With the rise of social media influencers affecting marketing techniques, businesses are embracing this new facet of online business sales. Many modern-day businesses have simply evolved their marketing tactics from traditional to digital with ease. However, the introduction of influencer-based marketing introduces a very new technique to the discipline of getting an audience to purchase a product.
However, one of the most egregious missteps that companies make when dealing with influencer marketing is not using it to its fullest potential. For influencer marketing, the keywords should be fun, organic and engaging. As such, a brand's use of influencer marketing should focus on being memorable and unique without sacrificing the influencer's genuine appeal. But how does a company achieve this while trying to market its brand?
These business leaders from Ad Age Collective understand all the nuances of influencer marketing for promoting a brand's image. We consulted them about some of the most unique and effective uses of influencer marketing they’ve seen and what made them memorable. Here's what they told us.
1. Connecting with subscribers in organic, fun ways.
In a crowded subscription box marketplace, FabFitFun stands out. The brand focuses its marketing budget on influencers, connecting these advocates with potential subscribers in organic, fun ways. As a result, it’s driven a 300 percent sales growth annually. - Chad Robley, Mindgruve
2. Finding micro niche areas and owning them.
Influencer marketing has entered its next phase where brands must go beyond pay-to-play influences. Instead, brands like Buick went after “Pinfluencers.” Pinterest influencers were asked to create boards expressing their personality and lifestyle. One winner's work would be used to design the next Encore model. The high-level connection with influencers resulted in a strong end-user connection. - Arjun Sen, ZenMango
3. Appearing out of context for a good reason.
The Foodgod's Instagram account claims the influencer eats out 365 days a year! Not surprisingly, when he introduced fans to his new venture OceanBox -- sustainable, restaurant-quality seafood to your door -- it was a surprise to see him in his kitchen. The video, titled "Stay Home 20," was both an introduction to OceanBox and a way to publicly encourage people to stay home to help flatten the curve. - Lana McGilvray, Purpose Worldwide
4. Winning hearts by being self-deprecating and self-referential.
Influencer endorsements have become par for the course for marketers. With distrust of messaging directly distributed from brands, it makes sense to turn to trusted sources. Enter Aviation Gin. Ryan Reynolds's parody of the concept of endorsement-based advertising ironically makes it a very effective piece of influencer marketing. It's ridiculous and we enjoy a brand that can recognize that. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
5. Showing 100% commitment to breed unique competence.
Caulipower built a $100 million+ brand almost overnight using only influencer marketing and social media. Gail Becker, Caulipower's founder, used many influencer marketing tactics, but what was unique was the total commitment to influencer marketing as the marketing strategy. Kylie Cosmetics is a similar story, though built off an existing brand. Commitment breeds unique competence. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
6. Enabling earned authenticity.
Budweiser's TagWords video is a fantastic example of influencer marketing -- it’s less of a $ponsor$hip (hijack) of opinion, and more of an attempt to capture an authentic choice by incredible music artists! Bravo Budweiser and bravo Africa (the agency) -- you've earned it. - Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy - Knowledge Brokers
7. Creating genuine connection and trust.
Finding an influencer who is already a consumer and advocate of the product is key. Nick Offerman is a great example with being a fan of J-B Weld before he started working with the brand. The audience genuinely connects with Nick and his love of J-B Weld because it’s authentic. He’s a professional craftsman and woodworker, so the trust is there. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising