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How Google’s Marketing Strategy Utilizes Influencers To Advertise New Tech Products
Since its founding in 1998, Google has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful tech companies in the world. In 2016, the company ranked as the most visited multi-platform web property in the United States with a global revenue of $89.4 billion. While its original product revolved around online search, Google has since expanded into video, consumer electronics, and many other tech-oriented ventures.
In October, Google released two new hardware products: A voice-controlled smart home device called Google Home Mini and the second version of its Pixel smartphone. In the following case study, we’ll examine how the digital giant is collaborating with Instagram influencers to help promote both of these products.
Google's Pixel 2 Marketing Strategy With Instagram Influencers
Promote the launch of Google’s new smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, during Fall 2017.
- Google enlisted the help of 51 Instagram influencers, 14 of which were macro influencers with more than 100,000 followers and 35 of which were micro influencers with less than 100,000 followers.
- The influencers created a total of 61 sponsored posts, highlighting “Google Assistant,” as well as the smartphone’s photography potential.
- The influencers used the tag @madebygoogle and hashtag #teampixel in their posts.
- Xenia Tchoumi — 1.2M Followers
- Neeti Mohan — 1.1M Followers
- Justin Main — 93K Followers
- Niki Pilkington — 65K Followers
Instagrammer and photographer, Justin Main (@photified), edits eye-catching images into surreal works of art. In his one sponsored post, Main seamlessly incorporated the Pixel 2 into a dazzling and unorthodox cityscape.
Main’s caption, “OK, Google, play my highway playlist,” paid homage to his photo creation, while promoting the phone’s voice-activated feature. To date, the post has garnered over 13,000 likes and 335 comments for an engagement rate of 28.5% — one of the highest of the campaign.
Russian-Swiss model, actress, and entrepreneur Xenia Tchoumi (@xenia) is one of the most popular fashion tastemakers on Instagram. By partnering with Tchoumi, Google positioned its phone as an accessory worthy of attention.
Tchoumi emphasized her presence at the Google Pixel 2 launch event, which further legitimized the Pixel 2’s prestige status. The polished post has amassed more than 27,000 likes and 267 comments total for an overall engagement rate of 4.3%.
To date, Google’s Instagram influencer campaign for the Pixel 2 has garnered over 348,000 likes, 3,900 comments, and an average engagement rate of 7.8%.
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Google’s Marketing Strategy For The Google Home Mini
Promote Google’s Home Mini device to millennials during Fall 2017.
- Google partnered with 17 Instagram influencers, almost all of whom were millennials. Eleven of the Instagrammers were micro influencers with less than 100,000 followers.
- The influencers created a total of 17 sponsored posts, promoting Google Home Mini.
- Posts were tagged with the official @google or @madebygoogle Instagram accounts, while the hashtag #googlehome was utilized by all but three influencers.
- Teala Dunn — 2.4M Followers
- Tony Romo — 657K Followers
- Taylor Kinney — 606K Followers
- Chloe Van Patten — 23K Followers
NFL commentator and retired professional football player, Tony Romo (@tony.romo), often uses Instagram to share humorous and heartwarming family moments. Romo’s one sponsored post mirrored his lighthearted content style, while it pointed to a Google YouTube video in which he stars.
In the caption, Romo used the call to action (CTA), “Link in bio,” to encourage followers to watch his fun and informative Home Mini production. To date, the post has amassed over 68,900 likes and 783 comments for an engagement rate of 21.2%.
Fitness and lifestyle micro influencer, Chloe Van Patten (@care.free.chlue), took a more straightforward approach to promoting the Home Mini than Romo. Though her one sponsored post was also a photo, Van Patten visually showcased the Home Mini, while also referencing its Google Assistant feature in the caption.
Van Patten’s post received over 600 likes and 40 comments for an engagement rate of 5.5% (vs. Romo’s 21.2% engagement rate).
To date, the Google Home Mini Instagram influencer campaign has generated over 175,000 likes, 2,200 comments, and an average engagement rate of 7.4%.
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