Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling on your next influencer campaign
We talk a lot about why influencer marketing is so important in the current digital marketing landscape (you can read more about the why here), but it's not often we talk about how to actually implement an influencer marketing strategy. So, we wanted to share some campaign ideas with you so you can start testing and executing different types of influencer collaborations.
We recently teamed up with Outbrain to share insights on influencer marketing and the different types of campaigns and collaborations that are possible to inspire brands and marketers to leverage influencers in their digital marketing strategy. You can see the full post here, where we explored 13 different types of influencer marketing campaign ideas and showcased some examples of each one in action. Whether you have a limited budget and want to start small or you want to go big and focus on reach, there is certainly a collaborative opportunity that is right for you, your brand and your industry.
Here are 13 types of influencer campaigns to consider…
1. Discount codes and affiliate marketing
If the goal of your campaign is to drive sales and convert leads into paying customers, then your influencer marketing campaign needs to be structured with a strong incentive to purchase. This can be done with a unique discount offering that is too good to refuse and encourages consumers to purchase immediately and on impulse. Create a unique discount code for each of your collaborating influencers so they can share it in their content and ultimately drive sales.
Another way to really drive sales with influencer marketing is to dabble in affiliate marketing, where an influencer receives a commission on all sales generated as a result of their content and influence. Affiliate marketing is a great way to track the ROI on your influencer campaigns, and it also encourages the influencer to actively support the product as they receive value every time a sale is made and attributed to them. You can read more about affiliate marketing, the benefits and how to use it to your advantage here.
2. Competitions and giveaways
If your influencer marketing campaign goal is more focused on brand awareness, exposure and introducing your target market to your product or service, a competition or giveaway is a great way to collaborate with an influencer. Either get the influencer to host the competition or leverage them to promote a competition housed on your platforms. Be creative, especially with the entry requirements, and get your target market involved and engaged with your brand.
Competitions and giveaways are also great for increasing your social followers, growing your email marketing list and capturing consumer data, so make the competition work for your brand (and be sure to do it legally!).
3. Long-term ambassador roles
There are two ways you can work with an influencer – a one-off collaboration or a long-term partnership (you can find out more about each here). Long-term partnerships often look like an Ambassador Role, where an influencer becomes the face of the brand for a period of time, or indefinitely. Ambassador roles are much like traditional celebrity endorsements, where a brand attaches their name and image to a well-known personality.
4. Sponsored blog post
While long-term partnerships are great and definitely have potential to drive serious ROI, that doesn’t mean that one-off collaborations and the humble blog post doesn’t have a place in the influencer marketing landscape.
There are many benefits to an influencer strategy that generates content on influencer blogs and websites, especially when it comes to SEO, detail and the lifespan of the content. Blog posts are indexed on search engines, so they have a much longer lifespan than a single social media post, which only has traction for a 12-hour period (if that).
5. PR stunt
PR stunts can be risky, and there is never a guarantee that it will work and achieve the intended goals, however, a PR stunt executed with influencers can be a huge win if done properly. A PR stunt can create hype and FOMO (fear of missing out), so think creatively about the concept and how you can use influencers to elevate the initiative.
6. Social media mention
Social media campaigns have the power to contribute to the digital conversation about your brand and transform its perception among the target market. While social media content doesn’t have longevity like blog and video content, a strategic influencer campaign executed on social media has huge potential.
Whether you are gifting product in the hope of receiving coverage or engaging 20 targeted influencers to contribute in the campaign, ensure the strategy has a clear goal and intention, and invest in it accordingly.
7. Event activation
If you are having trouble engaging influencers for collaborations individually, perhaps an event is the campaign concept for you where influencers can experience the brand, network with other influencers, media and stakeholders and also enjoy an event. If you are thinking about an event, it is important to think of everything to ensure it runs smoothly – from catering and drinks, decorations and invitations to accessible parking and bathrooms, an event photographer and music.
Influencers are constantly invited to attend events and you’ll receive the most benefit if it is exciting, fun, lavish and unique. Make the most of your event activation and don’t make any of these common mistakes when hosting influencers at an event.
8. Guest posting on your platforms
Make your influencer marketing strategy complement your content marketing and work with influencers to create content for your onsite platforms and channels. In this type of campaign, work with influencers the same way you would with a freelance writer or photographer, always tag and link back to their platforms and compensate them for their time and effort. Influencers are expert content creators and they have a wealth of experience in the digital space, so work with them to make the most of their skills, knowledge and creativity.
If you’re not sure whether guest posting is the right type of influencer campaign for you, check out our guide to the benefits of guest posting and why you should do it in this blog post.
9. Influencer takeover
For something a little more outside of the box, work with an influencer to “take over” one (or more) of your digital platforms for a period of time and share their life with your community. It will drive their followers to your page when they cross-promote the collaboration, and it’s great for content generation and engagement too. For example, if you are a travel brand, engage a well-known influencer in the travel space that has a good connection with your target market and work with them to “take over” your Instagram account for 48 hours to share their travel experiences with your community (and your brand). When an influencer is taking over your accounts, they don’t necessarily have to have complete access to the account to post live – it could just be a process where they send you an image and caption 3 times a day for the take over period.
10. Contra strategies and gifting
Contra strategies are perhaps the most widely used forms of influencer marketing as they require minimal budget and resources, and often get a good return. However, as the influencer marketing space evolves, contra strategies will too, and influencers are increasingly looking for opportunities where budget (payment)is involved.
Nonetheless, contra strategies and gifting are a great way to get your brand out there and introduce it to your target market. Although coverage is often not guaranteed (which is why you should definitely consider investing budget in your influencer campaigns), a no-strings-attached collaboration can be a good place to start and build a relationship with influencers in your niche.
11. The internal role
If you have budget, big dreams and a creative vision for your influencer marketing strategy, this type of campaign is for you! Instead of working with your influencer as an external resource, bring them into your team internally and create a role that is unique to them. It could be as an advisor, creative director, digital consultant or a product designer, something that aligns their skills with an opportunity within your business. A great example of this type of collaboration in action is when a fashion influencer works with a fashion brand to design a capsule collection or a range of products in collaboration with the brand. This type of influencer campaign brings a new perspective to your team, fosters a great working relationship with the influencer, attracts the attention of media and consumers and secures authentic promotion of the collaboration.
12. The PR approach
The influencer marketing and public relations worlds are colliding and PR professionals look to influencers, as well as their traditional media sources, to support their campaigns and activations. So often, influencer marketing and PR go hand in hand, and you can draw inspiration from PR campaigns in your influencer strategy, and vice versa.
It’s important to keep in mind that PR campaigns generally work to increase brand awareness and/or change the perception of a brand, so this approach to influencer marketing may not drive conversions specifically, however, it can support your influencer strategy. Make sure you create an influencer strategy and campaign that aligns with your overarching goals to ensure success.
13. Banner ads
Finally, banner ads are a type of influencer collaboration can be a good fit for brands with limited budget or in the testing phase to see what types of influencers connect best with your brand. While banner ads used to be an important revenue channel for bloggers, as the influencer marketing space changes, so do their revenue streams, so it’s not something they rely on as heavily anymore (in fact many bloggers do not place advertising or banner ads on their website at all). Banner ads typically work well when combined with an affiliate marketing strategy.
So there you have it, 13 influencer marketing campaign ideas to inspire your next strategy meeting and help you kick-start an influencer marketing campaign. To see some of these campaigns in action, you can check out our complete post on Outbrain here, or read these influencer marketing success stories from brands that have found epic success with influencer marketing.
How does your business work with influencers? We'd love to hear about your experience with influencer marketing campaigns in the comments below, or join the conversation on social media.