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Top Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns
With almost 4 million people using social media in 2021 alone, it is clear that traditional advertising and marketing alone is not going to cut it for brands any longer. In order for companies to more easily reach, engage with, and relate to their target audiences, it is crucial to invest both time and money into a solid digital marketing strategy. One of the most successful forms of digital marketing in 2021 and beyond is influencer marketing campaigns.
Looking for a way to get target audiences excited about your product or service, but not sure where to start on an influencer marketing campaign? If so, this article is here to help you out! To learn more about the background information behind creating a great campaign strategy, what to look for when hiring a good fit social media influencer, what types of influencer marketing campaigns bring brands success, and so much more, then keep on reading!
What Is An Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Let’s start with the basics of defining an influencer marketing campaign. In short, an influencer marketing campaign is a mutually beneficial partnership between a brand and a targeted social media or digital influencer. In this form of marketing, influencers are compensated in exchange for discussing a product, service, or value of the brand. In many ways, it is very similar to the celebrity endorsements that continue to be found in the world of more traditional marketing and advertising.
Some of the best platforms and social media sites that an influencer marketing campaign could be housed on includes:
- Personal blogs and websites
- So much more!
What Are The Top Benefits Of An Influencer Campaign?
Statistically speaking, influencer marketing has grown into a shocking 5-1o billion dollar industry over the past five years alone! This makes it undoubtedly one of the most lucrative and highly profitable tactics in the current marketing world today. Here are a few of the many reasons why influencer campaigns are an absolute must in today’s social media obsessed society:
#1: Improved Brand Awareness
Influencer marketing allows you to increase brand awareness and have a much wider reach than you would have otherwise had. While you might have a strong social media presence built completely by yourself, partnering with an influencer allows you to showcase your brand to an entirely new set of eyes within their audience. This can massively increase your brand awareness and reputation.
#2: Increased Social Media Followers And Engagement
The beauty of an influencer marketing campaign is that it makes it easier than ever to drive new traffic and followers to your social media platforms. If an influencer is posting and tagging your product or social media handles in their posts, it is only a matter of time before new engagement, followers, and hopefully purchases will emerge on your pages as a result.
#3: An Organic Connection With Target Audience
No matter who lies within your target audience, the majority of people spend an ample amount of time on the internet and social media platforms. The great thing about influencer marketing is that it sneaks your brand into the spaces that your target audience is most likely already found in. The values, brand story, or product associated with your company are integrated and embedded within entertaining content instead of taking away from it through traditional ads. Think about it: it feels much more natural for a viewer to watch a video that uses your product rather than watching a 30-second commercial that distracts from their entertainment.
#4: Get A Great Return On Investment
If you choose a strategic influencer partnership, the chances are you will see a solid return on investment coming your way. In fact, statistics show that business typically earns about $5.20 for every dollar spent on their influencer marketing campaign!  While the price to hire an influencer can vary depending on how well-known they are and what their personal rate is, the leads you will generate typically outweigh these fees over time! Furthermore, influencer marketing can definitely help your brand cut costs by reducing the need for purchasing quite as many expensive traditional ads and digital display ads as well.
#5: It Builds Trust and Authenticity
Much of an influencer’s success comes from the relationship that they build with their audience members. If audiences see your product recommended by an influencer that they already have a basis of trust and respect for, the chances are that they will take their recommendation to heart and associate your brand as a more trustworthy figure as well.
Not only this, but since 63% of audiences aged 18 to 34 trust influencers more than brands speaking of themselves , they are much more likely to take the opinion of their favorite influencer rather than just the messages from your advertisements, display ads, and other forms of personal promotion.
#6: It Is Great For Relationship Building
At the end of the day, relationship building should be at the forefront of a brand’s marketing strategy. Not only will your brand build a closer relationship with your target audience through influencer marketing, but the process of hiring and partnering with an influencer is a great way to forge a strong friendship and partnership with them as well. If an influencer marketing campaign is a smashing success for both parties, there is so much potential for future mutually beneficial campaigns, events, and collaborations to consider! You truly never know what connections will serve your brand in the future, so why not build as many as possible?
Who Are Social Media Influencers?
What exactly is a social media influencer after all? While in the past it was the traditional tv and movie stars that had the most social power and influence on our society, a new wave of celebrities on social media platforms have become equally relevant.
To put it simply, a social media influencer is defined as a person that has gained a loyal, trusted, and dedicated following on one or more social media platforms. Social media influencers are oftentimes considered to be trendsetters and role models for their followers, and most have great credibility and notoriety in the online world. The term influencer itself encompasses a wide range of content creators. Some warrant smaller and more intimate audiences, while others are inspiring millions of followers on a daily basis.
In comparison to a typical celebrity, an online content creator is much more relatable to the everyday person. Since anyone can technically become an influencer, these creators tend to be much more down to earth and have more relatable backgrounds than traditional celebrities do. This is because many influencers started their careers filming, posting, or writing content as a hobby at home before getting any pay or recognition, as it was only in more recent years that influencers were granted high-paying sponsorship opportunities.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, a few examples of the most popular types of digital influencers that brands should consider working with for a campaign include the following:
Believe it or not, a micro influencer is one of the most valuable social media partnerships you can have! This is because a micro influencer typically makes up for their lower follower count in audience engagement rate. These influencers, though not quite as well known across the internet, usually have a closer and tighter-knit community of a few hundred or thousand followers on their platforms. This makes them more approachable and relatable than those huge creators with a million followers. Plus, most micro influencers will work with brands at a smaller budget than a viral sensation.
While most influencers begin their careers on the internet, some traditional celebrities have also converted their presence into online social media content as well. Celebrities typically already have the positive notoriety and reputation before transferring onto social media platforms, which brings them a built-in loyal fanbase. However, it is important to note that traditional celebrities usually come at a much higher price tag than the typical influencer, so they aren’t the best fit for a smaller budget campaign. As mentioned earlier, a traditional celebrity might not be as relatable to the everyday person as well.
Bloggers and Vloggers:
A blogging influencer writes articles and posts on topics of their interest or expertise, usually housed on a personal website or social media platform. Blogs can range from just about any topic and niche, from cooking blogs, personal reflection blogs, fashion blogs, personal finance blogs, and just about everything in-between!
Video content creators, sometimes referred to with the nickname of ‘vloggers’ or video bloggers, have an audience from making video content. Traditional video creators are typically labeled as a Youtube influencer for longer content, but with the popularity of short form videos on the rise, many popular creators reach millions on Tiktok and Instagram reels as well! Since videos let creators speak directly to their audience, they are generally more personal than just a photo. Video influencers have the unique opportunity to show off their personality, interests, and lifestyle in greater detail than other platforms.
How To Find The Right Social Media Influencer For Your Brand
A successful campaign would not be possible without choosing the right influencer. A social media influencer can have a million subscribers or followers, but if they aren’t the right fit for your brand, the chances are you will not see the conversions or growth you desire from your influencer campaign. It can appear inauthentic and scripted to audiences when their favorite Instagram influencers are promoting a product that isn’t aligned with their typical content. So, before even thinking about the content of your influencer marketing campaign, it is crucial to pinpoint the best-fit person for the job.
When scouring the internet to research the right influencer, keep in mind these questions, whether it is a micro influencer or one that gets a million impressions:
Who Is Their Target Audience, And Does This Align With Yours?
Think about the various demographic and psychographic indicators that you are looking to reach in your social media campaign. What is the age, level of education, lifestyle, gender, and occupation of your target audience? After you know the answers to these questions for your brand, compare them to the influencer in question to see if your audiences might align and overlap in any way.
Key demographics and psychographics that might be important for your influencer’s audience to share with yours include the following:
- Stage of life (ex. Gen Z vs. Millenial vs. Boomer)
- Geographic Location
- Level of Income
- Educational background
- Interests and hobbies
- Opinions or Values
- Political affiliations
- Anything else that might dictate or influence their purchasing decisions!
What Is The Type Of Content That They Provide Their Audiences?
No matter the social media platform that an influencer posts content on, the majority of content creators have unique expertise, a specific interest or passion, or a defining personality trait that their content revolves around. It is key to choose an influencer that is closely related to your brand’s sector. This makes the partnership look and feels much more organic. For example, a makeup brand would be much more successful to work with a beauty blogger than with an educational podcast.
No matter the industry that your brand resides in, the chances are that there is a perfect influencer for you to work with! A few of the many categories and sectors of influencers to work with include:
- Makeup & Beauty
- So much more!
What Is There Level Of Audience Engagement Rates?
While it is tempting to look solely at the follower count of influencers, the level of audience engagement can be equally as important. Influencers with a million views are not as valuable as smaller influencers that consistently bring in ample likes, comments, and overall audience engagement.
This is because engagement shows that their audiences care about their content, and put in the extra time and effort to show their support with more than just a follow. This means that their followers probably care more about the recommendations that they bring to their content as well. Similarly, it is always a good idea to look for an influencer that responds and engages right back to their followers as well. Engagement truly is a two-way street!
What Is Their Reputation?
It is always important to think about the reputation that your influencer has amongst other brands, their peers, and their audiences. Are they involved in any public scandals that could bring negative press towards your brand? Are they known for speaking explicitly about topics that aren’t family friendly, which in turn might be inappropriate for younger audiences? Considering these questions and more will help you determine if their reputation will bolster or diminish your brand’s presence along the way.
Furthermore, due to the rise of social media’s popularity and the desire that many people have to become the next famous influencer, there are many fake influencer accounts circulating the web that purchase fake follows and likes to appear successful for brands to work with. Because of this, it is crucial to always double check the legitimacy of whoever you plan to work with. Checking their audience engagement and explore what brands they have worked with in the past, if any.
The Best Platforms For A Top Successful Influencer Campaign
An incredible influencer marketing campaign is only possible if you choose the best-fit platform for your brand. Researching social media platforms that your target audience is most commonly found on will help you decide the most relevant platform as well. Your target audience’s demographics and psychographics will heavily influence the platforms that they are found on, so use this data wisely when you are choosing between social media sites.
In the meantime, let’s explore four of the most popular social platforms that influencers have built their audiences on. All four of these sites lend themselves well to a killer successful campaign:
Youtube is a very popular video platform that brings in millions of views on a daily basis. A youtube channel can post entertaining videos at varying lengths and themes, from 5 minute vlogs to hour long in-depth analyses. Because of the versatility in the content’s length, brands can get creative with the ways that the youtube influencer can promote their product. Whether it is a product review, integrating the brand throughout the video, or providing affiliate links in the description, the potential for Youtube is truly endless.
Instagram is a photo and video-heavy social media platform where users post content to their curated Instagram feed. An Instagram influencer is a great choice for influencer marketing because Instagram allows them to showcase your product through a sponsored post in an aesthetically pleasing way. These posts can usually be fitted to their unique feed, style, and creativity. Instagram also has a 24 hour story feature for posting pictures and clips on the fly, and can even link to a brand’s website through its helpful ‘swipe up’ feature.
Facebook is one of the oldest and most reliable forms of social media, boasting users across all age ranges and demographics. On Facebook, social media influencers might have a community Facebook group or even a Facebook fan page. While Facebook might not be as popular with influencers as the uber popular Instagram and Youtube, there is still great potential for campaigns to occur on this platform through posts of branded content or even by conducting a Facebook Live.
Tik Tok is one of the newest spaces for influencer marketing, and is a platform that is entirely made up of short-form videos. The rapid rise of Tiktok has given space for a new wave of popular influencers, mostly teenagers and young adults. More specifically, Tiktok has become one of the most popular platforms for reaching the coveted Gen Z audience, as the typical age range of Tiktok users is between 16 and 24 years old. Since this platform is pretty new, there is a lot of untapped potential for brands to get creative and have fun with their influencer campaign strategy!
While these four platforms are only a few of the many spaces that your campaign can flourish in, they are a great place to start your influencer strategy in!
What Makes A Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign? 6 Tips For A Solid Marketing Strategy
With a better understanding of who influencers are and what an influencer campaign can bring your business, it is time to plan a successful influencer strategy! It takes time, effort, and a lot of planning to ensure that campaigns run as smoothly as possible, which is why a campaign strategy is key.
In no particular order, here are some key tips for running a top notch influencer marketing campaign:
#1: Always Do Your Research
It is important to always make sure to do your research on the influencers that you are considering for a campaign. As we’ve already highlighted earlier, it is important to think critically about what influencers are going to best align with who and what your brand represents. A couple of tips for finding relevant influencers online include:
- Hashtag Research: Many influencers use hashtags within the captions of their social media content, especially if it is a sponsored post. Searching hashtags that relate to your brand on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other sites is a great way to find relevant influencers that fall within your key demographic.
- Tools and Applications: Lucky for you, there are a variety of digital tools available online that makes it much easier to find, analyze, and pinpoint the best social media influencers for your brand. This includes Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, and Trendspottr, to name a few of the many ones out there!
#2: Track Results
Having clear and tangible ways of measuring the success of your campaign is crucial. How else will you know if you had a solid return on investment with your campaign? Make sure to use analytics and influencer marketing platforms to your advantage, so you can see what growth was made and what improvements can be made for future influencer marketing campaigns.
#3: Set Measurable Goals
It is important to consider the goals that you hope to achieve as a result of your influencer campaign. While some brands use influencers primarily as a means of increasing brand awareness, others might find more value in using them to generate sales. Whatever the end goal might be for your brand, make sure to set them with tangible ways of tracking them.
Here are some common influencer marketing goals with examples of ways to track their success!
- Increasing Brand Engagement: track the changes in the number of follows, likes, and comments on your social media platforms as a result of the partnership
- Increasing Leads and Sales: keep track of the number of sales that were made after influencers shared a link to your product, for example.
#4: Stay Organized
When it comes to a great influencer marketing strategy, staying organized is key. There are a lot of moving parts involved in a campaign, so it is essential to always stay on top of managing your metrics and analytics, communicating with your influencer in a timely fashion, and creating clear-cut deadlines and timelines for when each part of a campaign should be accomplished by. This ensures that things run as seamlessly as possible.
If this process of researching, communicating with influencers, and tracking the success of influencer campaigns seems too difficult to keep track of alone, that is completely understandable! When in doubt, it is always helpful to invest in hiring an outside source such as a TikTok influencer marketing agency. Working with an agency that has years of experience handling these partnerships can significantly help with staying organized and efficient throughout the process.
#5: Set A Budget
You should only launch an influencer campaign if you are confident that the return on investment is worth it for your business. Make sure to only work with influencers that are within your designated budget and price point, and always do your research on what the rates are for each individual creator. As mentioned earlier, the financial benefits of working with a micro influencer with great audience engagement can outweigh hiring a more prestigious influencer that costs a fortune.
Time is also one of the most valuable resources that your business has. Because of this, when thinking about a clear budget for your campaign, it is equally important to consider the amount of time and effort that is needed from your team to bring the influencer campaign to life.
#6: Reach Out To Influencers The Right Way
Although you might not have the opportunity to meet with a potential influencer partner face to face, it is important to do everything in your power to establish an organic and personable relationship behind the screen. Behind every Instagram post and Youtube video is a real-life person, so it always best to approach influencers with the same kindness and respect for their time that you would have in person. This can look like this in your outreach messages:
- Highlighting the reasons that you want to work with them and the qualities that you admire from them
- Maintaining a friendly and approachable tone through your messaging
- Keeping messages brief and succinct by explaining the partnership in clear detail
- Emphasizing the mutually beneficial relationship that you hope to build with them throughout the campaign
When it comes to the best way to reach out to an influencer, this most definitely depends on their level of popularity. With smaller creators and micro influencers, sometimes all that is needed is privately messaging them on their social media platforms. On the other hand, larger influencers are usually much more reachable through a business email or even a talent agency. Whatever the case may be, implementing the above tactics will increase your chances of hearing back from them!
7 Types Of Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns Every Brand Needs To Consider
Once you nail down the best choice of influencer and strategy, you are well on your way to a successful campaign! But what, exactly, are the most successful tactics for running a solid influencer marketing campaign? The answer to this question is entirely up to your business, as there is no one size fits all approach to influencer marketing. Depending on your unique target audience, choice of influencer, budget, and a variety of other factors, a successful campaign can be achieved with a mix of these influencer marketing tactics.
Below are a few of the many exciting ways that you can feasibly partner with influencers. Rest assured, using any of these strategies or a combination of a few of them will bring your brand a top influencer marketing campaign with ease!
#1: Sponsored Content
In a sponsored piece of content, brands typically pay the influencer in exchange for showcasing an element of your product or brand. Sponsored content is a great influencer marketing tactic, as it is pretty straightforward and easy to facilitate. In general, sponsored content can take shape in many ways depending on your style and platform of choice. This might look like a sponsored Instagram post where an influencer poses with your product, a quick ad-read midway through a podcast episode, or even a Youtube vlog where the influencer uses your product throughout their day. The possibilities are truly endless, so be sure to get creative and have fun with it!
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when creating incredible sponsored posts is to give up some of the creative control and give the influencer some freedom to curate the content to fit their unique aesthetic. You can do as much research on an influencer and their audience as you want, but in the end, an influencer knows what their audience wants to see better than you do.
If a brand has too many guidelines and too much of a say in the parameters of the content, there is a good chance that the post will stray too far from the influencer’s typical content. This reads inauthentic and salesy to audiences, which could turn them off from both the influencer and your brand. While of course, it is important for the post to have some structure and points to be hit, it should mirror the content that the influencer already creates.
A Killer Sponsored Content Example: Fiji Water and Danielle Bernstein Bodyworewhat
Fiji, the well-known water bottle company, did an incredible sponsored collaboration with Instagram fitness influencer Danielle Bernstein. In this dynamic campaign, Danielle created a series of sponsored Instagram workout videos that were centered around the importance of staying hydrated with Fiji water. This was a smashing success because the product was seamlessly integrated into Danielle’s content, as the videos that she created with Fiji stayed completely within her realm of typical fitness content and advice.
#2: Contests And Giveaways
Who doesn’t love a good giveaway full of free stuff? In a campaign giveaway, a brand gives an influencer a prize to gift to one of their followers through a contest. Because contests give away free items, they incentivize followers to get engaged with your content. Plus, taking the extra time to show that you care for their followers enough to give something away for free is an easy way to build up your reputation immensely. Typically giveaways involve followers commenting on a post, reposting images or videos using a branded hashtag, tagging friends in the comments of a video or photo, uploading a photo of their own, or using a combination of these tactics to enter into the competition. In order to keep your contest running smoothly without any audience confusion, make sure to provide in-depth content details somewhere on your website or online!
A Killer Contest and Giveaway Example: Hypebeat And GOAT
The fashion blogger Hypebeast partnered up with GOAT, an online fashion store for a giveaway. This was a great example of a giveaway because both the brand and the blog were in the fashion space and had a similar target audience. This giveaway was mutually beneficial for both of their audiences and brought in a serious growth in followers to the both of them.
#3: Social Media Takeover
In a social media takeover, brands temporarily relinquish control of their social media platforms and hand them over to an influencer to run for a period of time. This can be as short as a day or can last multiple days or weeks. During a social media takeover, influencers have the opportunity to share a plethora of content, including stories, photos, videos, and live streams, and more! Social media takeovers are a winning campaign idea because they give audiences the chance to get to know the influencers on a more personal level and can show fun behind the scenes photos and clips.
Despite its benefits, it is important to know that you should have complete faith and trust in the influencer that you hire for this project. This is because influencers are typically given access to your brand’s social media passwords, and getting those leaked is the last thing you’d want!
A Killer Social Media Takeover Example: Dunkin Donuts
Dunkin Donuts is a prime example of what a social media takeover could look like. On National Donut Day, Dunkin Donuts partnered with 8 social media influencers to take over their Snapchat account. One of the coolest parts about this campaign was that it simultaneously covered multiple time zones and they even took the time to design location-specific Geofilters for followers to use throughout the day! They truly covered all of their bases to make national donut day a blast for everyone involved!
#4: Affiliate Marketing
In general, affiliate marketing is a great way to dip your toes into the world of influencer marketing without having to shell out the big bucks for a full-blown sponsorship! T0 put it simply, affiliate marketing is when brands give influencers a special “affiliate link” to promote in their content and on social media. In turn, a portion of every sale purchased from their followers using the said link is rewarded back to the influencer’s pocket. This tactic is perfect for smaller brands with lower budgets because it is quite a low-risk partnership. There is no money lost if the followers don’t use the link or purchase from you, there is only the potential for more money to be gained for both your brand and the influencer!
A Killer Affiliate Marketing Example: Amazon Influencer Program
Amazon is one of the best brands in the affiliate influencer marketing space. Amazon does a great job at partnering with influencers in a mutually beneficial way. In their concept, the Amazon influencer program, influencers create a custom amazon store and list some of their favorite products from the site. If their followers end up using their link to purchase something from their store, they make a portion of the proceeds.
#5: Product Reviews
In a product review, brands sent influencers a product in exchange for an honest review. Product reviews are one of the best influencer marketing options available for establishing social proof and give ample time and space for your product to be put into the limelight! Product reviews are best suited for a youtube or Instagram unboxing video, as they are typically too in-depth for just a photo. Similar to the affiliate marketing idea, product reviews are the perfect budget-friendly option. This is because the payment is typically the free product sent in for review, so there is no need to pay huge rates and fees with this one!
#6: Product Collaborations
If you have an exciting new product that is in the works, a perfect opportunity to get an influencer campaign going is by bringing an influencer into the loop through a collaboration! In a product collaboration, influencers can help your brand co-create a product or piece of content with the hopes of getting their audiences interested in buying. Some of the best collaboration ideas involve co-created makeup palettes, holiday gift sets, clothing, and skincare products, to name a few.
Because product collaborations involve the creation of an entirely new product in partnership with your influencer, these typically take a lot more work than most. There is ample planning, communication, commitment, and relationship building between you and the influencer, so it is important to be prepared and to know exactly what you are getting into when launching this type of campaign!
A Killer Product Collab Example: Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Cosmetics
An excellent example of a killer product collaboration was between Morphe Cosmetics and the popular Youtube beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill. Because Jaclyn Hill already had millions of followers and was highly regarded as a talented makeup artist in the Youtube space, she was a great choice of content creators for creating an eye shadow palette for Morphe Cosmetics. Jaclyn’s fanbase of makeup lovers blended perfectly with Morphe’s similar target audience.
In Conclusion: Influencer Marketing Is Here To Stay
As you can see from the content of this article, it is clear that influencer marketing is here to stay. It will do nothing but grow and develop further in the coming years, as more social media applications and websites rise to popularity. With incredible benefits for building relationships with both a new influencer partnership and your audience, what could be stopping you from getting started on an influencer strategy today?
After learning more about what goes on in the planning process for a top successful influencer marketing campaign, you are well on your way to applying these techniques to create an incredible future marketing strategy for your brand!
Create The Campaign Strategy Of Your Dreams
Creating the campaign strategy of your dreams has never been more tangible than when working with HireInfluence. This is because partnering with the talented professionals at HireInfluence grants your brand access to the best brains of today’s current influencer marketing space. HireInfluence connects brands to the influencer partnerships of their dreams! Some of the services that this incredible agency offers include:
- Strategy Development
- Influencer Curation
- Influencer Validation
- Influencer Negotiation
- Influencer Presentation
- Influencer Contracting
- So much more!
With hands-on experience in influencer marketing for the past decade, this influencer marketing agency will help your brand flourish today!