15 Examples of Brands that Nailed their Influencer Marketing (UPDATED June 17)

Since the increase in use of ad blocking, you’ve probably heard of brands using word-of-mouth advertising with the help of influencers. Perhaps you have even seen examples of such tactics. While some brands are getting lucrative returns on their investments, some have missed the mark on influencer marketing.

If you’re looking for the best ways to work with influencers for your online and social media marketing campaign, you better learn from the best. So here is a list of some of the best examples of brands that nailed their influencer marketing:

#1: Lynda.com

Lynda.com is an online learning resource through which users can develop their skills in a variety of subjects — from audio and music to design and photography. In addition to this, users can get useful tutorials on marketing, project management, technology, and more. Lynda.com was acquired by Linkedin in April 2015 for $1.5 billion.

To avoid being adversely affected by ad blockers, they decided to use word-of-mouth advertising by marketing through popular YouTubers. Through the sponsored content, they managed to reach a collective subscriber audience of more than 46 million, strongly boosting their social media marketing campaign.

They sponsored content on popular YouTube Channels like The Fine Brothers, Rooster Teeth, Jacksfilms, and more. Jack Douglass of Jacksfilms constantly created sponsored videos as part of Lynda.com’s social media marketing campaign. The best part about this YouTuber is that he took the time to fit the sponsored content into his regular content. Every weekday, he creates videos for his #YIAY (Yesterday I Asked You…) series and the sponsored videos for Lynda.com fit perfectly into this.

He challenged viewers to learn a new skill through Lynda.com and then share their creations with him. He then created a video in which he featured some of the best submissions. Many of the videos received more than a million views as the YouTuber has more than 2 million subscribers.

The sponsored content he created was received with positivity and high engagement by the subscribers boosting Lynda.com’s social media marketing strategy. Some even went ahead to applaud how the advertising was seamlessly integrated with entertainment. The YouTuber is known for creating fun and engaging content and manages to execute the same quality of content for sponsored videos as well.

With more than 14 million subscribers, Benny and Rafi Fine of Fine Brothers Entertainment made for the perfect influencers for Lynda.com’s social media marketing strategy. The YouTubers continued with their usual “React” videos and provided viewers with a link to Lynda.com, encouraging them to support their channel. Some of the sponsored videos like “Celebrities React to Viral Videos” received more than 25 million views.

What to Learn from the Lynda.com Social Media Marketing Campaign

This social media marketing campaign with influencers shows how seamlessly integrating entertainment with advertisement can garner customer engagement and loyalty. Partnering with influencers who have significant followers/subscribers enables you to increase your brand visibility as well. Take a cue from the sponsored videos created by Jacksfilms to ensure that the content your influencers create is in tune with your brand, product, or service.

#2: Loot Crate

Loot Crate is one of the most popular gaming lifestyle brands well-known for celebrating the gaming community. Their monthly subscription boxes usually contain unique collectibles and gear related to gaming, TV shows, and comic books. The brand has a loyal following in the geek and gaming community and greatly benefits from word-of-mouth advertising. In 2014, they decided to start working with influencers to leverage their social media marketing campaign and invited influencers through Twitter to join their influencer network.

They started working with some of the most popular YouTubers such as PewDiePie, who has more than 47 million subscribers. For their social media marketing campaign, they sponsored some of the YouTuber’s videos, one of which received more than 9 million views. PewDiePie also promoted a discount code for 10% off a Loot Crate subscription.

Jack Douglass of Jacksfilms created an entertaining sponsored video for Loot Crate with another of his YIAY videos called “The Worst Ice Breakers.” He had invited viewers the previous day to share their thoughts on the worst ice breakers. Towards the end of the video, he showed viewers his new Marvel-themed ice-maker, which he received from Loot Crate, perfectly in-tune with the theme of the video. He then went on to showcase other items he received in his Loot Crate for the month.

What to Learn from the Loot Crate Social Media Marketing Campaign

The best take-away from the Loot Crate campaign is how the brand worked with influencers in the relevant niche. In their social media marketing strategy, they decided to work mainly with popular influencers in the gaming and comedy niche. This fits nicely with the laidback and fun culture the brand is trying to promote. Additionally, the brand’s target audience is comprised of the type of people who would view content created by these YouTubers.

#3: Audible

Audible is an Amazon company with more than 180,000 audio books for users to listen to. The brand decided to take their word-of-mouth advertising and social media marketing campaign to the next level by partnering with top YouTubers to promote their services. The primary objective of this social media marketing campaign was to drive conversions in the form of sign-ups. They also wanted to increase brand awareness and drive engagement for their monthly membership service.

Since they wanted to target a wide variety of audiences in different demographics, they chose to work with influencers in different niches including gaming, entertainment, style and how-to, film and animation, and more. Through this social media marketing campaign with influencers, Audible reached out to a collective audience base of more than 132 million and has garnered around 83 million views to date.

YouTuber Grace Helbig has more than 3 million subscribers and was a part of Audible’s social media marketing campaign with influencers. She created a sponsored video and towards the end, provided viewers with a link to download their first audio book for free.

For Audible, Jack Douglass of Jacksfilms did another excellent job in integrating sponsored content into his regular content. He regularly creates a series called JackAsk, where he answers different questions fans ask him. One of his JackAsk videos featured a fan asking him if it was “that time of the month again” and Jack answered with a hilarious acronym of Audible. As part of the social media marketing strategy, he also provided viewers with a link to download an audio book for free.

What to Learn from the Audible Social Media Marketing Campaign

This creative combination of regular content with sponsorship and advertisement entertains viewers. Since the recommendation comes from someone they trust and look up to, they’re going to feel compelled to try it out. As a part of its social media marketing strategy, Audible even provides these influencers with a unique link that they can share with their viewers who wish to download their first audio book for free. This further encourages action instead of simply sticking to product recommendations.

#4: Leesa

Leesa is a luxury mattress manufacturer that exclusively sells through their online store. Since there’s no showroom for customers to try out the mattress, there is a bit of challenge convincing people to buy from them. Although they provide a 100-nights risk-free offer for customers to keep the mattress, they still have to build enough trust to actually get people to order. So they decided to try out word-of-mouth advertising with the help of influencers.

For this influencer social media marketing campaign, the brand wanted to work with key bloggers who specialize in DIY, style spaces, and interior design. Instead of simply focusing on the influencer’s following, they wanted to go for those who have a high engagement rate because their goal was to boost conversions. These influencers would then provide unbiased reviews of Leesa mattresses to boost the brand’s social media marketing campaign.

Blogs like Sleepopolis, which are in the relevant niche posted reviews of the mattresses complete with a video and a discount coupon. This particular review gave readers a thorough insight into Leesa mattresses right from the construction and cover to the firmness and comfort. It also provided readers with useful information such as pricing info, guarantee and trial period, and shipping details.

Other mattress review blogs like Mattress Clarity also gave an unbiased review of Leesa mattresses. The blog post gave readers a reason why they’ll love the mattresses and also gave them some reasons why they might not. The post was complete with a short summary of the review in the form of a 5-scale rating so readers could easily skim through the content if they were in a hurry.

Through this influencer social media marketing campaign and word-of-mouth advertising, Leesa has been able to generate more than 100,000 clicks to their website to date. They even managed to make more than 400 mattress sales as a result of the campaign.

What to Learn from the Leesa Social Media Marketing Campaign

The main take-away of the Leesa campaign is that they decided to work with high-engagement influencers as their primary goal was to establish enough trust in potential buyers. With the help of influencers, the brand took their word-of-mouth advertising to the next level. Since the reviews were unbiased and were done by trusted sources in the respective niche, the brand managed to generate the kind of click-through and conversions that they were unable to do before.

#5: Daniel Wellington

When discussing successful influencer marketing seamlessly integrated with a social media marketing campaign, the list would be incomplete without Daniel Wellington. The Swedish watchmaker has been able to leverage their brand effectively with the help of influencers in different niches, mainly lifestyle and fashion. The brand didn’t make use of traditional advertising but solely focused on word-of-mouth advertising through influencers as part of their social media marketing strategy.

By 2015, the brand managed to earn a revenue of $220 million, which is an impressive amount considering it was just a $15,000 startup. They successfully launched a social media marketing campaign with the help of top Instagrammers, who promoted the brand through eye-catching images and branded hashtags. They also encouraged followers to post their own images using the branded hashag. Through this social media marketing campaign, the #danielwellington hashtag has generated more than 900,000 posts on Instagram.

The brand harnessed the influence of top Instagrammers from around the world in order to raise awareness about their watches and boost conversions. Here’s an example of a sponsored post from @meiinpsn, who has more than 59,000 followers on Instagram. This post alone received a little over 8,000 likes.

Other influencers like fashion entrepreneur @sarahlolathings also posted sponsored images for the watch as part of their social media marketing campaign. Her post even featured a unique discount code for the watches, encouraging people to buy the product and giving them a reason to take action now.

What to Learn from the Daniel Wellington Social Media Marketing Campaign

The Daniel Wellington social media marketing campaign makes use of influencers who would have an influence on the brand’s target audience. The best part about their campaign is that they employ plenty of influencers so as to ensure maximum reach. Most of the influencers are related to the fashion and lifestyle industry, exposing the brand to an audience that will actually be interested in the watches. In addition to this, they encouraged action by providing the audience with a discount code that will give them a reason to buy a watch as well.

#6: Adidas

Already a well-known brand, Adidas wanted to get ahead of their competitors and decided to launch an influencer-driven social media marketing campaign on Instagram. The campaign focused on youth and was initiated to boost engagement and encourage the production of user-generated content. This social media marketing strategy helped the sports brand increase their sales by 24.2% between January 2015 and January 2016. During the same period, their top competitor, Nike experienced a 9.1% drop in sales.

The sports brand worked with Selena Gomez to kick start its #MyNeoShoot contest on Instagram. In addition to this top celebrity, they also generated social buzz with the help of top influencers on Instagram to further leverage their social media marketing campaign. The brand encouraged fans to share their own content using the hashtag #MyNeoShoot and they could win a chance to one of the six models for the campaign.

As a result of this social media marketing campaign, Adidas received around 12,000 entries for the contest and the hashtag received more than 71,000 mentions. Their Instagram page even managed to grow their following with 41,000 new followers. Instagram influencer Iga Wysocka was part of the influencer network that helped raise awareness for Adidas Neo.

What to Learn from the Adidas Social Media Marketing Campaign

The key take-away from the Adidas campaign is how the brand got fans involved and engaged with them to promote their new line through a contest. Influencers helped promote the social media marketing campaign and top celebrities like Selena Gomez helped kick start the contest. This helped raise both awareness about the brand and contest and also generated plenty of engagement from the audience. Combining contests and influencers for your social media marketing campaign can be an excellent way to garner customer loyalty, raise brand awareness, and improve engagement rate.

#7: Zara

Clothing retailer Zara became one of the most successful companies in retail netting $2.3 billion in annual profits in 2015 according to a Fortune report. This is partly because of the brand’s decision to leverage its social media marketing campaign with the help of influencers. They decided to work with top Instagrammers well-known for being fashion-focused.

Zara wanted to highlight their latest products by showcasing them in a way that would appeal to their target audience. Their Instagram posts usually resemble photos from the pages of a fashion catalog, which people can look to for ideas and tips on what’s trending in the fashion industry.

By collaborating with influencers, they were able to give the impression that their products were more accessible than high-fashion clothing. A notable part of their social media marketing campaign was the #iamdenim campaign, a collaborative design project in which the brand worked with “real people” to produce clothing for “real people.” Their video content showcasing influencer Teesh Rosa managed to get more than 355,000 views.

What to Learn from the Zara Social Media Marketing Campaign

One of the most notable features of the Zara influencer social media marketing campaign was their ability to hand over the creative control of the brand to fashionable influencers. The brand joined hands with influencers whom people look to for fashion advice, leveraging the brand’s reputation as a fashion-forward clothing company. The content involved in this social media marketing campaign is subtle and not over-the-top yet it’s still valuable and useful for people who are interested in it.

#8: MVMT Watches

Another excellent example of how influencers have been integrated into a social media marketing campaign can be seen in the MVMT Watches’ #jointhemvmt campaign. A competitor of Daniel Wellington (mentioned earlier), this watch brand also decided to showcase their watches and raise awareness about their brand with the help of social media influencers. From top influencers to micro-influencers, MVMT Watches teamed up with some of the most notable Instagram accounts in the fashion and lifestyle industries.

Through this social media marketing campaign, the brand said that 60% of their website traffic comes from mobile. Luxury lifestyle account @inspirations_luxury is among the influencers they’ve partnered with. The account posted a beautifully-captured image of one of the watches in a suitable setting. The #jointhemvmt hashtag was used in the caption but in addition to that, they also provided followers with a unique discount code for them to make a purchase.

The brand also worked with other influencers like Doctor Lacroix, who has more than 39,000 followers on Instagram. Like the previous post, this Instagrammer also posted an image of himself wearing one of the watches from MVMT using the tag #jointhemvmt. In addition to that, he also provided followers with a unique discount code and encouraged them to make a purchase. The addition of this discount further leverages the brand’s social media marketing campaign.

What to Learn from the MVMT Watches Social Media Marketing Campaign

Like the Daniel Wellington campaign, the social media marketing campaign from MVMT Watches is fueled by the unique discount codes provided by different influencers. Instead of sticking to mainstream celebrities, the brand worked with influencers in different niches having significant following. Having these influencers promote the brand helped in raising brand awareness while engaging the audience. The discount codes leverage the social media marketing campaign by giving people a reason to buy the watches.

#9: Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that delivers pre-portioned ingredients for customers to cook. They have been working with influencers for a few years to promote their service. Influencers such as food bloggers and social media influencers create content to raise awareness about Blue Apron and build brand trust.

In 2015, they partnered with popular bloggers like Naomi of Love Taza and Anne of Fannetastic Food. Each of these bloggers wrote a blog post explaining how Blue Apron works, and what they love about it. The Love Taza blog post talked about their experience using the service and some of the features like the recycling program.

The Fannetastic Food blog post listed some of the biggest reasons why they liked the Blue Apron service. The post talked about the recycling program as well, which had been recently introduced at the time. And both bloggers promoted a link in which their first 100 readers could get two free meals from Blue Apron.

Their influencer marketing campaigns continued in 2016. During this time, they partnered with influential food blogs like Brownie Bites and Dude Foods. In 2017, they took their influencer content marketing to a whole new level by leveraging influencer podcasts. They’re now sponsoring influential podcast channels like Gimlet Media and The No Sleep Podcast.

Continue reading this article on Shane Barker’s blog.

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