EPICLIST is an adventure travel iPhone app that makes sharing your adventures easy, beautiful and fun. The app already has over 10,000 users, and over 10,000 travel experiences have been created in the app. It was also featured by Apple in the ‘Best New Apps’, ‘Best New in Lifestyle’ and ‘Great Free Apps’ categories.
In May 2014, we worked together with Epiclist, the beautiful adventure planning travel app, to create an influencer marketing campaign for their newly released iPhone update.
The influencer campaign had two main objectives:
- To get more users signed up.
- To get more stories created in the app.
Epiclist is an adventure travel app, so they wanted to work with bloggers who had a strong adventure travel identity online. This didn’t necessarily mean getting bloggers who were jumping out of airplanes all the time. What they wanted were people who inspire adventure by ‘getting out there’, even if ‘out there’ is just your backyard.
Epiclist had a budget to work with three influencers, so they narrowed down the options from our large community of over 600 travel influencers. The final three were chosen based on a few factors such as niche, relevancy, monthly reach and blog content quality.
The campaign would require each influencer to do a review of the iPhone app on their respective blogs. Each review would be published within the same week, and would be shared across the influencers’ social media.
As well as the app review, the influencers would also cross-promote their content on the Epiclist app. Epiclist would assist in curating and uploading the influencers’ best content and showcasing it on their app and throughout their social media. Receiving inspirational content from professional travel bloggers and adventurers was a fantastic additional benefit for working with the influencers.
Influencer marketing encourages impartiality when it comes to sponsored content. As with all campaigns created through themidgame, we encourage sponsors to not ask for favourable content, if it is not what the influencer genuinely believes.
Honesty, transparency and trustworthiness are key components for successful influencers, so we would never like to see that compromised for a sponsor. Therefore, the reviews created for the Epiclist campaign were honest and the influencer wrote about their true impression of the app.
Each review featured great praise for the beauty of the design, the ease of the UI and the inspiring content on the app. Some of the reviews found other aspects which they thought could be improved upon, such as the definition and categorisation of trips, or the need for an Android version. Overall however, the reviews were a resounding positive appraisal of the Epiclist app.
All three Epiclist reviews now appear in the top five search results on the first page of Google for the keyword “Epiclist Review”, while one of the reviews shows up on the first page of results for the keyword ‘Epiclist’. These are fantastic results considering the results for the keyword ‘Epiclist’ includes five which are digital real estate for the app (website, iTunes Store, social media sites etc.).
All three Epiclist reviews now appear in the top five search results on the first page of Google for the keyword “Epiclist Review”.
The best part about these promising results are that they will likely improve over time. Unlike CPC advertising, sponsored content has the ability to continually provide amazing results in the long-term.
The biggest social response was on Twitter, with hundreds of cumulative mentions and shares of the reviews on the social network.
— Josh Cahill (@gotravelyourway) June 5, 2014
However, overall the social results were somewhat underwhelming, with just a few clicks from each of the blog posts to the Epiclist website, and even less downloads of the app. Promotion of the articles on the influencers’ social media received significantly less attention than their other posts. This is an interesting insight which we can definitely learn from for future campaigns. Perhaps more creativity is needed for future sponsored content, and we need to encourage influencers to share the content more and become more creative in how they introduce the app on social media.
Engagement on the reviews themselves were also low, compared to the influencers’ other content. Naturally, readers are more compelled to comment on personal posts about travel experiences and adventure, so this is expected.
Overall, the campaign was a success, as we achieved the goals we set out to do. A bigger budget would have made a huge difference to the results, allowing Epiclist to work with several more influencers, increasing the campaigns reach and impact.
Perhaps the biggest lesson we can learn from this campaign is that expectations need to be managed appropriately from each side. Sponsors can often expect huge results even though they work with a few relatively small niche bloggers, while influencers often expect that they can publish the post and leave it be, without taking the time to really understand the sponsors’ goals.
Of course, the more sponsors and influencers understand each other, the better the results will be for everyone involved. Influencers who are the driving force behind a successful campaign that goes above and beyond will be remembered by the sponsor, and often receive several more offers for sponsorship in the future, while sponsors who take the time to communicate the goals and expectations of the campaign to the influencer, will be better able to predict the results.
There is still a lot to learn in this new industry of influencer marketing, so we’ll continue to update and add new case studies which we can all learn something from.
You can view the three sponsored reviews created for Epiclist here:
To be one of the first to hear about future sponsorship opportunities from themidgame, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Sponsors interested in doing an influencer marketing campaign with us can email firstname.lastname@example.org.