Marketers who employ influencer marketing campaigns are finding remarkable success. In a world where digital advertising and content marketing are becoming increasingly expensive and competitive, influencer marketing provides marketers with a refreshing alternative.
Roughly 95 percent of marketers who have launched influencer marketing campaigns report they are successful. Here are 9 examples of business-to-consumer and business-to-business brands that launched successful influencer marketing campaigns. Use these 9 influencer marketing examples as inspiration to launch a marketing initiative that breaks new ground within your organization.
1. Hubspot and Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk turned a small wine business into an international empire, and catapulted himself to entrepreneurial stardom in the process. Vaynerchuk’s inspirational videos on platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram have amassed millions of views.
Hubspot, a B2B marketing automation company which hosts an annual event called INBOUND, partnered with Vaynerchuk to produce a series of videos that culminated in a keynote presentation at INBOUND. The campaign helped position Hubspot as a go-to resource for entrepreneurs interested in scaling their business to new heights.
Hubspot repurposed the video content across a variety of platforms, from Facebook to their own blog, in order to amplify the effects of their partnership with Vaynerchuk.
2. BodyBuilding.com and Meg Gallagher
Better known as MegSquats, Meg Gallagher is a competitive weightlifter and trainer known on Instagram for her body-positive fitness advice. BodyBuilding.com recently held a competition in which 10 influencers had a chance to win a sponsorship based on fan votes.
This is an ingenious example of influencer marketing. BodyBuilding.com was able to reach new audiences each time influencers asked their followers to vote for them, and BodyBuilding.com could be sure that the sponsored athletes who won truly had a large and dedicated online following.
3. Microsoft and National Geographic
This influencer marketing campaign shows that brands don’t necessarily need to partner with individual influencers for a campaign to be successful. In this case, Microsoft worked with the photographers at National Geographic to produce content shot on the brand’s Lumia smartphone.
Though the smartphone didn’t catch on in the end, it certainly wasn’t because of this campaign. The photographic content subtly shows off the Lumia’s camera capabilities.
4. The North Face and Jimmy Chin
Jimmy Chin is a well-known outdoorsman whose work regularly appears in National Geographic. He partnered with The North Face to create social media content that featured the outdoor company’s products.
The partnership worked so well that The North Face ended up developing a line of Jimmy Chin apparel. The photographer regularly features the apparel in stunning Instagram photos like the one above.
5. Magnus Walker and Hot Wheels
A 30-minute video featuring a Porsche enthusiast and custom car builder put Magnus Walker on the map in the automotive world. His modified Porsche collection was soon featured in a number of the world’s most respected automotive publications.
As a result, Walker developed a dedicated following among sports car enthusiasts—a following that Hot Wheels, the maker of toy cars, quickly noticed. Hot Wheels partnered with Walker to develop a series of toy cars based on his real-life collection. Walker has since shared updates about the products on his Instagram account.
6. Beats and James Harden
While giving away free products to NBA star James Harden probably won’t be enough to earn a social media shout-out, the practice can work when targeting micro-influencers. Here, Beats developed headphones specifically for James Harden as he prepared to lead his team into the NBA Playoffs.
Harden, who is a Beats sponsor, shared the special headphones on Instagram. Making small customizations to products and sharing them with social media influencers can be highly effective. This strategy can be especially potent if the customizations tie into a large marketing campaign.
7. TrackMaven and their Creative Genius Series
TrackMaven is a growing business-to-business software company that has a strong social media presence. The brand launched a campaign called “Creative Genius,” which featured community builders, entrepreneurs and marketers. Each week, TrackMaven used social media to promote the upcoming interview, and featured the recording and transcript on their website.
This is a good example of using micro-influencers to create compelling content that can be used to fuel a variety of marketing channels.
8. Sonos and Ralph Steadman
The social media marketers at Sonos do a fantastic job of compiling images whose aesthetic perfectly reflects the ethos of the brand. In featuring Ralph Steadman, a famous illustrator who worked with icons like Hunter S. Thompson and Frank Zappa, Sonos advanced an on-brand narrative through influencer marketing.
Sonos used the partnership to show that the brand stands for creativity and good design. Perhaps best of all, Sonos took the influencer marketing campaign a step further by featuring Steadman’s art in their stores around New York City.
9. Lululemon Ambassador Program
Similar to BodyBuilding.com, Lululemon has an ambassador program, which is essentially a structured micro-influencer campaign. Lululemon looks for influencers who are involved in activities that complement that company’s brand, and offers them access to exclusive products and experiences as an “ambassador.”
In the example above, Lululemon invited a well-known yoga practitioner, Ryan Leier, to join the company as a “Global Yoga Ambassador.” As part of the partnership, Leier hosts Lululemon-sponsored events and produces content for the brand’s social media profiles.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be a few social media posts from celebrities with massive follower counts. Instead, influencer campaigns can constitute multichannel engagements involving influencers who, through their work, personalities or fame, can advance your brand’s narrative.
Used correctly, influencer marketing can help you connect with new audiences or build deeper relationships with existing ones in ways not possible through other means.