Launched in 2012, Bang Energy is a carbonated, & caffeinated energy drink that comes in various flavors. In 2021, the company made $1.4 billion in retail sales & became one of the top 3 drinks in the US market, closely challenging Red Bull and Monster energy, the two brands with an already established market awareness.
Bang Energy became the highest food and drinks spender on YouTube in 2019 as they partnered with 19 YouTubers who created 141 sponsored videos. These videos reached an audience of 955M and garnered 58M likes.
They spent $7M on YouTube to reach almost a billion people. If Bang Energy had spent this money on paid ads, the reach would have been in the tens of millions, not even a few hundred million. The earned media value here in terms of eyeballs is crazy. It’s not just better than traditional TV ads, it’s also 10x better than what you’d see with FB ads too 🔥
So definitely, there's something to be learned from the strategies adopted by Bang Energy for influencer marketing. Let’s dive in!
1) Dedicated website to attract creators
Bang Energy has a dedicated website — bangenergycasting.com — to attract inbound interest from creators to collaborate with the brand. This makes creator recruitment faster and easily sharable.
Bang Energy is attracting two types of creators with this website — people who create entertaining content and fitness personalities.
They've clearly highlighted the qualities they are looking for in each category with two simple sections, as shown in the images below.
The template is simple enough & you can copy it too when creating your own landing page. Include the following things:
- Headline calling out your desired creator niche
- Paragraph on the qualities you are looking for and what is your expectation from the creator
- Image to let people visualize themselves as brand ambassadors.
Many other brands like Athletic Greens, Lululemon, and Pura Vida also have dedicated landing pages to collect applications for their ambassador programs. Consider making one for your brand as well. If you don't have the time and resources to build a landing page, you can also create a Notion document & share the link on your website. Check out the example from Notion's ambassador program itself.
If you have a list of your favorite creators whom you want to collaborate with, check out these 9 clever ways to get them to notice you.
But imagine you are reaching out to hundreds of creators; you'll quickly find yourself lost in email threads and spreadsheets. And before you know it, the end of the quarter comes, and you are way behind your deadlines for influencer promotions.
The solution is to use a tool like SARAL — A influencer marketing platform that helps you find creators, keep track of campaigns, negotiate deals, and much more, all in one place. Try it for free.
2) Creator house & shoot sessions
Bang Energy has a house in Miami where creators come together to collaborate with each other, & create high-quality content for the brand. Such spaces are called Creator Houses. These usually have a pool area, good natural lighting, beautiful corners, big gardens, etc. — spaces that support influencers in creating good content.
When a brand hosts creators in a content house, there is usually a quota of content that creators have to generate for the brand. Brands get dedicated creators working on their content the whole day, thus improving the efficiency of the production process.
As creators keep in touch with their audience almost every day, they also end up sharing the experience of living in the creator house and talking about the brand without even prompting.
Bang Energy's CEO is also known to host creators at his mansion to create workout, dance, and entertaining videos. This also builds strong relationships with the creators, who get to meet the decision maker and feel like they are part of the brand rather than just means to generate sales.
Most brands never build these relationships and instead just focus on pay-per-post deals (transactions) - so they never get results on the level that Bang Energy and other brands get.
3) Leveraging influencer-generate content (IGC)
Instead of hiring models and photographers and throwing money on expensive shoots, Bang Energy leverages photos and videos from creators for its social media.
Here's an example of a post from Bang Energy's Instagram —
Creators know what works best to generate engagement.
You can see that the person featured here is not a professional model but a creator from Instagram —
Almost every post on Bang Engery's TikTok account has a different face, a unique personality, and a new idea. That's because they source content from different creators.
Influencer-generated content has 2 main benefits:
- Creators are full of fresh ideas and know exactly what's trending or what their audience likes. They don't need hand-holding when creating content. It saves a lot of pre-production hassle. You can focus on business while creators focus on content.
- Licensing content from a creator is less expensive than hiring a team of models, photographers, and studios. It's a great way to bring your CAC (customer acquisition costs) down & invest the saved money in business growth.
- Since each influencer has a distinct personality, working with multiple ones will give you diverse content that can attract different types of audiences to your brand.
4) Entertaining, quirky content with no mention of the brand
TikTok creator Q Park (@qpark), with 34M followers, is famous for his public dancing and twerking videos. He is often holding a can of Bang Energy. There is no mention of the brand, its benefits, or even the product.
The same format of short, entertaining videos with no mention of the brand can be seen with other Bang Energy creators.
It's well known that TikTok's algorithm favors funny, entertaining, or otherwise “viral content.” By partnering with creators who are well-versed in creating reactive content that can start trending, Bang Energy ensures that it reaches a large audience and generates enough curiosity among its audience.
The interesting part is that the creators don't need to mark their content as 'ad' or 'sponsored' because they are not saying anything about the brand. The product simply acts as a prop in the video. It's a loophole they are able to exploit. We wouldn't get into whether it's right or wrong in this post. But it's definitely a 'growth hack' that's working for them.
Also, these videos and posts called for all viewers to follow CEO Jack Owoc on Instagram along with Bang’s official page.
5) Exclusive discounts for the creators' audience
Creators promoting Bang Energy get special discount codes for their audience. The discount codes incentivize the creator's audience to go from the consideration stage to the consumer stage. This makes the creator the 'hero' in front of their audience for bringing in a good deal.
The brands are able to boost not only their awareness but also revenue. Unique codes also help them track each creator's performance. These numbers can help decide which creator to collaborate with for product launches, new collections, outdoor banners, holiday campaigns, etc.
Bang Energy's unique discount code for Matt Smith's audience — SMITH25
Takeaways for your brand 🙇
Let's sum up 3 unique takeaways from Bang Energy's influencer marketing analysis:
- Generate inbound interest from your favorite creators by creating a landing page that talks about your ambassador program, perks for creators, & the process of application.
- Leverage influencer-generated content to get the maximum ROI. You can use content in ads, on social media, for product pages, in packaging, etc. To avoid getting into a battle over ownership of the content, have legal agreements in place before using creator content in your marketing.
- Facilitate content creation by creators by hosting a shoot for them in a creator house. Or you can host exclusive events as done by Revolve. These events can have branded and photogenic corners for content and should facilitate collaboration opportunities.
Anyone can now easily operate a DTC business thanks to a variety of tools and all the information available online. But the market is quite competitive. Each category has a number of competitors and a vast variety of products. That made paid ads so expensive and content marketing so slow. Word-of-mouth is no longer a reliable solution for sustainable growth.
But influencer marketing is where your downside can be limited, and the upside can be huge. The only condition is you have to approach it strategically without throwing money at people with the most number of followers.
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