Being in business, I am a Shark Tank fan. I’ve watched the show since its inception. I am familiar with each of the Sharks’ personal stories of success and failures. I’ve read their books. I know that Daymond John’s successful clothing company, that he started from scratch selling shirts out of his car in NY, is FUBU. FUBU stands for “For U, By U”. When I saw FUBU trending on Twitter, I was curious. When I clicked on it, I discovered a perfect example of influencer marketing that I had to share with you.
First, keep in mind that not everything goes viral. It costs money to have a social media influencer promote your product or service.
Influencer Marketing at its Viral Best
So, The Gap pays LL Cool J to do a rap song promoting their stores in 1999 — The Gap, by the way, was hurting with the COVID pandemic. They’ve closed many brick-and-mortar locations and have moved online.
They started pushing this commercial again to boost sales. Daymond John tells what happened next.
- This commercial is released by the Gap. Why? Because they need help with sales especially after COVID.
- LL Cool J is popular. The commercial cost the Gap $30 million to make in 1999.
- The Gap didn’t notice back then that even though LL was promoting The Gap, he was wearing a FUBU hat and mentioned “For U, By U” in his rap.
- The target market they wanted to hit increased by 300% because kids thought they could buy FUBU at The Gap.
- Everybody wins.
Influencer Marketing for the Little Guy
Now, you’re probably thinking, that’s all well and good, but I don’t have $30 million to hire a celebrity. That’s true.
First, you have to understand that, in general, you can’t make something go viral unless you spend the money to hire a celebrity.
However, something can go viral as a fluke. If a celebrity loves your product, service or cause, they will let their fans know. That’s usually free, good, old-fashioned, word-of-mouth advertising. That’s takes planning and strategy to make it happen. The bigger the celebrity or influencer, the more followers they have, the harder it will be to get free publicity.
Here are some Influencer Marketing Tips:
- How Influencer Marketing Helps Small Business
- 13 Strategies for a Successful Microinfluencer Partnership
- How to Find Instagram Influencers
- The Definitive Guide to Building a Network of Brand Ambassadors
- 6 Tips to Find Influencers in Your Niche
3 Things to Have in Place Before You Start Contacting Potential Influencers
- Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – what makes you different?
- Your Brand, Website, Social Media Profiles — all these are your online image.
- Know your target market and do your research.
I’d be happy to help you see if you’re “ready for prime time”. Sometimes an objective voice will help you see things as your potential target would see it.