Brand partnerships have been a successful tactic for many years. Aligning a company with organizations and events that make sense for the brand’s target audience and mission is a great way to build awareness.
Brands are marrying these partnerships into social media campaigns, and it’s working. Integrating social creates new opportunities to promote mutually beneficial partnerships and create a better experience for customers.
Shoutlet customers Wrangler Western jeans and Miracle-Gro have used strategic partnerships to extend reach and increase engagement. Here’s how:
Wrangler/CMA Music Festival
Iconic brand Wrangler Western has been “outfitting cowboys and cowgirls since 1947.” Its 10 year-partnership with the CMA Music Festival in Nashville is a great fit. Wrangler increased its integration of social media this year with record results.
Wrangler’s well-crafted promotional plan weaved social media into every aspect of this promotion, both in the lead-up to the event and onsite at the festival in Nashville. It tapped multiple social networks with a variety of tactics, including:
- A Twitter contest utilizing Instagram that included a chance to win a role in the Wrangler Fashion Show
- A mobile-friendly custom festival app with photos, video, and map
- A hashtag campaign, #WranglerCMA
- Social media messaging that drove traffic to the Wrangler booth at the CMA Music Festival
- Promotion of retail partners in the Nashville area
- Foursquare check-in giveaways at the event
As a precursor to the event, Wrangler also ran an exclusive month-long sweepstakes on Facebook for a chance to win a five-night trip to the CMA Music Festival, a Wrangler wardrobe, a chance to participate in a Wrangler Fashion Show, and other prizes. The “Wrangler Six-String Summer Sweepstakes” maximized its partnership to reach more customers.
“Through the brand’s partnership with the CMA, we were able to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lucky grand prize winner that no other brand could,” said Edyie Brooks-Bryant, Senior Manager of Marketing and Special Events at Wrangler Specialty Apparel. “In addition, not only was Wrangler Western able to leverage the CMA’s fan base through Facebook, but the brand also utilized the fan bases of related country music artists.”
The sweepstakes resulted in more than 11,200 entries in the contest and 36,109 new Facebook fans. Facebook ads, email marketing, and promotion on brand sites supported the campaign.
For Wrangler, the successful collaboration “goes back to knowing the customer,” Brooks-Bryant said. “The Wrangler consumer is a huge country music fan. The CMA Music Festival is the largest country music festival and has been around for 42 years. It makes sense for the brand to leverage the popularity of the event and to have an onsite presence in Nashville.”
Miracle-Gro/Farmville/”Hello, First Bite!”
In the case of Miracle-Gro, it used a strategic online partnership to kickstart the launch of a new digital advertising campaign. It worked with popular Facebook game Farmville to offer Miracle-Gro branded items to players. After visiting the Miracle-Gro farm in the game, players were encouraged to visit Facebook and Like the Page to receive a branded tomato plant and watering can. The partnership was a perfect match; Zynga research showed that 80% of Farmville players enjoy gardening at home and 75% are interested in growing their own fruits, vegetable, and flowers.
“The relevancy was significant in driving this initiative forward,” said Patti Ziegler, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. “Miracle-Gro had quite a few Farmville fans post on our Facebook page on what a great relationship it was.”
The integration grew the Miracle-Gro fan base by 15,214% in 3 days, with a People Talking About This count at more than 300,000. With “fantastic feedback” from fans, Ziegler said the promotion has introduced them to new brand enthusiasts.
“We have had the opportunity to engage with numerous brand advocates from the Farmville integration and even have fans from around the world,” Ziegler said. “Fans also ask us quite frequently on our wall: ‘When is our next Farmville integration?’”
The boost in activity, fans, and awareness segued into a new digital campaign, “Hello, First Bite!” which includes a Facebook tab published with Shoutlet. Custom interactivity, such as a location-based countdown ticker to when harvesting begins, is included.
One of the long-term impacts of this initiative? The quality of the Facebook fans who have joined them on the network.
“So far, we’ve seen very strong numbers of keeping our Farmville fan base,” Ziegler said. “Our new Farmville fans are engaged in the garden category and better yet, are highly engaged with Miracle-Gro’s Facebook presence.”