What is Influencer Marketing? (& Great Examples to Inspire You)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
10 minute read

What is Influencer Marketing? (& Great Examples to Inspire You)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
10 minute read

Do you want to know what influencer marketing is and how it can benefit your brand?

You’re in the right place!

In this post, we’re going to give a simple definition of influencer marketing.

Moreover, we’re going to break down four reasons why influencer marketing is important and why marketers should invest in influencer marketing.

Here’s a couple of the reasons we’re going to talk you through:

  • Increasing brand awareness with an efficient influencer marketing strategy
  • Enhancing authenticity and credibility

Last but not least, we’ll show you four inspiring examples of influencer marketing.

We’ve got lots to cover so let’s jump straight into it.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves product mentions, product placements, and endorsements from top influencers within a niche about a specific product or service.

In other words, influencer marketing is all about a company collaborating with social media influencers in a particular niche and trusting them to create sponsored content and giveaways that’ll help the company spread the word about its products and services.

For example, well-known YouTubers might create YouTube videos to promote the brands they’re working with to their subscribers, whereas an influencer who runs a podcast might advertise brands in their podcast episodes.

If you look at several influencer marketing case studies, you’ll see that there’s no fixed ‘template’ in terms of the content an influencer might produce for a brand.

There are several types of influencers which means that there are several unique ways of creating virtually any kind of content on any of the platforms an influencer is creating content for.  

In terms of the types of gifts companies might give influencers and their audience, we should say that retailers and other professionals working with influencers might also offer discount codes instead of products.

To put it simply, the options in terms of how a company pays an influencer or what it offers to their audience are plenty and diverse.

Whether you’ll work with a micro-influencer or a macro-influencer totally depends on your target audience and the type of influencer marketing campaign you want to run.

For example, if you’re a beauty and skincare brand like Lancôme, then it makes total sense to collaborate with a lifestyle blogger like Chiara Ferragni…

Lancome influencer marketing example
Image Source: Instagram

… who’s one of the most successful and well-known lifestyle influencers out there.

Having said that, influencers are people with an established audience who have some power over their audience’s buying decisions.

However, sometimes brands might create a different type of influencer marketing campaign where they work with people that might not be as well-known as Chiara Ferragni but still manage to influence others around them.

A great example of such a campaign comes from automobile company Subaru and their Meet an Owner Campaign, for which the company used real-life Subaru owners to become their brand ambassadors.

Subaru customer campaign
Image Source: Meet an Owner

Keep reading to find out more about the most important reasons why influencer marketing is important and how it can benefit your business.

Why is Influencer Marketing Important?

We’ve talked about what influencer marketing is.

Let’s now discuss some of the reasons why you should incorporate influencer marketing into your marketing efforts.

Here’s reason number one.

Reason #1: Reach wider audiences

The first reason why influencer marketing can be beneficial for a wide range of businesses is that, through collaboration with influencers in various industries, you can actually reach wider audiences than the ones you might have already established.

Put another way, by partnering with an influencer, you’re getting exposure to their loyal audience for your brand.

This basically means that, if you’ve analyzed your demographics and found that there’s a specific audience you want to reach, working with the right influencers in that niche can actually get you one step closer to your target audience.

Influencers and bloggers are people who have anything from a few hundred thousand to a few million followers across various platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

They’ve invested in building up their audiences and in being able to influence their audiences’ decisions.

Given the complexity of creating and establishing a loyal following of any size, we can understand just how useful and efficient – in terms of saving both money and time – it can be to reach an influencer’s organic audience instead of trying to build your own from scratch.

Reason #2: Increase brand awareness

Increasing brand awareness is another great thing you can achieve by using the power of influencer marketing.

More specifically, according to a report by Twitter, when it comes to brands and purchase decisions, 49% of users seem to rely on recommendations from influencers on the platform in terms of their purchase decisions and brand choices.

Influencer marketing manages to successfully use the dynamic of word of mouth marketing which basically means that influencers talk to their followers about brands as if they were friends or family members talking about their positive purchasing experiences.

On that note, several studies on word of mouth have shown us that recommendations for friends and families can be highly influential.

For example, the Talk Triggers word-of-mouth guide informs readers that recommendations from loved ones and others generally influence 90% of all buying decisions.

Reason #3: Enhance authenticity and credibility

The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report shows that 6 out of 10 Millennials trust what influencers say about a company more than they trust what the brand says about itself.

This clearly demonstrates how much more credible influencers are in the eyes of consumers.

Enhancing credibility and authenticity through influencer marketing is firmly linked to the fact that influencers tend to create close relationships with their followers.

We could say that these relationships, even though they are usually happening exclusively within the digital realm, are somehow similar to the relationships people create with some of their friends and other acquaintances.

This, as you can probably imagine, maximizes the chances of an influencer having the power to actually influence their followers’ decisions in terms of their taste, style, lifestyle, and a bunch of other life aspects.

In an attempt to explain why this is happening, we could say that it’s to do with the fact that, in the past decade, influencers, bloggers, and celebrities have started showing parts of their real lives to the public, which has naturally made them seem more approachable and this naturally affects their leverage with audiences.

Therefore, followers have probably started thinking of influencers as normal people that they can be really close to and relate to, thus making them ideal brand ambassadors.

Reason #4: Freshen up your content

The final reason we want to talk to you about is that influencer marketing is a great and creative way of freshening up your content.

Social media influencers, like Instagram influencers and YouTube influencers, for example, are content creators that generally spend their days creating engaging, eye-catching, and one-of-a-kind content for their own social media channels.

Partnering up with an influencer means you can simply repurpose the content they’re creating for their own platforms, thus providing your audience with unique, imaginative, and engaging content without you having to actually create it for your own brand.

This can help you both:

  • Get access to relevant, thoughtful content
  • Save time in terms of having to create new content for your audience every day

Since content created by influencers is a type of user-generated content (UGC), I guess you’ll be interested to see the following stat:

According to a report by Stackla, 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions in terms of new products.

Sounds like a valid reason to start focusing on UGC a bit more, doesn’t it?

How about discussing some influencer marketing examples that’ll show you how other brands have used influencer marketing and will possibly inspire you to create your very own influencer marketing campaign.

Here we go.

4 Influencer Marketing Examples to Inspire You

We’ve already talked about how working with influencers can help you spread your messaging, expand your audience, and attract potential customers.

The following four successful influencer marketing campaigns, some of which you might already know, will show you how super popular companies are creating influencer campaigns to generate buzz around their product launches and generally present their brand in a unique and creative way on their social media platforms.

Think of it this way; these brands, most of which were already going pretty well in terms of how they’ve been dealing with traditional advertising, are taking their digital marketing one step further and creating trending, high-quality content to make sure that they stand out in their target market.

Here are some of the best influencer marketing examples.

Example #1: Adidas x Beyoncé

We’re kicking off our list with a well-known company that’s pretty famous for taking content marketing to the next level through successful and creative collaborations with micro-influencers and influencers from various industries.

Enter… Adidas!

Even though Adidas generally has done lots and lots of different campaigns with influencers and superstars, in this post we’re going to focus on one of them.

That is their huge campaign with Beyoncé’s athleisure clothing line, Ivy Park.

Adidas and Beyonce influencer campaign
Image Source: Instagram

The results of their collaborative work are limited-edition capsule collections of swimwear, sneakers, and clothing that almost sold out very quickly.

What’s more, the collection offers gender-fluid garments for silhouettes in a truly wide range of sizes, thus enhancing even further both Adidas and Ivy Park’s potential reach and inclusivity.

Overall, this collaboration between the legendary brand and the superstar – with a huge following of 191 million followers – undoubtedly brings in results for both parties which can be easily seen in the engagement rate on Beyoncé’s Instagram posts and the boost Adidas is getting.

Consequently, we’d say that this was a strong influencer marketing move that hasn’t yet shown us all of its potential, but is definitely expected to explode.

Moving on.

Example #2: McDonald’s x Travis Scott

In September 2020, huge fast-food chain McDonald’s, along with rapper Travis Scott – also known by the nickname Cactus Jack -, dropped their collaboration of two parts.

Travis Scott and McDonald's influencer campaign
Image Source: Instagram

The first one was the Travis Scott menu for $6, available only in the States.

Additionally, the duo released a big merchandise collection that included various branded products ranging from t-shirts and hats to outerwear.

The collaboration between McDonald’s and Scott reportedly drove the rapper’s fans wild, with many of them creating a trend on TikTok by posting their McDonald’s x Travis Scott purchases with several hashtags, includes the #CactusJack hashtag:

Tik Tok influencer marketing campaign
Image Source: TikTok

Plus, McDonald’s had their employees familiarize themselves with popular Cactus Jack catchphrases that were circulating on social media to boost customer engagement when they’d order their Travis Scott meal.

Overall, the collaboration boosted sales for the food chain and gave the rapper some $20 million both from the initial endorsement and through merch sales, making this influencer marketing move a super successful one.

Let’s get to the next one.

Example #3: Bonobos

Bonobos is a men’s clothing and accessories brand that creates inclusive and fresh garments.

Like other brands in this list, Bonobos generally base their social media strategy on sharing UGC and also creating partnerships with influencers and celebrities that have a big following on social media.

Needless to say that this approach allows the brand to leverage the influencers’ following and also helps them to reach wider audiences.

What you see below is a post on the Bonobos Instagram account featuring HBOMax actor Johnny Sibilly wearing a Bonobos t-shirt and loving it.

Bonobos influencer campaign on instagram
Image Source: Instagram

Johnny Sibilly might not have the following of Travis Scott or Beyoncé, but he does have a following of almost 195,000 followers which means that, for a niche audience like the one Bonobos wishes to reach, this collaboration has a huge potential to reach a significant number of viewers.

Keep reading to find the final influencer marketing example we have for you.

Example #4: ASOS

The last influencer marketing example we want to show you is by ASOS.

ASOS is an eCommerce clothing brand that was also one of the early adopters of UGC and partnerships with influencers to both reach their target audience and keep their audience engaged.

The brand has managed to acquire a following of almost 12 million followers on Instagram.

What’s more, they’re known for producing fresh, trending content that resonates with their youthful and diverse audience.

An example of just one of the times ASOS used influencer marketing is the following…

ASOS influencer campaign on instagram
Image Source: Instagram

… with English make-up artist and digital creator who has over 4 million followers on Instagram, Lottie Tomlinson, promoting her self-tanning products that also happen to be available for sale on the ASOS platform.

We hope that these examples will inspire you to make the most of your creative freedom and start creating fresh content alongside influencers and celebrities.

Now Over to You

That was it!

You now know what influencer marketing is and some of the most prominent reasons why influencer marketing moves can help your company grow and efficiently reach your target audience.

In this post, we’ve seen several examples of influencer marketing campaigns that ran primarily on social media.

Keep in mind that all platforms, including your YouTube channel, your TikTok account, or any other social media you might be using, can provide you with the necessary space to start investing in partnerships and sponsorships with influencers.

If you can’t wait to start working this way but you need some help to find influencers and do some efficient influencer outreach, make sure to request a demo with Respona and get started with influencer marketing.

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi is the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one digital PR and link-building software that combines personalization with productivity. He also runs the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 8 million users and pass 2M monthly organic traffic. Since then, he’s been helping other companies achieve the same success via Respona.

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