In 2018, the influencer marketing industry has continued to show signs of impressive growth. Global spending on influencer marketing campaigns by companies has increased substantially from $500 million in 2015 to a projected figure of at least $5 billion by 2020. As large and small brands continue to allocate more and more money to their influencer marketing budgets, successful campaigns with influencers of all followings are becoming vital components in their marketing strategies.
Meanwhile, in the midst of this Holiday shopping season, influencers will once again be a hot commodity for brands. National Retail Federation data estimates a sales increase of 4-5% from last year for a total of $721 billion, in addition to an online sales surge of 15% to $97 billion spent this Christmas. With influencers finding greatest success marketing to the coveted Millennial and Gen Z markets, this festive season is just the icing on the cake for the flourishing influencer brand campaigns in 2018.
With the year drawing to a close, let’s take a look at some of the very best influencer marketing campaigns of 2018.
Related Post: 21 Best Influencer Marketing Case Studies
Kicking us off is none other than musical artist Post Malone, who was featured as one of the faces of a promotional campaign by food delivery service Postmates. The campaign, named The Receipt, looked at how the musician used the service over 660 times in over 50 cities for a total north of $40,000.
As one of the biggest stars of 2018 and with a huge social media following, influencers like Post Malone are key to the strategies of companies attempting to reach out to young, mainstream audiences. Postmates’ blog post on the artist prompted a deluge of articles about his ordering habits, with no cross-promotion of any kind on his end—a testament to the strength of star power in an influencer marketing campaign.
Related Post: 10 Celebrities On The Quest For YouTube Stardom
Anna Akana is a YouTuber comedian and actor with a following of 2.4 million subscribers. Eyewear company Warby Parker chose Akana as the face of a minute-long collaborative commercial uploaded to her channel. The ad is snappy and playful, predominantly depicting Akana zanily interacting with her cats—a trademark of hers—while music plays in the background.
The video on YouTube racked up just over 200,000 views, which is slightly under average compared to the viewership of her other content. However, with over 13,000 likes and comments, engagement was still high at a rate of 6.7%. In addition to this, Warby Parker cross-promoted on their Instagram page with a looped snippet from the video.
Liza Koshy, a veritable YouTube superstar with 16 million subscribers, is also on the list after being snagged by Nordstrom to appear for their anniversary sale last summer. Koshy joined three other young comedians for the campaign, designed to reach out to the Millennial demographic with fashion-savvy influencers who bring a light-hearted approach to their work.
Koshy featured in a short 15-second promo for the campaign uploaded to Nordstrom’s modest YouTube channel, but it was the comic’s cross-promotion on Instagram that provided the most reach. Her post promoting the sale to her 4 million followers notched up 436,000 likes and comments, for an impressive engagement rate of 10.9%.
Dating app Bumble and musician Marshmello teamed up for a sponsored promotion giving fans the opportunity to partake in his next music video. The DJ has 14.9 million followers on Instagram and once again, largely appeals to the sought after Millennial and Gen Z demographics. Like Post Malone, Marshmello is considered a celebrity influencer whose social media presence is secondary to his popularity.
For the campaign, Bumble primarily used Instagram, uploading a post to their account featuring Marshmello and the giveaway to their modest following. On Marshmello’s personal Instagram account, he also promoted the giveaway, using the #bumblepartner tag. His post garnered 559,000 likes and comments for an engagement rate of 3.8%.
Another big-hitting YouTuber makes the list—this time, it’s online personality MrBeast, who boasts 12.7 million subscribers on his channel. In partnership with Honey, a browser extension designed to search for coupons and deals for customers, MrBeast’s campaign centered around sponsored videos—primarily involving him donating large amounts of money to twitch streamers or spending big on lottery tickets.
The videos, which seem to be a long-running collaboration spanning most of the year, feature an in-video plug for the sponsorship recommending fans to download the app. With viewing figures totaling tens of millions, the reach of securing a partnership with an influencer of MrBeast’s stature is undeniable.