Everyone in digital PR wants to work on a ‘viral’ campaign, content that doesn’t just generate links, but also high-profile TV, radio, print and social media coverage. We want these campaigns to create a story that resonates and gets people talking, with a headline that readers would immediately click through to read. If your campaign can achieve this while talking about some of the most recognisable faces on the planet, then it has every chance of being successful.
This is what we were able to achieve with our best-performing creative campaign to date, Insta Wealth.
Insta Wealth, created for Buzz Bingo, looks at which celebrities and influencers make the most money from sponsored posts on Instagram. Brands realise the social media reach of high-profile accounts with tens of millions of followers and will pay 6-figure sums to have their product featured.
By looking at influencer activity on Instagram we felt positive that we would create something that would produce lots of interesting angles, appealing to a wide range of journalists including lifestyle, celebrity and sports. Instagram rich lists are often widely covered by the press, but analysing sponsored posts enabled us to add something new to the discussion.
To find out how much money each person has earned from their account from these posts, we used Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List database, which estimates a ‘cost per post’ figure. For example, Kylie Jenner can earn $1.2m per post to her 139 million followers.
We multiplied the ‘cost per post’ figure by the quantity of sponsored posts appearing on their account. To find out which Instagram user has the most ‘valuable’ followers, we divided their cost per post by their number of followers.
We then categorised each celebrity and influencer to see where they rank compared to their peers. For example, we found that Kendall Jenner makes 4x more from sponsored posts than her sister Kylie.
Our research gave us quite a surprising top story, Cristiano Ronaldo is Instagram’s highest earner, bringing in $47.8m from his sponsored posts. This in itself is a strong headline for outreach, but it becomes even more newsworthy when we found this to be higher than his yearly salary at Juventus ($31m). This stat gave us a headline that we knew journalists would want to cover. You can see below how it was received by Business Insider:
We were also able to frame the story as a comparison between Ronaldo and his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi. Though Messi is second on our list with $23m earned from Instagram, we were able to say that Ronaldo earned twice as much from his sponsored posts. The Sun ran with this headline:
The majority of Insta Wealth’s coverage came from variations of the Ronaldo story. However, many publications also covered the secondary angle focusing on the Jenner sisters. Metro’s entertainment section ran with the $16m figure in their headline:
The volume of newsworthy headlines in Insta Wealth gave it the potential to generate hundreds of links, and to date, it has 582 pieces of linked coverage with a total of 22,158 Link Score (Verve’s own tool using a combination of metrics to measure the value of links).
This coverage came from some of the biggest publications in the world, including: Yahoo, GQ, Daily Mail, MSN, Express, New York Post, The Sun, Fox Business, Russia Today, Business Insider, The Mirror, Talk Sport, Gazzetta and Aftonbladet.
In addition to this, the research was also referenced in 978 pieces of additional unlinked coverage and has been shared 293,780 times from some relevant high-profile social media accounts. It has also been covered 34 times in print including features in the Daily Star, Irish Times and The Sunday Times (Australia) as well as featuring in TV and Radio including Le Figaro.
Insta Wealth is truly a viral campaign, having received coverage in 91 different countries (we even made a map!)
The success in this campaign comes from its simplicity. It is a new approach to a widely covered topic, using a straight-forward methodology from a credible secondary source. It was able to generate lots of interesting headlines for our outreach team to sell to journalists, with the knowledge that editors are constantly looking for stories around fame and social media.
Insta Wealth did it all. It gave journalists great headlines, and readers something to share. It added a new dimension to the decade-old Ronaldo v Messi debate, a new dimension to the Jenner-Kardashian sibling rivalry and most importantly for us, delivered a campaign which performed six times above our client target.