Why should businesses collaborate with influencers? What are the best influencer marketing examples, and what makes a good influencer marketing campaign? We’re glad you asked, because we’ve got you covered!
In 2017, Subaru launched its #MeetAnOwner campaign. As an influencer marketing campaign, influencers from Instagram and YouTube including magician Zach King (@zachking), artist Jay Nelson (@jay) and stuntman Devin Graham (@devinsupertramp), got involved with videos and posts featuring Subaru.
The campaign focused on positioning Subaru as a brand suitable for any adventure, and sought out a range of bold, adventurous influencers to help get the message across to a diverse target audience with a shared interest in pushing forward into new frontiers.
To note here was how the influencers involved kept their own style and flavor for the videos they contributed, while Subaru took a backseat as a feature. This made the campaign look and feel authentic rather than branded content.
2. Rihanna, Fenty Beauty
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty dropped in September 2017, coinciding with New York Fashion week. The makeup line launch was a bombshell to the beauty industry, long hounded for refusing to cater meaningfully to women of color.
The new line shook that up with a jaw-dropping range of shades. It was an excellent viral influencer marketing example, starting with celebrity clout and spreading like wildfire, reaching incredibly specific target audiences right across the social media landscape.
Rihanna (@badgirlriri) herself played a major influencer role in the product launch with makeup videos of the pop superstar and reaching out to a range of beauty bloggers and influencers to showcase the product’s sheer range. Notable examples of influencers for this campaign included Nigerian-Irish beauty blogger @themsdebdeb, albino beauty blogger @acondria, @kyliejenner, and the American-Sudanese @shahdbatal. The organic reach of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line was unparalleled and soon anyone interested in makeup and inclusion became the product’s volunteer micro influencer.
Celebrity influencers are an expensive option for a campaign. They can, however, give impressive clout to help you gain significant brand awareness.
3. Rihanna, Savage X Fenty
Like her Fenty Beauty makeup line, Rihanna’s latest launch, a lingerie line, is all about shaking things up and calling out an industry for catering only to specific women: the products specifically cater to a wide range of skin tones and body types, including plus-sized women. Rihanna (@badgirlriri) again plays a big role in promoting the products herself, wearing them to public events and instagramming her outfits. Also featured on the Savage X Fenty Instagram (@savagexfenty) are influencer and micro influencer models like LuLu B (@louisvittoncrocs), Leomie Anderson (@leomieanderson), and Faith Jaggernauth (@fleurdefoi)
4. Tinder’s #Menprovement Campaign
For a different take on influencer marketing examples, we have Tinder’s #Menprovement campaign, which tapped into another major current trend: memes. Tinder paired up with some of Instagram’s top meme accounts, like @mytherapistsays for a series of comedy posts featuring the dating app and involving technological advancements to improve men at the touch of a button.
The campaign also featured a series of YouTube videos starring comedian Whitney Cummings promoting a reactions feature. The stated aim of the campaign is that “calling out douchebags” should be “easy and fun” - in essence, improving the perception of Tinder’s brand following reports that most female users had experienced harassment and negative behavior from men on the platform.
Although some, including The Guardian, have questioned the campaign’s impact on combating inappropriate behavior on the app, it still raked in some impressive numbers in interactions and reach from the meme accounts that participated.
5. Sprint, #LiveUnlimited
Sprint’s campaign, #LiveUnlimited, harnessed both YouTube and Instagram influencer marketing and worked more directly with influencers than some of the other examples in this list.
Major influencer examples in the campaign included Lele Pons (@lelepons), Prince Royce (@princeroyce), Gerard Adams (@gerardadams), and Rachel Cook (@rachelc00k). Sprint’s #LiveUnlimited campaign was coordinated between Sprint’s US and Latin teams, with the influencers carefully chosen to hit both markets simultaneously with a combined reach of over 30 million in their followerships.
Furthermore, the campaign did not box the influencers in - they were present as their own individual brands, giving Sprint that extra touch of authenticity that big brands often struggle with.
6. Lenovo, YOGA 3 Pro along and YOGA Tablet 2 Pro
In this influencer marketing example the brand, Lenovo, reached out to influencers to showcase their products YOGA 3 Pro along with their YOGA Tablet 2 Pro.
The brand worked with millenials to position the products as a go-to tool in their normal, everyday lives. The key media used here was video of their “Day with YOGA”, authentic, personal videos of the influencers’ normal days including the products. The campaign featured fashion, beauty, and mom blogger Kileen (@cutenlittle). She published a blog piece about how the product helps her in her day-to-day life as a modern mom. Influencers featured for the campaign hosted giveaways contests for followers.
Again, here is a brand that did well by allowing the influencers it partners with to do their promotions their own way - allowing their personal brands to lead the charge with the authenticity it brings into the campaign. For B2B businesses, who rely more heavily on blog traffic than B2C, this presents an opportunity to cooperate with blogger influencers and generate useful content.
7. Chiquita, #DressMyChiquita
Last year Chiquita launched the hashtag #DressMyChiquita, challenging people to draw faces on their Chiquita bananas and share them on social media. #DressMyChiquita had an influencer presence, with Instagrammers like @damonandjo and @marcusdobre adding their popularity to the hashtag’s reach.
Chiquita also leveraged the success of the Minions movies, putting out stickers of the banana-yellow characters’ iconic coverall outfits and goggles for people to dress their fruit up with. @marcusdobre even dressed up as a minion with his minion-themed banana to net the top #DressMyChiquita post on Instagram.
It was a simple campaign, but it took off, showcasing wholesome fun in encouraging people to play with their food. At the macro level, it had an influencer push, but it also saw grassroots success, with lots of users posting their own #DressMyChiquita photos, making it a good example of an “everybody as an influencer” success story.
From these influencer marketing examples, it’s clear that the key to success when choosing influencers for your campaign is to consider what audiences they tap into. Each influencer carries with them their own individual brand, which in turn attracts a niche follower group within their industry. As a brand, it’s more important than ever to define your buyer’s persona and know what your target audience is, because with these you will be able to choose the influencer to best help get your campaign to the audiences that are key to your business. Additionally, from these examples you can see that the most successful campaigns give influencers the space they need to promote a brand authentically - unlike a certain culturally insensitive Pepsi campaign.
Now that you’ve seen some great examples of influencer marketing done right, check out our guide to influencer marketing for everything you need to know to build your next campaign!