Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in advertising at present, with companies around the world linking up with influential online celebrities to showcase their products and deliver their brand message.
When a company gets it right in terms of their influencer marketing strategy, they can expect to create a real buzz around their brand. Indeed, research from the Influencer Marketing Hub revealed the total market value of influencer marketing is expected to expand to $16.4 billion in 2022.
It's no surprise then that more and more companies are turning to influencer marketing to make an impact. Here are nine examples of businesses that have successfully drawn on the power of influencer marketing to reap significant rewards:
Fiji Water - Bodyworewhat
Partnering with Instagram influencer Danielle Bernstein, perhaps better known by her handle weworewhat, Fiji Water crafted one of the most influential campaigns of 2017.
The company was keen to position its products as a beverage of choice among the body/health-conscious and saw Bernstein as the perfect ambassador for their brand. Her blog - We Wore What - had more than 150,000 followers at the time and was seen as an innovative and exciting way to reach out to prospective customers.
By creating a range of eight-minute workout videos, the team built a whole campaign that was posted across social media, driving engagement with Fiji Water's target audience and generating much sought after publicity. The campaign, entitled Bodyworewhat, was a huge hit with Bernstein's fans and demonstrated the company's commitment to hydrating all those in search of the body beautiful.
Lyft - Strength in depth
Becoming the most-mentioned brand on social media is no mean feat, but that's precisely what transport networking specialist Lyft was able to achieve in 2018. The company drew on paid advertisement from a host of the biggest celebrities and social influencers and was able to generate more than 5.9 million social engagements throughout the year.
Working alongside such massive names as Zayn Malik and Snoop Dogg, plus many more, the firm set its influencer marketing strategy apart from others by working with more than 1,100 individual influencers in total. This strategy of far-reaching engagement with varied audiences helped drive clear gains for the company in the last year.
Subaru - #MeetAnOwner
Influencer marketing is all about businesses resonating with their target customer base, so when Subaru decided to create a buzz around its latest Impreza model, the brand turned to social media.
In its #MeetAnOwner campaign, Subaru reached out to influencers to create funny, entertaining and engaging content that embraced the emotional connection between car and owner, which the company hoped would appeal to millennial buyers.
It was a mantle taken on by YouTube influencer Devin Graham, who embraced the brief and impressed his more than five million subscribers in a video showcasing him and his friends taking turns on a slip and slide that propelled them (and their parachutes) off a 500-foot cliff.
The aim here was to drive an emotional reaction in the audience and to reach a new set of target customers for Subaru. It was something the campaign easily achieved.
Microsoft and NetGeo - Make What's Next
Working with influencers doesn't just mean partnering with Instagram models, YouTube sensations and more established celebrities. Brands can also turn to other well-known organizations that might not necessarily be viewed as natural bedfellows.
This was precisely the tactic used by Microsoft in 2017, when the company joined forces with National Geographic and a host of travel photographers to celebrate International Women's Day in its Make What's Next campaign.
Photographer and marine biologist @CristinaMittermeier explores the clear waters of a “cenote” in the Yucatan Peninsula. Being a photographer on assignment @natgeo is exciting but it requires tremendous sacrifice. It demands boundless energy, unflagging enthusiasm, a spirit of adventure, the ability to survive under difficult circumstances, and the courage to confront danger. For me, this all-consuming career is fueled by a passion to make a difference to the conservation to our beautiful planet. The life that we have chosen is frenetic, exciting and sometimes dangerous but, for the chance of making a difference, every minute of it is worth it. Photo by @PaulNicklen #InternationalWomensDay - @Microsoft - Empowering girls to change the world, stay in STEM, and be the ones to #MakeWhatsNext. Microsoft welcomes girls for a free workshop with @natgeo personalities at select Microsoft stores on 3/18. Visit makewhatsnext.com for details. #IWD2017 #sponsored
Its aim was to encourage more women to train and work in STEM disciplines. So, to achieve this, the campaign released 30 stunning images of female scientists or adventurers, allowing them to tell their story.
The results were impressive; in just a single day, the photos earned more than 3.5 million likes on social. By its end, the campaign had reached more than 91 million people.
Coca-Cola - #ThisOnesFor
Everyone's probably seen it, as Coca-Cola achieved worldwide prominence in its ongoing This One's For campaign. Spanning a range of TV advertising and working with a host of Instagram influencers, the campaign used sponsored posts under the hashtag #ThisOnesFor to drive engagement.
It saw participating influencers building a narrative around their personal relationships and how sharing a Coke can bring people together. It also included a range of sponsored giveaways. Prominent influencers have included Poppy Deyes (1.3 million followers), Emily Canham (546,000 followers) and Andrew Henderson (342,000 followers).
The campaign has proven highly successful to date, generating more than 17,000 likes, 6,000 comments and providing an average engagement rate of 7.8%.
The power of micro influencers
Many brands are tapping into the smaller but highly engaged audiences of micro influencers. These are influencers who typically have more than 1,000 and fewer than 10,000 followers on their social media profiles.
By partnering with influencers with a smaller audience, brands can reach a niche market rather than a mass one. Micro influencers tend to have much higher engagement rates than macro influencers because their audiences place more trust in them, as they feel that they can relate or have the same interests. This means they can establish more genuine connections and relationships with their followers.
Here are four examples of brands forming successful partnerships with micro influencers:
Sperry is well known for being the designer of the first boat shoe. The brand hopped on the micro influencer bandwagon by launching a campaign to raise awareness for cold, wet weather shoes while ensuring it maintained a fashion-forward image.
The two week campaign involved a series of paid micro influencers with highly engaged audiences. They posted well-captured pictures of their Sperry footwear accompanied with the #OOTD (outfit of the day) caption.
By partnering with influencers who truly enjoyed Sperry’s products, the brand was able to inspire people with a genuine interest in their content.
Glossier’s founder Emily Weiss thinks that everybody can potentially be an ambassador - no matter how many followers they have on social media.
They regularly partner with micro influencers who post about the products they like and their beauty routines. Using real people who use their products regularly helps the brand remain close to its values.
Glossier’s referral program means these people have the potential to earn rewards for what they do in the form of product discounts or other incentives.
Audible regularly forms partnerships with celebrities and influencers with large audiences. It's also done its fair share of micro influencer marketing.
One great example is its partnership with photographer Jesse Driftwood. Driftwood shared a photo of himself listening to something on Audible and explained how he benefits from the service.
Although he had a relatively smaller audience than many other famous people Audible could have chosen, its clever team of marketers realized that his fans are loyal and engaged with the content he posts - which helped his suggestions seem more authentic.
Tom’s of Maine
Another great example of successful micro influencer marketing is Tom’s of Maine. This is a natural health brand that didn’t have a huge budget to work with macro influencers. Instead, it decided to try its hand at turning fans into advocates - and it worked.
In order to do this, it offered partners incentives such as discounts, free products and early bird information about sales. By tapping into its existing audience of dedicated customers, Tom’s of Maine was able to increase its reach among a niche audience.
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