Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is considered the next generation of business engagement. It is a beneficial tool used to increase sales, stay ahead of the competition, and reach target audiences. Therefore, numerous organizations strive to develop the campaigns of their marketing influencers nowadays. According to a recent survey conducted by the Linqia influencer marketing platform, 48% of organizations worldwide plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year (McAbee, 2017). Meanwhile, Bloomberg records that $255 million is spent to maintain influencer campaigns every month, particularly on Instagram (McAbee, 2017). Data consolidated and analyzed by the MuseFind influencer platform displays that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement campaign (McAbee, 2017). According to the Tomoson marketing platform’s rating of the most beneficial influencer campaigns, Mercedes-Benz was considered to have a top influencer campaign in 2016 (McAbee, 2017). The company created compelling content on social media partnering with an influencer to amplify the brand and appeal to the target audience.
Influencer of Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz chose a novelty influencer to promote its brand the 2017 GLS SUV. The company partnered with Loki the Wolfdog and his owner Kelly Lund. A mix of Siberian husky, malamute, and Arctic wolf, Loki has nearly 2 million followers on social media (Karhoff, 2016). General Manager of marketing services for Mercedes-Benz USA explained that the company strived to find an appropriate and unique influencer for its product to show what the brand is and why millennials need to own a Mercedes-Benz (Staff Reports, 2016). Furthermore, the chosen influencer aligned particularly well with the company’s SUV portfolio. According to research conducted by Mercedes-Benz, a large number of SUV owners have pets. Therefore, Loki the Wolfdog was considered as the best influencer to promote the brand on social media.
Therefore, Mercedes-Benz used an Instagram-famous dog and virtual reality technology to establish the #MCPhotoPass influencer campaign. The strategy for the Mercedes-Benz’s influencer campaign with Loki was built on two concepts: producing videos with Loki that give fresh perspectives on Mercedes-Benz cars and creating a set of beautiful photos to reach the target audience. The filming was done in the snowy mountains of Crested Butte Colorado. Kelly Lund drove a Mercedes GLS with his pet Loki through the mountains of Crested Butte Colorado. 3D cameras were used to provide the viewers with the image of the Wolf Dog running through the snowy ways, while the other cameras made inside pictures of the new Mercedes GLS interiors. The professional team of photographers produced inspiring imagery for the influencer campaign.
Strategy of the Influencer
Kelly Lund, the owner of Loki, had no definite strategy in taking pictures of his pet and posting them on his Instagram account. However, the dog became an immediate hit on social media. Therefore, Kelly Lund had to create a personal social account for Loki. Started in 2013, @loki_the_wolfdog gathered 50,000 followers in its first year (McAbee, 2017). Soon, Kelly Lund received numerous invitations from companies to become their pet influencer. Consequently, Kelly Lund had to quit his job to become a social media manager for Loki. By the end of 2015, Loki had nearly a million followers (McAbee, 2017).
Pet influencer manager Kelly Lund used photos and videos provided by the Mercedes-Benz company to post them on Loki’s accounts on social media. He created messages devoted to the brand of Mercedes-Benz and regularly demonstrated them in the form of text and visuals with Loki.
Picture 1. Influencer of Mercedes-Benz — @loki_the_wolfdog (McAbee, 2017).
Kelly Lund had a strategy to post content in the evening when the number of social media users was bigger. That is why the posts with Loki earned more replies and attracted the attention of more potential consumers. Consequently, “Instagram alone generated 173 million impressions, 2.3 million likes/comments, and $4 million worth of earned media” (Karhoff, 2016). Lund posted videos showing the exterior and interior of the car and images of the dog playing with the owner in the snowy landscape. Kelly Lund tracked the philosophy of the brand and developed the themes of travelling, love of adventure, need for discovering something new and see places.
He has creative liberty and a unique style that resonates with target audiences and interacts with them. All visual and textual material provided by Kelly Lund was appropriate for the new luxury car by Mercedes.
The company used the content of this successful influencer campaign as a way to appeal to different buyers and get audiences engaged. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz provided free access to their Instagram to journalists, other social influencers, team members, and photographers to monitor the content of the account for certain periods. In general, Mercedes let Kelly Lund and his pet to tell a story using their cars. This campaign turned out to be successful since Mercedes chose to capitalize on the rising popularity of virtual reality devices and, of course, the pet influencer Loki the Wolfdog.
Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest trends in the current marketing environment. Therefore, the majority of organizations can get numerous benefits resorting to influencers that facilitate trusting relationships with the target audience and pursue overall business goals. Mercedes-Benz became one of the organizations that aimed to establish an influencer campaign to promote a brand and appeal to the potential customers. Consequently, the company launched an innovative pet influencer marketing campaign with Loki, a wolf dog that had over a million followers on social media. The owner of Loki, Kelly Lund, regularly posted showcased images of his pet and 2017 Mercedes GLS on Instagram appealing to the popular themes of travelling, adventure, and admiration of pets. The campaign turned out to be popular in the target audience of Mercedes-Benz judging by the high ratings and the significant amount of followers.
Karhoff, A. (2016, August 18). 5 creative influencer campaigns to inspire content marketers. Retrieved from https://insights.newscred.com/influencer-campaigns-content-marketers/
McAbee, M. (2017, February 7). How brands can leverage influencer marketing. Retrieved from http://blog.revcontent.com/how-brands-can-leverage-influencer-marketing/
Staff Reports. (2016, March 9). Mercedes-Benz partners with man’s best friend for virtual reality escapade. Retrieved from https://www.luxurydaily.com/mercedes-benz-partners-with-mans-best-friend-for-virtual-reality-escapade/