PragerU is an independent digital media company.
Like many of today’s challenger brands, PragerU serves Gen-Z and Millennials - a group that's increasingly wary of legacy media, and even more skeptical of traditional advertising.
Downgrading the importance of legacy media and advertising, PragerU’s audience lives instead on today’s social platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
But with the plummeting organic reach of branded social media accounts, and the bids for PPC ads spiraling out of control, PragerU was finding it harder and harder to stand out from the crowd and get their content noticed on social media.
It’s a universal challenge facing today’s marketers, and when considering this challenge, PragerU recognized that new times require new approaches.
Their solution would have to be different.
What PragerU came to see is that the solution lay in the challenge.
On social, unlike legacy media, it’s not what brands broadcast about themselves that matters. We don’t want to be marketed or advertised to by centralized authorities.
Instead, it’s what our peers are saying on social that gets noticed, piques our interest, and inspires action.
In their quest to reach Gen-Z and Millennials on social, PragerU would enlist the help of Gen-Z and Millennials on social.
And from that insight, PragerFORCE would be born.
PragerU's approach would be to build a program that would recruit their most enthusiastic fans as brand ambassadors, and give them a platform to be recognized and rewarded for helping to promote PragerU’s content, ideas, and brand.
They named the program PragerFORCE, and while the idea was simple enough, the execution… not so much.
For Devon Mirsky, Director of PragerFORCE, managing the ambassador program was an extremely frustrating and time consuming process.
Management of the program was spread out over various apps and tools - form builders, emails, texts, Facebook groups - none which were designed to build, manage, and mobilize an army of brand ambassadors.
There was no simple way for Devon to manage her list, suggest content for them to share, track the posts that were generated, and distribute rewards accordingly.
And for her PragerFORCE ambassadors, there was no easy way for them to see all the content and campaigns available for them to share, or to see and claim the rewards that they could earn in exchange for sharing it.
The concept was strong, but the execution was tough. There had to be a better way.
In CrewFire, PragerFORCE is empowered with an all-in-one solution to build, mobilize, and reward their army of brand ambassadors.
"CrewFire makes it so much easier to promote the content we want to share, and get it out on a mass scale. It’s a critical part of our business." - Devon Mirsky
It starts with growing their team.
PragerU recruits ambassadors by promoting the program to their existing audience through their social channels, email list, and at in-person events.
CrewFire’s customizable sign-up forms make this easy, convenient and on-brand, saving Devon and her team the trouble of hacking together landing pages, form builders, and a CRM.
When new ambassadors sign up for PragerFORCE, they include their email address and phone number, so Devon can easily send them important updates, announcements, and communications via email or SMS through CrewFire.
With her team in place, the fun begins.
PragerFORCE uses CrewFire’s Post Suggestion Campaigns to drive shares of PragerU's videos and other content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In addition to regular post suggestion campaigns, PragerFORCE has kept an ongoing Hashtag Tracking Campaign to reward their ambassadors for sharing any PragerU-related content they want, without having to wait for suggested posts from PragerFORCE.
"We have a lot of content that we’ve created, and the Hashtag Tracking Campaigns have helped us reward our ambassadors for sharing all of it!” - Devon Mirsky
PragerFORCE also maintains an ongoing Instagram Engagement Campaign, which automatically mobilizes PragerFORCE ambassadors to like and comment on new PragerU Instagram posts as soon as they’re posted, helping to increase each post’s engagement score, so they reach a wider audience on Instagram.
With the power of these campaigns types combined, PragerU easily and effectively mobilizes their army of ambassadors, helping to expand PragerU’s influence, promote their ideas, and reach more people on social media.
Underpinning the entire program is CrewFire’s points and rewards system.
PragerFORCE ambassadors earn points for every activity they complete through CrewFire.
The points accrue to their accounts, and are displayed front-and-center throughout CrewFire, making the program more engaging and game-like for each ambassador.
Finally, to make the points valuable, PragerFORCE uploads a variety of rewards that their ambassadors can “purchase” with their points.
For rewards, PragerFORCE offers PragerU related swag and merch, including shirts, stickers, backpacks, and books.
They also offer a variety of digitally-delivered rewards including discount codes and free shipping offers to the official PragerU store.
All of these rewards tie directly back to the brand, bringing the program full circle, and strengthening the relationship between PragerU and it’s ambassadors.
Leveraging CrewFire, as of June 2020, PragerFORCE has enlisted 8,068 ambassadors, who have created a combined 110,777 social media posts, generating an astounding 50,955,192 impressions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (and counting!).
And alongside PragerFORCE, PragerU has grown into a powerful independent media brand with over 2.4 Million Subscribers on YouTube, and generally receiving between 1-3 Million Views Per Video.
Moreover, using CrewFire, Devon estimates she saves 5-10 hours of work every week, thanks to the convenience of having all of their program-related tools - from list building, to communication, to campaign creation, and more - available in a single platform.
Last but not least, with CrewFire, PragerU is able to connect with their audience and fans in an entirely new way, and offer them the opportunity to become directly involved in growing the brand in exchange for rewards.
This has taken the relationship between PragerU and their audience to new heights, while helping PragerU expand their influence, promote their ideas, achieve their growth goals - a true win for everyone involved.
You're a marketer targeting Gen-Z and Millennials.
And, downgrading the importance of legacy channels, your audience lives on social.
And with organic reach on social plummeting, and PPC costs spiraling upwards, you’re finding it harder and harder to stand out from the crowd, and get your brand noticed.
New times require new approaches. Your solution will have to be different.