The unfortunate truth is that influencer marketing is becoming familiar. In some cases, we may go so far as to say that influencer marketing appears stale to some. With the rise of influencer marketing, influencers began building empires, and brands began climbing their way to the top with influencer collaborations and partnerships. We’ve become familiar with the model — an influencer posts about why they love <INSERT BRAND NAME> while holding a sample of the product and smiling convincingly. We’ll be looking at the best examples of influencer marketing.
Because… there are some brands that are succeeding far above the rest. These brands are managing to strike the right balance between authenticity and advertising to drive sales and growth to their business.
With these 12 brands, we’ll highlight the best examples of influencer marketing, as well as the reason we think they are killing it with their influencer campaigns!
Chubbies Shorts: Authentic Tags and Mentions
Chubbies Shorts is a brand that stands for fun, adventure, and a laidback mindset. In looking through their influencer content, it’s clear to see that they’ve really worked hard to partner with those that encompass the same lifestyle. Chubbies Shorts tagged mentions shows picture after picture of dudes at the beach, teens having fun in brightly colored blazers and ties, and tons of bro-based shenanigans.
In creating their influencer content strategy, Chubbies proved that they knew their audience better than anyone else. They were able to find the right influencers to get their message out and these influencers reciprocated with images that fit the Chubbies lifestyle perfectly. They are one of the best examples of influencer marketing because their influencer content is truly authentic and speaks well to Chubbies’ target customers.
Pura Vida Bracelets: Capturing the Emotional Center
Pura Vida Bracelets has a similar page of mentions and tags like Chubbies. The difference is that Pura Vida Bracelets has figured out how to capture the entire scope of their potential customers’ favorite things. They have a cohesive set of mentions and tags that show women wearing their bracelets with confidence, but there is a huge amount of diversity among the images. There are women at the beach, women already well into the fall season’s fashions, and even images of DIY projects. Instead of focusing on a particular motif, Pura Vida Bracelets has captured the emotional core of their product and how it appeals to a broad audience.
One look at their influencer content shows you that they are all about leading a fun-loving, relaxed life. They’ve shown that their bracelets match just as well with bathing suits as they do with sweaters. The common element in their influencer content is the emotional core. These women appear peaceful, joyful, and fun-loving. Instead of focusing on a location or a specific lifestyle, Pura Vida Bracelets is focused on the end result — the feeling women have while wearing Pura Vida Bracelets.
Coca-Cola: Multi-Faceted Social Campaigns
Even when Coca-Cola created this in-house campaign for World Kindness Day, they got influencers involved. Street artists Greg Mike, Stefan Kunz, Ricardo Gonzalez, and Timothy Goodman helped to create graphics so that Coca-Cola could flood their feed with over 100 pieces of content meant to spread kindness and love. They used the hashtag #refreshthefeed as an opportunity to clean out old content (archiving/deleting everything that didn’t support their current brand goals), showcase these influencers’ work, and spread a message that promoted positive brand awareness. It appears they’ve also done this a few times, archiving their old content and starting fresh with a different theme.
Now that’s a multi-faceted social campaign!
Ebay’s #FillYourCartWithColor Campaign: User-Generated Content
In 2017, ebay began advertising for their #FillYourCartWithColor campaign. They partnered with influencers to help spread the message. Not only have they now created amazing influencer content, they’ve also encouraged user-generated content using this branded hashtag. This hashtag has been adopted by fashion influencers at large, regardless of if they are officially sponsored or partnered with ebay. This has greatly extended the reach of the campaign.
The trick here is that ebay chose a hashtag that had broad usage. It could be used by influencers, people sharing their shopping hauls on social media, fashion bloggers, extreme couponers, and shopping enthusiasts. It had applications beyond being a commercial for ebay, while still reinforcing ebay’s core messaging — that shopping on ebay is a fun, colorful experience.
MVMT: Co-Branded Products
MVMT teamed with Sam Kolder to create a collection of watches that matched his personal style. On their website, you can find a Sam Kolder collection featuring images from his adventures featured next to the watches that he helped to design. The collection is designed to be a magnet for his followers. They get the familiarity of his content with a set of watches that blend seamlessly into his aesthetic. Subconsciously, the page tells visitors that to be more like Sam Kolder, you just need this watch.
Gymshark: Influencer Content on Their Website
Gymshark has mastered the art of web content with influencers. They have a clear landing page that lists all of the influencers that they are working with, as well as providing social proof that they are the brand worn by successful athletes. From there, you can go to each influencer’s own personal page on the Gymshark website. It is full of personal details and even has a Spotify playlist with the influencer’s recommended workout music.
By featuring their ambassadors on their website, influencers benefit from the exposure and Gymshark benefits from their notoriety. It is also a way to personalize the brand. The brand becomes associated more closely with the personalities that are listed on these pages. Gymshark is able to put a face to the brand through their influencers.
Retro and Groovy: Finding Influencers Who Already Love Their Brand
When looking through their sales, Retro and Groovy noticed that Emma Chamberlain (LA YouTuber) had placed an order with them. Instead of shipping her order like everyone else’s, they wrote a thank you note and sent her a unique coupon code that she could use on future purchases or share with her audience. Emma Chamberlain has made several purchases since then, using her discount code and always receiving the VIP treatment from Retro and Groovy. Certain reposting accounts also picked up Emma Chamberlain’s pictures and tagged the products in their pictures, furthering the reach of Retro and Groovy’s products.
Retro and Groovy succeeded in getting mentions with Emma Chamberlain because they had a system in place to notice and act on purchases from notable customers. Retro and Groovy used the Carro app to same them time when sorting through the data to find influential customers.
Organifi: Mobilizing an Army of Influencers
Organifi sends out product samples in droves in order to get the mentions that they are looking for. They created a system that allows influencers to easily receive product samples that they can post about. Organifi has worked with a wide variety of influencers, including key demographics within the fitness and wellness categories. Organifi has accurately identified which audiences gravitate to their product and partnered with influencers who overlap. If you go to their mentions and tags, you can see yoga influencers, fitness instructors, workout enthusiasts, body builders, and nutritionists.
Sprint #LiveUnlimited: Picking the Right Influencers
When Sprint was working on rebranding themselves, they won over the Verizon “Can you hear me now?” guy and then set their sites on users with unlimited data plans. Instead of showcasing the features of their data plan, they focused on living unlimited across all the different areas of life.
Sprint partnered with musicians, entrepreneurs, and actors that presented their version of #LiveUnlimited. In doing so, they were able to espouse the emotion of the campaign and reach a broad audience. They picked influencers that reinforced the pillars of their entire ad campaign. This helped them capture the mood of the campaign, while reaching an extremely broad audience. Imagine, this campaign was aimed at everyone with a smartphone and a data plan!
Old Navy: Pairing Influencers with a Cause
When Old Navy was looking for a way to spread the word about Black Friday sales, they turned to Alex Rodriguez (retired New York Yankee) as their influencer. However, they upped the ante of their promotion by providing additional incentives for people to shop at Old Navy. Alex Rodriguez and Old Navy partnered to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA). They were able to raise over $1 million on Black Friday alone.
The benefits are more than meets the eye. Alex Rodriguez and Old Navy benefitted from the positive press of raising money for charity. Old Navy made millions in sales over the course of the holiday weekend. Old Navy and Alex Rodriguez both appear extremely altruistic and the campaign creates brand awareness, while painting the entire company in a positive light. They are included in our best examples of influencer marketing because they helped the BGCA through their influencer partnerships.
Sperry: Working with Micro-Influencers
Sperry, the popular boat shoe brand, worked with more than 100 micro-influencers on Instagram to create their brand awareness campaign. They identified the fans on Instagram who were already sharing high-quality photos of their products. By connecting with these engaged fans, they were able to fuel content production for their official Instagram account. They also got authentic content across a wide variety of influencers.
Loeffler Randall: LR Ambassadors & Diversity
Loeffler Randall made diversity a priority for their influencer campaigns. They found a diverse group of writers, painters, florists, and other creative women to share their brand’s message. The brand describes these “LR Ambassadors” as “cool girls doing cool things.”
In creating this campaign, Loeffler Randall’s focus was on diversity–both in their influencers and the content that each influencer produces. This variety will help to capture a large segment of their demographic with entertaining content that excites their audiences.
Glossier: Micro-Influencers and Superfans
Glossier has positioned itself as a beauty company that is real and authentic. To reinforce this brand messaging, Glossier relies on regular women to spread the word about their products. While most beauty companies are sharing makeup gurus, Glossier sets itself apart by picturing fresh-faced women embracing their natural beauty.
By relying on micro-influencers and superfans, Glossier is becoming the everyman’s, or should I say everywoman’s, skincare and beauty. These best examples of influencer marketing center around the average woman and their influencer content aligns with these principles.
Learning from the Best Examples of Influencer Marketing
In 2020, the keys to creating amazing influencer marketing campaigns is creating authentic representations of your brand’s ideals and messaging. Even the biggest of influencers will fall flat if they don’t appear genuine. Finding unique ways to deploy influencers takes a deep understanding of the brand’s target customers. You also have to be willing to step outside of the norm. These brands found ways to subvert the typical influencer experience and create something with a lot of entertainment value for their audiences. These are the best examples of influencer marketing because they are real, authentic, and connected!
Chubbies Shorts, Retro and Groovy, and Organifi use Carro to facilitate their influencer marketing.