What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is when a well-known individual or a group of individuals helps a marketing campaign by endorsing a product or starring in an advertisement. Influencer marketing can be done with intention or, if you’re lucky enough, a celebrity will endorse your product without your even asking them — just hope it’s the right person for your target market!
With the rise in popularity of social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, as well as viral video as a marketing tool, influencer marketing has become something that’s increasingly widespread. It can be one of the most effective marketing methods today, if implemented correctly, and can be approached in a number of different ways.
Below are some of the most successful influencer marketing examples we’ve seen since its rise in popularity.
The #MyCalvins Campaign
As mentioned above, social media has helped to popularize influencer marketing. Technically, though, the influencer marketing for Calvin Klein began all the way back in 1981 when they used Brooke Shields in one of their television commercials. While they have always used celebrity endorsement, the rise of social media propelled the brand to create social media buzz. Today, Calvin Klein has more than 400,000 pictures shared on Instagram with the hashtag #MyCalvins, a campaign they began at the beginning of 2014.
Lagavulin Whiskey’s Celebrity Endorsement
This campaign featured a 45-minute long video of Nick Offerman sipping whiskey by a fireplace. Really, that’s it. And how incredibly effective it was.
Nick Offerman is best known for playing the fictional character Ron Swanson on the sitcom Parks and Recreation. His character is hyper-masculine––one you would picture sipping on whiskey in his free time just as the video portrays. Sometimes all it takes is a well-known public figure doing something that’s so simple (but outlandish when put in video form) to make an impact. The video, published in December of 2015, has received more than 3 million views to date. The youtube channel My Tales of Whiskey Official features more videos of Nick Offerman and, of course, more Lagavulin Whiskey.
Lynda.com’s Partnership With YouTube Personalities
Lynda.com is an online education company that’s the product of LinkedIn. From their online courses, you can learn about topics such as songwriting, video editing, photography, and more. Did we mention they also happen to be huge on influencer marketing? They’ve partnered with popular YouTube personalities such as Jacksfilms, The Fine Brothers, and Rooster Teeth instead of using traditional marketing methods. For example, at the end of a Jacksfilms video, the YouTube personality briefly promotes Lynda.com and shares a URL with a special offer for viewers. These YouTube channels reach a collective audience of 46 million people… that’s money well spent on a different approach to promotion.
Boxed Water’s #ReTree Project
You’ve probably seen the Boxed Water campaign around. Surely you would recognize their bold packaging as that’s what makes their product unique — a take on giving water visual interest.
The Boxed Water brand is about aesthetics and sustainability. Why drink regular water when you can drink Boxed Water? Not only does its packaging make the product stand out from the crowd of overly used plastic bottles, but they created a meaningful influencer marketing campaign. For every Instagram picture of Boxed Water using the hashtag #ReTree, the company promised to plant two trees in a national forest. To this day, Boxed Water has planted over 500,000 trees, with the goal of planting one million by the year 2020. This is a promotion an audience can feel good about taking part in.
How Influencer Marketing Has Changed The Game
As you can see, influencer marketing is a unique take on advertising today as well as a great way to get customers involved in your marketing tactics. Companies are working hard to create advertisements that are less in your face and more integrated with entertainment, social media, and the user experience. What influencer marketing campaigns do you think 2017 will bring?