2019 is well underway, and with it comes heightened motivation for companies to up their content marketing game. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective methods brands have at their disposal, in fact, 89% of marketers consider the ROI from influencer marketing to be comparable to or better than other marketing channels. From Timex to Tiffany’s, companies have turned to influencers to help drive sales and cement their brand image among watchful consumers.
While some companies elect to work with a large number of high-reach influencers, a more compact approach can be similarly effective. Warby Parker, an American retailer of prescription eyewear founded in 2010, is worth $2 billion. Part of their success can be attributed to their work with niche Instagram and YouTube influencers. Warby Parker’s marketing strategy has a few unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest.
“Wearing Warby” is Warby Parker’s dedicated page to its roster of seven influencer customers, showcasing them in their native environments. A recent Instagram post from the brand’s Instagram account suggests they will pick a crop of new influencers for 2019. In June 2018, Warby Parker worked with its crop of nontraditional influencers (their Instagram feeds didn’t suggest a track record of constant brand collaborations) to disseminate sponsored posts as part of their #WearingWarby series.
Each influencer had at least one previous non-sponsored Instagram post in which they wore Warby Parker glasses—a testament to the authentic and natural fit of the brand partnership. Below, we explore the effectiveness of Warby Parker’s marketing campaign with influencers.
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I’m excited to partner with @warbyparker on their #wearingwarby campaign, and to extend my sincerest apologies to anyone I’ve ever snubbed when I was inadvisably without my glasses. Truly a delight to work with Warby’s exceptionally talented team on this. Link for more ? and a little bit of ? in my story.
Rather than picking any popular influencer, Warby Parker targeted a more creative audience, featuring a broad range of ages, ethnicities, and personalities. The seven influencers shared two commonalities:
The choice to highlight creative professionals doing what they do best was likely deliberate. Warby Parker focuses champions a genuine approach, ensuring they partner with influencers who already love the brand—an apt choice considering authenticity is the main reason millennials prefer endorsements by peers vs celebrities.
While a few of Warby Parker’s sponsored posts center around their product alone—say this one by Sophia Chang—the majority portray influencers doing what they love while wearing their favorite Warby Parker specs.
Combined results from the 18 posts in “Wearing Warby” series:
Boasting 348,000 followers, Molly Yeh is the most popular influencer to take part in the Wearing Warby series. Her hyperlapse video, in which she decorated an elaborate cake while wearing Warby Parker glasses, generated 5,844 likes and 81 comments.
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Parker Kit Hill has slightly fewer followers than Molly, around 363,000, but his post by far generated the highest total engagement. The ballet dancer looked his followers in the eye and struck an artsy pose, touting his love for his pair of Warby Parker glasses. The photo earned 11,049 likes and 52 comments.
Unlike Molly and Parker, Franklin Leonard is a nano-influencer with just under 8,000 followers. His post captured his screenwriting interest, receiving 702 likes and 23 comments, producing the highest engagement of any other post in the Wearing Warby series at just over 6%.