Influencer marketing has seen massive growth in the last few years. So much so that there has been a considerable decline in the use of traditional marketing tactics. It is one of the most effective strategies for attracting relevant audiences and keeping them engaged.
While influencer marketing might give you excellent returns, it also has its own share of challenges. One of the major problems that marketers face is in identifying the right influencers. Should you try to recruit celebrities, or niche down into micro-influencers?
When it comes to millennials, only 1% of them trust an advertisement. However, 33% of them trust blog reviews for their purchases. Millennials are an important consumer segment, and have considerable influence on older generations too. Influencer marketing is most effective at governing millennial purchase decisions.
Another challenge faced by marketers is in measuring the results of influencer marketing campaigns. According to a 2015 Augure report, 53% feel that measuring the performance of an influencer program is challenging. Another 69% say that figuring out the right way to engage with influencers also poses a problem.
However, despite these challenges, influencer marketing is not difficult to adopt. You can make influencer marketing campaigns work in a number of different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all template when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns. Brands must analyze which strategy best suits their business or products.
Here are 8 of the most common influencer campaigns and templates to complement your influencer marketing strategy. These are intended to help you understand what kind of campaigns work for a particular type of product.
8 Influencer Campaigns and Templates to Complement Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
If your campaign goal is to showcase your products in the market, this is the right kind of strategy. For example, retail brand Lo & Sons took to social media to increase awareness about their range of purses and luggage.
Lo & Sons gifted free products to influencers having 100,000 followers or more. They also got them to create sponsored content for the campaign.
Popular Instagrammer, Paola Mathe, who goes by @findingpaola, has over 131,000 followers on Instagram. She mentioned Lo & Sons in one of her posts, and also tagged the brand in multiple posts thereafter.
Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram
Gifting and unboxing are great ways of increasing your brand awareness with the help of influencers.
There are a number of reasons why such influencer campaigns are effective:
Such influencer marketing campaigns include an element of surprise. This makes it more attractive and appealing to audiences. Most influencers are excited at receiving free gifts or samples. Their genuine reactions make for awesome content to kickstart your campaign.
It’s also a good way of building relationships with your influencers, which will benefit you in the long run. Not only does it make them feel valued, but also appreciated. And they can get a first-hand experience of your product and might just love it. It won’t hurt you if that love transforms into a positive product review on social media.
As a marketer, you will also get a fair assessment of how your product fares. Influencer posts will help you gauge audience reactions and engagement. You will also benefit from some real product feedback.
Early access to your products can help you spread the word about your product via influencers. When a product is launched, a good review from an influencer builds trust and credibility in the minds of consumers.
And of course, this strategy is very effective to increase sales. You can also provide your influencers with a product link or unique coupon code. They can then include it in their Instagram bio, post caption, or the YouTube video description. This can get you real conversions.
Soccer star, Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the most popular faces on Instagram, with over 120 million followers. He regularly takes to social media platforms to promote brands and products by sharing photos and experiences.
Due to his massive popularity, these promotions are highly engaging, resulting in high conversion rates. Nike, Tag Heuer, Abbott Labs, and Herbalife earned $936 million in media value from his social accounts between May 2016 and May 2017.
This photo of Ronaldo sporting a Tag Heuer watch got more than 1.6 million likes and 11,000 comments. He thanks the brand for their gift in the post and mentions their unique hashtag #DontCrackUnderPressure.
Image via Instagram
Popular YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger, also known as Unbox Therapy, regularly reviews and unboxes smartphones and other tech products. He has over 9.8 million followers.
His review of Samsung’s new gaming monitor, has over 4.4 million views, 155,000 likes, and 22,290 comments. The video is in his trademark style where uses anticipatory drama and humor. Not only does he review the product, but he also provides practical information about it to his audience.
Image via YouTube
While gifting products or samples, make sure that it is creatively packaged to grabs your influencers’ attention. This will get them excited about what’s inside before even opening the package. Sending custom or limited edition products will make the influencer feel special.
You should ensure that influencers share details on where to buy these products in their videos and posts. Especially if they’re limited edition products.
Influencer campaigns involving giveaways can help you achieve various kinds of goals. For example, increasing your social media followers, driving traffic to your page, or increasing brand awareness.
Here are some compelling reasons for including giveaways in your influencer marketing strategy:
Using giveaways, influencers give their followers a compelling reason to engage with the brand on social media. Giveaways are great at boosting likes, shares, comments, and tags on a brand’s content.
The budgets for giveaways are predictable. You only need to account for the influencer compensation and the cost of the product or service you are giving away. So staying within budget is easy.
If driving sales is one of the primary goals of your influencer marketing campaign, a giveaway is a good option. People tend to buy a product or service simply due to the fear of missing out.
Giveaways are platform independent. So you can run them across any or all of your social channels.
However, you need to keep a few crucial pointers in mind when you run such campaigns:
Make sure that contest entry rules are transparent so that people know what they’re in for. Also, clarify how winners will be selected. This will save you social media embarrassment from angry or dissatisfied audiences.
The prize for a giveaway should be attractive so that your audiences are excited about it. People will only enter the contest if you offer a good product, service, or experience as a prize.
Checking the local laws and specific social media platform rules for giveaways is very important. It will save you some legal troubles if you familiarize yourself with state and federal laws before launching a giveaway.
Fossil launched an Instagram contest in 2015 where people were asked to post photos with the hashtag #FossilStyle. The “grand prize” was a trip to the New York Fashion Week and two tickets to a fashion show. Fossil also announced weekly winners of this contest.
For this campaign, Fossil partnered with influencers like @lifesjules. She posted a picture on Instagram posing with a Fossil cross body bag.
Image Via Instagram
Hair-styling products brand NuMe partnered with influencer Sarah Nourse for a giveaway contest. Sarah, with over 24,000 followers on Instagram, regularly posts pictures with different hairstyles.
Image Via Instagram
Check out these FREE templates for a influencer campaign involving giveaways.
Co-creating content with an influencer is a great way of running authentic influencer marketing campaigns. By doing so, your brand image seamlessly blends with that of the influencer’s. This creates greater brand awareness, and drives more traffic from an influencer’s page to yours.
However, creative freedom is a key factor in motivating influencers to get involved in such campaigns. 76% of influencers say that editorial and creative freedom is one of the primary factors motivating them to work with a brand. Competitive compensation is also motivation for 67% of influencers.
Here are some key points to be kept in mind for such influencer campaigns:
This a great strategy if you want to have new marketing content without producing it yourself. The brand gets creative content at a low cost that will resonate with relevant audiences.
You benefit from an amplified reach from such a campaign. This is because the content can be posted on the influencer’s social media profile, as well as you own. Since the content is produced by an influencer, its adaptability to multiple platforms is a given.
It is advisable that you embark on such campaigns with influencers who have a long working relationship with you. This ensures that there is mutual understanding which is crucial for co-creation of content.
Your influencers need to be given clear instructions about any requirements you have. If there are certain hashtags you want them to include, it should be clarified without being intrusive in the creation process.
58% of marketers believe that content created by influencers works better than professionally produced content.
When Motorola launched the Moto Z family and Moto Mods, they collaborated with 13 influencers to co-create content for them. Influencers created “partnership announcement” posts, and “hero” YouTube videos. Each highlighting a unique use-case for Moto Mods and at least two additional social media posts.
A competition is another exciting way of launching an influencer marketing campaign. Competitions create a buzz, which automatically leads to an increase in brand awareness. You can either have the influencer host the competition, or host it yourself and leverage influencers to spread the word.
Here are some compelling reasons why you should leverage competitions in your influencer campaigns:
A competition is another budget-friendly campaign. You can set it up in a way so that you are only paying for the prize. And when you are the one choosing the prize, you can keep it within your budget.
Leveraging multiple influencers not only raises brand awareness, but also increases the social engagement.
You can combine a competition with other campaigns like giveaways or events. A competition can culminate in an event that celebrates the winner.
The prize should be lucrative enough so that people are compelled to compete. If you are launching a new product, that itself can be the prize.
All rules and deadlines should be clearly specified, especially when it comes to how a winner is selected.
Make sure to check the rules around competitions in your area. Even social media platforms have certain rules that you need to abide by.
In 2015, Adidas leveraged social media users for their #MyNeoShoot campaign for the Neo Range. Adidas invited people including influencers to post a photo on Instagram inspired by Adidas. From these, the best creators were chosen to model for the Adidas photoshoot.
To launch the campaign, Adidas partnered with popstar Selena Gomez to spread the word about the contest. The contest had around 12,000 entries and #MyNeoShoot saw more than 71,000 mentions. Adidas’ Neo Instagram account gained over 41,000 new followers.
Heineken’s @crack_the_us_open campaign saw a 20% increase in their Instagram following, with about 1500 people participating in 3 days. Instead of getting people to upload pictures, Heineken asked people to stitch together pictures of the US Open grandstand.
The idea was to find a person among the fan-filled grandstands. The winner got a chance to attend the US Open Men’s Final.
There are two ways in which such influencer marketing campaigns can be used. Firstly, when you want to leverage social media influencers to create a buzz around an event. Secondly, when you want to collaborate with a large number of influencers. Instead of reaching out to them individually, you can leverage an event.
Here are some interesting things to note about using events in your influencer campaigns:
Getting influencers to attend an event and announce it on social media will create excitement and drive conversations around it.
Events are also a good platform to collaborate with a group of influencers. They can attend your event, and experience your brand first-hand. When they spread the word about the event, it will enhance your brand’s social media presence.
This also creates a long-term relationship with your influencers. They get a chance at a one-on-one interaction with you. So you should make it an experience they won’t forget easily.
Make sure that influencers get plenty of photo opportunities at these events. This will make it easier for them to create content that you can also use in future. A unique hashtag can help you highlight the event better.
Invites should include a “plus one.” People are more inclined to attend an event if they can bring someone with them. It makes them feel more comfortable.
Details like dress code, RSVP information, transportation/parking, etc. should be clearly mentioned in the invite.
When Universal Studios in Orlando launched the Harry Potter attraction, JK Rowling’s team handpicked 7 influencers to spread the word.
These influencers were the first to know about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Even before the press. They were also invited to a special VIP tour. These 7 influencers spread the word to 350 million Harry Potter fans worldwide.
When Marks and Spencer launched their online store in Australia, they invited fashion and lifestyle influencers to their launch party. The event was hosted by model and television presenter Rebecca Judd, fashion journalist Kate Waterhouse and actress Nadia Fairfax.
Beauty brand, Sephora, partnered with Instagram influencer and beauty expert Tamanna Roashan for a takeover during the “contour month.” The celebrity makeup artist is a well-known contouring expert. She cross-promoted the takeover on her online makeup school, DressYourFaceLive.com.
Tamanna also offered a free training course for her Instagram followers. People who followed both Tamanna and Sephora also got a chance to win a Sephora goodie bag.
Sponsored blog posts are one of the most commonly used influencer marketing campaigns by brands. A sponsored blog review about a product will give you authentic and genuine product feedback. These are actually relied upon by the followers of these influencers for their purchases.
Sponsored blog posts also get indexed by search engines, and have greater lifespan.
Here are some important points to be noted about sponsored blog posts:
A blog post gives the target audience a feel of the product without any research necessary on their part. It also provides a detailed review about the product features.
When you choose an influencer for this campaign, make sure their niche aligns with your brand. Grin’s influencer marketing platform can help you identify relevant influencers quickly and easily.
Communicate your expectations clearly. For example, the word limit, or features to be highlighted. But let them take the lead in creating the content.
Blog posts have a longer lifespan as compared to other social media posts and should be compensated accordingly. You may not need more than one or two influential bloggers for this type of collaboration.
Hershey teamed up with 15 influential food, lifestyle, and family bloggers to promote their birthday-themed bags of Hershey’s Kisses. They were asked to write posts showcasing the products in use.
Blogger, Jesenia Montanez, used her blog, The Latina Homemaker, to give DIY birthday ideas to moms. She also posted seven photos including one of Hershey’s Kisses displayed at Walmart.
Montanez also shared the blog post and an image on Pinterest on her “Party Ideas” board. This has 63 pins and more than 13,400 followers.
Click here for a FREE template for your influencer marketing campaigns involving sponsored blog posts.
If your influencer campaign goal is brand exposure, this is what you should do. Many brands send influencers on trips to exotic locations, conferences, concerts, or exhibitions. They document their experiences, and share it on social media before, during, and even after the trip.
Here are some key things to be noted for influencer marketing campaigns involving travel:
This campaign can boost influencer loyalty, and help you build great relationships. All thanks to the once-in-a-lifetime experience they get.
The brand is in control of the content, since they pick the destination for the influencer.
A travel campaign will give you new and unique content. New destinations will spark creativity, and inspire influencers to create amazing content.
Make sure that the influencer has the opportunity to explore on their own, and don’t need to constantly follow a rigid itinerary.
Apart from the cost of the trip, be prepared to compensate the influencer for the trip.
Alaska Airlines enlisted influencers to highlight their routes to beautiful destinations. They were asked to document their trips on Instagram with #WeekendWanderer.
Abe Kislevitz, who has more than 101,000 followers on Instagram, posted the picture below. It got more than 4,000 likes in less than a day.
Click here for a FREE template you can use for your influencer campaigns involving travel.
When it comes to influencer marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Depending on what your campaign goals are, you can use any of the above influencer campaigns and templates.
Traditional media is wavering when it comes to viewership. Influencer marketing has tremendous reach and impact in this digital age. An increasing number of people are using social media to connect, review, and engage with not just people but businesses as well.
But what's the most efficient way to start an influencer marketing campaign? Searching social media profiles manually, adding qualified influencers to spreadsheets, and reaching out via direct message? There's a better way!
Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.