Asia: How to Succeed in North American Market via Influencer Marketing 📈
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
The North American market is arguably the most sought after market in the entire world, particularly the United States, but to foreign companies it's a difficult nut to crack. Marketing is tough and only getting tougher in a ever saturated digital world but it's exponentially tougher when you do not understand the culture, language, technology, and/or social media landscape. This is the case for almost every APAC company interested in penetrating the North America market.
Companies from Asia, even those with a physical North American presence, must trust and outsource their marketing efforts to agencies in the region who have the experience and expertise to reach Americans and Canadians in effective and meaningful ways that drive business results. But even that is tough for another reason: most North American agencies do not have experience and know-how not only working with APAC companies but also effectively marketing their products and services to the homeland.
But then there is Viral Nation, a Toronto based social media influencer agency with unbelievable success bridging the technical, cultural, and social gap between Asia and North America. Viral Nation's roots spread deep into influencer/KOL talent representation where their business began several years ago and have effectively sprouted into all things social: influencer marketing, social media content production, social media management, and influencer representation.
So what is Viral Nation doing so well and more importantly HOW?
Mobile Apps & Games 📱🕹
One of the greatest feathers in Viral Nation's cap is their partnership with one of the most recognizable and prolific Chinese companies named Baidu, often referred to as "the Google of China".
While Baidu may be most known as a search engine, Baidu also develops mobile apps particularly those of utility. We at Viral Nation have executed many influencer marketing campaigns for two of their apps to date: Facemoji (a custom keyboard app) and DU Recorder (a screen recording and live streaming app).
Our relationship with Baidu began with just about 72 hours notice to put together an influencer marketing campaign and execute on it successfully. Spoiler alert: we did it. A great way to reach the North American market in a positive way is to align your product with an American holiday so that's exactly what we did for Thanksgiving 🦃.
So, what was the plan and the results?
Platforms: YouTube, Instagram profile video, Instagram Stories, Facebook video
# of influencers: 3
Influencer #1: Taylor Alesia
First and foremost when you are identifying influencers you must use data to prove that the influencer's audience matches the intended audience for the campaign. In this case we wanted to reach both men and women in the US ages 15-24 so Taylor was a great fit. Because of Instagram Stories ability to link-out to a website or in this case, the app store, we had Taylor create and post 6 Instagram Story videos that explained the Facemoji app, included a contest, and visually verbally had strong calls-to-action to download the Facemoji app by "swiping up" on the included link.
Taylor's posts drew an incredible 1.56 million views and nearly 30,000 clicks. No joke. Because Instagram Story posts disappear after 24 hours unfortunately I cannot link to the content.
Influencer(s) #2: LankyBox
Justin and Adam are known for making very cheesy and nerdy videos, often times music videos, that to anyone in their mid 20's or older would be cringe-worthy (sorry guys!) but to their core demographic they are loved and for an influencer marketing campaign that's all that matters. You can't be emotional about an influencer or their content. If their audience loves it then that's what matters more. Check out their music video for Facemoji:
(video may not display within various social platform built-in browsers for some reason)
Between LankyBox's Facebook video, Instagram video (same content), and Instagram Stories they drew in 500,000+ video views and 20k engagements+clicks! This is the result when you can achieve both creative content and conversion strategy.
Influencer #3: Scotty Sire
Scotty Sire is one of the most popular YouTube "vloggers" (video bloggers) out there. An naturally any vlogger has a particularly younger audience which happened to be a great fit for this campaign. Advertisements through the form of influencer marketing on YouTube tend to be what is known as an "integration" which is typically a 30-90 second spot in some part of the video where the influencer naturally (not always 😅) mentions and explains the product/service to their viewers in a more authentic and organic way. For this Thanksgiving Facemoji campaign Scotty Sire integrated the app at the very beginning of his video which you can check out here:
Pretty coooooooool, right? Okay but were the results you ask?
Well just a measly 635,000 views and 12,000 clicks to the app store from the link in the videos description...
A a campaign level these three influencers drew in:
nearly 3 MILLION VIEWS
nearly 50 THOUSAND CLICKS
nearly 50 THOUSAND ENGAGEMENTS
And yea, A LOT OF APP INSTALLS
Look what happens to Facemoji's App Store rankings every time we run an influencer marketing campaign. Incredible ascension in both Overall and Utilities categories: 📈
Similar app store ranking success happens when we run influencer campaigns for Baidu's app DU Recorder: 📈
So obviously we have found a lot of success marketing Baidu's utility apps over several campaigns but to briefly illustrate our ability further than just Baidu let's point out two more APAC developer successes here in North America.
ATEAM's mobile game Valkyrie Connect (Japanese Developer)
Rockstar line up of western audience influencers with interests in anime, gaming, and cosplay; the perfect alignment to successfully advertise a Japanese title in North America!
Success with mobile apps starts and ends with YouTube and Instagram Stories, as you can see some screenshots here:
Instagram Stories screenshots by Stella Chuu:
nearly 1.5M views...
nearly 20,000 clicks......
very low Cost Per View..........
And for our last act, a Korean developer's women's fashion app named Halfz:
App Store ranking results... 📈
Those two spikes in App Store ranking are a direct effect of the influencers' posts for this campaign. 📈
We also manage all of the influencer marketing campaigns for Tencent's PUBG Mobile among other apps for Baidu.
In an attempt to not have this article excessively long and reveal all strategies and creatives, let's just agree that we've lead considerable success for APAC brands looking to enter the North American market. Whether you're an app developer, CPG brand, hospitality, travel, technology, gaming, in the east, in the west, it doesn't make much of a difference to us here at Viral Nation. We will tailor design, execute, track, then report on a campaign specifically fo your product/service/event.
So if you're looking run an influencer marketing campaign then reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org