With the rise of platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, the way in which brands advertise is evolving. How audiences are influenced to purchase products and services is not only happening on tv commercials and billboards, but now it’s happening on social media without people even realizing it.
In this article we will define influencer marketing, analyze the effectiveness of influencer marketing, determine ways to find influencers to partner with, and discuss ten powerful influencer marketing examples.
Before we define influencer marketing, we need to succinctly define what an influencer is. An influencer is a person or brand who has expert knowledge on a particular topic which creates the social influence they have in their industry. The key component of being an influencer is being an expert in your field.
Now that we understand the importance of having expertise as an influencer, we can better define influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing where brands partner with an influencer in order to promote its products or services.
When we compare influencers to celebrities, influencers typically have a smaller online following while celebrities usually have a massive online following. However, even though celebrities have a wider reach, they typically have less influence over their large audience. On the other hand, influencers usually have more impact and influence over their audience, even if it is smaller.
Recommended Reading: Benefits and Drawbacks of Influencer Marketing
Let’s look at it this way: would you rather have an expensive online marketing campaign with a wide reach and average results? Or would you rather have a fairly priced online marketing campaign that reaches a smaller audience but has high engagement and sales numbers?
Influencer marketing campaigns offer brands the opportunity to be more cost-effective with their ad spending while still reaching sales and engagement goals.
One of the simplest and inexpensive ways to find influencers to partner with is to search for them on the various social media platforms you’re looking to advertise on. If you’re looking for an Instagram influencer, you’ll search for relevant hashtags for your brand’s product or service. After weeding through the results, you can directly reach out to each influencer either through a direct message or instructions in their bio.
Recommended Reading: How to Find Micro Influencers to Promote Your Brand
Another option is to work with an agency who specializes in influencer marketing. These types of agencies will already have lists of influencers sorted based on their prospective categories. Brands can then pick and choose who they would like to work with after reviewing all of their information and deciding which influencers are the best fit for them.
Comments by Celebs is a popular Instagram account that showcases the funny, clever, and telling comments celebrities leave on various Instagram posts. HGTV is also known for its active status on social media. This creates the opportunity to seamlessly promote one of their new TV shows.
Comments by Celebs posted an Instagram photo with a funny caption from HGTV. The post was done in the same format as all of their other posts. Some users might not have even realized this was an ad because it was created so seamlessly. Comments by Celebs and HGTV both stayed true to their brands and provided value for their audiences with this promotion.
Some of the most influential influencer marketing campaigns are rolling out on TikTok. Whether backed by large companies or spearheaded by someone looking to go viral, songs are being nurtured on TikTok to make it big.
“Roxanne” by Arizona Zervas and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X are two great examples. These songs simply started out as a few lines of music and clever lyrics. When a fun dance routine was added, users big and small made videos to jump on the trend.
Recommended Reading: 10 Best TikTok Tools for Explosive Growth
As more and more people post dancing videos to these new catchy songs, they’re popularity snowballs. Large influencers become involved, and soon these songs are so popular they find their way onto the radio. When other TikTok users see huge accounts dancing to these songs, they automatically give the songs credibility.
Our third influencer marketing example is between a large clothing brand and a TikTok megastar. American Eagle, a clothing company appealing to high schoolers, and Addison Rae teamed up for several clothing campaigns.
Their ongoing partnership has included a variety of clever advertisements, including a mom jeans TikTok video, a billboard in Times Square, and a unique TikTok dance celebrating American Eagle’s collaboration with Disney.
Addison is known for her dancing on TikTok, and creating her own dance for her followers to recreate is a clever way of promoting the American Eagle and Disney collaboration. Her mom is also a main character in her videos, which created a memorable way for American Eagle to promote their mom jeans line.
As Dunkin’ looks to rebrand itself after dropping the “Donuts” from its name, it’s partnering with micro-influencers to help make this happen. Looking to promote their coffee beverages, the brand led a localized influencer marketing campaign in the Philadelphia area.
With approximately 18,000 followers, this particular influencer doesn’t have a wide reach, but she most likely has significant influence in her local area. This local influencer is going to be more persuasive than a major celebrity at encouraging her followers to stop at Dunkin’ on their way to work in Philadelphia.
Our fifth influencer marketing example is between a huge brand and a lifestyle influencer. Influencer Caitlin Covington lives and breathes fall. She is known for taking beautiful fall pictures showcasing her sweaters, boots, and autumnal-themed beverages. Her followers trust her for decoration, clothing, and drink recommendations.
Caitlin is also known for being accessible, providing her followers with budget-friendly options that are still functional and cute. This is why her partnership with megabrand, Walmart, made sense for both parties. She promoted affordable fall decorations from the major retailer, providing value for both her audience and the brand.
The sixth example of influencer marketing we are going to discuss comes from a YouTube channel with more than 1.6 million subscribers. This couple, Sailing La Vagabonde, posts weekly videos that typically garner hundreds of thousands of views each week.
They also frequently partner with amazon’s audiobook service, Audible. They promote Audible during the video by giving a brief introduction and tutorial on how easy the service is to use, as well as offering a discount count in the description of their video.
This partnership makes sense for both the brand and the YouTube channel because they’re avid audiobook listeners while sailing. Their channel is followed by a lot of sailors, and non-sailors too, that also need some form of entertainment they can listen to and is easy to use. The product is something the couples actually uses out at sea, and their audience trusts their recommendation.
MVMT, a high-end watch company with approachable prices, is known for its widespread use of influencer marketing campaigns to grow their brand. This company has relied heavily on influencers and advertisements on alternative forms of media like podcasts to promote its products.
MVMT’s partnership with Instagram account, whatmyboyfriendwore, is another influencer marketing example that is true to both brands. MVMT loves to show off pictures of real people wearing their watches, while whatmyboyfriendwore is known for posting stylish pictures of men’s fashion.
Recommended Reading: Best Instagram Hashtags to Use in Order to Attract Views to Your Brand
By partnering together, whatmyboyfriendwore is receiving exposure for his Instagram account, and MVMT is receiving influential and seamless advertising of its product. The content is beautiful, aspirational, and effective for both brands.
HelloFresh relies on influencers of all sizes to promote its meal kit delivery service. By partnering with moms, working women, and other types of busy women, they are able to better influence their target audience to start buying their products.
Relying on women who already have a trusted voice in the space means the audience is more receptive to the promotional messaging. The influencers HelloFresh partners with are able to tell the brand’s story and its benefits to an audience that is more likely to be open to the messaging.
Our ninth influencer marketing example shows how big brands are investing in this relatively new marketing technique. American Express is an avid advertiser of their Platinum cards, and they’ve been using influencers to help speak directly to their audience.
When looking to target young business professionals, entrepreneurs, and avid travelers, who better to speak to them than one of their own? American Express chose influencers who represent their target audience: big spenders, frequent travelers, and entrepreneurs who are growing their own businesses.
By partnering with influencers in each of these categories, American Express can effectively communicate their message directly to their target audience through a medium that is more trustworthy.
Our tenth and final example of influencer marketing shows that brands can take it one step further. BECCA Cosmetics partnered with Chrissy Teigen not just on a marketing campaign, but on an entirely new product line.
Chrissy Teigen is a model known for openly sharing her opinions on social media, and she has been an avid user of BECCA Cosmetics since before their partnership. By working together on a new product line, Chrissy was able to bring her followers along for the ride, building excitement and interest in the product line before its launch.
After defining influencer marketing and reviewing ten powerful influencer marketing examples, it’s easy to see why this new marketing technique is growing in popularity. It’s an effective technique that can be cost-effective while reaching a wide range of consumers, creating brand awareness, and boosting sales among a highly-engaged target audience.