Influencer Marketing Strategies Continue to Thrive!
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. Brands have created a wide range of influencer marketing strategies for a myriad of products and services. Some brands simply dip their toes in the water without any real planning or forethought. Many others, though, jump in with gusto, and the results are regularly impressive. As we included in our 50 Influencer Marketing Stats post, a recent survey of marketers shows that the average return on influencer campaigns has reached $US7.50 per dollar spent. However, influencer marketing can bring in a return of over 900%.
We recently highlighted a successful influencer marketing winner from the 9th Annual Shorty Awards – Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. It says something that a major international awards ceremony for social media and influencer marketing has been held 9 times annually. And each year, the quality of the entrants grows.
With influencer marketing having established itself so quickly, it comes as no surprise that there have been many effective and innovative influencer marketing strategies. But which ones really stand out? Which influencer marketing strategies have truly changed the world of advertising? Which influencer campaigns have made the world a better place?
We have come up with five influencer marketing strategies and campaigns that have had an incredible influence (pun intended) on the world, along with an entire industry that has been turned on its head by influencer marketing.
1. The Fashion and Beauty Industries
How Influencer Marketing Strategies Have Changed the Fashion and Beauty Industries.
There are probably no industries that have benefited more from the advent of influencer marketing than fashion and beauty. It is a match made in Heaven. People take photos of their new looks or styles and share them with the world.
New clothing, makeup and hair designs. Such things make incredibly evocative images that people (women mostly) love to imagine for themselves.
This is particularly the case when the images are shared by those who have come to be regarded as influencers. These are the people who dictate tastes and who have the respect of millions.
Although celebrities still have a role here, it is really the influencers who rule the roost. For example, macro-influencers like Zoella, are genuinely becoming huge role models for young women.
The Fashion and Beauty Shift
In the past, women gained their styling tips and ideas from glossy magazines. Now they gain their fashion and beauty ideas from women they consider to be peers online.
Every marketer knows this. They recognise how influential many of the bloggers and vloggers now are. They don’t ignore the social media statistics either. How could they ignore numbers like Zoella Zeebo’s 11.1 million Instagram followers and her 11.8 million subscribers on YouTube?
The leading influencers now make sizeable incomes courtesy of the top brands. The boundaries between celebrity and influencer are beginning to blur.
L’Oréal Paris has changed the entire way it budgets for campaigns now, with sources claiming that up to 70% of their PR budget is allocated for working with influencers, and just 30 percent for traditional, editorial placement.
“The new celebrities are the social influencers, and quite honestly some make more money than the people who get Emmy Awards,” says John Demsey, Executive Group President at Estée Lauder.
Undoubtedly, influencer marketing has definitely changed the world of fashion and beauty.
2. The Format of Influencer Marketing Changed
Revolve – A Campaign That Changed How Influencer Marketing Works.
Having seen how influencer marketing revolutionises the worlds of fashion and beauty it is only fitting that we highlight a key fashion campaign.
A year ago, women’s fashion e-commerce site, Revolve, rented a 9 bedroom-mansion in the Hamptons – one of the swankier seaside resorts of New York. Over a month of Summer 2016, an A-list team of celebrity social media influencers stayed at the Revolve house.
Revolve had already experienced the power of influencer marketing at the Hamptons a year previously and wanted to take the activity further.
In the 2016 version, Chrissy Teigen, Hailey Baldwin, Kim Kardashian and Nicole Ritchie hosted events at the house and invited more than 20 of their celebrity friends to stay with them.
The #RevolveInTheHamptoms Chromo-Influencer® Party
Revolve created a special hashtag – #RevolveintheHamptons to help their celebrity Chromo-Influencers® promote their events.
The invitees included many fashion and beauty celebrities with a high Instagram presence – most of whom exceeded 1 million followers.
Revolve paid for accommodation costs, including the mansion rental and the visitors’ travel. Importantly they gave each influencer a clothing credit (estimated to be $2,000) and paid them appearance fees.
The attendees were required to make two Instagram posts a day, using the #RevolveintheHamptons tag. In reality, people had so much fun that they posted much more than their required number of posts.
Revolve kept the guest list changing and fresh over the month. They also provided regular entertainment for their visitors and even allowed for a 2-week residency by celebrity tattooist, Jon Boy.
Unsurprisingly, the guests wore Revolve fashion clothing (from a number of its labels) constantly while they were at the mansion. They made a point of showcasing their many outfits with their Instagram posts.
Clearly, many of the women who saw their celebrity heroes wearing Revolve fashion decided that they should follow suit. Revolve sales skyrocketed, to the point that they are now a $US400 million per year business.
To conclude, influencer marketing has helped turn a relatively small eCommerce start-up into a fashion powerhouse.
3. Micro-Influencers got the World Fit
Reebok – How Micro-Influencers Worked to Improve People’s Fitness.
Reebok certainly knows about how brands go through cycles from being viewed as trendy to being considered old school. In the 1980s Reebok gained fame for the Reebok Freestyle aerobics shoe, the first athletic shoe designed for women. For a while, they flourished as one of the world’s top sportswear companies.
Over time, though, they became to be seen more as representing the establishment and less as a trend setter.
According to The History of Reebok in the Sneaker Industry, “The Reebok shoe company is like a streaky jump shooter; when they are hot they are hot, but when they are not nobody is interested. This has been a way of life for the Reebok brand since its inception.”
Adidas acquired the brand in 2006 and this initially resulted in a 14% decrease in sales. Clearly, the brand needed to take a new direction.
Reebok made a fundamental decision in 2010 when it signed a $US10 million deal with CrossFit and finished working with most of its existing properties.
A key part of the CrossFit philosophy is to encourage its fans to promote the fitness programme with their friend and contacts. This effectively turned an army of CrossFit fans into a hoard of micro-influencers.
CrossFit is now practised by members at over 13,000 affiliated gyms – and nearly every member is a micro- influencer, and by virtue of their deal, supporter of Reebok.
Reebok has continued to work with fitness influencers in other areas too. It currently uses a network of 1,200 running experts helping it promote running and in particular its $150-per pair Floatride Run shoes. It hopes that these influencers will get more people running – preferably wearing Reebok gear.
4. “I Am a Witness” Bullying Prevention Campaign
Influencers helped put a lot of light on a social issue that plagues the world.
As much as we promote and discuss the benefits of social media there can be one less pleasant side, particularly amongst vulnerable teenagers – online bullying. Bullying itself has been around for years, of course, however, in the pre-internet days, it tended to be more open and less subtle.
One of the problems with bullying (both online and in the offline world) is that the victims often clam up and don’t talk about their torment. Sometimes the bullying only becomes noticed by others when it is too late.
Most teenagers use social media, and 88% of them claim to have witnessed people saying mean or cruel things online. The Ad Council decided to create an influencer marketing campaign focusing on all of these silent witnesses. They named this influencer campaign the “I Am a Witness” campaign.
They targeted teens and tweens aged 11-17 – an audience who are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional media. The aim was to create and promote a new emoji designed to shut down bullying. The emoji is a stylised eye – to recognise that if “I” just sit back and let bullying happen then “I” am a witness.
The Ad Council created an app, called the I Am a Witness Keyboard, containing emoji, stickers and GIFs, so anybody seeing a bully can tell them to stop. Apparently, 81% of bullying stops when somebody steps in.
Great Influencer Marketing Strategies Can Save Lives
They decided the best way to reach their target audience was with strong influencer marketing strategies. The Ad Council worked with a range of influencers to 11-17 year-olds, many of whom participated in the feature video. In this video, the influencers read mean comments about themselves, and then left viewers with the message: “Now when you see bullying, you can do something about it.” They declare “I Am a Witness” and ask viewers to stand up to bullying with the eye emoji.
The influencers also created their own videos on the subject and shared them on their social media channels.
Overall the official and influencer videos generated 19 million views. People made 113,000 downloads of the app and used the campaign hashtag #IAmAWitness 29,000 times on Twitter and Instagram.
Influencer marketing definitely helped to get the anti-bullying message to the teens and tweens, and clearly made an important difference.
5. Tyler Oakley’s YouTue Campaign to Help Suicide Prevention
The Tyler Oakley Trevor Youth Project also helped raise awareness surrounding suicide prevention.
The worst effect of bullying can, of course, be that the victim considers suicide. The Trevor Project is a non-profit organisation in America that focuses on suicide prevention, particularly of LGBTQ kids.
James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone created the project in 1998, naming it after their 1994 Academy Award-winning short film Trevor, a movie about Trevor, a gay thirteen-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, attempts to take his life. When the movie aired on television in 1998 the filmmakers searched for a relevant support number to broadcast, only to find that there wasn’t one.
As a result, they decided to set up the Trevor Lifeline. This still remains America’s only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.
They have had a few high-profile benefactors, including Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter).
The Trevor Project entered the world of influencer marketing and social media in 2014, however, when YouTube personality Tyler Oakley started a fundraiser. His initial aim was to collect $150,000 for the Trevor Project. Tyler has more than 6 million subscribers to his channel.
Tyler Oakley’s supporters shared details of the fundraiser far and wide, and they managed to raise the $150,000 in just six days. There was a great deal of interaction and engagement, with live streams and live tweets. The organisation reached a huge audience and raised awareness of the LGBTQ young community matters.
In the end, the fundraiser ran for about 50 days and raised $525,754. Influencer marketing strategies, such as this one, are definitely beginning to change the world for the better.
Influencer Marketing Made its Mark
Each of the influencer marketing strategies detailed above has impacted the world in their own way. Influencer marketing has changed the world of advertising and the way in which causes and charities are promoted, as outlined in the 5 examples. And this is something that is going to undoubtedly continue because of the bare power influencers have over their audiences. Brands cannot afford to miss out.