8 Of The Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns From 8 Hot Agencies
8/06/2013 @ 2:36PM
The co-author of Influence Marketing, Danny Brown asked this question in a recent blog post:What’s the future of influence marketing?Brown goes on to outline in an infographic how agencies and brands are doing influencer marketing and how social scoring will most likely be replaced by return on investment (ROI) and performance metrics. Brown raises an important question, so I’ve decided to dig a little deeper to understand how the best are doing influencer marketing today, and to zero in on any performance metrics that may exist today.
In order to get a fresh perspective on influencer marketing as it exists today, I asked Ekaterina Walter, cofounder and CMO of Branderati about what brands needs to know: “With the hundreds of thousands of products launching every year and the amount of digital noise increasing exponentially, brands need a solution that would allow them to distinguish themselves from that noise.” Walter believes that brands need to create influencers and advocates networks and communities to stay above the noise.
Ironically, there’s also a lot of noise around today’s Influencer Marketing, and a number of firms (mine included) are holding contests to better understand who is doing it best. Traackr, an influencer identification and engagement company, has put a list together for those wanting to submit.
In the meantime, I went straight to a number of agencies I respect to get their take on influencer marketing, and hear a sampling of recent success stories. Each has conducted a number of stellar campaigns; here are some of the more innovative:
Got Chocolate Milk? Influencer Campaign
Weber Shandwick’s challenge was to turn a popular kid’s drink into a popular adult’s performance beverage. How did they do it? They turned to influencer marketing campaign to target credible influencers, athletes, sports nutritionists, sports and fitness bloggers, researchers, etc. help reshape the perceptions around the notion of chocolate milk being a great beverage to refuel after a workout
Hines Ward (Pittsburg Steelers) was central to the campaign as the team followed him through his workouts, sports dieticians, at sports medicine conferences to educate people on the science behind chocolate milk. Weber Shandwick understood notion of word-of-mouth, athlete to athlete influence and played that up as well. They recruited advocates on the benefits of chocolate milk on recovery and provided them information, forms, content and experience to allow them to become authoritative sources within their lifestyle.
Results: Perry reports that the campaign sales data shows a consistent year over year increase since the campaign launched in March 2012. The data was tracked through the milk processing board, which tracked it through their normal channels.
Perry told me, “One of the reasons why influencer marketing is a bit misunderstood, is that measurement hasn’t really caught up and it doesn’t have a budget line-item – so it lives in a grey space. But it’s cases like this where once you see the proof you’ll find the money.”
Launching a New Restaurant and Grocery Product Line
Lyfe Kitchen is a restaurant and retail grocer line. DKC works with a division in the grocer line. A major aspect of their work is influencer management and promotion. Their goals were to expand into new super markets and significantly increase word of mouth advertising through social media. They accomplished that by sourcing and working with influencers in the sports, health and fitness, fashion world, and influential moms.
Two of the smart things DKC did were to host a tasting for a national sports management company who liked the food so much, where they talked up the brand to their clients (the sports stars). Then, DKC hosted tastings for Self Magazine editors who then created buzz though articles and word of mouth.
The Results: “It’s still a new campaign, but the product is moving off the shelf despite there being no advertising. In fact, their growth and distribution grew from 400 to 1400 stores in a matter of months – with most of that growth coming from direct requests,” Diane Briskin of DKC told me.
BMW Enters the Olympics but Drives for Team USA
More than 300 dealerships nationwide and several influencers participated in the promotion, sending fliers to prospective BMW buyers offering them a chance to attend a special test-drive event and receive a limited-time $1,000 allowance toward the purchase of a new vehicle. The company had a member of Team USA at each of the events and made a $10 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee for every test drive taken. The promotion was focused on the company’s 3 Series model.
In Times Square, BMW participated in the “The Road to London”. At the event they had cars on display and gold medalist Gold Medalist Ricky Berens was on hand to sign autographs and generate excitement for the upcoming Games. BMW also participated at the USA House in London, which is a hospitality center for athletes and their families.
Results: Overall, the Drive for Team USA drove more than 20,000 people to attend some 277 events, and BMW converted approximately 25 percent of those drivers into buyers of new cars.
In addition, BMW hosted almost 20,000 visitors at the hospitality center. BMWUSA.com saw a 26% increase in site visits compared to the prior 4 weeks; received 14,000 new fans on Facebook and 80,000 video views on its Youtube channel.
Harry Potter and the 43 Influencers
Given the millions that have read JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and the millions that have seen the movies, would you believe that there are only 43 influencers who drive the majority of share conversation related to Harry Potter (content sharing)? I was surprised too.
“We did a lot in helping with the red carpet events and webinars and other content driven events, we’re finding that if you take email content and send it out to an audience of millions of people, you get a half percent clickthrough rate if you’re lucky. But if you go to those top 50 influencers that click through rate is closer to 9.5 to 10 percent.
Why? Because those people are passionate about sharing information and content within their communities. They want to become a relevant member of their community as opposed to talking at them. Once you know who has influence, provide them with content and start a relationship that they’re going to respect. That will bring them into their community.
“It’s not let’s email broadcast the top 50 – it’s let’s bring them to an event, get them on the phone, and write individual emails. It’s really old-fashioned relationship building applied to the new ways of doing things,” Pearson told me.
On tracking influencer campaigns: “We are agnostic on the platform for tracking. We work a lot with Sysomos. They do a good job of gathering data. We also use companies like Radian6, Datasift and we have our own scraping tools that get what we need,” Pearson said.
This will change the desire to have databases – these days most are a waste of time but you have to find the people that will do your sharing for you – that’s real data.
Sprint’s Political Advocacy Influencer Campaign
“For Sprint, we engaged key influencers to speak out and mobilize against AT&T’s effort to acquire T-Mobile. While we were very transparent about Sprint’s support for the effort, we focused on goals of great importance to those influencers, like competition, innovation and access. By demonstrating our commitment to advocatcy for those shared goals and contribute our assets – such as tools, information and creative artifacts like infographics – we were able to inspire those influencers to attract and mobilize their supporters, ultimately reaching millions. We broke the record for in-bound comments at the FCC when it opened for public comment on the deal and ultimately were able to raise sufficient opposition to defeat the acquisition.”
British Airways: Influencer Innovation Lab in the Sky
Taking place at 30,000 feet in the air aboard a private British Airways flight from San Francisco to London on June 12, 2013, the UnGrounded Innovation Lab in the Sky addressed the misalignment between where science and technology talent is emerging and where opportunity exists. British Airways chose to launch the UnGrounded flight from Silicon Valley, the global hub for technology and the de-facto model for how amazing ideas can be cultivated when people get together. Participants were hand-selected and included some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent thinkers – from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned business leaders, VCs and scholars.
The all-star line-up of innovators from leading companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, LeanIn.org and IDEO as well as venture firms such as Innovation Endeavors and Andreessen Horowitz, and organizations such as Clinton Global Initiative took to the skies to collaborate, ideate and create concepts and solutions to address the global talent challenges impacting innovation, entrepreneurship and the economy around the world. In just under five hours, this trailblazing group developed 22 concepts aimed to help people with STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) find opportunities to utilize their talent and drive global innovation. Flight participants explored the STEM challenge from four key angles – “fostering women in STEM;” “expanding STEM;” “meeting U.S. demand for STEM talent;” and “growing local STEM opportunities in emerging economies.”
Out of the 22 concepts developed, flight participants collectively selected one winner in each of the four exploration categories. The winning concepts were presented to United Nations ITU Committee at the DNA Summit in London on Friday, June 14. Through UnGrounded, British Airways had the opportunity to tap into some of the world’s most brilliant minds and demonstrate how ideas can accelerate when the right people come together.
Nikon’s Social Sharing Campaign
MWW forged a strategic partnership with Warner Music Group for Nikon to be the title sponsor of their SXSW Music residency as a platform to demonstrate the quality and capabilities of Nikon cameras. Nikon HD-SLR cameras were used to capture live performances that were live streamed over the three-night event. Stations and roaming photographers gave people the opportunity to use the cameras and instantly share pictures to their personal Facebook communities.
Social promotion created widespread buzz during the festival and our program hashtag (#NikonWarnerSound) became one of the top trending topics on Twitter all three nights during SXSW Music. Additionally, select artists performing at the Nikon Warner Music residency at SXSW used Nikon cameras to capture and share their experiences leading up to the show to get fans and consumers excited about the event.
According to Kempner, “We measured consumer participation, positive awareness and conversation. The success was driven by strong fan engagement both offline and online. Fans were able to try Nikon cameras at the event and share their images to their personal Facebook communities. Those outside of SXSW were able to view live stream video content and follow social sharing on Facebook and Twitter to create a swell of awareness and positive sentiment for the Nikon brand.”
· More than 500,000 people watched our live stream shot with Nikon HD-SLR cameras and the average viewing (11+ minutes) was 5X the industry average
· We reached the #1 trending topic on Twitter the 2nd night of our three-day activation and were among the top trending topics all three nights
· Over 1,100 photos were captured and shared by consumers taken with Nikon cameras that attended the event
· More than 15,000 social posts featured our program tag #NikonWarnerSound and sentiment was incredibly positive
· The campaign generated over 46 million media impressions through coverage in leading publications and more than 166 million social impressions.
Hewlett Packard’s Reinforcing Commitment to the PC and Printer Markets
In light of the controversial headlines, Hewlett Packard turned to Edelman to help the company deliver an experience for media and influencers that would restore consumers’ trust and reinforce the brand’s commitment to the PC and printer markets.
Working with HP’s marketing and PR departments, Edelman helped secure nearly 600 international media and influencers from 65 countries for the Global Influencer Summit (GIS) in Shanghai, China. There, HP unveiled more than 80 new computers and printers at one of the biggest product launches in the company’s history.
Edelman worked with personalities like Project Runway’s Anya Ayoung-Chee, to spread word of the product launches through their online channels. The summit featured keynotes with partners and customers, as well as HP executives including EVP Todd Bradley and CEO Meg Whitman. Influencers explored HP’s strategy and vision at a product showcase and during six breakout sessions developed in partnership with Edelman’s team.
Results: Despite being a challenging time for HP, Edelman helped the company continue meaningful interactions with media, consumers and partners. The firm secured more than 2,500 articles about the summit, which reached over 60 million readers across the region. Over the course of the two-day event, Edelman drove over 74,000 social media conversations in Asia Pacific alone. Globally, 35 billion media impressions were generated, nine million social impressions through media coverage and 5,500 press hits.