We’re in the midst of wrapping a dynamic campaign—the Camper Content Program—that we created for our British Columbia-based client, Chemo RV. This project took months of careful planning to execute. We approached their current market problems with a well-tailored marketing solution—to incorporate influencer marketing into their next campaign.
Chemo RV (pronounced chee-mo) is a family-owned, family-operated RV dealership. Based out of the Cariboo Region in BC, Chemo has a customer base that is largely influenced and categorized by their interior-BC location and Cariboo Region community. Down-to-earth, outdoorsy, and family-oriented are a few terms that can largely sum up the strong characteristics of the market’s demographic.
Now, we should explain what we mean when we say “influencer.” Influencer marketing has generally been defined as “a form of marketing that identifies individuals that have influence over a market and orients marketing activities around these influencers.”
The influencer in this marketing form typically has a strong social following and has become a sort of online personality through different outlets. They are incorporated into marketing campaigns because, well, they’re popular and influential on social media. Their followers want to emulate them on some level.
While the core elements of this concept ring true in our Camper Content Program, we took a more authentic approach to our influencer marketing. We didn’t want an influencer who was a professional photographer with a brand-new drone, or a $1000-per-post outdoor apparel model. What we wanted was a true, honest embodiment of who Chemo’s audience is.
We sought to find an influencer who could take a Chemo RV unit out on a couple of Cariboo Region camping trips and create real-experience content from their RV trips (blogs, images, videos). We would then run this content through Chemo’s Facebook page and website as a seasonal campaign.
Let's Start Digging
The first step of our research process was figuring out what exactly it was that we should be researching to make this project as tight and effective as possible.
Finding the perfect candidate took significant research. We had to learn what type of content was commonly consumed and produced in the Cariboo Region’s social media realm, and which influencer would best fit the bill to create this type of content—while also aligning with the Chemo brand.
There was no glamorous way to find out exactly what type of content was being produced in the Cariboo. We had to roll up our sleeves and look through hundreds of locals’ Instagram accounts. This gave us a real feel for our audience and doubled as a process to find who the best candidate that represented the Cariboo.
After our intensive social-media-creeping research, we selected 15 of our favourite accounts, a.k.a. our potential influencers. We discussed our selections internally, considering each candidate’s capacity to create content (based on our perception of their social accounts), their frequency of creating content, family structure, lifestyle, and whether they seemed to enjoy the outdoors.
After vetting our list of influencers with Chemo, we narrowed our candidates down to a shortlist. We reached out to each of them and explained our Camper Content Program.
We wanted to get some virtual face time with our candidates, so we set up Skype dates with our final selections. After crafting a list of fundamental questions, we sat down with each of them and got to know them, beyond their Instagram accounts.
We created personalized documents for the candidates that outlined the type of content that we were looking for them to create, and compiled examples of what they’ve posted in the past that we liked—so that they had a sense of their capability to provide us with the content that we want, and what they should consider creating.
When we finished our interviews, we scored our candidates on our own rubric. We scored based on authenticity, family dynamic, relatability to the audience, reason to camp, visual and writing quality, and our confidence that they would produce the right content. These were the areas of importance that we identified that our candidate had to align with in order for our influencer campaign to have a snug fit with the Chemo brand.
The Right Fit
We scored the rubrics and came to the unanimous decision that we had found the quintessence of the Chemo audience—Cariboo-native Josh and his son, Jax. This pair knew the Cariboo like the back of their hands. They loved the outdoors, had adventurous spirits, and valued promoting their beloved community. Their earnestness was contagious. They were the perfect fit.
Our agency created a collection of prompts to act as a loose guide for Josh and Jax to follow while creating content on their adventures, as well as a complimentary RV for their camping trips. Our influencers handled the rest—supplies, logistics, and where they wanted to explore.
Josh and Jax went on two separate camping trips. This was constructive for us, as we were able to fully analyze the quality of their content from the first camping trip and had the opportunity to give them feedback on which content we wanted (or, didn’t want) for the second trip.
The campaign played out through organic, boosted Facebook posts over the course of 3 months, which led the user to Josh’s blogs on the Chemo website. Though we used Instagram as our primary platform to find our influencer, Facebook was our platform of choice for this campaign because our audience engaged with this platform more often.
The engagement on Chemo’s Facebook page skyrocketed, as interactions with the Chemo website became more frequent.
People were genuinely interested in Josh and Jax’s trip.
They Liked Us!
The organic content from the first camping trip flight generated a60,000 reach, 2,300 post engagements, 50 comments, 65 shares, an average of 595 visits per blog and up to 3:30 minutes on blog sessions.
The biggest takeaway from this has been the importance of finding the right influencer for the brand.
Most of the success of this campaign was derived from Josh and Jax having been the right fit for the Chemo audience. We worked with influencers that were believable and relatable.
After doing all of the legwork at the beginning to find the right influencer fit, we found everything went much smoother when it came time to collect content and share it. We had little critique of the content that Josh put together, and we didn’t have to micromanage his camping trips. We were all on the same page. Josh was the expert on what the Cariboo has to offer—we weren’t. He knew what to do, where to go, and what to share with us and the Chemo audience.
Our influencers showed experience, rather than #ads for products. Because they didn’t focus solely on their opinions on their RV features, they were able to connect on a neighbourly level with the Cariboo Region.
We gave our audience the authentic content that they wanted to consume.