What Ken Bone Can Teach Us About Influencer Marketing

If you haven’t heard: A star was born at the last Presidential Town Hall.

Nearly 90 minutes into the debate, an undecided voter was given what, to most people, would be their 15 seconds of fame. Ken Bone, however – and as the internet-world would emphatically agree – is not most people.

Equipped with a regrettably red sweater and meme-worthy mustache, Ken Bone set the internet ablaze.

Within seconds, Twitter was flooded with Bone jokes and sweater envy. Within days, the man had been interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, written about in the New Yorker, and amassed over 240k Twitter followers.

This sort of overnight celebrity is an influencer marketing goldmine for two reasons.

First, there’s virtually nothing controversial about him.
His undecided voter origins leave him politically neutral and his adorable demeanor make him largely inoffensive. Finding appropriate influencers for niche audiences is hard enough – wider audiences even trickier. Luckily, nothing screams mass market appeal like a lovably large man clad in the most non-threatening sweater imaginable.

Second, the social media momentum he’s garnered gives him massive reach.
His two-hundred thousand twitter followers are nowhere near the threshold for potential impressions. By leveraging his cultural relevancy, Ken Bone’s tweets have seen insane engagement, and have thus generated even more impressions. Where Twitter engagement rates often hover around 1-2%, many of Bone’s posts have upwards of 15k retweets – nearly 25% engagement!

Savvier than his outerwear may have suggested, Ken Bone cashed in on his influencer klout almost immediately, sealing a deal with Uber to promote UberSELECT in St.Louis.

While their affiliate program tends to attract influencers, Uber’s agreement with Ken Bone is relatively out of character: a pure, influencer marketing effort – and one they execute (almost) perfectly.

Posted at the peak of the Ken Bone-craze, the tweet’s copy masterfully uses Bone’s status as an undecided voter, making his ‘decision’ to ride with UberSELECT seem oddly natural and more importantly, eye-catching and memorable.

Unfortunately, after a few hours and thousands of user interactions, the tweet was taken down for violating FTC guidelines by not disclosing it was an advertisement.

Moral of the story? Use #sponsored!

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