Influencer marketing takes the textbook on traditional marketing concepts and throws it out the window. Relatively obscure till a few years ago, its popularity has shot through the roof in recent months.
A majority of marketers agree that it’s one of the most effective marketing strategies today. As is evident from its ROI when compared to other marketing methods. The average earned media for each dollar spent on influencer marketing is $11.69, across all industries.
But enough waxing lyrical about it, let’s take a look at some brands and their incredibly successful campaigns. Maybe you can look to them for some inspiration for your next influencer marketing campaign.
1. Mercedes Benz
Most luxury brands want to maintain an air of exclusivity around themselves while coming off as desirable and accessible. Mercedes Benz used influencer marketing to achieve just that and to appeal to a younger audience.
They collaborated with Instagram sensation, Loki, the wolf-dog, and his owner, Kelly Lund. They created a 360-degree video featuring the two as they go on a drive through the Colorado mountains. It gives viewers a glimpse of the gorgeous landscape through Loki’s eyes.
This campaign showcases how influencer marketing goes beyond just sponsored posts on Instagram. Loki can be credited with the bulk of the video’s appeal. But it was the use of authentic storytelling combined with innovative technology that made this campaign a success. Loki even shared a few cheeky previews on Instagram to drive viewership for the video.
2. Loeffler Randall
Loeffler Randall is a high-end footwear and accessory brand that has become very popular among bloggers, artists, and fashionistas. Much of this can be credited to the company’s influencer marketing campaign involving brand ambassadors.
These “LR Ambassadors” are a diverse group of creative businesswomen, artists, and writers who lead dynamic lives. The brand profiles these women on their blog and shares photos of them flaunting the brand’s products with the hashtag #LRambassador.
Here’s one of their “cool girls doing cool things” posts:
3. Boxed Water
Boxed Water with their ReTree Project shows that influencer marketing doesn’t just have to be a tactic to drive sales. The company is known for selling water in sustainable packaging. They used influencer marketing to get the buzz going for a noble cause.
They partnered with the National Forest Foundation for this afforestation initiative. For each photo posted on Instagram with the hashtag #Retree, they pledged to plant two new trees. They worked with influencers across the board to get the word out on social media.
From high-profile names to everyday people like you and me, everyone got in on it. Not a paid sponsorship campaign, it generated loads of organic traffic through social sharing.
Influencer marketing isn’t just for B2C brands. B2B brands can leverage it just as well. All it takes is some out-of-the-box thinking like Microsoft. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, they partnered with National Geographic and travel photographers for their campaign.
They aimed to encourage and inspire young women to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. As part of this “Make What’s Next” campaign, they released 30 powerful images like the one below. Each photo featured a woman scientist or adventurer and her story.
National Geographic shared these images across all of their Instagram handles. The photos earned 3.5 million likes in a single day. By leveraging this wide audience, Microsoft reached close to 91 million people. Leaders in innovation indeed.
5. Lagavulin Whiskey
You can either reach a very wide audience by working with multiple influencers or you can do what Lagavulin did. They drew one name from the hat with the intention of targeting a niche audience. The scotch whiskey brand released a 45-minute video featuring Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson) to leverage his cult appeal.
The Parks and Recreation star sits brooding by a crackling yule log fire doing nothing, occasionally sipping his whiskey. The strangely humorous and captivating video went viral, generating 2 million views in a single week. The brand’s channel subscribers, too, jumped from 5.5k to 23k. The video even won a Shorty Award for Best Influencer Marketing Campaign.
The video itself is a clever spin on a strange internet phenomenon involving burning yule log videos. I was just as amazed to learn how many people enjoy watching such videos. Regardless, credit to the brand for coming with a unique way to reposition their brand to appeal to a younger audience.
6. Fiji Water
Fiji Water wanted to shake off its image as the water that’s sold in hotels. Looking to reinvent themselves, they ran a relatively minimal campaign with influencers like Danielle Bernstein (@WeWoreWhat).
Nicknamed the “BodyWoreWhat” campaign, it featured Danielle in short eight-minute workouts with trainer Eric Johnson. The posts came with subtle shout-outs to the brand, emphasizing the importance of staying hydrated to look and feel fit.
SAP, with their Facebook Live coverage of their annual Sapphire Conference, is another great example of B2B influencer marketing. They streamed live chats with key influencers that were attending the conference to reach close to 100,000 online viewers.
In return, the influencers were given an exclusive opportunity to meet with SAP executives, use their products, and provide feedback. The company uploaded these videos to their blog and even shared them on social media for maximum coverage.
Influencer marketing is an effective tactic when it comes to promoting philanthropic initiatives as Walmart shows us. The retail giant collaborated with seven influencers on Instagram. The goal? To raise funds for Feeding America.
For each like, #FightHunger comment, or share of the influencers’ sponsored post, they donated $0.90 cents to the organization. Not only did they raise close to $ 1.65 million (19 million meals), but also boosted positive sentiment for the brand.
If you haven’t already, you have to check out the #timeonyourhands campaign by Wish to promote their online shopping app. It stars some of the biggest names in soccer: Robin van Persie, Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Neymar Jr, Tim Howard, Gianluigi Buffon, and Claudio Bravo.
Most of the countries where these stars hail from, narrowly missed out on qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. The brand wondered what these stars would do with the time on their hands and used it as a subplot for their spots. With the stars sharing the videos on their social media and interacting on one another's post, engagements are through the roof.
With humor at its core, these spots brilliantly deal with the sensitive issue of them missing out on the World Cup. Released in the lead up to it, the brand has nailed their timing and leveraged the hype surrounding the mega event perfectly. Neymar’s video alone generated 2 million views on Instagram within two hours.
B2B influencer marketing needs to go beyond traditional influencer marketing techniques that work for B2C brands. Okta has a wonderful way of promoting itself to other businesses through customer advocacy.
Any business is more likely to trust you if other companies from the same industry vouch for your efficacy. It’s the best way to establish your credibility and influence the purchase behavior of your target audience.
That’s why Okta has their existing clients like Adobe, above, talk about how they benefited from Okta’s services. The company created compelling videos of such client testimonials, sharing them on social media to drum up more business for themselves.
11. Jamba Juice
Influencer marketing is a brilliant strategy to employ for the launch of a new product or service. And that’s exactly why Jamba Juice decided to partner with Chachi Gonzales, the renowned dancer and influencer.
The brand wanted to direct the peoples’ attention to their new range of smoothies and decided to take a fresh approach with influencer marketing. They had her film a rather entertaining and creative dance video with a clever integration of Jamba Juice thrown into the mix.
The video leaves viewers feeling energetic and peppy themselves, much like Chachi felt after taking a sip of the drink. The video’s shareability resulted in tripling the original view-goal the brand set out with. Given the incredible ROI the campaign delivered, the campaign shows just how effective influencer marketing can be for product launches too.
How To Nail Your Influencer Campaign
These are all excellent ways you can leverage influencers to have the desired brand impact. But the key to success behind each of them is finding the right influencers to work with. With that in mind, here are a few things you should remember when looking for influencers:
- Alignment - Will your campaign content look good coming from them, given their respective niches? Do they align with your industry and brand values?
- Popularity - Are they someone your target audience can relate to? How popular are they amongst your target audience?
- Reach - Is the influencer capable of engaging your target audience? Are they on the social media channels your audience frequents?
- Demographic - Is their fan base similar to the buyer personas you’ve built for your company?
Seems a bit daunting doesn’t it? Rightfully so, given what’s at stake. A lot depends on your ability to find and collaborate with relevant influencers. It helps to have an influencer marketing agency or platform. Something like Buzzstream can help you in influencer search along with the details like their last activity, location etc.
Reelio, for instance, can not only help with influencer discovery, but also help you manage your campaign as well. Further, you can also leverage it for your content optimization and campaign analysis needs.
We can see from these examples of successful campaigns that there’s no single golden bullet when it comes to influencer marketing. Some brands take a performance-based approach, while others opt to hone in on an influencer’s alignment to the brand values.
Hopefully though with these tips and examples you’ll be able to find the inspiration for your next influencer campaign. Just remember to keep it simple and focus on your target audience. The rest will happen on its own.
What do you think about these influencer campaign ideas? Let us know through your comments.