Zehnder Communications, Inc.

Influencer Marketing Magic: South Walton Unpacked

At Zehnder, we’ve been doing influencer marketing since before it was a buzzword.

In 2010, we “ignited the night” with our Fireball Ambassador program, transforming an upstart cinnamon whisky brand into a household name. During the pandemic, we collaborated with the California Artists Agency to support Feed America, amplifying their hunger relief message with the help of Louisiana celebrities. And this year, we took it a step further with South Walton Unpacked, helping eight influencers find their perfect beach and reaching hundreds of thousands of social users.

And while these are just a few of the notches in our belt, we’re proud to be early adopters and modern-day innovators. Suffice to say, we know reaching your brand goals is about more than just finding your audience. It’s about speaking to them in their language, with a voice that cuts through the clutter.

Ready to go beyond the algorithm and start trending in real life? Read on to see how a partner like Zehnder can help you amplify your brand with influencer marketing.

An influencer marketing refresher

Before we dive into the data, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about influencer marketing.

Though the term might be new, the principle isn’t. From Coca-Cola’s use of Santa Claus imagery during the Great Depression to Nike’s iconic Air Jordans, brands have relied on star power (real or fictional) to sell products for decades.

But with the advent of social media, marketers have perfected the art of influencing. From TikTok to Instagram, modern influencers grow their audiences and make careers out of promoting brands in exchange for payment. By amplifying the message or product of the brands they work with, influencers have become a key component of modern digital strategy. And with the growing popularity of short-form video content platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, influencer marketing is here to stay.

Go back to the basics of influencer marketing with our Influencer Marketing 101 article.

South Walton Unpacked: A case study in influencer marketing

To be a true brand matchmaker, you need a personal touch.

Not every influencer is a match for every brand. You need to be able to discern the right chemistry, detecting the spark that feeds the flames of a real connection with real people. That means looking for quality versus quantity when it comes to followers and finding that perfect fit.

With South Walton Unpacked, we showed it’s all about creating a personal connection that motivates people to action.

It all started with an idea: create a first-of-its-kind digital influencer experience in-market to heighten awareness and interest in the South Walton brand. The secret weapon? Social media figures who genuinely align with the brand’s vision – and who have an audience primed to hear about the destination.

By combining cutting-edge software with decades of experience, the Zehnder social team hand-selected eight influencers with a voice, style, niche, and following that matched the adventurous and fun-loving spirit of South Walton. After client approval, we reached out to the influencers to coordinate their trip.

The plan was simple: three nights, two full days, and an itinerary packed with the best food and fun South Walton has to offer. With free time built into the schedule, our influencers were able to explore the beach neighborhoods they gravitated to most, forming a personal connection with the destination…all while creating digital content and curating live stories about their experiences.

No one can argue with the results. We reached over 1.2 million accounts across the continental United States, including viewers in key markets for the destination. Posts resonated with our target audience, but achieved an even wider reach than we predicted. As a result, we saw leads come in via the comment sections and direct messages of our influencers with plans for future travel to the destination. With a small initial investment, our client got an estimated media value more than 10 times the value of their budget.

At Zehnder, though, influencer marketing isn’t a one and done deal. We cultivate lasting relationships that sustain interest beyond a single campaign. That’s why we also worked to establish ongoing connections with our key influencers, laying the groundwork for future trips and even greater engagement.

Launch your influencer marketing strategy today

For us, influencer marketing is about more than tapping into the trend of the day – it’s about long-term results. With our years of experience and advanced monitoring capabilities, Zehnder can hand-pick a digital curator and fine-tune campaigns in real time.

Whether you’re looking for lifestyle content creators or smart finance mentors, there’s an influencer suited to your brand. And we’re the matchmakers who can help you find that perfect fit. Trend in real life. Hone your brand voice. Go beyond the algorithm and get trackable, organic results.

Reach out to the experts at Zehnder to learn how our influencer marketing approach can grow your business. Call Jennifer Boneno at 225-448-0756 or email

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