influencers that reach the audience they’re after – to get them to be a constant point of contact in the social feeds of their consumers.
“The best content is about to rise to the top and it will be that which truly captivates the user. Cream always rises to the top,” says Murray Legg, Head Of Strategy at Webfluential. “To truly harness the capabilities of Instagram and the influencer, you need a platform which recognises the value of content and connects the right influencers to your brand – that is the Webfluential technology we’re seeing do great things for brands.”
For now, however, mass panic can die down and hysterical ‘turn on notifications’ must stop. “This change is designed to make Instagram better for the end user, let’s use it as an opportunity to make us better marketers too,” says Kirsty Sharman.
You probably tip your waiter more than you pay for internet services
At Webfluential we’re all about giving you the tools to grow your influence and take your personal brand to the next level. With the launch of Booked By Webfluential, we’ve taken it one step further. Now brands can book you directly from your own website, using a slick-looking booking form that generates a quote for your work. Like other web-based booking tools, we charge a small service fee for each booking you accept – about 10%. What you’d usually tip your waiter.
Let’s talk about Airbnb, another online booking service. They’re the guys who changed the face of rental accommodation, convincing ordinary people to open their homes to local or foreign guests and make some extra cash at the same time. So, just like the local B&B or hotel – but at a more affordable rate. Today Airbnb is the best thing to have happened to the tourism industry world-wide.
But Airbnb isn’t alone. Freelancer.com and Upwork.com are two sites that have made a name for themselves as portals to cash for hardworking freelancers.
Then there’s our influencer marketing platform, reinventing the relationship between brands and influencers by making it easier than ever to connect and collaborate, with our Booked By Webfluential technology.
These sites all have one thing in common – we all charge a small percentage on a transaction or booking. Charging a fee makes business sense. It allows us to keep custom-developing useful tools to make your lives easier.
For Airbnb, Freelancer.com, Webfluential and Upwork, this percentage is determined by demand and value to both our customers and users.
The service is quick, easy and fun. Today you’re drinking a cup of tea in your backyard, tomorrow you’re under a brolly in London. Travellers pay a guest service fee, which can be anything from 6-12%. An additional 3% service fee is collected from the host for each reservation. That’s a percent on each side to ensure Airbnb delivers on the following guarantees and services:
Transaction fees covered by Airbnb
Personalised service and pretty impressive holiday experiences
Airbnb also charges VAT for hosts and guests in some regions and their own variable exchange rates. There’s quite a bit more happening behind the scenes than what appears on the surface, but still not as complicated or pricey as many other holiday booking sites.
Time saved: What’s a few percent when you’ve just saved hours scouring for deals on the internet and you get to live comfortably at a cheaper rate in someone else’s home for a few days?
Freelancer.com charges the client a small project fee dependent on the size of the project. Their table can be a little daunting and expects you to do a lot of reading in order to figure out how to get the best value for your bid. The site also charges a percentage fee in contest winnings by taking a 20% service fee from the total service price and a 15% project fee if a freelancer is awarded a recruiter project. What does it offer the user?
Anytime cancellation up to seven days from booking with a full refund
Protection of payment until work is done to specific standards
A project-based structure for cost-saving and broader reach
Access to a broad spread of work and opportunity for those who want it
Time saved: Need a competent freelancer without the hassle of emailing a thousand people referred by friends? Here you go.
Upwork has a service fee – 10% of the total amount charged to the client – which is paid by the freelancer. The client gets the freelancer and the contacts for free. The freelancer has to work out a final charge which can include the service fee as part of the overall price. What are the benefits?
Central location to find verified clients and work
A clearly outlined rate calculator and help system
Access to a pool of talent which is ready to grab and bid on a job
A well-established system which accesses a global market
Time saved: All of the freelancers in one space across multiple platforms. When it comes to cutting on time, this is a big one for both client and freelancer. Time saved is enough to take on a new commission and accept payment from an old one.
Webfluential’s booking form Booked By Webfluential is easy to use, plugs into WordPress, and gives you instant credibility as an influencer. The charge is 10% off the top, without any hidden agendas or secretive extras. And the value add?
Free and simple to install which allows a booking from anywhere, anytime by any brand
Brands get a professional quote instantly. You get to generate a quote easily
Pricing support that ensures that you stay in line with market demand or use your own structure
Get paid on time
Improved collaboration and reporting with everything from a one-on-one Chat Room function , to bookings, briefs and payments – all in one place
Time saved: One form. A thousand brands. You don’t need 1 000 forms with vendor details, agency lists, payment chasing and frustration. Time saved is enough to write another blog post, engage another reader and build on your influence.
Webfluential is a global Influencer Marketing platform which provides the smartest marketing technology for brands to connect to social influencers. The platform makes it easy for marketers to create, manage and track campaigns with credible influencers and provides influencers with the tools to market their services and monetise their audience.