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How Hep2O increased relevance and consideration among plumbers and heating engineers with influencer marketing | B2B Marketing

Learn how Hep2O increased brand influence and affinity among professional installers by using a strategic influencer campaign

Summary

Hep2O tasked Tangerine to increase brand relevance and affinity with professional installers, with the goal of increasing market share in the plastic piping sector. Our research found that, when this audience really need work-related advice and inspiration, the first port of call is increasingly trusted and authentic peers (both respected individuals and popular online forums) with proven online kudos. To instigate real perception and behavioural change, we developed and initiated a strategic influencer engagement campaign that combined:


Ongoing influencer liaison

: Talking to influencers on a weekly basis, engaging with their content and offering them a ‘no expectations’ opportunity to experience and test Hep2O products for themselves. This has resulted in a continuous stream of user generated content across Twitter and Hep2O’s new Instagram account, and has also helped us build our community of advocates.


One-off ‘spike’ activities

: Providing carefully selected influencer participants with exclusive physical experiences, events and insights. Wider online audiences were incorporated into these activities through exciting videos, imagery and interactive content (as well as influencer UGC). Spike activity included an organised influencer visit day and State of the Nation campaigns.

Hits to Hep2O landing page doubled since beginning the campaign and spontaneous awareness has risen from 68% to 74% during this period. YOY sales are 11% ahead of the market.


Hep2O State of the Nation – Plumbing industry panel.

About Hep2O

Hep2O, part of the Wavin group, is the UK’s leading plastic push-fit plumbing brand. It was the first to introduce these systems to the UK market.

Strategy

Hep2O is on a mission to increase the relevance of our brand to the target market. It wants to increase market share in a competitive plastic pipes plumbing market and combat negative perceptions in relation to copper alternatives.

Objectives of the campaign

Hep2O tasked Tangerine to increase brand relevance and affinity with professional installers, with the goal of increasing market share in the plastic piping sector.

Research found that, when this audience really need work-related advice and inspiration, the first port of call is increasingly trusted and authentic peers (both respected individuals and popular online forums) with proven online kudos.

To instigate real perception and behavioural change, we developed and initiated a strategic influencer engagement campaign. At the same time, we helped Hep2O move in a brave new authentic creative direction.

The target audience

Plumbers and heating engineers (aged 16 – 55).

These audiences typically spend a lot of time working in isolation when on the job. Social media has offered them a source of entertainment, a community to engage with, and a technical support line.

Online forums (primarily Facebook closed groups), plumbing industry influencers and social media in general are highly popular and key channels to engage the audience more authentically.

Media, channels or techniques used

Tangerine developed a strategic influencer engagement campaign that combined:

Ongoing influencer liaison: Talking to influencers on a weekly basis, engaging with their content and offering them a ‘no expectations’ opportunity to experience and test Hep2O products for themselves.

This has resulted in a continuous stream of user generated content across Twitter and Hep2O’s new Instagram account, and has also helped it build its community of advocates.

One-off ‘spike’ activities: Providing carefully selected influencer participants with exclusive physical experiences, events and insights. Wider online audiences were incorporated into these activities through exciting videos, imagery and interactive content (as well as influencer UGC). These included:


Influencer visitor day at Hep2O factory

Hep2O invited a number of key industry advocates including @Plumberparts, Precise.plumbing and Andy Cam down to the Hep2O HQ in Doncaster.

They took part in a range of activities from bowling and beers to an insightful tour of the factory where they learned about the product development, manufacturing and quality testing processes of Hep2O products.

Wider audiences were invited to join in the activity online through: live social posts; industry first Facebook Live Q&A (hosted by @Plumberparts); ongoing influencer UGC; final video documenting the entire event.

We also teamed up with

Installer

magazine and the Plumb Chat Facebook Group to further promote the activity (pre, during and post the event).

Joe Sharpe,

Installer

mag, commented: “Lots of brands do factory tours, but to invite influencers along, film it, and broadcast a live Q&A means it reaches a lot wider than just the five people on the tour.”


State of the Nation

Hep2O launched State of the Nation (SotN) in 2018, which consisted of a survey asking plumbers a series of questions around the state of the trade. To take SotN one step further in 2019, it also leveraged our influencer connections within the plumbing community. Activity integrated the SotN platform with influencer and forum relationship, and tapped into the wider industry.

  1. Inviting top industry advocates to attend a roundtable at the Water Poet in Shoreditch, London, to discuss the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
  2. Turning the key influencer insights into a survey to get plumbers’ thoughts on the state of the trade.
  3. Promoting the survey launched through target Instagram and Facebook adverts. This was supported by influencers posting UGC teaser content from the Water Poet discussion to generate awareness and get plumbers to complete our survey.
  4. A live launch of the video at Installer Live, followed with a panel debate including influencers, Wayne Bettess and Andy Cam, who both took part in the video.

All of Hep2O’s activity at Installer was filmed and promoted on the brand’s Facebook channel (as well as on the PlumbChat Facebook Closed Group). Off the back of our video content we have also received DMs from influencers asking to be involved in our next video piece.

Commenting on the SotN, Joe Sharpe at

Installer

 mag, said: “The roundtable “State of the Nation” debate was very much in the DNA of its audience. It was in a relaxed environment, with real installers talking about real things that affect installers. One of the biggest gripes that we hear from engineers is that their voices are ignored, but Hep2O gave them a platform to share their experiences, successes and failures.”

Timescales of the campaign

Campaign development began in September 2018 and continues to date. Key spike timings detailed below:

  • Influencer visit day:

    5 December
  • Water Poet discussion:

    25 March
  • SotN video launch:

    7 May
  • Post event promotion of video – throughout

    May 2019

Results


Increase relevance

Positive product reviews across the social channels of key influencers including Ryan Mills (@rdmills88), Jim the 24 hour plumber (@th24hrplumber) and Mr London Plumber (@Mr.London_plumber). Combined potential reach of over one million all focused on relevant audiences.

Influencer day content gained 27,000 Facebook live video views, 1370 engagements and 31,000 impressions Influencer UGC gained a further 37,000 reach and 7200 rich content views on the Hep2O HQ visit day State of the Nation content reached over 150,000 and generated 2740 engagements Installer Live event video received over 34,000 views.


Increase consideration

  • Google searches for Hep2O increased between April – May rose by 105%
  • YOY sales 11% ahead of the market
  • Hits to Hep2O landing page doubled since beginning the campaign and spontaneous awareness has risen from 68% to 74% during this period

“We have been striving to increase the relevance of our brand to the target market, using peer recommendation and testimonials to increase the authenticity of our communications with customers. The campaign with Tangerine has driven this activity to the next level, with influencers who align with our brand values helping us to increase both reach and effectiveness. The campaign has helped us advance from functional marketing to a more human-led approach and this has resulted in tangible increases in online and social engagement as well as brand recall and preference. We see this as the start of our journey, and the relationships we have built with opinion leaders in our industry will continue to strengthen our brand into the future.”


Karen Stables, marketing manager, Hep2O


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