14 Compelling Influencer Marketing Case Studies That Don't Appear in The Age of Influence

16 Compelling Influencer Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

You probably found this blog post because you were also looking for influencer marketing strategy and examples. When I embarked on writing The Age of Influence, the definitive guide to influencer marketing campaigns, I was in your shoes: scouring the web for the best case studies that would provide essential backup to my words and prove my points.

Unfortunately, a lot of the influencer marketing campaigns’ case studies were very superficial or talked about numbers that really weren’t related to business results.

Many of the dozens of influencer marketing campaigns’ examples and case studies that made it into The Age of Influence were found through hours and hours of research, as well as reaching out to and interviewing many companies who shared their experience with me. I ended up producing so much content–more than 15,000 words over my contracted limit–that I had to actually eliminate many social media influencers and influencer marketing examples from my book.

Now, for the first time ever, I am releasing these “outtakes” from my book to the public to further help educate marketers, business owners, and entrepreneurs as to the potential that influencer marketing campaigns can have for your business. All of these were handpicked from the literally hundreds of influencer marketing examples that I found on the Internet, and they were all chosen for one factor that I believe you can consider in implementing your own influencer marketing in the future.

I hope that these give you some ideas or insight to help you improve your marketing to develop a successful influencer marketing campaign. Note that they are in no particular order, as my intent is to give you a feel for the many different ways in which you can include influencers and influencer marketing as part of your marketing mix.

Jack in the Box – Leveraging Social Listening Tools to Refine Your Influencer Marketing

Jack in the Box – Leveraging Social Listening Tools to Refine Your Influencer Marketing

A key element of influencer marketing is tapping into the audience of an influencer to engage with potential fans. Social media allows you to pool data to even further refine your targeted messages. Where can you look for the audience who doesn’t know they’re searching for you? How can you push your influencer efforts even further? Even when you’ve begun engaging with influencers, analytics and tools can show you data points of your interactions to help you refine your influencer campaign to continually develop more and more successful campaigns.

As a long-standing name in the fast-food hamburger landscape, Jack in the Box competes with some of the biggest brands in the world, including McDonalds and Burger King. The company had already identified and engaged with influencers, but realized that analytics could refine their search while showing the next steps. With a certain angle on data from their campaigns, Jack in the Box would be able to identify key indicators of who their audience listens to, and where they could expand their influencer program. Jack in the Box turned to Brandwatch for deeper analysis and insight, looking into audiences, their engagement rate, and the many ways that influencers played a role in swaying opinion, versus traditional advertising methods.

Social media analytics can return a large amount of data on the demographic reacting to you or your influencers’ posts, but sorting through the data to carve insights can be trickier. When Jack in the Box enlisted Brandwatch to look for deeper queries, they found further categorization and visual tools that easily showed the data on the tool’s dashboard.

Jack in the Box analyzed the data presented to them through a variety of insights. By analyzing the data of those who reacted to the relevant posts (including engagement rate), Jack in the Box found some deeper insight into their audience. Sports, in general, was a dominant interest among the brand’s audience over the time period examined. Part of this was due to a Super Bowl linked hashtag campaign, while some was related to content creators and influencers, such as the official account of the Los Angeles Lakers, tweeting about Jack in the Box.

Hashtag analysis showed that the Super Bowl related campaign made some hashtags, in particular, stand out. Passive engagement made up the majority of action, indicating more retweets than tweets. The analysis also looked at engagement from two YouTube influencers already engaged in creating video content, unrelated to sports. The hashtag used in this case was separate to the Super Bowl campaign.

The sentiment of each post can also be measured. Through the period looked at in the study, the mentions and retweets to the Jack in the Box official account were overwhelmingly positive. This insight still gives Jack in the Box data points to counteract it, even if the sentiment was not as positive.

How does this data help? Where would Jack in the Box go from here? One option would be to refine the campaign to engage further with sports-interested customers. In such a crowded market with large competitors, Jack in the Box might want to refine their link with sports, highlighting that over their competitors. Perhaps they want to find ways to make inroads into weaker demographics. In either case, these insights allow Jack in the Box to take steps towards engaging influencers and micro – influencers who speak to the audience the brand wants to reach.

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Hubspot – Co-Create Content with Influencers for Massive Website Traffic

Creating content can be difficult. Pooling content can be a highly effective way to both engage with your audience and get the attention of influencers’ audiences. What return can you really expect on round up posts? How effective is using other people’s creative freedom and content, when you ask those people to share it?

HubSpot sales blogger Aja Frost set herself the challenge of writing a blog post that would be seen over 10,000 times in the first month it was up. It was a significantly higher rate than the blogs were receiving at the time. In order to do this, she decided to create a round up post – a post collecting information from different influencers and collating them into one easily-digestible article.

To start the ball rolling, she decided on the topic of How to Have Your Best Sales Year Yet, and reached out to 30 sales experts and thought leaders. A personalized email campaign brought responses from 23 of her targeted subjects. Frost collected the answers of the interviewees, along with an agreement from each influencer that they would promote the blog post on their network and newsletter, if applicable. She also generated unique links for each influencer, so she could track the click through in each case when it went live. The investment in time was significantly higher than a usual post.

With 23 influencers promoting the blog post, it was viewed more than 9,000 times in the first month, with the data showing that the influencers’ links were responsible for 45 percent of the traffic. This seems like an expected result on the return, but because Frost had created unique links for all of the influencers, she was able to investigate the data deeper. The website data showed that just one of the influencers was responsible for 77 percent of the traffic!

Being able to see this kind of data gives extra insight into refining a campaign and reaching a wider audience. Going into the experiment, Frost had the theory that engaging one influencer was good, but more was better. The results showed that a well selected influencer could be better than working with many–even relevant influencers.

Frost undertook another experiment in curating another post, using as many big names as possible. She collated a post of the 20 most successful sales books of all time and emailed the authors a unique link. The post received nearly 6,000 views. Again, 60 percent of traffic was from one influencer – the same who drew 77 percent from the first experiment. The traffic from this one influencer is also in part from the sheer number of followers he has on his networks. The other influencers may have had similar click through ratios, but a much lower audience to pull from in the first place.

The data from these two experiments show that round up posts and curating content deliver a high return but, like other forms of influencer engagement, selecting the right influencers go a long way to netting the ROI you expect. Influencer marketing efforts should focus on finding the best influencer for the job, rather than collecting a wide variety of influencers and micro – influencers.

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Glossier – Celebrate Your Fans’ Content

Glossier – Celebrate Your Fans' Content

If you do things right, your customers and your fans are your strongest voices. They also have the strongest existing brand affiliation. So how do you leverage their voice to spread your message? What value is there in turning your followers into advocates?

Glossier began as a fashion blog and branched into cosmetics in 2014, where it firmly took hold of a certain demographic. This stronghold over fashion-savvy social media users, particularly on Instagram, became a strength in the brand’s promotion.

As the brand grew and added new products including face mists and moisturizers, the fans kept posting and documenting their own experiences with the product. Girls’ nights and spa days with facial masks, or relaxing in the bath with a glass of wine and mask were striking images showing the customers engaging with the product, even in the absence of a dedicated beauty influencer. Their message of endorsement was clear, and an increasing number of the Glossier fans wanted to share their images of the lifestyle of which Glossier was a part.

Each of the posts spread not only to Glossier via the hashtags, but to each user’s followers. No matter if the following was large or small, each of the fans were micro-influencers sharing information about the brand. The hyper engaged audience posting selfies using the products and engaging in the conversation about the product powered the company’s growth for the first years. Glossier expanded on this engagement by connecting the more highly involved Instagramers in city specific focus groups, and making sure they are rewarded for their involvement in the brand’s growth.

The brand holds onto its roots by posting celebrity gossip and other fashion news, including Glossier’s own new releases, in its own social media accounts, engaging with the fanbase in that way. Reposting and engaging with the content of their fans only strengthened the organic engagement of the Glossier girls. Glossier turned the campaign more powerfully to a more mainstream influencer campaign by engaging with 11 of the more highly followed and engaged Instagrammers.

Tapping into the voices of their fans and leveraging the content produced by their customers presents the best image of the brand. It extends the aims and values of the brand into ‘the real world’ of consumers. The products are being used and featured by the key demographic in ways and visual combinations that would be far less sincere coming from a marketing department or even a dedicated content marketer. It’s the involvement of the brand in sharing the user created content that keeps encouraging more involvement and subsequently improving the company’s engagement rate.

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American Licorice Sour Punch Bites and Hankook Tires – Thinking Outside of the Box to Find the Right Influencer

Hankook Tires - Thinking Outside of the Box to Find the Right Influencer

When you have an established brand and niche audience, sometimes reaching beyond your immediate followers and consumers can be difficult. Targeting other niche groups with similar interests can be hugely beneficial, but it’s not always obvious. How can you use influencers to push the plateau? How can thinking outside the box help bring you to the right influencer?

American Licorice were exploring the influencer landscape to promote their product Sour Punch Bites. For this product, the brand and the agency they worked with looked for a mixture of Millennial moms and lifestyle bloggers along the East Coast to match with the geographical launch of the product, along with candy enthusiasts. Engaging with moms and lifestyle bloggers extended the reach of the confectionary product beyond their usual followers and to those with a lifestyle that American Licorice wanted to reach, providing one of the more unusual (yet effective) examples of influencer marketing.

The pool of influencers were selected for their ability to capture the product in a captivating visual style, along with the other demographic and audience reach requirements. The visual skills of the influencers were put on display to incorporate the Sour Punch Bites in other cooking or baking recipes or using them creatively, such as to decorate straws. The images were shared on blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. This particular campaign across these social networks resulted in 32 million impressions with an impressive 10 percent or 3.2 million engagements.

In a similar thinking-outside-the-box type strategy, Hankook Tires looked to expand the reach of their social network posts. The agency working with them discovered that most of Hankook Tires’ press came from trade publications, often covering product launches and motorsport. As a tire company, Hankook Tires held a rather niche market, but no one was interacting with them outside of diehard fans of motoring.

In order to expand this, the agency looked into certain niche markets who have a different angle and interest in automotive products. The agency guided a campaign to engage with powerful and trusted voices of high-profile parenting bloggers. The information given to them was digestible and useful tire information aimed at family safety. Hankook mechanics provided information for the influencers ahead of the summer holiday season, when many families were driving. In order to provide a unique experience and insight for the bloggers and influencers, Hankook provided test drives and other events, so the influencers understood the products they were reviewing and covering in their posts, demonstrating that potential influencers can extend over a vast range of social media content and backgrounds.

By understanding how other groups would be interested in their product and message, and how that message can be reframed to connect with another demographic, both brands were able to expand the breadth of their posts. Engaging with social influencers who would not usually work with their product was able to reframe the message and expand the interest in the campaign.

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L’Oreal UK – Leveraging Word-of-Mouth at Scale by Focusing on Relevant Influencers, Not Celebrities

L’Oreal UK - Leveraging Word-of-Mouth at Scale by Focusing on Relevant Influencers, Not Celebrities

One of the reasons influencer marketing is so powerful is that every day people are discussing the products and providing endorsements, instead of a celebrity being paid to present the message. How can you engage with everyday people to spread your message? Is engaging on a large scale an effective method?

L’Oreal UK engaged their users to amplify the social media ‘word of mouth’ conversations and inspire user-generated content surrounding their products, (primarily the Pure Clay Mask line). The brand worked with 2,000 UK-based women aged 20 to 55 over three months. The influencers were not selected for their large following, but rather those willing to post about the detox cream. The everyday influencers posted about the detox cream and posted photos and reviews of the clay mask across all platforms including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. More than 500 stories were posted to Snapchat alone, making this one of the first noted examples of Snapchat being used to promote products on a large scale.

The women rated and reviewed products, posting pictures of them using the face masks, scrubs, and other products. Everyday people using the products, rather than the models depicted in commercials, connected the products to consumers and surrounded the company with organic conversation on social media platforms. Over 5,800 pieces of content surrounding clay masks and the surrounding line of products were produced, resulting in an impressive reach of 741,000 consumers.

L’Oreal UK aimed to engage more on social media, seeing engagement as the actual ROI.

That’s exactly what happened.

Over the three month campaign, the social media conversations surrounding L’Oreal’s products increased 53 percent–a huge increase for a campaign that essentially had zero monetary cost. Importantly, the match market test showed a sales increase of 51 percent, showing the benefits of future engagement using this method. L’Oreal provided marketers with another one of the most successful and clever examples of influencer marketing efforts.

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KOA – Gifting Product to the Right Influencers for Massive Results

KOA - Gifting Product to the Right Influencers for Massive Results

Influencer marketing gives brands an opportunity to engage in a far more precise manner with a target audience, saving time, money, and other resources. It doesn’t always have to involve payment or a pay-to-play approach. How effective can influencer marketing be without paying influencers? What can brands do to ensure a positive result from those influencers who they approach? And how do they go about identifying who those influencers should be?

When KOA, a beverage manufacturer of a sugar-free, calorie-free fruit juice that looks exactly like water, looked at entering the realm of influencer marketing, they approached the challenge with a keen eye for influencer identification. Working with influencers who shared the brand’s values was a shortcut to creating brand affinity. The brand engaged with HYPR, often used as a tool for influencer identification, but in this case more of a collaborator in the campaign. HYPR helped KOA refine their search and target a certain kind of influencer. KOA is a high-in-nutrient health drink, so they naturally wanted to promote the health benefits of their product.

By being specific about the type of influencer they wanted to work with, KOA were able to refine their search to health-conscious individuals. The hard work was in defining the core values the brand held to and finding the influencers who matched it. HYPR identified seven social influencers with strong engagement in the relevant demographic with interest in fitness, yoga, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle.

In this case, KOA and HYPR engaged the seven influencers as brand advocates. KOA contacted each influencer, offering products and information about the health benefits of the line of drinks. Each influencer was gifted a month’s supply of the drink and no monetary exchange. As brand advocates, the influencers were asked to promote the drink based on merits. The program’s success was ensured by the level of work done in identifying the influencers with the same values as the brand.

The campaign reached over 483,000 people through the seven influencers. KOA reported an immediate 200 percent sales increase, a figure that would grow to 500 percent through the campaign. The brand’s account gained 10,000 likes. This is an exceptional outcome for a brand working with a small number of influencers in a strict gifting-only campaign.

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Noisy May / Vero Moda – Make Influencers Part of Your Product

Noisy May / Vero Moda - Make Influencers Part of Your Product

Like other elements of influencer marketing, product co-creation does not have to rely on celebrity status. Some demographics are in difficult and hard-to-reach places. Harnessing social media can give you the opportunity to speak directly to these groups by working with those to whom the demographic listens. Finding out just the right way to do this can take some thinking outside of the box.

Noisy May, a sub-label of Vero Moda, was looking at reaching fashion interested females between 15 and 25. In keeping with the brand values, the contact had to be done in an interesting and refreshing manner. The brand selected local influencers from the three target markets of the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany, who all had a strong following on social media. The young influencers were then brought on board as ambassadors and designed five pieces each for a collection to be released by the label.

Engaging the influencer beyond simply the social media point and in the actual design process, making them an ambassador, brought much more to both the brand and the influencer. As an ambassador, each influencer was then given more responsibility and felt more tied, as did their audience, to the final product.

The journey of design and creation to the launch was captured by each influencer. Their followers were engaged along the whole ride, expanding the emotional investment of their fans. The community was not just seeing a final product, but came along with the young designers on each step of the journey. The social media access gave the audience of each influencer a unique perspective. Relevant hashtags were promoted along with interactive parts of the site–including, naturally, a shopping microsite.

Over the campaign, the brand netted over 4 million impressions and earned 183 influencer posts with an impressive engagement rate of over six percent. Intangible benefits of influencer marketing would possibly extend beyond measurability, including future engagement and promotion by the ambassadors, and the extended community aspect of the social engagement.

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Cluse – Leveraging Influencers for User-Generated Content

Cluse watch user generated content UGC 6X influencer marketing case study

Here is a great influencer marketing example leveraging user-generated content. In many cases, the users of a product can produce the best images for the brand. Seeing the product in action or in real life instead of in a planned photoshoot can make a stronger organic connection than a brand otherwise could. How can user generated content be leveraged? What results can really be expected from your fans’ social networks?

Curating content can be a strong way to leverage the fans of your product who are already engaged in social media. Cluse is an Amsterdam-based watch manufacturer focusing on high-end women’s timepieces. Since the nature of the brand is visual and engaged with lifestyle, the brand discovered many images featuring their watches already on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Cluse approached the users featuring their product and encouraged the use of certain hashtags to properly identify the images featuring their watches. These images are then pooled into a feed, linking to the specific product page of the watch featured in the photograph.

Many of the images on the Cluse website are curated from this feed of social media users who showcase the time pieces. The organic approach and seeing other people using the watches can inspire purchases. And it does. Data shows that nearly 6 percent of the sales on the Cluse website can be attributed to the user generated content from the site.

The benefits of engaging with a community around your product are more than just clicks to sales. Cluse links back to the photographer whose image is featured on the website feed. This engagement enables the fans and creates a strong sense of community, inspiring the fans of your product to remain loyal, and gives you a strong position to work with the community and leverage their voices in the future, should you choose to do so.

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Health Ade – Leveraging Influencers for Their Content Creation Skills

Health Ade - Leveraging Influencers for Their Content Creation Skills

As companies look even more to influencers for engagement, and influencers increasingly make themselves available, how can a brand know what to look for in an influencer? How can a brand know what the influencer can bring to the table and if their followers are the real deal and not bots artificially boosting the numbers? Brands looking for a social media presence often have to wade through emails from potential influencers.

Once you identify which ones you want to work with, there remains the time-consuming issues of working on terms of payment and terms of engagement. Engaging and managing relationships with influencers, particularly when the communication is almost always all online, can be difficult.

Increasingly, there are influencer marketing tools to solve this problem. These tools – apps and companies – work as a platform and go-between to handle the mundane details for the brand when working with influencers. Health Ade Kombucha faced these issues when looking at engaging influencers with their product. Rather than approaching each influencer individually, Health Ade worked with them through the tool Trend.

Trend is a mobile-based marketplace that sets the groundwork for brands and influencers to work together. Before listing the influencer, Trend ensures the influencers’ credentials and followers are legit. Brands can post expectations of the interactions with customized requirements, along with new products. When a brand and influencer take a liking to each other, they can communicate directly through the app.

It’s Tinder for brands and influencers.

In the case of Health Ade, they decided how they wanted to interact with brands and used Trend to connect with influencers across the US, without having to worry about the filtering process. The influencers received their sample product and engaged with Health Ade Kombucha in their own way: some cooked with the product, others turned it into a cocktail or showed how they blended it into their workout regimen. The results were over 135 high quality images taken from the unique perspective of the influencer, resulting in 15,000 engagements on Instagram. The campaign pushed Health Ade Kombucha’s popularity and visibility to become one of the nation’s leading kombucha brands.

By using Trend, the brand retains control over the influencer posts by approving what is posted. They are also able to still pinpoint the influencers who they feel best represent the brand ethos, image, and target demographic. The brands are also able to download the collected content influencers create to be able to use in further marketing material. These extra benefits of the interactions with influencers make the whole engagement fluid. When it’s done as easily as it is when using Trend, without the headaches or worries over whether an influencer will come through with the content or if their followers are bots, then using an influencer marketplace like Trend earns its place.

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Travelocity – Building an Army of Influencers

Travelocity - Building an Army of Influencers

A major hurdle facing many brands is in connecting organically on a personal level with people. How can a brand connect with humans in a way that is authentic? How can you overcome the hurdles of being a brand to better communicate with customers and foster emotional connection and investment?

Travelocity has innovated the online travel market since its inception in the mid-1990s. Research indicated that where travel agencies have a human face, and people often develop relationships with their travel agent, online travel solutions carry a reputation of being cold and transactional. Travelocity decided that by extending the user experience beyond the initial booking, and engaging a community of influencers to tell stories of their travels, they helped communicate their message to travelers on a personal level.

To put a human face on an online travel company, Travelocity enlisted the services of a range of influencers who were frequent travelers. The company wanted to leverage the content of influencers and share real travel stories. To launch their influencer marketing program, Gnational Gnomads, Travelocity identified niche influencers in the U.S.A. who traveled and who showed real engagement with their followers. From the beginning, Travelocity wanted to create long term relationships. To do this, they wanted to give as much as they could.

It began with a small curated influencer event in New Orleans. The program increased over time. The brand also listens to the influencer, showing trust and faith in the influencers with whom they choose to work. Much of the content is created by influencers, giving Travelocity the ability to connect organically with customers on an emotional level through emotive stories of travel.

To enhance and refine engagement with influencers, Travelocity leveraged tools–Traackr, most specifically. Traackr helped Travelocity refine and improve their communication and engagement to be more efficient. Through Tracckr, data was found to identify influencers and key conversations in order to personalize the engagement with the community. The tool also helped manage influencer relationships and scale the program by using analytics and data insights. The real time visibility of Traackr showed actual engagement and campaign progress.

Since 2014, the Gnational Gnomad program has expanded to almost 100 key influencers, resulting in an astounding 1,000 percent increase of brand mentions, and a 1,200 percent increase of brand impressions. Travelocity continues to engage with influencers with a niche engagement in travel across the U.S.A., each with their own angle and speciality, but with the same goal of telling stories about travel.

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Pala Casino – Micro-Targeting Influencers to Expand Your Audience

Pala Casino - Micro-Targeting Influencers to Expand Your Audience

Influencer marketing is often quite successful when showcasing a new element to your brand or spreading the word about what you do beyond your usual base. How can you showcase your services and engage with influencers to expand your demographic? This influencer marketing example will show you how!

Pala Casino Resort and Spa recognized that their clientele were often retirees or an older demographic. They wanted to push into another demographic–namely, Gen-Xers. They worked with an agency to organize an event for influencers in order to showcase their resort for a wider demographic. The event was an expenses-paid getaway over three stages on a weekend, including food and drinks, entertainment, and slot games.

The agency identified over 200 influencers who satisfied the resort’s target demographic in age, geography, and the content specifications. On top of the initial wave of the influencers sharing the content, Pala Casino also wanted to collate a range of material they could use in their own marketing later. Engaging with influencers with a keen visual eye and style was essential. This meant that not only did the influencer have a following that covered the goals of the resort, but the influencer’s individual style would also speak to the target audience when repurposed later.

The resort invited 21 bloggers and Instagrammers to the event. Each influencer was asked to curate a minimum of three pieces. The event had an overall reach of 28 million through the initial wave of content. The resort also collected 876 pieces of content they could repurpose. The program led to over 50,000 engagements and an increase in over 1,000 new Facebook likes.

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LG – Generating Massive Results from ONE Influencer

LG - Generating Massive Results from ONE Influencer

Sometimes identifying just one influencer to work with, one who speaks directly and powerfully to your target audience, can serve as the base of an entire campaign. Some influencers have such a place of authority with their audience, and have established such a strong platform, that their opinion and voice brings with it enormous gravity. How do you identify that single influencer? How can you engage that one influencer effectively across platforms?

Electronics giant LG were looking for a way to reach a large audience on YouTube with the launch of a new television. The brand approached HYPR for help in identifying the right influencer to create the YouTube content to promote the new product and give a review. HYPR identified Lewis Hilsenteger who, through his Unbox Therapy channel, provides reviews of technology products. Unbox Therapy also engages across multiple platforms, promoting his own content and drawing engagement from the same audience and demographic identified by LG as their target. LG engaged Hilsenteger to create the YouTube video, and promote it through posts on his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The brand also gifted a television to Hilsenteger to giveaway through a sweepstake.

By working with just one influencer exclusively, and running the giveaway through the channel, LG were able to give Hilsenteger unique content to give his fans, along with the sweepstakes. The video reached over four million people with engagement on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The brand could promote and amplify the content but otherwise allowed Unbox Therapy to do their own thing. Across the platforms the campaign brought in 36,000 likes, and 2,580 comments. Predictably, YouTube was the most visited of the platforms, since the other platforms pointed traffic back to the video, with 385,069 views of the video, showcasing the new television in a way that was authentic and that the audience trusted.

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Maserati – The Power of the Influencer Account Takeover

Maserati - The Power of the Influencer Account Takeover

Developing a constant stream of content that resonates with your audience is not an easy task. It often involves a lot of research and developing your own visual language to present your products in a fresh light repeatedly. What value does giving influencer collaboration bring to the publication of content on your social media accounts? How can influencers bring a fresh approach to your visual language? This influencer marketing example showcases the power of collaborating with influencers on content.

Maserati decided to take another road. Instead of developing their own visual language and voice for their Instagram feed, they would bring in influencers to take over their account each month. It was not about adopting the brand image and having influencers conform to it, but a way to give the influencer the keys to the account completely. The influencer’s content is the brand’s Instagram content engine entirely. Each month, a different influencer documents their day-to-day experience with Maserati and posts to the account. It brings an authenticity the brand would otherwise be unable to attain, along with a fresh perspective, voice, and lifestyle each month.

The influencers the brand brings on board are not necessarily involved in the auto industry. Some have a level of celebrity themselves, and others are well followed fashion influencers whose followers might have no contact with a brand like Maserati. Bringing in a different perspective brings a fresh look at photographing cars. The account takeover allows the influencer to bring their own view on the brand – perhaps a country drive, or for others it means driving around London for meetings – and work in their own visual language.

The influencer also brings their audience to Maserati’s, expanding the reach of the Instagram account. By engaging with a fashion influencer, or a celebrity chef, the brand is able to harness a fresh approach to visual communication while also expanding the reach of the posts.

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Zooz – Leveraging Influencers Globally for Virtual Events

Zooz - Leveraging Influencers Globally for Virtual Events

Influencer marketing can be powerful for companies with specific services or interests. Connecting small niches or subsets of audiences can be problematic when the group is spread around the world. How can you effectively utilize influencers to connect in a niche group? How can you stress engagement across platforms for specific interest?

Payment technology innovator Zooz set about engaging with their niche B2B audience through engaging influencers in a Twitter roundtable chat. The decided topic addressed the changing challenges for the near future in payment technology. This approach engaged influencers voices and brought in their audience and people interested in this specific part of business. All of this raised the profile of Zooz and placed them at the front of the innovation conversation.

Zooz reached out to a range of relevant influencers asking them to be part of their roundtable. The act of contacting and inviting the influencer showed the brand’s trust in their opinion and reinforced the influencers place as a thought leader or relevant leader in the sector. Zooz contacted the influencers a month ahead of the planned event, ensuring not only their involvement but also that they would promote their appearance in the discussion on their blogs, emails, and Twitter.

The event drew 516 posts from 83 users. Much of the measured involvement with the hashtag for the chat was from retweets and replies, as expected. The roundtable reached an audience of 379,576 and made 3,706,205 impressions.

Using technology in this way can also solve issues of geography. When everyone is online, crossing the Atlantic or being on opposite coasts is only an issue of timezones. This approach isn’t limited to Twitter. Almost any social media platform boasts a feature that can otherwise be used in such a way. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube all allow for live streaming events.

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Santa Fe Opera – The Power of Reaching a New Audience with Influencers and Events

Santa Fe Opera - The Power of Reaching a New Audience with Influencers and Events

How can you use an event to engage with the community? Can several levels of engagement bring a different result? Here is a great influencer marketing example that shows how you can leverage events.

Santa Fe Opera approached Simply Social Media, a social media agency, with three goals in mind: to spread their information to a new and younger demographic, to engage the Albuquerque community, and to increase their presence on social media. Santa Fe Opera wanted to focus particularly on Instagram, and with this in mind the agency organized five Instameets over a month to engage with the community–and, in particular, the photographers within the local community. When you consider that Instagram was originally developed for the sharing of photographs, you can understand how many photographers have been able to translate their skill to create an influential community on the social network.

The Instameets focused on the diverse range of the Santa Fe Opera program, including the classical standard Die Fledermaus and more cutting edge shows such as The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs. Chartering a bus for 47 Instagrammers to the Steve Jobs opera presented an opportunity for the influencers to engage with the Opera for the entire day, documenting the experience of the bus ride and the tour of the facilities, and capturing unique angles for their photographs along with the performance. The reach of the Instagrammers involved in the events spread the word across social media, bringing traffic and attention to the accounts of Santa Fe Opera. As an extra incentive, the Opera organized a competition of the photos, with ten being exhibited in a pop-up exhibit.

Engaging with the influencers by creating an event for them gave the Instagrammers a unique perspective on the facilities. Being able to give their followers a different perspective gave the influencers incentive to find these perspectives, along with the chance to have their photography showcased in the competition. By engaging with those who had some interest in photographing the event, the Opera could connect with the very community of which these influencers were a part.

Beginning with such a defined set of goals and a method that addressed each point directly gave effective data points to measure. The mentions and use of hashtags were up across Instagram and Twitter. The 1,667 posts drew engagement of over 2,050,000 on Instagram alone in the two months measured. The Santa Fe Opera’s own account grew over this time, too. The second round of exposure through the photography competition brought more attention and showed the unique perspectives the photographers captured.

Source

There you have it! I hope you learned something new about influencer marketing and how you can collaborate influencers as a powerful ingredient in your marketing mix. If you haven’t read The Age of Influence yet, you can download a free preview of it here.

Which of these influencer marketing examples did you find to be the most compelling? If you’re reading this and you’d like to have your company, agency, or tool to be considered for future revisions of this post, please note so in the comments below.

Hero photo by Photo Hunted on Unsplash 

Influencer Marketing Examples FAQs

What brands use influencer marketing?

Almost all brands worldwide are now using influencer marketing. In fact, 66% of brands are increasing their influencer marketing budgets this year. Even big brands are using this marketing strategy. For instance, Adidas, Nike, Zara, Daniell Wellington, and Blue Apron. You will probably notice that they use famous celebrities and influencers like Cristiano Ronaldo in performing their marketing campaigns.

What does an influencer marketer do?

An influencer marketer is in charge of a brand’s influencer marketing strategy. He/she creates marketing campaigns aiming to increase brand awareness, traffic, sales, and the brand’s message to their target audience. An influencer marketer also finds and hires the right influencer for their campaigns. This is a critical part of influencer marketing as the campaign’s success relies on this area.

Who are the top 10 influencers in social media?

If we ignore traditional celebrities and athletes, the top 10 influencers in social media according to Hopper’s Instagram Rich List are:

1. Eleonora Pons
2. Caio Castro
3. Bella Hadid
4. Huda Kattan
5. Sommer Ray
6. Zach King
7. Emily Ratajkowski
8. Cameron Dallas
9. Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie)
10. Charli D’Amelio

What is influencer marketing strategy?

Influencer marketing strategy is a type of social media marketing where brands and marketers collaborate with ordinary people in promoting their products and services. These “ordinary people” have large followers on their social media accounts and are trusted by their followers due to their expertise, knowledge, experience and credibility. They are often referred to as “social media influencers”.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer?

Nano-influencers as defined, are influencers with between 1,000-10,000 followers. It is the smallest category of influencers according to the number of followers. Hence, you can be an influencer with 1,000 followers. If you are an aspiring influencer, it’s important to choose a niche you will focus on and create content about. It will be best if the niche you will select is something you are passionate about and have a great interest in.

Looking for influencer marketing examples? These 16 case studies were hand-selected outtakes that weren't published in The Age of Influence.
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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.
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