Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Clubs, the world leader in premier live adult entertainment, proudly announces partnering with Top Rank Heavyweight boxer Bryant Jennings. The sponsorship marks the first time the company has partnered with an active athlete in professional boxing.
“The Spearmint Rhino brand is synonymous with quality world class entertainment further enhanced by our partnership with World Class athlete Bryant Jennings.” – Kathy Vercher, President & COO, Spearmint Rhino Companies.
Spearmint Rhino’s sponsorship of Jennings will include his appearance in the brand’s Fall 2017 online ad campaign, special events and club appearances. Additionally, Jennings will wear the flagship Spearmint Rhino logo on his boxing apparel during televised fights, and specially designed Rhino brand workout gear during training throughout the duration of the sponsorship.
“As a globally recognized & respected athlete, I only work alongside globally recognized & respected brands. I consider myself the best at what I do, and I know Spearmint Rhino is the best in adult entertainment. I’m a proud father, vegan, & future world champion. Now I’m proud to partner with Spearmint Rhino as they support me in my pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship.” – Top Rank Promotions Heavyweight, Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings
About Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings: Upon recently signing to Top Rank Promotions, the vegan boxer is continuing to make a name for himself. With limited amateur experience, the boxing phenom has blown the critics away in his professional career. A distinguished veteran of the NBC Sports Network’s “Fight Night” series, the 32-year-old Jennings is pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in his class.
About Spearmint Rhino Consulting Worldwide, Inc.:
SRCW, Inc. operates a chain of gentlemen’s clubs in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Clubs was founded in 1989 in Upland, California and has locations in City of Industry, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Rialto, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Torrance, and Van Nuys, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Boise, Idaho; Dallas, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lexington, Kentucky; Carter Lake, Iowa; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Melbourne, Australia; and Sheffield, Birmingham, London, Bournemouth, and Leicester the United Kingdom. Spearmint Rhino also operates secondary brands Dames N’ Games Topless Sports Bar & Grill, Dirty’s Topless Bar, Blue Zebra Adult Cabaret, and California Girls.
Every industry has influencers—people who have the ability, because of their power or knowledge (real or perceived), to influence purchase decisions. Hollywood has celebrities, fashion has models, and business has its moguls.
The internet is no different. Social influencers are bloggers, social media personalities, or industry experts who have developed large and loyal followings by being insightful, entertaining, engaging, transparent, humorous, and—most importantly—human. This connection creates a bond between social influencers and their fans and followers that give these influencers unprecedented authority.
For a long time, influencer marketing was about leveraging these people to get in front of their audiences, but that’s not a long-term strategy (and it’s not very nice). A better, mutually beneficial approach is partnering with them to improve everyone’s brand.
Once upon a time, influencers were just regular people who used social media to share their opinions, lives, projects and passions to those who would listen. And listen they did.
Studies show 92 percent of people trust recommendations from other people over brands. Teens have a seven times higher emotional attachment to internet stars than to traditional celebs. And 49 percent of people rely on influencer recommendations when they’re making a purchase. That’s rely as in trust.
Because of this power, brands have become addicted to influencers—and like most addictions, it’s led to increasingly diminished returns for the same action. With influencers now representing a billion-dollar industry populated by innovative and inventive creators, influencer marketing needs to become deeper than a product sent in the mail and a post on Instagram. It’s time to explore a new model that benefits both brands and influencers.
Until now, brands have practiced three levels of influencer marketing.
Level 1 uses PR to send free brand product and information to target influencers, hoping for earned media (or at least a response).
Level 2 allocates media spend to pay relevant influencers with desirable audiences to create “cool” content that showcases the brand in a positive light.
Level 3 builds meaningful, advocate-level relationships with influencers who authentically love and embrace the brand in a way that spans beyond a video, campaign or launch.
Most brands have accomplished level one and two. Only the smartest, most
But today’s influencers are operating as businesses, not just communities—and as businesses, they want more from the brands with which they work.
Innovation: Demonstrate new ideas to their audience
Discovery: Help in growing their audience
Products: Access to things that excite their audience
Research: Knowledge about their audience
Resources: Support producing kick-ass creative for their audience
Welcome to level 4, where marketers treat content creators as businesses, help them add value to their brands while bringing value to their audiences—and both sides see greater benefits.
It begins with marketers giving creators access to the newest products before they hit shelves, and moves into sharing audience data, helping identify growth opportunities, and even providing production assistance including studio time, professional content editing and fresh collaborations.
In exchange, influencers can offer brands preferred rates, disruptive creative, faster speed to market, higher credibility and, ultimately, sales.
So how do we make it happen?
Commit to the process. Reworking how your brand collaborates with influencers isn’t going to happen overnight. Commit to the process and understand that evolving relationships with creators will take time and learning.
Identify the right people. Use data to select the perfect partners and elevate their creative beyond “pay-to-post.” Influencer networks are a great starting resource for this step, as many of them have tools that follow and categorize influencers across every vertical possible.
Approach any influencer with the opportunity to become a strategic partner and write the terms. Test this out with a few influencers first. Work out the kinks. Find out exactly what they’re looking for from brands. Learn from each other. It might take a couple of months and that’s okay because good marketing is about being right, not just first.
Scale. After successfully identifying and building a partnership with a few key influencers, it’s time to scale up. You’ll quickly reap the benefits.
So, let’s get over the influence. Evolve from paying for posts. Write new contracts for a new breed of influencers.
Find people who are not in it for the money but those who are in it for value and in it for their audience. Give advocates what they want: access to new products from you and from social platforms, insights on their audience and how to grow it, production assistance including studio time, editing and fresh collaborations.
In exchange, brands can receive preference, better creative, faster response and greater credibility. Become partners in business and work together for mutual value, not just media value.
No matter where you are in your content marketing campaign, influencers can help take you to the next level.
- Influencers can keep content relevant. Influencers spend every day in the trenches with their audiences, so they understand the market better than anybody else. Partnering with them from the beginning of a project or campaign can provide brands with some extra insights.
- Customers trust customers. Because the relationship between an influencer and his or her audience is built upon transparency, a friendly recommendation from a trusted influencer is going to be ten times more likely to convert a customer.
- They can cut through the clutter. If fans receive an email, or see a social post from someone that they readily follow, they are much more likely to open that email or click on that link than the same message coming from a brand they may be familiar with but don’t have a personal relationship.
If you can get enough influencers talking about your product or your brand, you start to really get noticed.
In short, influencers boost your content’s credibility. Their counsel can help brands stay relevant, and their endorsements (which they’re more likely to give if a brand has partnered with them and sought their advice from the beginning) speaks louder than your content alone.
Identifying and Recruiting Your Top Online Influencers
The trick is finding the perfect influencers for your target audience and your content marketing. To really make an impact, you need to look for partners. The right influencers for your brand:
- Maintain audiences that align with your target market
- Share your brand’s passions and values
- Are willing to partner with you in a mutually beneficial relationship
Once you’ve found potential influencers, start getting to know them. Follow their social media profiles, engage in their conversations, share their content, etc. If you’re not sure that someone is a good fit for your brand—just ask. Ask them about their passions, their motivations, etc.
When you’re sure that an influencer is a good fit, send a private message or pick up the phone (yes, this really works) and be straight-forward about what you’re looking for—and what you have to offer. Remember that a working partnership is mutually beneficial, so be prepared to detail how you are going to help the influencer:
- How can you expand his or her audience/network? Do you have a relevant audience to share with the influencer? Can he or she publish on your content platform(s)?
- What kind of perks can your brand provide? Sneak previews? Merchandise? Event access? Personnel access?
- Are there other opportunities you can create for training or education that will benefit the influencer in his or her niche?
Remember that the relationship between influencers and their audiences is built upon trust, so you have to prove to them that you are worthy of their (and their audiences’) time and money.
Make sure you have a clear plan for the role influencers will play in your content marketing strategy before you get them on board. Simply creating content and asking them to share it is not a partnership or a sustainable relationship. Create a plan for how they will be involved in your content campaigns:
- Amass invaluable market insights. Consult with influencers on what topics are driving engagement in your industry and which platforms to use to reach your target audience.
- Attain ringing endorsements. Give your influencers a sample of your content in return for a positive endorsement on their social platforms or blogs. Consider sending a pre-publication draft to them for a positive quote to include in the content or on relevant landing pages.
- Share each other’s platforms. A great influencer marketing tactic is to swap guest posts or interviews. This gives both your influencer and your company a new platform to promote each other’s brands.
- Create collaborative content. Take your market research to the next level by collaborating with influencer(s) on a comprehensive and engagement-focused content plan. Influencers live off of creating engaging content and can completely transform your content marketing efforts. Not only did it provide value to our audience, it gave the participating influencers exposure to a large group of people as our definitive guides are heavily promoted.
Too many influencers have been abused at the hands of brands who just wanted to pay for their audiences, usually with cheap give-aways, but most genuine, long-term influencers have caught on and are highly protective of their audiences. Earn their trust by being worthy of it, and consider influencer marketing a partnership.
Start paying attention to who is driving conversations in your industry, and get to know them. If an influencer is a good fit for your brand, and you’re willing to make it worth their while, establishing a relationship will be easier than you might think.
Successful influencer marketing is all about credibility and trust. So it’s ironic that the category is suffering its own integrity issues. The promise of influencer marketing is its ability to scale the kind of authentic influence people experience offline. These are the trusted conversations and recommendations that occur between people. You know, word-of-mouth.
Today, influencer marketing is a paid reach vehicle. It’s seen as a way to get celebrities and other tastemakers to endorse a product on their various social feeds. Done transparently—something that doesn’t always occur—that’s a solid strategy for building awareness. But it misses out on impacting both consideration and intent, the other key parts of the purchase funnel. And it’s not really the way influencer marketing should work.
It’s time for the industry to address this and stop pretending that paying someone to hawk products is influencer marketing. It’s time to get back to the harder—but infinitely more rewarding—work of gaining fans through building great products, cultivating genuine relationships and telling authentic, inspiring stories.
Let’s start by identifying our biggest advocates—the people who love our products and the lifestyle they make possible. These are types of influencers we call experts, the ones who are super-passionate about a topic. They often have years of experience and a depth of knowledge that make them trusted sources. These are the kinds of people who just ooze excitement when they talk about their passions, and that excitement inspires consumers everywhere.
Then let’s use these trusted influencers to focus on the parts of the purchase funnel that drive sales and build long-term loyalty. Simple endorsements drive awareness. They introduce your brand to new potential consumers and provide an opportunity for consumers to learn more. Trusted advice, on the other hand, drives intent. It puts your products into the right hands: The people who already use and care about them and who will share their experiences with others.
For brand marketers, it’s time to go beyond follower counts and look to the people who actually influence others to purchase your products. Experticity partnered with research group Engagement Labs in an attempt to quantify that influence and they discovered that these authentic influencers have 15 times the buying conversations of everyday people. These are the people whose influence comes from their expertise and knowledge, the kinds of things that foster real trust. It’s not always easy to identify these people, but it’s worth the effort. They’re the authentic influencers whose opinions are valued by consumers and brands alike. Let’s give them the status they deserve.