How influencers build brand equity and increase customer lifetime value revealed at Modern Retail DTC Summit
NEW ORLEANS — Brands need street credit to survive today’s DTC landscape.
Known to marketers as brand equity, a company name needs to evoke emotion in people without them even thinking about it.
“On day 1, Jing [Gao] mentioned Costco. I was standing in the back, and I saw people’s heads nod up and down,” GRIN Director of Community Katya Allison said during the Modern Retail DTC Summit. “I could see the smiles from behind your heads. Costco has street credit.”
Allison joined more than 15 founders, CEOs, and thought leaders on April 30 at the Modern Retail DTC Summit in New Orleans to share insights into how top brands are now shifting their focus. The event resulted in a comprehensive game plan for how modern brands must operate in 2022 and beyond.
As the community leader for G2’s top-rated influencer marketing platform, Allison discussed the importance of using content creators to bridge the gap between brand equity and customer equity for success in today’s creator economy.
Influencers use social media to encourage their community to try, buy, ask, or learn anything about a brand or product. There is no “ad blocking” with influencers, and brands can deploy as many as they want simultaneously. Plus, with 82% of the population on social media, influencers are a sure bet to pull brand awareness, content, and revenue.
“My guess is that 82% is probably too large of a population for any brand to ignore,” Allison said. “So let creators be your wingmen. It’s as simple as that.”
Allison outlined three key components for fruitful brand-influencer partnerships: trust, quality content, and long-term relationships.
Successful brands leverage content creators as storytellers. This starts with product gifting to educate influencers on the “who” and “why” in their brand story.
“But don’t expect anything in return at first,” Allison said. “I know that sounds wild. But it’s about building trust.”
Influencer-generated content comes after creators fall in love with a brand and its products. At that point, brands should repurpose top content across the entire marketing funnel—not just on social media.
Lastly, marketers must nurture long-term partnerships with high-performing creators and, by proxy, their audience.
“Essentially, what those long-term partnerships do is build a large community,” Allison said. “And that is your customer equity.”
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