Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.
By Shane Barker
You already know that influencer marketing can raise brand awareness, boost visibility, and drive conversions. It’s also a highly effective channel for brands to engage with their audience, and build relationships with them.
Many brands have successfully boosted engagement with the help of influencers. From their examples, other marketers and businesses can learn what works, what doesn’t, and how they can use that information in their own campaigns.
Check out the following case studies from brands that used influencer marketing to boost engagement:
Example #1: Tom’s of Maine
Tom’s of Maine, a company that manufactures personal care products using only natural ingredients, wanted to boost their social media engagement and attract more potential customers. So they decided to launch an influencer marketing campaign that involved a community of micro-influencers. The influencers took part in branded activities in order to raise brand awareness, boost engagement, and encourage people to try the products.
Instead of working with top-level influencers and celebrities, the brand decided to partner with everyday consumers. The people they selected each had 500 to 5,000 followers, which qualified them as micro-influencers. Tom’s also made sure that each of the influencers they chose had the ability to engage their audience on certain topics. Their choice of influencers ranged from influential mom, Allison Goines (@oursmallhours), who has more than 4,000 followers; to bath products enthusiast, Joe (@thatlushdudejoe), with more than 3,000 followers.
As a result of the campaign, Tom’s of Maine was able to boost consumer engagement by 600%. For every 1,000 micro-influencers they engaged, they received 6,000+ interactions on the social media posts. Through the campaign, the brand also managed to accomplish another goal, which was to gain customer insights using feedback, reviews, and surveys.
What to Learn from Tom’s of Maine
This example clearly shows how you don’t always have to go big with influencer marketing. A strong network of micro- and mid-level influencers, relevant to your niche, should have the desired effect on engaging your target audience. In many cases, top influencers have too much going on to actively engage with their followers. That’s not the case with micro-influencers, making them an ideal choice for boosting your customer engagement.
Example #2: Zafferano
Zafferano, a Singapore-based restaurant, wanted to raise awareness about their establishment while boosting audience engagement on social media. They decided to work with Instagram influencers in the food and lifestyle categories to reach their target audience. For the campaign, they invited the influencers for a special meal at their restaurant, which also offers a breathtaking sunset view.
The restaurant prepared a perfect meal of contemporary Italian cuisine — marinated trout topped with pomegranate and red radish, caviar, beef tagliata, quail eggs, and more. The influencers had to share images of the dishes with their Instagram followers. Foodie Instagrammers like Sam W (@samoosg) captured inviting images of the food, and described the dishes to captivate their followers.
The influencers’ posts were accompanied by pricing information and timing of availability to encourage followers to try them out. Each of the posts received a lot of positive feedback from the influencers’ followers.
The combined reach of this Instagram influencer marketing campaign was more than 65,000. By engaging with 11 influencers, the restaurant managed to attain high levels of engagement through 33 posts rolled out during a 10-day period. Overall, the campaign generated more than 8,500 likes and 280 comments on Instagram.
What to Learn from Zafferano
The best part about the Zafferano influencer marketing campaign was that they created an experience for the influencers. The influencers then shared their experiences, and their authentic reviews of the dishes with their followers. When influencers showcase an authentic experience, your relationship with them comes off as more genuine. This encourages their loyal followers to engage and interact with the posts, and with your brand.
Example #3: Mezzetta
Mezzetta, a company that specializes in sauces and spreads, worked with influencers to raise brand awareness while creating original content for their Pinterest page. They also wanted to spread the word about the giveaways on their website, further encouraging people to engage with their brand. They decided to work with food bloggers who regularly created original recipes, and who produced high-quality images of food.
For the influencer marketing campaign, food blogs like Hungry Harps came up with an original recipe using a chosen Mezzetta product. Each post also promoted a giveaway, or a discount coupon to encourage readers towards an action.
The blog posts showcased inviting images of the finished dishes, along with the Mezzetta sauces. The influencers described the process of creating the dish, and how they used the products to come up with something delicious. Of course the bloggers also mentioned that the posts were sponsored by Mezzetta, but that all opinions expressed were their own. This helped establish trust in the brand, and their products amongst the influencers’ readers.The posts also offered readers a chance to win a giveaway if they filled out a survey, which helped the brand gain useful customer insights.
Through this influencer marketing campaign, Mezzetta reached more than 13 million people, and ended up with around 7,500 unique pieces of content. Their engagement rate also soared, exceeding the projected rate by 1,063%. The surveys had a 50% response rate, with most responses coming from the influencer content.
What to Learn from Mezzetta
This campaign by Mezzetta made the most of influencers’ creativity to enrich their content reserve, while engaging a relevant audience. The company came up with the theme and the goal of the campaign themselves, but then handed over the reins to the influencers, giving them the freedom to come up with unique recipes using the brand’s products. Instead of controlling everything the bloggers had to say, the brand encouraged the influencers to use their own voices, and bring their own ideas to life.
Example #4: Clinique for Men
When the iconic cosmetic and skincare brand, Clinique, came up with a new line for men, they needed to raise awareness about the brand. They did so by working with a diverse group of male influencers from different professions. The group included lifestyle bloggers, filmmakers, stylists, and outdoorsmen. The goal was for each of the men to represent a different aspect of the brand, and reach out to different types of men who would be interested in Clinique for Men.
Influencers like Justin Livingston (@justinliv) posted images that included the new products, showcasing Clinique for Men to his more than 190,000 followers on Instagram. In the image below, he added a caption telling people that he was ready for the weekend, with a few essentials. Among the essentials shown in the image are his camera, sunglasses, bandana, and Clinique’s SPF moisturizer.
The idea of the posts was for the influencers to integrate the products into their daily lives, and display them in a natural setting. Despite being sponsored posts, the products blended in seamlessly with the influencer’s usual posts. Mikey de Temple, for example, is a surfer and a filmmaker. His post for this campaign was a picture of himself in surf gear, with a Clinique product strategically placed on his surfboard.
The campaign generated an engagement rate that was 3.8 times higher than the official Clinique Instagram account. From the 37 pieces of influencer content, the brand generated a 3% engagement rate, 2.4 million impressions, and more than 67,000 interactions.
What to Learn from Clinique for Men
This influencer marketing campaign did several things right. First of all, they chose a group of influencers who were relevant to their target audience. Instead of focusing only on lifestyle and fashion influencers, they also worked with influencers in other categories. This helped them expand their reach, as opposed to concentrating on one specific category.
Additionally, the posts these influencers created managed to seamlessly integrate the products into natural settings. They didn’t look out of place, which helped spark interest in the products, in a more natural, non-salesy way.
Example #5: Old Spice
You’ve probably seen one of Old Spice’s hilarious television ads, which are very popular with audiences. Despite the success of their TV ads, the brand wanted to reach out to and engage a younger audience. They did so by working with top social media influencers to create sponsored YouTube videos and Instagram posts.
The influencers played a crucial role in Old Spice’s Dream Runner campaign, which offered people with a chance to win prizes. They helped promote the campaign, and invited their followers to enter the contest by drawing the shape of a prize through their exercise route and then posting the image on social media.
Influential YouTube channels like Ronnie Street Stunts posted videos of themselves doing the challenge using some parkour moves. They informed their subscribers about the contest, and provided them with a link to find out more about it. They also invited fans to participate and engage with the brand.
Influencers also promoted the contest through Instagram. Logan Paul, who has 6.7 million Instagram followers, created a sponsored video for this campaign. This video alone amassed 2.5 million views and more than 1,800 comments.
The entire campaign included 6 YouTube videos, which have generated a combined total of more than 2 million views. Each of the videos showcased relevant influencers taking part in the campaign. As you can see from the screenshots above, the sponsored posts also managed to drive a lot of user engagement. The prizes encouraged fans to enter the contest, and Old Spice has already given away 50 prizes to participants.
What to Learn from Old Spice
This Old Spice influencer marketing campaign succeeded in their engagement goals by inviting influencers to participate in the contest, which made their followers enthusiastic to participate as well. The chance to win prizes for participation further encouraged people to engage with the brand and participate in the contest.
Example #6: Lynda.com
Lynda.com, an online learning platform, needed to raise awareness about their website and drive more sign-ups for their services. In order to tap into a massive audience base, and gain better visibility, the brand sought the help of popular YouTubers.
For this influencer marketing campaign, the influential YouTubers created imaginative and hilarious sponsored videos that promoted the website’s services. One of the influencers they partnered with was gaming channel, The Game Theorists, which has more than 7 million subscribers.
In their sponsored video, The Game Theorists added a call to action for Lynda.com, adding some humor akin to their usual content, and described their early days using the service. They showcased what the website can do, and included a link for a free trial to guide viewers towards a specific action, (signing up for the free trial). This video alone received more than 8 million views.
Lynda.com also worked with popular learning channels like MinutePhysics, which has more than 3 million subscribers. This type of channel is a perfect partner for the Lynda.com website, as it allows them to target people who are already actively looking for learning opportunities online. The sponsored video from MinutePhysics generated more than 2.3 million views. Through this influencer marketing campaign, Lynda.com’s sponsored content had a collective audience reach exceeding 46 million.
What to Learn from Lynda.com
Like Mezzetta, Lynda.com also gave influencers the freedom to create sponsored content based on their own ideas. The influencers created content that was either informational or funny, which fit with Lynda.com’s target audience. The influencers were also able to keep the content in line with the other, non-sponsored content they produce. Since these promotional videos weren’t like typical video ads, they made viewers feel more at ease about interacting with Lynda.com.
The above examples of brands that worked with influencers to boost engagement show how influencers can help add a more personal, and informal touch to customer and brand interactions. They help put a human face behind your brand, and enable you to build genuine relationships with your target audience.
Which of these examples was your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you need any help drawing up the perfect plan for influencer marketing, feel free to get in touch with me. I can help you drive customer engagements through the most influential people in your industry.
Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.
Julius, a Thuzio solution, is a SaaS influencer marketing platform that provides marketers with rich social data, advanced search capabilities, and the campaign management tools required to organize a successful influencer marketing strategy.
For more information about Julius, our influencer marketing software, or our blog please contact Russell Wilde Jr.