5 Innovative Influencer Marketing Campaigns
5 Innovative Influencer Marketing Campaigns
2018 is already being called the year of the influencer — is your brand ready to embrace this disruption of the status quo? 2017 saw the true emergence of influencer marketing as a widespread and effective marketing tool. Instagram influencer marketing doubled in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down.
This can be scary for brands that aren’t ready to embrace the disruption of status quo. Many brands struggle to wrap their heads around how this newfangled focus on impressions can drive sales or influence evolving consumer behavior. However, when done correctly and uniquely, influencer marketing can prove to be a lucrative option for brands.
As 2018 kicks off, we’ve put together a list of influencer marketing trailblazers to inspire your marketing efforts:
British Airways UnGrounded
British Airways may have done this campaign back in 2013, before influencer marketing was the hottest buzzword around, and yet a buzz still surrounds it today.
As they flew from Silicon Valley to London, British Airways launched a new type of marketing campaign. Dozens of top minds from the technology world gathered as part of this UnGrounded Innovation Lab. The goal was not to promote British Airways; rather, British Airways wanted to show the effect of putting innovative people in the same room.
The results were remarkable: they developed 22 concepts in a mere 5 hours before selecting a winning concept in 4 key categories relating to STEM-skilled people. These top innovators — influencers, if you will — focused on fostering women in and expanding STEM, meeting U.S. demand for STEM talent, and growing local STEM opportunities in emerging economies. Upon landing, British Airways didn’t tuck away these measures in a file cabinet. Each concept was discussed at the U.N. International Telecommunication Union Committee at the DNA Summit in London, two days after the UnGrounded Lab landed.
With this campaign, British Airways showed that a company can improve their image by putting that image in the hands of influential experts and publicizing that partnership.
Glossier has taken the beauty industry by storm by approaching influencer marketing like no other beauty company dares. They don’t do traditional advertising. They don’t do celebrity marketing. Glossier understands that 90% of their revenue comes from existing customers, so they emphasize growing their network of passionate micro-influencers on social media.
Every six to eight weeks, the company asks its consumers what product they want next and act on that suggestion. Glossier also runs a peer-to-peer sales campaign where its most trusted influencers receive a cut of the profits they generate from selling product to their family and friends.
Glossier’s customers know that the company hears their voices and opinions, and in return they have an emotional share in the company — a company whose fiercely loyal base isn’t likely to go away soon. That’s the power of using your customers to advertise for you.
It’s not every day that a bottled water company earns credit for their environmentally-conscious efforts. Then again, not every bottled water company is Boxed Water.
Their cartons use paper exclusively from well-managed forests. Each of their bottles is BPA free and 100 percent recyclable. Most importantly, Boxed Water collaborates with the National Forest Foundation in the “Retree Project.” The idea is simple: every time someone uses the hashtag #retree on Instagram, Boxed Water plants two trees. The company reached out to Instagrammers with large followings in order to put the #retree hashtag in front of as many people as possible. So far, the campaign has been a success: the NFF has planted over 600,000 trees across the West, and the #retree movement shows no signs of slowing.
NA-KD is another success story in the fashion industry, becoming the fastest company to reach $250 million in revenue. Its strategy was simple: instead of focusing on traditional advertising to become another online store, NA-KD partners with influencers on social media to create inspired campaigns.
For NA-KD, it’s not about the quantity of an influencer’s audience; rather, it’s about the quality of engagement and level of trust an influencer has with their followers. NA-KD uses these influencers to promote NA-KD products to their followers — not exactly a unique concept — but the way they reward the best performers has revolutionized the industry. The influencers whose audiences respond best partner with NA-KD to create their own full collection. These influencers are both sponsors and co-creators, putting their heart into the company and bringing their trusted networks with them.
Nikon x Warner Sound
Influencer marketing thrives on Instagram, fueled by popular stars and their photos and videos. Nikon took this basic principle and turned it into a brilliant campaign at the Warner Sound Festival in 2013.
Nikon put its cameras in the hands of artists and attendees at the festival, ensuring that those photos and videos shown to a large audience were proof themselves of the quality of Nikon’s cameras. These posts as well as live streams from Nikon cameras were tagged with the hashtag #NikonWarnerSound. For all three nights of the festival, that hashtag was among the top trending on Twitter — the dream of any good influencer marketing campaign.
Instead of making the camera the story, Nikon made the artists the story. The camera was just the means of documenting it.
These examples of highly successful influencer campaigns all prove that brands who connect with the product experts their customers trust will see the returns for many years to come.