How a Brand Can Use Influencers to Target a New Niche

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The following is a guest post from Future Buzz community member Tamar Weinberg

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about laptops? The tactile sensation beneath your fingertips as they gracefully jump around the keyboard from home position? The calming ohm sound that seems to emanate from the machine when you turn it on? That alluring hard drive capacity? What about included software? Number of auxiliary outputs? Ooh la la. No matter how you spin it, it’s difficult to make laptops seem…well… sexy. That is until HP had the ingenious idea to take laptops completely out of the tech vertical and see how their product floats with other viewers.

Not to be rude, but HP isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a luxury tech device. This generation tends to live, breathe, and generally go gaga over Apple’s sleek designs. It oozes fashion, vogue, and lifestyle, honey! However, just because HP is perhaps a more affordable option doesn’t mean it isn’t chic. And to prove it, HP tapped into trendsetters in a completely unique way. Before we go deeper into the big reveal, please allow a brief intermission in which we applaud, bow down, and shower HP’s marketing team with endless pastel colored macarons. Okay, we are done.

When it comes to lifestyle, almost every fashion/vogue/trendy girl consults bloggers. They are usually young, hot, and constantly being whisked away to exotic locations like Burma, Morocco, and islands we never heard of off the coast of Mexico. Of course, we (I’m using we because obviously I’m a fashion, vogue, trendy girl myself) also worship pop culture. Mix a pop star with influencers and you have an unstoppable combination! Coincidentally, that is exactly what HP did with the Meghan Trainor HP Tour Sponsorship.

During this sponsorship, HP used the hashtag #BendTheRules to create a fan generated documentary using the HP X360 Convertible PC. YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and Twitter stars were brought along for the ride to picture the behind-the-scenes experience from their perspective. What better way to sell your product to trendy ladies and gents than turn to content creators to sell the product for you?

Let’s delve in a little deeper to further explain why this approach is so ingenious. Tech bloggers definitely (again, no offense HP) wouldn’t highlight HP’s PC as a great, cutting edge product. They just wouldn’t, because HP “ain’t” no Apple. It’s difficult to shine on a tech blog with posts about a bajillion other brands and products like yours or better than yours. This is where HP got smart. Rather than turn to a blog that already mentions products like theirs, they turned to a lifestyle they believe their customers would want to emulate. With this in mind, HP and 180LA recruited a slew of young influencers to work on Meghan Trainor’s “Lips are Movin’” music video as choreographers, makeup artists, stylists, photographers, hair artists, actors, and many others, creating a crew of young people who already have a huge online presence. What is even more brilliant is the X360 was the creative tool that was utilized at the center of the production. Influencers were using it to create content for their fans while working with the production team. And the most amazing part is that every single one of these incredible internet stars used the X360 in a different way. By engaging with people through a variety of platforms, HP was able to create a story subtly in the music video and via the influencers who worked on it.

This is an example of uber creative marketing! HP didn’t stop there. They have been featured on a ton of non-tech related blogs, hosting giveaways and leading sponsored posts. Some honorable mentions are For the Love of Fancy, Jen’s Blah Blah Blog, and Hollyhoque. Here, HP isn’t just selling tech products, they are selling a lifestyle, one that fits with their product. Take the post from Hollyhoque, for example. Here, she gushes how much she loves her HP laptop only to conclude with a roundup of the outfits she wears while showcasing her favorite tech gadget. By doing this, she is creating an aura around the product. Her readers will read her post thinking, “Hot jiminy crickets, she looks so fly carrying around that X360. It looks so lightweight. Maybe I should buy one.”

HP has cleverly told a story with their X360, one that all brands should take note of. When it comes to marketing, thinking outside of the box always yields some beneficial results. We literally could go on and on about how amazing HP’s marketing team is, but we think we’ll stop here, wouldn’t want them to get a big ego or anything! Geesh!

Tamar Weinberg is the VP of Customer Success at influencer marketing platform, The Shelf, which lets you find the most targeted and relevant influencers for any outreach campaigns through its proprietary patent-pending brand and ecommerce indicators. 

image credit: Shutterstock