Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that ABC’s hit show The Bachelor has America hooked. Watching the drama that comes from twenty-something women competing for a future husband is mostly entertainment. But if you’re one of the show’s six million avid viewers, you may discover a few takeaways amidst all of the theatrics. While we wouldn't recommend taking love advice from the show, there are a few lessons to be learned from the way in which America’s bachelors approach their love life—especially for marketers.
If you think about it, influencer marketing is a lot like dating. People tend to be immediately attracted to someone by their physical appearance (or social clout), but two people’s ability to connect on an emotional level is what makes all the difference. In a similar way, an influencer’s appeal may be based on their high follower count or how visually pleasing their content is. However, your brand’s connection, communications, and ability to work with an influencer toward a common goal is what will ultimately determine if your campaign is a success.
So, why not look to the men and women of The Bachelor, who have (arguably) mastered the art of dating in order to gather some valuable lessons? In honor of the finale of the show’s 24th (no spoilers) season, here are six lessons from The Bachelor that can be applied to your influencer marketing strategy.
Haven’t found the one? Date as many people as possible until you do
The bachelors start off dating 20+ women, who are eliminated rose by rose until he pops the magic question to the last woman left. Although dating two dozen people at once probably wouldn't fly in the real world, by getting to know many different women, the bachelor has the unique opportunity to determine what qualities he does—and doesn't—want in a long-term partner.
In a similar fashion, marketers should aim to work with as many different influencers as possible. At Aspire, we call this the “test and invest” method. The intention is to test as much diverse content, and as many influencers and markets as you can, until you find the magic formula that works for your brand. Once you’ve found the type of influencer and content that resonates organically with your target audience, reinvest in more influencers and content like it.
Just as the right woman can fill the hole in the bachelor’s heart, the right influencers and content can make all the difference to audience engagement and sales. Influencers who are a good fit for your brand, have a targeted and engaged audience, and have a great work ethic, will create more authentic content and are more likely to drive conversions for your brand.
Real connections will get you the rose
One thing all the bachelors must master is the ability to quickly judge if a connection has the potential to be long-term. With only a limited amount of roses to hand out, he can’t waste them on women who only have the potential for a one night stand. Instead, the roses are reserved for those he feels a real, long-term connection with.
In the influencer marketing world, the same concept applies. Influencer relationships should not be transactional. Long-term relationships with influencers are beneficial for all parties. Mutual understanding leads to mutual success, which leads to more collaboration in an endlessly positive cycle. When dealing with long-term influencers, you’ll have a built up a mutual history and a working relationship that amplifies the success of every campaign that follows.
Influencers who you’ve built a long-term relationship with will better understand your brand guidelines, what content performs best, and know how to navigate success. Additionally, brands who take the effort to make long term-relationships with influencers by building ambassador programs find that these people have become true brand experts and the best brand advocates.
Start with the end goal in mind
The premise of the entire Bachelor franchise is to see a romantic proposal on the season finale. From the beginning, the bachelor knows that he is going to get engaged and women strive to prove themselves as wife material. The lucky man spends the entire two month process looking for the woman who fits his idea of the perfect spouse.
When running an influencer campaign, the first step in influencer marketing should always be determining your brand objectives and marketing goals. You should establish KPIs at the very beginning of the campaign and choose a roster of influencers, campaign guidelines, and content types that will support achieving those objectives.
When the bachelor is considering his end goal he may ask himself, “can I see myself with this woman for the rest of my life?” While your questions might not be as life changing, marketers should ask themselves, “what are we trying to accomplish with influencer marketing?” For example, do you want content creation, brand awareness, or direct sales as a result of your campaign? Any influencer in your plan that doesn’t support these objectives probably doesn’t belong.
Embrace your superfans, they’re the ones who keep you going
We’ve seen The Bachelor franchise create social media superstars as fans flock to follow the latest season’s favorite cast members. One thing that the show does is embrace the growing Bachelor Nation. Between viewing parties, online forums, dedicated podcasts, and trending hashtags, viewers are bought-in to the bachelor’s world well after the show stops airing.
Chris Harrison, The Bachelor’s host, and the men and women of the series show love to their fans by interacting with them on and offline.
As a brand, leveraging influencers to personify your brand and build community with customers or other community members is a great way to build advocacy and brand affinity. Some companies leverage their passionate communities to drive engagement, boost awareness, and provide crucial product feedback. Making people feel a part of the brand identity will have them coming back season after season.
It’s okay to take advice from the people that love you (even your mom)
In the past, bachelors have faced scrutiny for allowing their families, friends, or other women to sway their decisions (we’re talking about you, Pilot Pete). But at the end of the day, sometimes the people that love you can assess a situation from a perspective that you might not see yourself.
As a brand, it can be scary giving up control. But handing your brand story and creative development over to the masses can be a smart marketing move. Consumers want to be able to be heard by the brands they interact with. In order to manage your brand while involving your customers, Glossier’s Emily Weiss evangelizes giving over brand control and letting your customers speak directly for your brand through the content they create and the digital forums brands themselves provide. Turning customers into friends is what has allowed Glossier and other brands that value the opinions of their audience to compete for mindshare in today’s social media and mobile landscape.
If you don’t find yourself totally falling in love, it’s okay to say “goodbye”...twice
The last few bachelors have been known for being a bit...indecisive when it comes to handing out that final rose and sticking to their decision. But you can’t fault someone for following their heart.
On that note, if an influencer isn’t performing according to your brand’s KPIs, it’s okay to send them home.
Organic relationships are key to long-lasting relationships—or in your case, creating engaging content. If the bachelor sees qualities in a woman that don’t align with his vision of a wife, he sends her packing.
If you can’t see yourself “falling in love” with an influencer’s style of content or personal brand, it’s okay to end your brand’s relationship with them. Instead, reinvest in people whose work is performing well for your brand, and even consider looking for influencers you haven’t worked with yet.