When it’s done well, influencer marketing boosts revenue and brand exposure.
Partnering with aligned content creators who have influence with their audience, businesses can reach new customers and market their products authentically.
As marketers, we love to break new ground, but we’re also smart enough to learn and take inspiration from other successful efforts.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few interesting and successful influencer marketing historical efforts from other major brands.
Nothing Beats a Londoner
London-based influencers Skepta, Harry Kane, and Anthony Joshua were among those featured in Nike’s 2018 “Nothing Beats a Londoner” campaign. The hub of the campaign was a short brand film that garnered over 6 million views (that’s two-thirds of London’s population if you’re playing the home game). Influencers were the spokes, connecting their audiences with the ad, aimed at making Nike relevant to London’s diverse population.
The lesson: Influencer marketing requires authenticity and relevance. Nike connected with a diverse audience by presenting London influencers. The influencer’s brand and city link amplified the message.
As Seen On Me
ASOS encouraged shoppers to use #AsSeenOnMe to share images of themselves wearing ASOS clothes on social media. There was a throughline of body positivity and celebrating individualism. Influencers led the charge as the first to use the hashtag and turning into a trend as opposed to just another marketing effort. Influencers also kept the hashtag going over the longtail to the point that nearly 2.5 million #AsSeenOnMe images were shared on Instagram.
The campaign leaned on social proof and further build the brand community around this unisex fashion and beauty brand.
The lesson: User-generated content boosts influencer marketing and influencers can kickstart user-generated content. A unique hashtag makes it easier for people to join in and if it cracks the trending lists (with a little help from influencers) that hashtag can take on a life of its own.
In the early days of the age of influence, Starbucks encouraged customers to post images of their holiday-themed red cups using #RedCupContest. The result: nearly 1.4 million images shared that used the tag and who knows how many more that didn’t.
While the company may not have known it at the time, it was emerging influencers — including what we call nano and micro influencers today — who helped to start the groundswell. Back then, it was just called “going viral.”
Takeaway: A lot has changed in nine years. #RedCupContest is an awkward hashtag by today’s standards but the core lessons remain.
Tapping into the Christmas spirit and brand recognition, as well as understanding the platform and keeping the ask relatively small all secure this campaign for the long-term. Thanks to emerging influencers and the crowd effect, sharing a picture of your coffee cup became not just a socially acceptable thing to do but the thing to do in the relatively early days of Instagram. The now iconic red cup lives on to this day and sharing a pic of your morning brew is like a social tradition at this point.
What have we learned?
Authenticity and relevancy matter. Businesses can juice awareness and sales by connecting with influencers who can boost authentic content. User-generated content, hashtags, and social proof will help in reaching more people and building community around an idea but they need a kickstart.
A solid campaign idea is important. When influencers buy in and authentically share the message, they lead by example and their audience and community are likely to follow suit.
Getting a sense of the influencer’s approach to negative comments and feedback is helpful to understand how they’ll handle any issues that may arise during the campaign.