Why Smaller Audiences = Greater ROI For Brands

What advantage could owners of a smaller audience like semi-pro and NCAA athletes possibly have over professional athletes in the sense of helping brands grow? TRUST AND LOYALTY

Brought to you by
Barry Ugochukwu
September 25, 2022

An organization's main objective is to increase its customer base and consequently, revenue.

Companies have developed a variety of strategies for accomplishing this, including partnering with athletes to offer their services to their fan bases.

So far this has proven to be a very good marketing strategy.

All businesses are constantly seeking a broader audience, greater relevance, and better revenue margins. Most appear to target pro athletes who have a big fan bases, a sizable social media following, and a broad spectrum of influence.

Pro athletes typically have upwards of 1 million followers on social media, compared to amateur and semi-pro athletes who typically have between 10k and 500k.

Now where does that leave amateurs, semi pro athletes and NCAA athletes?

What advantage could owners of a smaller audience like semi-pro and NCAA athletes possibly have over professional athletes in the sense of helping these brands grow?

In this scene, consumer behavior influence, which is the way some elements determine consumer behavior and affect how customers buy items, plays a very important role.

In terms of customer behavior influence, family influence is the most powerful. So if you can get your customers to be influenced by — or at least someone they see as — family, friends and colleagues then you will command the highest level of trust and loyalty

The problem with having a large fanbase for pro athletes is that their audience consists of a lot of random people who may or may not be interested in the players or even the sports, hence this fanbase will be controlled only by social influence rather than loyalty and trust.

Athletes with a middle-sized fan base, even in a lesser-known sport, command more trust and loyalty.

In contrast to pro athletes' engagement rates of 50–70%, their followers are more likely to have a 90% engagement rate.

College players who have loyal social media fans can enjoy and receive the same level of endorsement as pro athletes.

Forbes estimated that NCAA athletes could earn $.80 per follower, but that's not all; brands, according to them, examine the size and QUALITY of any athlete's social media following, whether a pro, amateur, or collegiate athlete.

It appears we're implying that pro athletes do not have loyal fans. Well amateur and semi pro athletes tend to have more loyal customers because of TRUST.

How does this trust develop? Apparently, there are several variables that contribute to trust, but the most crucial is engaging your fans. This is something that professional athletes cannot accomplish easily because of their enormous fan base. Amateur athletes can create trust by simply responding to comments, liking posts, making personal connections, sharing ideas with their fans, taking their suggestions into consideration, and even sharing wonderful moments.

Athletes who are rising stars have concrete and tangible incentives to engage and develop their communities. They are actively trying to build their community, grow their relationships, and attract sponsors. They also are still fighting for success and oftentimes motivated from still having to fund their own journeys.

Pro athletes are frequently swamped with a lot of responsibilities and have to deal with a lot of noise on social media platforms, which makes it difficult for them to focus on providing attention and entertainment in a way that builds the trust necessary to gain audience loyalty.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 56 percent of polled Americans said they trusted businesses, an increase from 20 percent in 2009. This means that untrustworthy companies will swiftly lose customers to competitions.

Amateur and semi pro athletes may not have large traffic but they sure have more real engagements from a community of loyal fans.

“Do they trust us?" is a crucial question that brands must constantly ask themselves, according to Baumann, to make sure that they are having an effect on loyalty.

“These athletes don't have to be All Stars, they are rising stars” says Issa Hall, Founder and CEO of JRZY“ which gives brands the ability to build lasting relationships with multiple athletes, have stronger ROI, and greater long term returns only improves as athletes continue their journeys towards becoming an all star"