Today, brands are coming up with creative ways to engage key influencers within communities to help them market their brand, their products and services. Let’s look at three influencer marketing campaigns to remember.
Influencer marketing – the type of marketing that has brands partnering with individuals who have the power to get the word out, and rouse action from the target consumer – is growing.
Over the past few years, big brands have creatively collaborated with key people who have influence over their communities. In this Forbes article, author Kyle Wong discusses the explosion of this new type of marketing, and what brands can do to prepare.
Let’s review three brilliant influencer marketing campaigns to date.
1. 7 Influential Bloggers Effectively Launch a Theme Park
This classic example of influencer marketing dates back all the way to 2007, when the VP of public relations and new media at Universal Orlando Resort decided to engage community influencers to get the word out about “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” – a new theme at the park.
Seven influential bloggers from Harry Potter fan sites were invited to be the first to know about the planned Harry Potter attractions, and from that, 350 million people heard the news.
Cynthia Gordon, the woman behind this influencer marketing campaign (today vice president of corporate affairs at Nintendo of America), had this to say about influencer marketing in David Meerman Scott’s publication, “The New Rules of Viral Marketing”:
“When you have a passionate fan base for your brand, the Internet is especially vital for going viral. Communicating to a small but powerful group of fans first online to enlist their support is a smart way to ensure positive coverage in the mainstream press. The power of the Internet makes it easier for people to fall in love with you faster.”
2. MasterCard Uses Celebrities to Drive Engagement, Touch Lives
Having celebrities as the face of a brand is nothing new, but what is new is the way in which these campaigns are impacting the consumer and driving engagement.
As part of its “Priceless Surprises” program, MasterCard kicked off a social campaign with the hashtag #PricelessSurprises in January 2014 for Twitter and Instagram, which surprises consumers with gifts to remember, like a visit from Justin Timberlake. In a press release, MasterCard’s CMO, Raja Rajamannar, said of the program:
”The success of Priceless is driven by the campaign’s ability to create emotion, influence behavior, unite people and touch upon consumer passions. Priceless Surprises is an evolution from celebrating priceless moments and enabling priceless experiences to inspiring Priceless in new and unexpected ways.”
Priceless Surprises is an expansion of and new twist on its long-running “Priceless” campaign, and according to this report, has been wildly successful for MasterCard thus far.
3. L’Oreal and YouTube Star Michelle Phan Influence Makeup Together
Last summer, L’Oreal announced it would partner up with a new type of “celebrity” – one forged from the community whose rise to fame came on YouTube: Michelle Phan.
Phan, who has more than 7 million subscribers on YouTube, was among the first beauty “vloggers” that rose to popularity. Her makeup line “em michelle phan” for L’Oreal launched in August 2013.
In a press release, L’Oreal’s Carol Hamilton discussed the decision:
“Beauty lovers are increasingly consuming and sharing information digitally, through online communities. We saw the power of these communities and wanted to meet them where they live – online. Michelle Phan’s expertise in makeup, plus her passion for teaching and empowering women has made her a digital phenomenon. She represents exactly what this line is all about – community, empowerment, artistry.”
But L’Oreal isn’t the only company that’s approached Phan for deals – Lancôme and Glamhouse are a couple to note, and according to this video clip from The Insider, Phan is worth more tha $1 million now.
Do you have a favorite influencer marketing campaign? Tell us about it in the comments.