Why You Should Use David AND Goliath For Your Next Endorsement Campaign

David and Goliath

All savvy marketers know results matter. But many disagree on which results to look at. Some favor a large reach from an endorsement campaign. Others are all about number of engagements.

And, both sides are right.

This discrepancy is based on numerous factors. Is your brand focused on short-term or long-term results? Do you want to grow your audience or make a sale?

But what if you decided to focus on all of these factors?

By playing both angles (reach and conversions), your campaign can measure up against multiple endorsement goals.

Dish did this recently in their #talkboston (tack bahstin) campaign. If you haven’t read our post on their perfectly timed sports knowledge endorsement play, check it out. It also features a hilarious video about the difference between car keys and khakis (both “kahkeez” in Boston lingo).


What We Mean By David AND Goliath

You probably already know the story of David & Goliath. We’re not going to retell it. All that’s important is that Goliath is big and David is small. (If your interest in theology supersedes your interest in endorsements, feel free to search it on Google)

David and Goliath Black and White opendorse

So, if your goal is to reach a lot of people, choose Goliath as your endorser. Goliath is big. His reach is enormous. He is a celebrity.

Subsequently, you will get a lot of impressions if Goliath endorses your brand.

But, if you want to engage a lot of people, you don’t want to use Goliath. Goliath’s fans don’t have a close connection with him. After all, how could they when they’re just one in a million.

Instead, you want David. David will land you engagements.

David’s follower count is not as impressive, but his followers are more engaged. David receives engagement rates of over 1 percent. He is as passionate about his fans as his fans are about him.

Deciding whether to use David, Goliath, or both for your next campaign will have a significant impact on your results. Let’s take a more in depth look at how Dish utilized one David and one Goliath to accomplish their endorsement goals.


Athlete Selection

Dish kept it simple. They selected just two athletes for their campaign. One David and one Goliath.

Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics
Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Paul Pierce (tweet value: $11,483)

A former Boston Celtic, Pierce now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. He commands an impressive twitter following of 2.8 million.

Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots
Source: Keith Allison via flickr

Vince Wilfork (tweet value: $928)

Wilfork plays for the New England Patriots and has a modest following of 165,000 followers.

Both of these players were utilized to teach visitors of the #talkboston microsite (and their followers on twitter) how to “talk boston” (tack bahstin). Since the campaign’s start, each athlete has sent out only a few tweets, but their impact has been significant.


On the surface, it’s a bit odd, or weehyahd (we promise that’s the last one) that Dish would choose two athletes with such a different amount of followers. However, upon closer inspection, we can see why.


Why Dish Chose a Goliath?

We always recommend selecting athletes based on your goals. If your goal is conversions, choose athletes with higher engagement rates.

On the other hand, if your goal is to start a conversation or to sell a product, reach is the name of the game. Since Dish’s strategy focused on selling a product (the Hoppa), choosing a Goliath like Pierce to endorse their product is a great move.

As a result of Pierce’s two tweets, Dish reached a potential 5.6 million people.

However, in terms of engagements, Pierce’s followers only engaged with the content .25% of the time. That is only slightly above average relative to internet marketing engagement rates. But, in terms of opendorse engagement rates, it is far from optimal.


Why Dish Chose a David?

But, if Dish’s objective is reach, then why select an athlete with only 165,000 followers?

One word: Engagements!

Fans of less-followed athletes are notoriously more engaged. With his tweets, Vince Wilfork was able to engage over 9,000 of his fans. His average engagement rate was an impressive 1.97%.

The David of this story provided over 7 times more engagements than the Goliath. Vince crushed it – doubling the average opendorse engagement rate.


Ok, But Why Did Dish Use Both Athletes?

When we look at the overall campaign numbers, the results tell a surprisingly successful story.

Total Impressions: 6,100,000

Total Engagements: 24,000

This means that in just 5 tweets, Dish was able to reach over 6 million people. Furthermore, they did so with an engagement rate of 0.39% (about double the engagement rate of the average online advertisement)!

While that alone is pretty effective, Dish actually accomplished something much greater. You see, recruiting Paul Pierce for your brand provides an intangible benefit. Dish was able to affiliate their brand with an incredibly successful athlete. Pierce became the “face” of the campaign.

At the same time, and working with less followers, Wilfork was able to drive almost as many engagements for Dish as Pierce. Wilfork drives people to convert, while Pierce serves as a conversation piece between those same customers and their friends.


Recruit Your Own David & Goliath

This two-pronged approach to building a successful endorsement campaign can offer a great strategy for a brand focused on both reach and engagements.

Of course, if you can find an athlete with over a million followers AND a high engagement rate, that works too. Just keep in mind that superstar endorsers like that are hard to find.

Remember to consider the following before adopting a David & Goliath strategy for your brand:

  • Make sure the strategy is in line with your brand’s goals and budget
  • Select a David (low followers, high engagements) and a Goliath (high followers) from the opendorse marketplace by comparing reach & engagement numbers
  • Further narrow down your results by CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPE (cost per engagement)

Lastly, always measure the success of your campaigns. A two pronged approach is not an excuse for throwing campaign metrics to the wind.

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