We can be all talk for a month, but no theory compares to the inspirational drive that a good example can bring. Today’s 10 influencer marketing case studies are going to reveal the practical side of a social media campaign and how it reaches the sweet spot of virality.
1. Encapsulate Brand Culture in One Inspirational Trademark
Nike has remained true to its essence since 1988. Shout: Just Do It! and your train of thoughts takes a short turn to hard training, sculpting your body through sweat, accomplishment, Nike, champion, active lifestyle.
Nike transported its trademark to modern times, without spilling any bit of its meaning, in the form of a hashtag: #justdoit. The official Instagram account tells stories of its fitness ambassadors. Each post reveals one insight that has shaped characters into progressive athletes.
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“Whatever happens, we’re a team. In defeat as much as in victory. It’s impossible to win by yourself.” @amandine_henry ⠀ When Amandine Henry and her teammates were young, they could only dream of an opportunity like this. ⠀ Today, that dream becomes reality. ⠀ Don’t change your dream. Change the world. #justdoit
In their turn, users and influencers create content organically inspired by Nike’s perennial invitation to movement. The sports brand activates micro-influencers mostly, even those with as few as 10k followers. Being part of Nike’s community of sports leaders incentivizes content creators to accept rewards other than financial.
2. Win the Spotlight in the Competitive Luxury Landscape alongside Influencers
DSW is a small discount shoe brand with a big dream: to be as sparkly and empowering as any of its high-end competitors. Therefore, the retailer skipped traditional marketing and unlocked the influence of content creators.
However, it’s not just about shoes. The winning tweak was for DSW to elevate the fascination for footwear with the ubiquitous desire for traveling. As such, the brand reached out to influencers active mostly on the adventurous side of Instagram.
By partnering with big accounts complementary to its industry, DSW tapped into unconventional sources of new leads. Back in the third quarter of 2018, the 17.2% increased revenue stood proof for the success influencers produced for DSW. So far, our influencer marketing case studies underline the power of influencers of converting leads into customers.
3. Ask the Community (Not Your Intuition) What They Want You to Create
Prices for all budgets, innovative designs, flamboyant apparel – that’s how H&M intended to revigorate its image when it launched the Nyden collection in 2018. However, instead of predicting trends, the fast-fashion retailer is asking their community for style ideas.
Under the #HMxME hashtag, H&M devised a whole new production strategy. This keyword alone generated more than 286,000 posts, an impressive number that indicates a campaign success.
The innovative H&M plan goes like this. First, influencers receive prototypes that they are allowed to show in their Stories. For each post, they ask their audience to answer polls regarding looks, colors, features, and details.
Afterward, H&M gets feedback from each influencer, rounding up clear guidelines on how to improve their new designs. By using influencers for data collection, H&M rests assured that every piece they create has already a fan base ready to spread the buzz and generate a shopping spree.
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I DON’T BELIEVE IN WALLFLOWERS. It took millions of years and cosmic energy for the universe to create the only YOU there will ever be. Don’t let a day go by where you don’t think- it’s a flippin fantastic miracle that I get to BE ALIVE. Today is the day to start living your dream life, don’t sit on the sidelines… don’t be a wallflower. Be bold, be ballsy, and be THAT GIRL you envision becoming sometime off in the distant future TODAY. When you radiate at that frequency… the whole world around you will too, and watch how fast things fall into place! Xo, Quigley // Head to toe @hm ! #hmxme #hmleague
On the downside, this level of transparency allows any prying eyes to see what audiences love and replicate their looks. On the other hand, H&M is known for its fast-paced factories. This enables H&M to always be the first to launch a new collection.
4. Unleash the Entire Product Awesomeness
Renowned brand Hugo Boss made waves when it launched a challenge around its Boss perfume featuring Marvel star, Chris Hemsworth. The video concept was anything but ordinary.
Viewers witnessed how Chris plunged into the ocean waves on a surfboard. All this time, the dashing actor was wearing a smart black suit. At the end of the clip, Hugo passed the challenge to all men with a desire to do great things in style.
Eventually, this adrenaline-pumping commercial started a #SuitChallenge movement which resulted in hundreds of resourceful images. Shortly after, Instagram saw a slew of out-of-the-box visuals. Men started wearing suits but on tennis or basketball fields, in the wilderness, on paddleboards, doing parkour, and in other uncomfortably perfect backgrounds.
Usually, an expensive suit and the salty ocean water don’t work together. However, the Boss influencer marketing campaign managed to pull this off in the most original way and inspired men for greatness.
5. Steal a Ferarri-Level Macro-Influencer for Your Ambassador Program
Automotive market Autotrader dreamt big so the company looked for a macro-influencer. Doug DeMuro is the number one influencer in the automotive industry. He’s funny, entertaining, but he never neglects core details that make up the character of a car.
In the past, the reviewer shook hands on some amazing partnerships with the likes of Porsche and Ferarri. However, Autotrader managed to add the Doug empire to its portfolio of brand ambassadors.
Their partnership covered waves of content on multiple-channels: website, Instagram, blog, YouTube, etc. The company even assigned a new Autotrader page to Doug called Oversteer. All in all, our influencer marketing case studies show us that one macro-influencer with a high compatibility score can raise more awareness than any ad.
6. Give Influencers Free Rein to Make Your Startup Worldwide Known
If you have heard so far about drones and their enchanting aerial captures, it is all thanks to DJI. Chinese brand entered the mainstream by taking full advantage of influencer campaigns.
With each new product launch, DJI collaborated with new influencers with a fresh vision on life. So far, the strategy was to equip creators with DJI only video tech. Concept, location, details were all up to account owners to decide.
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Sea 🌊 Filmed with the @djiglobal #osmopocket used @pgytech #pgytechfilters pro #filmmaking #djiglobal #dayinthelife #djiosmopocket #beautifuldestinations #time #aerialphotography #videomaker #druno #magic #lazio #osmo #visitlazio #djicreator #creative #djisurreal #djihyperlapse #sea #djitravel #cosmolapse #summer #djiactivetrack #djitracking #djinature #mypocketstory
Consequently, the brand unlocked an endless source of unique visuals. Each entry proves that DJI drones and cameras have amazing features to record ambitious productions.
7. Humanize Products through the Innocent Eyes of a Famous Pet
One of our 10 influencer marketing case studies brings to our attention the impact the presence of a dog can create for a brand. Mercedez Benz skipped Instagram and collaborated instead with YouTube canine celebrity, Loki.
Together with his master, Loki starts an adventure in Colorado. They take to the secluded streets hidden under a Christmassy layer of snow on a Mercedez Benz. Thanks to the immersive 360° format, viewers feel like they are part of the experience.
The video charm springs from the story narrated in the background, uplifting song, mesmerizing view, and the happiness of the furry friend. In contrast to traditional ads and commercials, the advertised product runs silently in the background. There hovers just a hint to its quality, and what we see is a fulfilling moment in the life of two best friends.
8. Reinventing the Mattress One Snooze at a Time
Casper was the first mattress company to bring some fresh air into this old-fashioned industry. Instead of store distributors, the brand mails mattresses in a box. Instead of traditional ads and stiff CTAs, Casper worked with influencers on growing awareness.
First of all, the new approach to advertising included a curated list of young influencers of hip taste. Their requirements for YouTube and Instagram content were limited to authenticity and transparency.
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If only you knew all the things you can accomplish after a long night’s sleep on a @casper Wave Hybrid… 🌝👊🏼⏰ All week, my emails were done by 9am – phone calls too – the cat has been cuddled and I was ready for my million appointments. If you guys want to sleep as well as I did since I received my new mattress, you can use my code "audrey10" and enjoy a $100 off any Casper Mattress! — Link in bio. ✨ #apartmenttherapy #myscandinavianhome #interiordesign #gifted #theartofslowliving #mybeigelife #catsofinstagram
Secondly, Casper gave influencers more power by creating customized coupons for them. This way, creators receive one more resource to energize loyalty levels across their communities. On top of that, this is a seamless way to promote a product and naturally bring it to their audiences’ attention.
Through these reviewers outside the mainstream, Casper managed to raise brand awareness and strengthen its position as to veteran competitors. In a span of two years, Casper was ranking higher than other established names in the industry.
9. Influencer Campaigns Work Their Magic for B2B Too
Our influencer marketing case studies reveal a fertile environment for B2B promotion as well. Software company SAP develops solutions solely for enterprises. However, this didn’t stop this brand from managing a strong presence on social media.
Unlike B2C practices, their list of influencers contains only top names in decision-making positions. Consequently, their influencer marketing consists of executives, CEOs, and even academics and consultants.
SAP visioned an organic method to make its software solutions visible to a wide professional audience. Their idea focused on invitations for specialists and experts to industry events. Once there, influencers populated their content plans with live Facebook streaming, interviews, and YouTube talks.
In its turn, SAP was able to repurpose influencer-generated content for its own Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Eventually, the B2B corporation kept in touch with enough specialists to build its own program with SAP Technology Ambassadors.
10. Your Brand Cares
To begin with, BoxedWater based its entire business on an eco-friendly concept that links the brand to altruistic traits. Drinkable water, a completely recyclable package, and raw materials taken from certified forests are key ingredients that can spark a sustainable movement.
By positioning themselves as environmental activists, BoxedWater speaks directly to the two generations that care: Millennials and Generation Z. Moreover, the brand keeps true to its philanthropic efforts at all times.
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A #sustainable way to store food + a fun activity for fending off those #SundayScaries. Win-win. Ditch the plastic wrap and make beeswax wraps at home! 🐝 #BoxedWater #BoxedWaterIsBetter #BetterPlanet #DIY #Crafts #KidsActivities #Green #Renewable #NoPlasticPledge #Ecofriendly
After a campaign of repopulating forests, BoxedWater continues in this direction with a #NoPlasticPledge. In a word, the company challenged users to 30 days of no plastic usage. To encourage them to stay on track at all times, the company sent a free kit to any new entry consisting of stickers, a T-shirt, a tote bag, and a pledge bracelet.
This type of humanitarian projects on social media usually boosts visibility. On top of that, they create quality customers as they tend to stay loyal to those brands that display authenticity and social engagement.
All in all, our 10 influencer marketing case studies reveal how flexible marketers can be on social channels to drive results. Personalized coupons, an inspirational trademark, one extremely niche macro-influencer, and ambassador programs are just a few of the strategies brands can enact organically to attract new leads.
Let us know in the comments what campaign example applies to your business the most! How would you improve it?