“Increasing our relevance to Generation Z”: why 7-Eleven is amplifying fan-generated content on its social networks

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Last January, Froggy, a teenage punk band based in Doylestown, Pa., Posted an ode to 7-Eleven’s nachos on Instagram and joked that the channel should sponsor them. This month that joke became something of a reality when 7-Eleven produced a music video for the band’s song – which of course takes place at the band’s local 7-Eleven. The video took off once it was posted – and broadcast – on the channel’s social media.

The clip is part of a new strategy for 7-Eleven to amplify fan-generated content in hopes of boosting followers and social engagement as well as connecting with Gen Z, according to CMO Marissa Jarrett . By working with fans of the brand on content ideas they already create based on what they think of the channel, the company hopes to connect more organically with consumers.

“We’re starting from a place of what’s already going on with the brand, what consumers are doing to associate with the brand,” Jarrett said, adding that the channel doesn’t want too “fabricated” content. “We are trying to build our [social] ability as quickly as possible to increase our relevance to Gen Z, as are so many other brands. “

The channel’s focus on fan-generated content and influencer marketing to increase engagement and increase subscribers on social channels comes as marketers face a paid social landscape. harder due to iOS 14. Over the past year, brands like GameStop, Sephora, Wendy’s, Dunkin ‘and others have been looking into influencer marketing and social media content to attract attention. attention of young consumers.

Besides the clip, 7-Eleven is also looking to find “budding social media influencers who are trying to grow their audience” through a raffle program called Fuel Your Fandom, Jarrett explained. The program helps 7-Eleven highlight various products that people would buy for football viewing nights, as it is tied to the football season, while also spotting potential influencers to work with.

7-Eleven “will invest in [winning influencers] and help strengthen their references through a social media influencer training camp as well as a place in our team of social media influencers where they can participate in all of our influencer activities throughout the year 2022, ”Jarrett said. “It’s a way for them to get real work as social media influencers and build their presence, space and collaboration with a big brand. ”

It is not known how much 7-Eleven is investing in the strategy as the brand did not share these numbers or immediately respond to follow-up questions. However, Jarrett noted that for the “fourth quarter of 2021, you will continue to see investment ramp up from what we started with” and that in 2022, the channel sees “influencer and social as an opportunity to increase[d investment]. According to Kantar, 7-Eleven spent $ 4.5 million on media in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $ 2.2 million on media during the same period in 2020.

Investing in organic and fan-generated content could work for “an established brand like 7-Eleven,” said Duane Brown, founder of performance marketing store Take Some Risk. “Everyone knows the brand.

That said, Brown cautions against relying too much on strategy. “Relying only on organic / earned media or just paid ads or just SEO to run a business isn’t great because you’re putting all your eggs in one basket,” Brown said.

The channel doesn’t rely solely on fan-generated content. As previously reported by Digiday, the channel returned to television advertising this year after a five-year hiatus.

Overall, 7-Eleven seeks to create “more complex campaigns, not just a finished post,” Jarrett said. “We want to promote brand value, awareness, recognition and being the first choice of customers in the longer term. We are keeping an eye on the long game.

‘Increase our relevance with Gen Z’: Why 7-Eleven is amplifying fan-generated content on its social channels

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