Influencer marketing is more than just a fad, it’s a legitimate marketing practice with serious weight behind it. It’s anticipated to become a 5 to 10 billion dollar industry in the next five years, and 94 percent of marketers who use it believe in its effectiveness. The pace is only picking up, and many feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon.
With unparalleled returns on investment, like the purported $6.50 in earned media value for every dollar spent, it’s tempting to jump right in. Though it’s one thing to run an influencer campaign, it’s another to run a successful one. There are many factors to consider that in a vacuum mean very little. Buzzwords like engagement rates, social reach, and audience demographics are more technical than they are esoteric, and it’s vital to understand how to leverage these analytics to execute a successful campaign.
Fashion and lifestyle brands love influencer marketing campaigns
If you’re in need of inspiration, here are 8 examples of brands who leveraged these insights to create unique and effective influencer marketing campaigns:
1) Daniel Wellington:
The popular e-commerce watch brand is almost synonymous with influencer marketing, given how effective their strategy has been. Though still a young company, Daniel Wellington vaulted itself into success by sending free watches to influencers in exchange for shout outs, posts, and sponsorships. From Kylie Jenner to Zoella, DW covered all their bases.
Doing so unequivocally raised brand awareness and recognition, and affiliate marketing generated thousands of sales. They currently run an immense, global influencer affiliate program to keep their momentum going.
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“A day that love will find its way. Out of my heart and into your soul. “ Declare my love with my favorite watch Daniel Wellington Limited edition Valentine’s Box but no endless love Now go www.danielwellington.com to pick your gift for your Valentine! 10%off and heart-charms for Valentine’s Box Don’t forget to use my code “chelseaolivia” to enjoy extra 15%OFF discount when purchasing! What’ll you prepare for your Valentine? www.danielwellington.com @danielwellington #danielwellington #dwpickoftheday
Like DW, iconic handcrafted footwear company, Sperry, uses a massive affiliate program to run their influencer marketing. They do so by hosting influencers’ photos with their brand on their company Instagram, which boasts over 280,000 followers. Their strategy uses content already posted on social media – they merely ask permission and repost it on their own feeds. They exchange branded exposure for authentic user-generated content and use it to their advantage.
3) Vita Coco:
Vita Coco boasts a robust influencer strategy to promote their coconut water, using the hashtag #stupidlysimple to spread sponsored posts throughout their target demographics. Vita Coco uses influencers aged 21 to 39 who lead ‘healthy, active lifestyles’ to represent the brand on social media.
4) NA-KD Fashion:
Another fashion newcomer, NA-KD uses a dynamic influencer partnership program to spread brand awareness and convert sales through affiliates. The Swedish brand scales micro-influencers to maintain an ‘always-on’ influencer strategy. By gifting influencers with clothes in exchange for exposure, NA-KD Fashion reaches an international audience, which puts them in competition with powerhouse brands like Zara. In addition, NAKD allows some influencers to design ‘influencer collections,’ capitalizing both on an influencer’s expertise and their reach.
One of the first companies to capitalize on the subscription box strategy, Birchbox embraces influencers to review their products and design their own boxes. For example, they teamed up with @emilyschuman to advertise a personalized box, which generated over 18,000 likes and 550,000 impressions on Instagram.
Nordstrom uses influencers to boost exposure for upcoming lines, showcase fashions, and even design their own fashion lines. Like other fashion brands, Nordstrom identifies influencers with audiences similar to their customers, from location to income bracket. One collaboration involved influencer and style icon Arielle Charnas, which drove more than $1 million in sales in less than 24 hours.
Dating app Tinder executed a several-months-long campaign to target millennials in which they partnered with popular meme accounts and influencers to boost their brand. Some reshared their ‘Menprovement’ web series, while others shared memes related to the app and mentioned the sponsorship in the comments. Meme accounts are incredibly popular among millennial and college-aged social media users, so Tinder used comedic content to target their key demographics.
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Bonobos, an e-commerce focused men’s fashion chain, uses influencers to promote many of its seasonal collections. Partnering with @fosterhunting, a photographer with 1 million Instagram followers, Bonobos leveraged his unparalleled talent to create high-quality content showcasing the brand’s Summer collection. The collaboration yielded over 5 million impressions and doubled engagement for the brand’s Instagram page.
How to select the right influencers for your campaign
Let’s say you want to run an influencer marketing campaign to raise brand awareness for a set of customers you can’t reach through traditional means. How do you know who to contact? Where do you find influencers? How can you be sure they’re talking to the right people?
Below are five things to look at when selecting influencers:
Topic and interests
The first step in finding your influencer is identifying the topic(s) they cover and their interests. This will help paint a clear picture of who is representing your brand, and what their audience is interested in seeing.
The combined total following of an influencer’s social media profiles determines how many people can potentially see their content. Reach does not usually account for overlap between followers, and can vary platform-to-platform.
Impressions are the number of people who have actually seen a post. This is usually a fraction of an influencer’s total reach, as not every follower sees every post. Image and video impressions vary slightly by platform, depending on how the platform tracks the metric.
Engagement measures how many followers interact with a post. Interactions can range from likes and comments to shares and reposts. Engagement can be measured as a number or a percentage and can tell you on average how many people will interact with an influencer’s content. In general, the higher the engagement rate, the more value is extracted.
Demographics tell you specific details about an influencer’s audience. Whether it’s location, age, or ethnicity, demographics give you a clear picture of who sees and interacts with an influencer. The Julius software provides in-depth demographic analysis for several platforms to help you home in on an influencer’s audience – especially as it relates to your own.
Leveraging these five perspectives can help you find the perfect influencers for your prospective campaign. Using the Julius software can simplify all of these processes into one convenient profile. However, identifying your influencers is only half the work. Executing a successful campaign demands creativity, authenticity, and embracing the independent spirit of an influencer.