Word of mouth marketing is one of the most successful tools for any small business, and the rise of social media has made this tool even more valuable. Customers now have a huge platform with which to reach people at all corners of the globe. Influenster is a company that has capitalized on this trend by serving as a resource for people to try new products and spread the word.
Influenster’s customers can go post reviews of different products, allowing other customers a one-stop shop for information on different products. To encourage people to try the service, Influenster ran targeted campaigns in which it sent “VoxBoxes” of samples to groups of people and encouraged them to visit the site and write reviews. Co-Founder Aydin Acar describes the process and how the campaign helped to successfully launch Influenster.
(Photo courtesy of Aydin Acar)
Influenster was conceived when Acar and Co-Founder Elizabeth Scherle used expertise in their respective fields, product sampling and market research, to create a new tool that could be used to build word of mouth for different brands, while also generating data on prospective customers. Acar states, “We co-founded Influenster to modernize product sampling initiatives by activating consumers in their social spaces and providing brands with real-time data.”
To help build brand recognition for Influenster clients while encouraging new members, the company ran a targeted campaign. “We decided that we’d send samples packaged in VoxBoxes based on different themes hyper-targeted at different consumer groups, such as Homecoming VoxBoxes, for college students to get them excited about the products they were receiving to test out, write honest reviews on and share their thoughts onto their social media followers. Our very first VoxBox was a green-themed one filled with natural products and targeted at 250 eco-friendly members since our community was a lot smaller then. This inaugural VoxBox was shipped since it had the biggest demand from our initial members.”
While this approach may not work for all small business owners, Acar states that any small business can use the lessons learned by Influenster in its targeted campaign. “Growth hacking is key for small businesses and startups to gain the momentum they need with a limited budget and resources. We did it successfully with our Voxboxes, but no matter what your business model may be, you simply need to focus on out-of-the-box, growth-oriented and low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing to help scale your growth and help your business take flight. Whether it may be SEO optimization, user incentives, gamification, retention or virality, you need to target your strategy based on staying true to your users.”
These days, potential clients are inundated with information from a variety of channels. Influenster managed to tap into a non-traditional marketing channel by offering potential members an opportunity to try its service. By being creative while targeting marketing efforts, the company helped its clients reach new demographics while also offering a value to its members.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.