IDSD Recap: How Visit California Partnered with an Olympic Athlete to Authentically Connect with Their Audience

snow skiier to represent visit california's new campaignUsing influencers to promote a product or service is no new idea. In fact, an influencer marketing survey conducted by Collective Bias revealed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions. Harnessing the power of influencers is all about finding the people that your audience looks up to and respects and working with them collaboratively to produce an engaging, compelling campaign – which is exactly what Visit California did with Jonny Moseley.

At Interactive Day San Diego 2018, Lynn Carpenter and Kerry Krast of Visit California let us in on how they crafted and executed on a wildly successful influencer campaign.

Visit California’s target audience craves adventure. They seek thrills and will stop at nothing to satiate that hunger. They are explorers at heart and respond to those with a similar way of being.

Enter Jonny Moseley.

An Olympic gold medalist with a bucket list of adventures, Jonny Moseley is any thrill seeker’s hero. In an effort to more authentically connect with their target audience, Visit California partnered with Jonny Moseley to create Jonny Moseley’s Wildest Dreams in which they work together to cross items off of his ambitious bucket list throughout the state of California.

Ranging from cattle drives to sailing to slacklining at new heights, Jonny’s adventures are expertly documented to both bring the viewer into the adrenaline-fueled experiences and highlight the diverse offerings of California.

By partnering with an influencer, Visit California was able to reach a new audience in a deeper, more meaningful way. By giving Jonny relatively free creative reign, they were able to use his adventurous nature to create exciting content that would position California as the place to be for all things wild.

Takeaways From the IDSD 2018 Influencer Track

Of course, not every brand is equipped with a production crew and a budget that allows for celebrity partnerships – but there are quite a few valuable lessons to be gleaned from the partnership between Visit California and Jonny Moseley, including:

  • In order to be successful, an influencer marketing campaign must connect with a brand’s target audience authentically. Extensive research must go into finding the right influencer(s) so that the campaign speaks to the right people in the right way. Make sure the influencer’s audience is engaged and that the influencer’s image aligns with that of your brand.
  • When you’re working with the right influencer, giving them creative freedom will help you craft a campaign that will resonate with both your audience and their following.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all formula for an influencer campaign. The key is to collaborate with the right influencer to create a campaign that both intrigues their audience and naturally promotes your brand.

Influencer marketing can be more than simply paying a celebrity to mention your brand in an Instagram post. The first step in an influencer marketing campaign is deciding on the goals and then finding an influencer that aligns with your campaign budget, target audience, and brand image. Each campaign should start from scratch and be built alongside the influencer so as to maximize potential engagement. When done right, influencer marketing campaign can see explosive results.

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