Blog Redesign And Ambassador Program
* Winner of the 2017 Rosey Award for best Influencer Marketing.
As part of Gerber’s 2016 marketing strategy, the Gerber team wanted to develop a more engaging and user-friendly blog as a vehicle for sharing brand and product content with its audience. The brand was heavily invested in their new ambassador program but didn’t have a vehicle within gerbergear.com to appropriately showcase this content.
Gerber brought in Subtext to concept, design and develop a comprehensive blog and ambassador program strategy that leaned heavily on Gerber sponsored ambassador and user-generated content as the primary driver of engagement with the platform.
Project at a glance
- 01.Provided a strategy for combining two desired initiatives—a new blog program and an ambassador program—into one, comprehensive community engagement platform.
- 02.Utilized user generated content to engage brand loyalists into sharing their stories with the community and through their personal social profiles.
- 03.Designed sponsored ambassador pages to incorporate photography, video, favorite products and personal storytelling to engage customers and drive purchase of products.
- 187% increase in pageviews
- 62% increase in time on site
- 278% increase in mobile traffic
Incorporating a robust ambassador program within the website experience
Gerber has always valued the role of ambassadors in telling the brand story. Their relationships with key industry influencers—such as Bear Grylls—have helped legitimize the value of their products within key target audiences by showing products used by someone in a real life situation.
Social media has made ambassador programs more valuable to brands, utilizing industry leaders and brand loyalists to share their personal stories with their own social followers. In 2016, Gerber took this opportunity and revamped their ambassador program—titled the “Badassador Program”—to incorporate two levels of ambassadors: key sponsored ambassadors such as Bear Grylls, and non-sponsored, every day “badass” Americans influencers doing extraordinary things. These badass influencers, chosen for their uniqueness and for their own loyal brand following via social channels, were asked to share their personal stories through Gerber’s platform.
The initial ask from Gerber was two-fold: revamp their existing blog to include more engaging and relevant content, and determine a place within gerbergear.com to showcase Badassador stories. Both requests included making use of interactive elements and social content to engage brand loyalists, and to incorporate products to drive purchase.
Building a tribe around a brand
The initial ask was to develop two separate experiences:
- A new blog strategy and design
- A place to house ambassador content for their new Badassador program.
After brainstorming ideas, reviewing content types for both experiences, and conducting industry research on other competitive blog and ambassador programs, the Subtext team determined that there was an opportunity to intertwine both initiatives.
Combining the blog and ambassador programs would allow for a more robust experience and a unified presence under the #hellotrouble theme that had been used in previous years by Gerber.
This new community would be an evolution of the #hellotrouble hashtag that will consolidate and give substance to content coming from the social sphere and Gerber marketing messages. The community provided singular place that combines elements of tribalism, community, product promotion, user generated content, social responsibility and brand awareness without seeming self-serving.
By combining the multiple sources of content, the new customer experience actively drives repeat visits using a mixture of rich and timely copy and assets without over committing internal Gerber resources to develop ongoing content.
Content-rich ambassador landing pages
Gerber and Subtext wanted the ambassador pages to feel unique, fresh and interesting, capturing each ambassador in their true form. Subtext designed the page layout to focus on each ambassador’s life and career, utilizing video and photography of the ambassador in action. Each ambassador page was a showcase of the ambassador’s story and incorporated their personal social profiles to ensure the page felt timely and relevant to Gerber’s customers. Key product information was showcased in a natural way that felt supportive to the ambassador’s story, using subtle calls to action like, “top picks” or “in her pack”.
WordPress for content management
The new blog was built on WordPress to provide Gerber’s marketing team maximum control over content updates without having to use their ecommerce development team. Gerber was excited to use Advanced Custom Fields as part of our WordPress setup—it gave the marketing team flexibility of content on each page without needing additional design or development support by the Subtext team.