Are you more likely to listen to advice given to you by a friend or a stranger? Of course, you value your friend’s opinion because you trust they have your best interest at heart, while advice from a stranger is usually taken with a grain of salt. This premise – the instinct to value the opinion of like-minded individuals over that of a stranger – is the foundation that influences many consumer behaviors and led to the success of many referral companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

The power of communities like this can be astronomical. A handful of positive reviews can get people in the door of a business, while on the other hand, a few negative reviews could ruin a business’ reputation.

A similar sense of community and trust is also evident on social media platforms. If we see a friend on Facebook comment about a great meal they had at a local restaurant, we are more likely to pay attention as opposed to seeing a sponsored ad. Building off this, influencer marketing has become an important tactic for advertisers, leveraging a celebrity’s already highly-engaged audience to promote products or services.  While the audience doesn’t know the celebrity personally, the personal aspect of the marketing strategy makes consumers more likely to act. 

Today, we’re seeing the next evolution of referral marketing: influential communities built on free-to-play, chance-to-win opportunities.  HQ, for example, recently took the trivia world by storm, offering live trivia games twice daily. After the app launched in October 2017, the word of HQ spread quickly and has now become a viral phenomenon, with millions of players tuning in. While the reward for participating is low, split between the players that answer all 12 questions correctly, the chance for a share of the $2,000 standard HQ jackpot keeps users coming back daily. HQ has successfully built a community of loyal players. When they win, they win together and when they lose, they lose together. It’s an environment that drives loyalty and engagement.

While the concept of influential, reward-based communities is just starting to gain ground in the marketplace, at PCH, it’s nothing new. In fact, PCH has been the largest free-to-play influencer community in the US for years now.

Case in point: PCH is the single largest customer of the U.S. Postal Service and ships more than 30 million packages and 200 million direct mail pieces every year. Online, our users spend an average of 9 minutes per session on our properties – more than Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

So, what’s in it for brands and marketers? Access to a community of brand loyal and trusting consumers that follow recommendations on who and what to buy, read and engage with – a dream scenario for marketers.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to stay a dream with PCH. PCH’s influential community is open to ambitious performance marketers looking to drive action.

Interested in learning more about PCH’s ability to influence, convert and drive action by providing brands access to its community? We’d love to hear from you.