Here are the best influencer marketing examples for brands to reference when seeking to build strategic campaigns of their own. See how brands from several different industries partner with top social media influencers to orchestrate & execute high-reach campaigns driving awareness, engagement, and conversions.
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How Big Brands Are Advertising To Millennials
In Entrepreneur's article "Millennials Don't Want Ads -- They Want Stories," author Michael Brenner relates how old-school marketing philosophy dictated that "the more advertisements you throw at the younger generations, the earlier you can get them hooked on your brand." For decades, this idea formed the basis for business as usual in the advertising industry—an industry which got its message out primarily through old media: print, radio, and TV.
This is no longer the case. Millennials (people between 21 and 34 years old) grew up with the Internet and consume most of their content online via social media. They're used to being bombarded with marketing messages—so much that they've become basically immune to its intended effect. This savvy generation demands richer, dynamic content to grab their attention. Because of their ever-increasing buying power, big brands are on alert. Brand advertising efforts are quickly shifting to digital, where social media stars are helping top brands market their products in a way that appeals to Millennials.
Check out how today's brands are advertising on Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram to target millennials:
3 Best Ways To Boost Your Brand's YouTube Marketing Strategy
YouTube is quickly becoming one of the most useful platforms for modern marketers. According to published YouTube statistics, the amount of people who utilize YouTube's homepage similar to turning on a TV is up 300% year upon year. Add to this the rising popularity of YouTubers like PewDiePie and his contemporaries, and it becomes clear that brands have a large future in marketing via the ever-growing video network.
Knowing how to develop a YouTube marketing strategy holds a great deal of importance for brands and advertisers looking to find success with online video marketing. Here are three best ways to improve, boost, and develop a brand’s YouTube marketing strategy:
Time Inc. is undoubtedly an established and powerful organization, and HelloGiggles is certain to benefit from the established resources that the company offers. It’s not a one way street, though. By absorbing a young, tech-savvy organization like HelloGiggles, Time stands to draw in a whole range of advertisers who never would have purchased space in one of its print publications. Time will also bring on a slew of new, social-media-conscious employees. The purchase signifies Time’s embrace of fresh, new media and a desire to appeal to younger crowds. As AdExchanger puts it, Time Inc. "expects HelloGiggles to help infuse its other brands with knowledge about how to thrive in a digital world."
In 2015, Airline companies Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Air France, and Air Nippon collaborated with leading travel and lifestyle influencers including Tuula Vintage and Song of Style to develop rich content while integrating their brand messaging to new audiences online. The influencer marketing campaigns are not solely focused on travel-specific blogs, rather they seek to incorporate the brand within several categories, resulting in an innovative, engaging approach for increased audience exposure.
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3 Tips For Creating Sponsored Content With Instagram Influencers
Sponsored content is a great way for brands to target and engage their ideal audience. When executed properly, sponsored content via social media influencers is a highly effective way to broaden brand awareness and promote social media engagement (see our post here for why social media engagement matters for sponsored content). Top influencers can have hundreds of thousands to millions of followers. Although there is a constant influx of new social media platforms, Instagram has established itself at the top. With 300 million active users, and 70 million average uploads a day, marketers are looking to tap into the platform’s reach.
Instagram’s premise is simple: it is a user-generated photo and video social sharing app where its users can also follow accounts based on their aspirational lifestyle interests, including brands. Many brands, such as Chandon, are targeting millennials who, earlier this year, have become the most populous demographic in the United States. Within a year, Instagram use has risen 16% among young adults (19-29) which makes it an ideal platform for marketing to millennials.
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Marketing to Millennials Through Social Media Networks, Channels & Platforms
The days of reaching millennials through traditional print and television advertising are quickly dwindling - as reported in Wall Street Journal, many TV networks are quickly pioneering digital strategies involving top "YouTubers" (YouTube video bloggers or "vloggers") in an effort to retain millennial viewership. In a 2015 census report, millennials (18-34) have outpaced Baby Boomers to become the most populous demographic in the United States, spending an approximate $1.3 trillion annually. Millennials are highly tech-savvy and socially conscious consumers. They choose to align with brands that reflect their own set of interests, lifestyle aspirations, and expect the brand to be responsive to what the consumer wants.
At the start of 2015, Adweek published research from Salesforce reporting that a vast 70% of marketers will spend more on social this year with special emphasis to mobile and content. Brands are augmenting their marketing strategies to focus on social media and are able to target highly specific audiences through the digital or social media influencers millennials follow (YouTubers, Instagrammers, Bloggers, Snapchatters, Viners, et al.), with top accounts featuring follower counts in the millions.
As such, brands are successfully marketing to millennials through the use of social media by partnering with these top influencers to create engaging, aspirational, and authentic content. Here are best examples of how brands are marketing to millennials through social media on channels they prefer the most:
To generate buzz and create shareable aspirational lifestyle content for the launch of their new CLA, Mercedes-Benz partnered with top YouTuber, Casey Neistat. Check out the rest of our post to see how many other car brands are marketing with social media influencers across all channels including Instagram and YouTube.
To Leverage Massive Consumer Reach, Car Brands Are Marketing With Top Social Media Influencers
In a recent article published in Automotive News, media strategist Peter Ternes of General Motors states "auto companies court influencers because they reach audiences carmakers wouldn't otherwise -- consumers who might never watch a car commercial or read a car magazine." Additionally, Ternes says car brands are "telling the same story to the same people over and over again" however, with the success of influencer marketing campaigns, these traditional automakers are now telling a new story to a completely different audience, previously unreachable.
See how car makers including GMC, Cadillac, Toyota, Maserati, and several others are partnering with top social media influencers to reach and engage vast new audiences across new and emerging social publishing channels:
Mercedes-Benz: YouTube & Instagram Marketing Campaigns With Several Top Social Media Influencers
How Chloé's Valentine's Day Fragrance Campaign Inspired "Love Stories" With Top Fashion Bloggers
In order to drive awareness and brand favorably with target consumer audiences, French fashion house and online retailer Chloé orchestrated an online campaign featuring several blog sponsored placements with top fashion bloggers. Not only did Chloé's influencer marketing campaign succeed with eliciting favorable audience sentiment, but did so by asking the world's most influential fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers to create exclusively branded content on their "Love Story" fragrance theme.
Influencer Marketing Case Study:
Primary Objective - to brand and drive awareness for the launch of Chloé's new fragrance, Love Story, by targeting high-end clientele via top fashion bloggers' audiences
Secondary Objective(s) - leverage top fashion bloggers' social, creative content, direction, and readership base as a jump off point for audience engagement
Strategic and timely campaign deployment surrounding Valentine's Day 2015 ensuring top of mind awareness
Ideate with influencers to creatively, organically, and individually integrate the "Love Story" theme into blog content
High levels of audience engagement including 100+ comments on Gal Meets Glam's single post
Immensely favorable consumer social sentiment regarding fragrance
Invaluable consumer feedback from distinct, target consumer audiences
Elevated brand awareness and messaging
Combined social reach (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) - 4,620,000+
Total blog audience reach (total page views, monthly uniques) - 7,000,000 page views; 1,400,000 monthly uniques
Founded in 1952, Chloé was one of the first brands to debut high end made-to-wear "prêt-à-porter" fashion collections. Since it's inception, Chloé has worked with many well-known fashion luminaries including Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, spokesmodel and actress Chloë Sevigny, and can count several celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Kirsten Dunst as high-profile clientele.
Though Chloé's storied history is both impressive and longstanding, the traditional fashion brand is one of many companies marketing to coveted demographics only available on digital, mobile, and social media networks. As demonstrated by their Love Story campaign, Chloé has adapted its marketing and advertising strategy to prominently feature top fashion bloggers and therefore ensure the dissemination of their brand amongst high-traffic sites and adjoining social media publishing channels.
Social Media Influencers Help Travel & Hospitality Brands Reach Untapped Audiences
As more and more brands team up with social media influencers to drive engagement, reach, and newfound awareness towards longstanding brands, the travel and hospitality sector is well-poised to transition from traditional modes of advertising into the best digital marketing practices. Many of the newer and emerging social media publishing channels are visually intensive (focusing on beautifully captured photos and well-shot videos) lending itself well to capturing experiences within the travel and hospitality industries.
Hotel giant, Marriott, recently rolled out their own global content studio, partnering with five top social media influencers: YouTubers Jeana Smith from PrankVsPrank, Louis Cole from FunForLouis, Tom from TheSyndicateProject, Steve Zaragoza from Sourcefed, Meghan Camarena from Strawburry17, and hosted by Shira Lazar of What’s Trending (a live daily interactive channel that features viral videos and various segments that cover trending topics). This major marketing partnership features a dedicated series that allows the viewer to follow the featured YouTuber as they travel and document their unique adventures. The following video chronicles a hotel lobby dance party surprising the millionth Marriott mobile app check-in user. By using this YouTuber marketing strategy, Marriott garnered close to 4M views in four months:
In addition to Marriott, many other travel and hotel brands are integrating top social media influencers into their marketing campaigns. With most consumers becoming increasingly both digital and mobile, YouTube and other social media publishing channels (blogs, Instagram, and Snapchat), is oftentimes the best medium for reaching engaged consumes online. YouTube is seeing prodigious growth, currently has 1B+ users, and is the second leading search engine behind Google. YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any U.S. cable network (see our post on digital media vs. TV).
Why Travel Brands Are Marketing With Social Media Influencers
Millennial consumers have taken over as the largest demographic, according to the US Census, millennial consumers now number at 83.1M compared to baby boomers who are now at 75.4M. This leaves many traditional brands wondering how to reinvent the way they market themselves. It is no longer a question that brands need to adapt, rather it’s how.
As such, these consumers look directly to their favorite social media influencers for advice, often following those who align with their personal aesthetics and lifestyle aspirations. According to a McKinsey study, recommendations from a trusted source are 50% more likely to lead to a conversion. Instead of a pitch man or a celebrity (see our post on how YouTubers rank higher than most mainstream celebrities in consumer affinity), consumers are now looking to their favorite bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers), Instagrammers, and YouTubers for their next travel adventure inspiration.