StrategyInfluencer MarketingHow Nickelodeon’s influencer families are creating benchmark-breaking content

How Nickelodeon’s influencer families are creating benchmark-breaking content

How the in-house influencer network is creating a dynamic community to empower zero-party content creation and delivering exceptional results

Nick Family Insiders is Nickelodeon’s in-house parent influencer ambassador network. Families inside the network offer advocacy across social media for Nickelodeon in exchange for freebies and exclusive experiences. This community is a leading example of a value exchange that brings influencers into the creator process.

Creating a dynamic community that empowers zero-party content creation has delivered exceptional results for the brand:

  • Overall impressions: 1.58 million (44% more impressions than the benchmark)
  • Post volume: 325+ (15% more posts than the benchmark)
  • Post engagements: 115,000 (217% more engagements than the benchmark)

But it takes plenty of work to foster and maintain this type of network. Rachel Richter, Manager, Influencer Marketing, at Nickelodeon, takes us through the Nick Family Insiders journey.

Nickelodeon's influencer network: Nick Family Insiders

What is the Nick Family Insiders influencer network?

Nick Family Insiders targets parents with children aged two to eleven, who will mostly influence what TV and cartoons the children are watching. The network comprises 125 families with an influence and reach of over forty million followers. Richter explains the selection process for families who wish to join the influencer network.

“We source and choose influencers based on their reach, brand fit, content, quality, and audience engagement. We reach out to them individually with an invitation to join the program.”

The influencer network value exchange

Once the influencer families have agreed to join Nick Family Insiders, Nickelodeon gives them their first taste of the value exchange they will receive in return for the content they create.

“Once they join, we have an onboarding process, which includes us briefing them on brand guidelines. They’re sent a welcome kit so they can start sharing Nickelodeon brand love with their followers. The welcome kit includes custom Nick Family Insiders hats for the parents and lunch boxes for each kid filled with items chosen based on their age and favorite Nickelodeon properties.”

This personalized offering is an immediate incentive for the influencers. It delivers value to both the parents and the parents’ biggest influencers: Their children. These rewards begin the cycle of authentic content creation and are the first step toward the core goals of the Nick Family Insiders influencer network.

@mrsblinks We got slimed 💚 #22adventuresin2022 #nickelodeonresort #nickfamilyinsiders ♬ original sound – ella

“The families in the network receive access to a community of fellow parent influencers, premium products, exclusive experiences like trips to our Nickelodeon hotels and resorts, and tickets to the Kids Choice Awards. They’re also placed on our priority list for paid campaign activations.”

“We created Nick Family Insiders to connect a diverse group of parent influencers to Nickelodeon to share brand love, promote our properties and build overall buzz on an ongoing basis. This is still our ongoing goal driving the program. We make it a priority to represent all types of Nickelodeon families with nationwide and multicultural representation, diverse passions and expertise, and a variety of family structures.”

Maintaining the influencer network

Nick Family Insiders LogoAs with any brand-building exercise, it is Nickelodeon monitors its Nick Family Insider community (and its influencers) against pre-established KPIs. Whilst Nickelodeon will gladly reward contributors for their content creation, it is important influencers are meeting recommend requirements for posting. Nickelodeon has a team focused on nurturing this community to ensure it delivers the necessary results.

“The influencer team I lead manages the direct communication with the influencers. We track everything they post related to Nickelodeon and are evaluating the output of the influencers to ensure ROI. If an influencer isn’t keeping up with our recommended posts, and frequency, they may be replaced with new talent.”

Nickelodeon has established benchmarks for its overall community. The benchmarks are set for the community for each activation. In turn, this creates a clear expectation for families within Nick Family Insiders. The targets are as follows:

  • Overall impressions: 1.1 million impressions per activation
  • Post engagements: 285 posts and 53,000 engagements per activation
  • Post rate: 61% per activation

These are the current benchmarks, but Nickelodeon consistently reviews and ups the targets as the Nick Family Insiders influencer network continues to deliver exceptional results.

“What is exciting to me is those benchmarks keep growing. So, we keep reevaluating them and we can keep bumping them up. In different activations will learn new things and have different successes (or failures.) Not only is this a powerful cross-department marketing tool that allows us to activate influencers quickly and effectively, but we’re also building important long-term relationships with influential voices.”

Nurturing the Nick Family Insiders community

To engage with the influencers, Nickelodeon keeps the line of communications open via email, and through a private Facebook group. This also serves as a platform for the influencer network to communicate with each other, beyond commenting on social posts.

“We use the private Facebook group to communicate with members every week. And they can use that to communicate with each other as well. However, they mostly comment on each other social posts to engage with one another.”

As well as ensuring the influencers share recommended posts at the desired frequency, it also helps formalize the community of families that are dedicated fans. 2023 will see many brands seeking a way to tap into organic communities and spread brand awareness or brand love. Nickelodeon is well ahead of the curve.

Kids’ Choice Awards

One of the rewards for some of the Nick Family Insiders influencer network is tickets to the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, the brand’s annual televised Slime-filled celebration, where kids vote for their favorites across the worlds of film, television, music, sports, and more. In April 2022, Nickelodeon hosted the 35th annual Kids’ Choice Awards.

An event like this is a prime opportunity to reward the network in exchange for content that boosts awareness of the event, and brand love for Nickelodeon.

“To support the 2022 Kids Choice Awards, we sent our Nick family insiders a giant orange pinata filled with green candy and other goodies. The package came with a blindfold and stick to break open the pinata.”

“While we didn’t ask influencers to create and post specific content, they were expected to share on social media in an authentic way to them. Some families filmed unboxing videos, while others put up the pinata and showed their family having fun breaking it open.”

@rainbowdads So excited to watch the @nickelodeon #kidschoiceawards #KCA #NickFamilyInsiders #fyp ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Much like the lunchbox gift upon joining the influencer network, the children are the center of the rewards schemes. Creating fun experiences for the family lends itself to truly authentic content. The simple guidelines Nickelodeon gave to the Nick Family Insiders families also enhanced this.

The families expressed that the Kids Choice Awards was airing soon and asked their followers to tune in to the coverage of the event.

Kids Choice Awards activation results

The influencer network posted across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. It was Nickelodeon’s most successful Nick Family Insiders activation to date. It exceeded each benchmark by the following percentages:

15% more posts,  44% more impressions, and 217% more engagements than our benchmark metrics.

  • Overall impressions: 1.58 million (44% more impressions than the benchmark)
  • Post volume: 325+ (15% more posts than the benchmark)
  • Post engagements: 115,000 (217% more engagements than the benchmark)

Richter attributed the success of the Kids Choice Awards activation to the simplicity of the messaging.

“The family insiders were inspired to post more and get their followers more engaged by sending something with a clear and concise message that was share-worthy and fun for the whole family.”

“This influencer community is unique in that we need to think about the whole family and not just the main person behind the handle. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is the importance of creating opportunities and experiences that strike the perfect balance of having a clear message that map’s back to our marketing priorities, but also providing something that families want to share. It must be fun for the whole family. This is what we did with that Kids Choice Awards activation, and it was our best campaign yet.”

The future of Nick Family Insiders

The Nick Family Insiders will continue to center its plans around families. Across the course of several activations this year, the influencer network has found the importance of family to be more important than ever. This trend will equip Nickelodeon to continue driving brand love and breaking benchmarks for impressions and engagements.

“Based on the programming we put out to the market, we’ve seen a consistent trend of kids and parents spending more time together. They’re making decisions as a unit, and we anticipate this trend to continue taking hold. Family-targeted influencer marketing is not going anywhere and will continue to be a key marketing tactic for all brands, especially for one like Nickelodeon.”

“This is the approach we used to plan the Nickelodeon NFL NickMas  Game, which aired on Nick in partnership with CBS Sports on Christmas Day. We’re driving communications that promote a co-viewing audience of parents and kids watching together.”

As it targets greater family engagement, an in-house influencer network like Nick Family Insiders allows Nickelodeon to empower its fans to co-create content that resonates with its family. Although the families within the network may change, the family-oriented programming will cement Nickelodeon as a brand loved by its audience of children and parents alike.

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