In a world where one out of every three Americans are obese and 43% of Americans get an insufficient amount of exercise, supplement brands are fighting to put messages in front of Americans to motivate exercise and to buy their product.
The biggest question is what is the most effective method. Companies are spending millions on developing promotional ads and social media campaigns to have little success.
A study was done at University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication to find the answer. The study was based on online influence between peers and motivational messages.
During this study ran by Professor Damon Centola, the conducted a randomized controlled trial of 217 graduate students. The students were all enrolled into a free exercise class and they could monitor each other's progress on a website.
One group was exposed to highly engaging motivational promotions and the other program assigned buddies. The motivation videos ( no matter how great they really were) had little to no effect. As time went on during this 13 week trial, motivation increased between the peer groups assigned buddies and enrollment increased.
The power of this positive peer pressure created a fitness movement that pushed everyone to exercise more.
Now taking this out of a controlled environment, how can a company mimic this?
When looking at social media, people only follow/friend people that INFLUENCE them...
Let me say that again...
PEOPLE ONLY FOLLOW PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCE THEM.
Shoving product in peoples face is not the most powerful marketing strategy. The most powerful marketing strategy in this moment is influencer marketing. The trust is built and the community is developed. All you need to do is create incentive for the influencer.
The best way to find out what an influencer wants is by asking.
Most companies/brands/people believe that you need to start with someone that has hundreds of thousands of followers. Micro influence is just as powerful. You need to connect to a community. Whether that be a school, a club, a gym, and expand outward.
These methods will bring much more powerful trust and will help increase this movement. The health and fitness movement is expanding. More people are posting product they use and more people are recognizing it.
The accountability of a community is what builds trends and movements. For an example,
Cross fit is a community gym with people who encourage each other to reach that next level. This gets people to keep coming back to the gym because they feel welcomed and a part of something. This will incline gym members to talk about their experience invite friends and others to this gym to be a part of this COMMUNITY.
Gym Shark is a clothing brand that exploded through the fitness community. They encouraged their community to build a new habit in 66 days and to post their progress on social media using the hashtag #Gymshark66. This got people talking about Gym Shark and having people want to become part of this community and buy more product.
Who is your community? Your community is your target market and you need to find a way to bring them all together for a purpose and capitalize on that using influencer marketing.
In the end, everyone wants to become a part of something. That something is a movement that gets publicized on social media. Create your movement...