Influencer marketing campaigns are fast becoming an essential part of many brands’ digital marketing strategies, with 65% of marketers increasing their influencer marketing budgets for 2019.
For many marketers, the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about influencer marketing is ‘sponsored posts’. It’s the most commonly used influencer marketing tactic as sponsored posts are easy to produce, approve, and publish meaning they are relatively affordable for lots of brands without huge budgets.
Sponsored Instagram Posts accounted for 78% of influencer-brand partnerships in 2018.
Whilst these types of campaign might work well in the short term, there are lots of other ways to collaborate with influencers and build long-term relationships to help your brand resonate better with their audience.
We’ll take a look at 6 alternative types of influencer marketing campaigns to help you think beyond sponsored posts. Keep reading to get inspired for your next influencer marketing campaign…
If you’re looking to get started with influencer marketing, check out our top tips for running successful influencer marketing campaigns.
6 Types of Influencer Marketing Campaign
Whether your budget is limited and want to start small or you want to go big and focus on reach, there’s an opportunity for influencer collaboration that is right for your brand. Here are 6 successful types of influencer marketing campaigns, aside from sponsored posts, that you can try out…
1. Brand Ambassadors
There are two ways you can work with influencers; on a one-off collaboration basis or by building long-term partnerships. Long-term partnerships often come in the form of brand ambassador roles, where an influencer becomes the face of the brand for a period of time.
Ambassador roles are much like traditional celebrity endorsements, where a brand attaches their name and image to a well-known personality.
If you’ve already used influencer marketing and found a particular influencer who really resonates with your brand and target audience, try building on that original success by engaging them in a long-term campaign and creating a brand ambassador role.
Seeing an influencer support a brand they genuinely love over a long period of time, as opposed to a one-off campaign, appears more authentic and genuine to your audience – meaning these types of collaborations work particularly well to resonate with your target audience.
With 94% of marketers believing that ‘transparency and authenticity are key to influencer marketing success’, long-term relationships are definitely becoming the best way to overcome this concern.
Long-term ambassador roles are also great because they ensure influencers do not promote any competitor brands during the collaboration period.
2. Product Collaborations
As this type of collaboration is quite creative and can be costly to carry out, it should be reserved for opportunities to work with larger influencers so you can really generate ROI from the campaign.
Allowing an influencer to take the creative lead for a project, such as designing a fashion collection or creating a cosmetics range may seem a little daunting, but the results are definitely worth letting go of the reigns.
Influencers know their audiences and know what they like to buy, so giving them the creativity to bring this to life means their audiences will be highly invested in and likely to buy products designed by their favourite influencers.
49% of consumers today depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions.
Good to know: When choosing an influencer for a product collaboration project, it’s usually a good idea to choose influencers you’ve previously worked with and seen great success from previous campaigns. Their audience will already be familiar with your brand, giving the product collaboration a more authentic feel.
3. Host Giveaways or Competitions
If the goal of your influencer marketing campaign is to raise brand awareness and gain exposure to new audiences, competitions and giveaways are a great way to achieve this.
Either collaborate with an influencer to host your competition or use their following to promote a competition hosted on your platforms. Make sure to be creative with your giveaway and the entry requirements, to get new audiences engaged with your brand.
Competitions and giveaways are also great for increasing your social following and engagement and growing your email marketing list – make sure to include following your social media accounts or signing up to your email newsletter in the entry requirements.
Good to know: Before hosting a giveaway or competition with an influencer, make sure to check local and national laws & regulations and abide by the competition guidelines set by each individual social network.
4. Social Media Takeovers
For a more outside of the box approach, work with influencers to ‘take over’ one of your social platforms for a period of time to share content that is relevant to your brand.
For example, a cosmetics brand may collaborate with a beauty influencer or well-known makeup artist to share a makeup tutorial featuring their products. Or a fitness brand might partner with a fitness influencer to show their followers a workout routing incorporating their products or wearing their activewear.
So, how do social media takeovers benefit brands? Influencers will want to cross-promote the collaboration and takeover on their platforms, driving traffic and new followers to your profiles and landing pages.
This type of campaign helps to create more meaningful connections with key influencers in your industry and it’s great for content generation and increasing social media engagement too.
5. Discount Codes & Affiliates
Using discount codes and affiliate links is a great tactic to drive sales through influencer marketing, by offering an incentive for both the consumer and the influencer.
Offer influencers an exclusive discount code or offer to share with their audience, encouraging them to make a purchase on impulse with an offer too good to refuse. Create a unique discount code for each influencer you collaborate with so they can share it in their content to, ultimately, drive sales.
In addition to discount codes, lots of brands set up affiliate programs for influencers to provide further incentive for them to get behind their products or services. Affiliate links generate passive income for influencers and boost sales for brands so are a mutually beneficial way of working with influencers – at a relatively low cost.
What are affiliate links? Affiliate links allow influencers to earn commission from any purchases made through their link. The URL is specific to each influencer which allows brands to attribute sales to their campaign and pass on commission earned from sales through their link.
It’s important to bear in mind though, that affiliate marketing only works well if the influencer and their audience are a good fit for your brand and they get good levels on engagement on their platforms.
Discount codes and affiliate marketing make it easy to track and report on the success of your campaigns, allowing you to attribute sales to each influencer. They also help you understand which influencers generate the best ROI – use this information when planning future campaigns and choosing influencers to work with.
6. Host Brand Experience Events
Events are a great way to engage a whole group of influencers with your brand at the same time, so present huge opportunities to maximise your coverage and brand exposure.
As influencers are constantly invited to attend events, you’ll receive the best turnout and most benefit if your event is unique, exciting and fun. The most important thing when hosting a brand event is inviting influencers whose following fit your target audience, meaning they can spread the word about your brand to consumers who are likely to be interested and engaged.
If you’ve struggled with engaging influencers for individual collaborations, hosting an event allows them to experience your brand in a fun way, helping to build relationships with a number of influencers, who may then want to work with your brand in the future.
A key goal of hosting brand activation events is to increase brand awareness within the influencer community but also with the influencers’ audiences. If you want influencers to share their event experience on social media and help create a buzz about your brand, you should make sure your event has lots of photo opportunities with fun decor and good lighting.
Tip: Create a hashtag for your event for influencers to use when posting on about the event on social media. This makes it much easier to collate all the content from the event afterwards.
There are lots of ways to collaborate with influencers to reach new audiences, so you don’t have to just stick to the obvious and often overused ‘sponsored posts’ strategy.
Hopefully, you’ve learnt about some alternative campaigns you could try running and how they can help your brand gain exposure and increase engagement. For your next campaign, why not try exploring some of these alternative ideas to switch up your strategy?
Make sure to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns by checking out our top tips for success; set goals and have a clear target audience defined, research influencers thoroughly and try to build long-term relationships with influencers in your niche.
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