8 Influencer Marketing Case Studies | Campaign Case Study

Following is an aggregation of 8 influencer marketing case studies that we featured on Ninja Outreach blog over last couple of months.

Aegora's First Influencer Marketing Campaign Generated 500 Signups

aegora

Will influencer marketing work for any brand? The short answer is 95% yes (I created this statistic). But it all comes down to who you are reaching out to and how you communicate your intention with these influencers.

In this part of Company Spotlight, Rick Carlile, founder of Aegora.com shares their take on how and why they ran their influencer marketing campaign. The result of the campaign? Read along to see for yourself.

Give us the background of your company - what is Aegora and who is it for?

Aegora is the full-service professional marketplace. It's a professional network, a marketplace for finding talent and jobs, and a project management system that lets you manage your jobs to completion, pay and get paid, easily and safely. We want to revolutionize the online hiring and working experience, and Aegora does that by maximizing trust, simplicity and safeguards between users.

It's incredibly easy to use - the entire system takes only five minutes to learn - and everything is set up to get you talking to the greatest freelancers and clients right away, and to give your projects the greatest possible chance of success. Aegora is for any entrepreneur or professional consultant, anywhere in the world, who wants to build their business and make money.

Tell us the background of your influencer marketing campaign?

Aegora's founders are freelancers, and employers of freelancers, and we knew the industry is just ripe for radical change. No-one's happy with the traditional freelance marketplaces, and they're really not fulfilling the world-changing promise that globally-distributed hiring and working gives us.

So we wanted to reach out to influencers in the freelancing, PR, marketing, consulting, entrepreneur, startup and online-working sectors who were also aware of this failure and might be motivated to help fix it.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

As a lean startup in any field, it's vitally important to talk to your customers and discover everything you can about their pain points, so you can solve them intelligently.

So, our goal was to get as many of our influencers' followers as possible to sign up for our invitational alpha, join our first adopter group (which is still open, by the way - just click the "Assembly" link in the footer of aegora.com) and give us their thoughts.

How did you target influencers ?

Initially, we did this very organically - we browsed around and collected leads manually. We weren't too concerned about narrowing focus at this stage, we were really interested in talking to anyone with subject-matter expertise that might share our vision.

Due to the nature of the industry, almost anyone active in promoting their business online, as an entrepreneur or a consultant, is an influencer in their own way, through their own business networks.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

In a way - we gave them a sense of community and progress. Being at the forefront of an exciting grassroots campaign is a terrific experience - very rewarding, particularly when that campaign's stated purpose is to solve pain points that you feel very strongly about yourself.

When you genuinely reach out on the level to people with the intention of working together to fix a shared problem, a lot of people are naturally very receptive and helpful, which is great.

Understandably, the more successful and busier a person, the harder it is to get them to listen to a pitch, but with the right message it's surprising how many people will return a call or email, even if they're quite high up the food chain!

How long did the campaign last?

We ran this outreach campaign for about ninety days, to evaluate our alpha product and build a great user-base of enthusiastic first-adopters for the all-new version of Aegora, which we just released a couple weeks ago!

What were the results of the campaign?

We received about five hundred sign-ups from first-adopter users, which was excellent! Just as importantly (if not more so) we were able to get on the radar of some key influencers for whom our vision of a grassroots employment revolution resonates well, and who are now valued friends.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

Not then, though we will in future. We want to work face-to-face as much as possible, but the time required to craft individual emails is prohibitive for a small team. Even a very successful outreach campaign has a hit rate that makes it impractical.

It's better to take time to curate a great influencer list, automate the initial outreach, and then spend the time one's saved talking productively person-to-person with those who respond - people one knows are interested and receptive.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

The difficulty is that cold email outreach is a very hard task. The balance is between personalization and automation. It would be great if one could spend hours getting to know influencers before sending out that pitch, knowing it would be listened to. But sadly that's just not the case.

No-one has time to read all their email, and the more influence someone has, the less time they have.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

It's all about the message. It doesn't really matter who you are or what you're promoting, if you can succinctly communicate a vision that resonates with the desires and worldview of your influencers, you'll be a hit!

Rick Carlile founded Aegora.com, the Professional Marketplace, after a decade's experience as an online freelancer and entrepreneur as GM of Web business consultancy Creadyne Developments, LLC. Aegora has just launched, and revolutionizes working and building businesses online! Rick is originally from Scotland, and now spends most of his time in Taiwan, "Asia's Silicon Valley".

Pros:

1. Spent virtually no money (although used manpower)
2. Tried to do it using their own resource.

Cons:

1. Lack of an active prospecting strategy
2. Didn't automate the process. Rlied on manual process.
3. Expected to make it happen naturally. Lack of strategic goal.
4. Didn't Target any niche group.

 

InspireBeats managed to get podcasts, guest post, and media features

In this edition of Company Spotlight, we look into how InspireBeats used influencer outreach to achieve podcasts, guest blogs, media features.

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

InspireBeats is a company for startups and agencies. Our ideal clients are startup founders with small to no sales teams, and we do lead generation for larger (and even a couple public) companies with millions in revenue. We send emails on their behalf to get their salespeople into more meetings.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

I came on as the Chief Marketing Sumo over here - joining a small team and expected to make a huge difference in terms of new leads and opening up additional marketing channels. Since the company does outbound email as its core, I figured it could work for building brand equity as well.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

Marketing goals at a high level were to drive more leads to InspireBeats.com that were interested in using lead generation or outbound emails to help grow influencers. In addition to that overarching goal I added a few KPI driven goals: 10 podcasts, 10 blog features and 10 guest blogs per month that I have the team aim for.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

For podcasts we started by targeting shows that interviewed influencers in similar spaces, including the NinjaOutreach founder 🙂

After that we started segmenting by number of reviews, and our lead generation platform has the ability to pull number of listeners, so we try to target podcasts that have more that 3000 listeners per episode.

NinjaOutreach was helpful originally for finding blogs that accept guest posts.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

The best value we gave was information - the pitch I approached with was “What We Learned Sending 1,000,000 Cold Emails This Year,” and since very few people are talking about that on podcasts and guest blogs there was good fit there.

Besides that we didn’t do much else - no offers to pay them or anything like that.

How long did the campaign last?

Still ongoing but we originally tested it for one month.

What were the results of the campaign?

Ended up on 15 podcasts, 5 guest blogs published and 5 media features. Not too bad, some were on target, some were lower in terms of hitting the KPIs. It’s been great for brand building and had a substantial increase on the number and quality of leads coming through the site.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

Big fan of using mail merge to send emails in bulk - there’s a free tool called Yet Another Mail Merge. Also used NinjaOutreach to find influencers that were blogging about similar topics. Otherwise we used google searching and the iTunes store.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

Consistently doing outreach - in total the campaign requires sending about 300 cold emails a month, which our sales based team is used to, but is a rate that would kill most marketing people.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

It works. And influencers need people to feature in their posts. If you approach people with a halfway decent pitch and a customized email, there’s a very good chance you’ll get featured.

Alex Berman is the Chief Marketing Sumo for lead generation and outbound email company InspireBeats and is responsible for generating over $12 million dollars in B2B leads this year. He and the team at InspireBeats have sent over 1 million cold emails to funded startups and software as a service companies in the last two years.

Pros:

1. Goals were solid
2. They set an alternative goal
3. Target was niche specific
4. Used automation tools to save manual labour
5. Payment wasn't involved so expense were minimal.

Cons:

1. Lack of an active prospecting strategy
2. Could have been more successful if they used custom templates and customized emails.

 

EatsieBox gathered 600+ email subscribers via reviews and contests

eatsiebox

In this edition of company spotlight, we look at how Eatsiebox gathered 600 plus signups using influencer marketing. They have effectively targeted people in exchange for reviews and they have run several contests to promote their band as well. The outcome has generated a good number of email subscriptions. Read on to find out more!

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

EatsieBox is a customized subscription snacks box service. I started the company because I wanted something in between “everybody gets the same thing” and “you have to pick out your own stuff”. You tell us what kind of snacks you want and you get stuff you like and still get surprised.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

With a subscription box like this, you really need to get some examples out to reviewers so that customers can see what they’re getting. So the first goal was just to get some reviews under our belt and see what people who review lots of these boxes thought.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

I wanted to start getting some initial traffic and signups for our email list, as well as generally raising awareness of our box. It’s a bit more complicated of a concept than a traditional subscription box and less easily explained, so I thought going with bloggers/influencers was the best way to advertise in a sort of long-form concept.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

I initially started looking for reviewers who post to reddit, and then I started looking for “lifestyle” bloggers who don’t normally review these. I looked at Passionfruit Ads and contacted some of the bloggers on there (not by buying their ads, just direct emailing.) I looked to see if people commented on their posts on the blog and on Facebook. I wasn’t as concerned about traffic as I was about engagement.

I also posted a listing on Tomoson and got some people that way. I was looking more for people who would provide a really nice review with pictures and a write-up, with the reach being a little less important. Once I got some of those done and people seemed to be saying nice things about the product, I started reaching out to bloggers who might not have the fanciest write-ups but had much better reach (a lot of them focus on giveaways etc so I didn’t think I’d get a good percentage engagement but would get a lot more emails on the list.)

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

A few of the influencers got a small cash payment (highest was $50) but most just got a free EatsieBox. I do have a blogger subscription that they can sign up for and get a discounted subscription on an ongoing basis, if they continue to write reviews.

How long did the campaign last?

I started at the beginning of October - I’m pretty much done with this round of marketing but will be ramping up again for our Valentine’s Day promotion. We’ll have a special subscription for Valentine’s Day - felt that was a less crowded time of year for promotions, since everybody piles on around Christmas.

What were the results of the campaign?

We’ve done reasonably well on getting subscribers and have over 600 emails on our list. We still have a number of the contests ongoing so we’re still getting more likes and emails every day. I also am pleased at the number of bloggers who have signed up for our affiliate program because I will reach out to them to let them know about new promotions we’re having and they’ll be more likely to feature us again without an additional payment from us.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

I probably should have used some kind of CRM to keep track of the bloggers - I was using Streak in Gmail a little, but there are better programs. I am using Gleam.io to run the contests and JROX for my affiliate program.

I also have a page on my website for bloggers and I’ve gotten several good contacts through there directly. (Also lots of people who just want free stuff and have cruddy or nonexistent blogs, so you really need to think carefully about who you hand things out to because it gets pretty expensive.)

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

Keeping track of who’s gotten their box, who’s posted their review, making sure I post them to Facebook, etc. This would probably be a good thing to have a VA for, so I would definitely recommend that!

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

Get started early! Our launch was in late October and I started contacting people at the end of September - but it’s not like blog posts expire. The strategy I eventually settled on was to have all the bloggers run giveaways (which they really like and their readers like) and collect as many emails/likes/follows as I could. I initially thought “Oh, they’ll forget about EatsieBox if I start too early” but really, people get exposed to so much advertising that if your product isn’t currently available, it won’t matter if it’s launched in two days or two months, you’ll still need to re-engage them when it does launch.

Plus, you want your product to have some results on Google, and it won’t really matter if they’re a little old when people search for reviews.

Kira Harris is a serial entrepreneur and EatsieBox is her fifth project. Kira thinks she's an entrepreneur because she enjoys solving problems so much she goes out and make new ones for herself. She lives in Ohio and enjoys reading memoirs by comedians, playing Fallout 4, and waking up in the middle of the night to write down business ideas.

Pros:

1. Tried to get it done in exchange of their own product. (Using existing resource is great)

Cons:

1. Lack of specific goals.
2. Emphasized on asthetics more. (Quality (visito & popularity) should have been a major issue)
3. Provided economic incentive. (Influencer marketing can be more efficient. )

BikiniLuxe Created Lasting Relationships With Brand Ambassadors

bikini-luxe

I don't recall who said it but I remember someone saying something like "it's not about the number of followers but the amount of engagement an influencer has". Time and again, this has proven to be true from campaigns that we've ran and from case studies we've read. For this week's company spotlight, here's another example of an influencer marketing campaign success!

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

Bikinis have always been a passion of mine, and living in Miami Beach I quickly realized there were many local designers that had little to no online presence. I created Bikini Luxe to showcase these amazing designers and it has been successful beyond my wildest dreams with currently just under two thousands different types and brands of bikinis from designers all around the world.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

We use a number of techniques to encourage our brand ambassadors. Firstly we offer the highest commission of all swimwear affiliates of 15 percent. Any visitors that they send we track via refersion (our affiliate program host). A one month cookie is then stored in their visitors browsers.

Any sales that are made for up to one month later we pay fifteen percent to our ambassadors for. As you can imagine this can add up very quickly for them.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

To create a long lasting relationship with our influencers and brand ambassadors that benefits them as well as us.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

The number one metric we look at when we decide on if we are going to “Collaborate” that being us giving them free products in return for posts and promotion of the company is always interaction. Interaction being defined as generally the number of comments that they get when they post. We get approached multiple times a day by influencers who want free products.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

We find that fashion bloggers tend to do the best with our affiliate programs, and depending on the number of followers we will often gift them products in return for posts and promotion of Bikini Luxe. Surprisingly models generally don’t convert to sales for us, we believe this may be due to the high number of male followers.

What we normally do is read what type of comments the influencer is getting before we decide what to give them. Lots of comments like “where can I get that” versus “your so hot” are what we are looking for.

How long did the campaign last?

We field tens of emails a day from prospective brand ambassadors, unfortunately we have seen a high number of people with little to no followers asking for free products. We generally do not give free products to anyone that has less than 50,000 followers. Again this decision is done on a case by case basis, depending on the amount of interaction the influencer gets and the type of interaction that it is.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

Lately we have been loving Ninja outreach, the ability to quickly filter our influencers as well as find new ones is absolutely incredible.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, literally. We have had influencers approach us requesting $5000 to do a promotion who have ended up doing the same promotion for one bikini. There is a lot of push and pull when it comes to “Collaborating”, and it can be tricky to find the right balance of the amount of money invested by us versus the amount of products an influencer will sell with their promotion of the product.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

It seems incredible but a fashion blogger with 20,000 followers can easily outsell a model with 500,000 followers.

Bikini Luxe is the pride and joy of owner Candice Galek. She's the ultimate bikini geek, a girl who grew up on the sunny beaches of South Florida. She believes the only thing better than a good cup of coffee is a great bikini. The name Bikini Luxe stems from her nickname, Bikini Geek and the short term for Luxury.

Pros:

1. Used their own product (result in less stress financially)
2. Influencers were from same niche.
3. Used mix of free product and affiliate commission.

Cons:

1. Vage goal set.

Ooka Island's Traffic Jumped by 70% 1 Month After Their Campaign Launched

ooka-island

Ten bloggers - that's all it took for Ooka Island to get the initial exposure they needed to jump start their campaign. Having a unique way to build relationship with influencers could really make a difference. This week's edition of company spotlight proves just that.

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

Ooka Island is a game based reading program that teaches children pre-kindergarten to 2nd grade the skills needed to become a confident reader. We’ve combined 25 years of research and scientifically-proven teaching methods with adaptive technology to create a personalized, learn to read program for every child.

Ooka Island emails parents weekly progress reports that provide a detailed snapshot of where their child is excelling or having difficulty in reading. By playing Ooka Island 30 minutes, 3 times a week, a child can start with no reading skills and graduate one year later a confident reader.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

We were launching Ooka Island in the app store October, 2015 and wanted to have 3rd party content to share that was written by parents who were actually using the program with their kids. We know that potential customers want to know how Ooka Island works for other families first so the idea of finding bloggers that could write authentically, with loyal followings and a respected opinion was the top priority.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

Our primary marketing goal of the campaign was to create brand awareness for our new iOS app and to generate leads to our free trial. Our secondary goal was to create authentic, 3rd party content marketing that followed a child’s experience with learning to read with Ooka Island over a series of months.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

Our criteria for targeting influencers were very specific. Beyond an influencer’s average monthly page views and engagement metrics, what we were really looking for were strong storytellers and writers. We wanted to support a wide range of voices that all had different areas of expertise or interests that would resonate with other parents. Some of the influencers we chose wrote from the perspective of a parenting educator, teacher, stay at home parent, and single parent.

Some had kids in french immersion, some with children that were gifted, struggling or reluctant readers. They all had to have children that were in our target age range between PreK to 2nd grade that were either beginning to read, or struggling to become confident readers.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

We gave the bloggers an annual subscription for each of their children, Ooka Island books, two tickets to Ooka Island to giveaway to their readers, and compensation for a three part content marketing series describing their child’s learn-to-read journey with Ooka Island.

How long did the campaign last?

The campaign lasted ~3 months from Oct. 21st - Dec. 31st, 2015

What were the results of the campaign?

We had great success with our influencer marketing program. We launched the iOS version of Ooka Island in the app store late October, and ran a lot of campaigns at that time, one of which was our influencer campaign. Our web traffic has increased by well over 15%. It has brought us new leads and definitely helped to convert. Each of our influencers has their own landing page so it helps us track their impact.

The traffic to our website jumped 70% in the month following the launch, and about 6% of that traffic was to the landing pages we set up for our bloggers.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

We kept it pretty simple. We used google drive to share and sign-off on content. We had a private facebook group between the Ooka Island team and all 10 bloggers to share ideas, pose questions and to amplify new posts as they went live.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

The hardest part of the campaign was just getting everyone up and running on the Ooka Island app before it had even launched. We had to invite the 10 bloggers to our beta release on TestFlight and it is not a very user-friendly experience. Thankfully, all the bloggers were extremely understanding and patient, they even helped us find a few bugs before we released the official app. Overall, running the influencer campaign wasn’t that hard, it was a lot of fun!

What were the major takeaways you learned about influencer marketing?

Personalization is ideal to accumulate different perspectives. It's key that each influencer feels free to write about the product openly and honestly. We did not guide them to write in any specific way because we wanted authentic content for them and for us.

Make it fun and don't rush. We asked that each influencer introduce the reading program to their kids and blog about it over a period of time. It was more like a family project - let's use this program with our kids and see how they respond to it.

Be friendly and involved. We had a get-to-know-you Skype chat with each influencer and in person meetings with as many as we could. This really helped shape the nature of our partnerships. Seeing them face-to-face can make all the difference when it comes to communicating the brand and the story. We also set up a private facebook group with everybody involved so we could share and support each other's experiences across social media.

Joelle MacPhee is the Director of Marketing at Ooka Island Inc. - the world's first game based, adaptive reading program that helps kids from PreK to 2nd grade become confident readers.

Pros:

1. Used existing customer base to promote business.
2. Specific Goal set.
3. Provided their own tool in return. (Made the total process efficient)

Cons:

1. Didn't used any prospecting tool. (process become manual)
2. They didn't scale the process.

 

MarketingMavenPR Expanded Brand Awareness

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

Marketing Maven is a full service marketing firm located in the greater Los Angeles area, serving clients worldwide with offices in New York. We specialize in international and domestic public relations, social media, reputation management, direct response marketing, U.S. product launches, SEO, Event PR, and Spanish media. Our team pitches and secures media interviews on national TV, radio and podcasts. Our clients are featured in newspapers, magazines, online news sites and influential blogs.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

The influencer marketing campaign began in April 2015 and involved a popular beauty YouTuber for a new-to-market hot iron tool company. The influencer was given product to feature on her YouTube and Beauty Blog. She was also given a unique discount code for her viewers to use.

She then syndicated her own material and images via her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the review and product. Additional promotion included the company reposting her content on their social media platforms.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

The marketing goals of the campaign were to expand brand awareness, increase credibility and ultimately sell product.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

The biggest metric we used was analyzing the influencer’s social media reach. I looked to see how many subscribers her YouTube channel had, how many unique visits she received on her personal blog and how many followers she had on her various social media platforms.

I also analyzed her past material to make sure it didn’t conflict with our brand. Another thing we took into consideration was whether or not her readers/viewers aligned with our product.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

Yes, in return for her review and promotion she received a commission on each sale associated with the redeemed unique discount code provided to her for her viewers.

How long did the campaign last?

The campaign started in April 2015 and is still open.

What were the results of the campaign?

Once she posted her review of the product we saw a high increase in website traffic that we were able to track using Google analytics. Not only that, but over the course of 8 months we were able to sell over 400 units just through this particular influencer alone. Since our product has a higher price point (over a $100), we were very pleased with that return.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

Having a unique discount code for her rather than a unique link made it easier to track her direct sales.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

The hardest part of the campaign was negotiating a commission rate that worked for both parties.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

What I learned through the entire process is that influencer marketing can definitely be a rewarding and profitable partnership if done correctly.

With a commission based payment there is less of a risk of not meeting your ROI and more of an incentive for the influencer to push their code, knowing they are being paid only when their code is being redeemed.

Recognized for her knowledge and expertise in beauty and lifestyle categories, Nadia Duwaik brings a unique approach to Public Relations at Marketing Maven. Duwaik specializes in researching, identifying and connecting with the ideal media contact for campaigns to maximize exposure.

Pros:

1. Their setup Measured the impact of the campaign.
2. Used commission rather than free product. (It is even more effective financially)

Cons:

1. Missed the possible scope of scaling the process.

Benique Achieved 300% Return On Investment

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

Benique is an online fashion-forward jewelry boutique based in New York city, offers an affordable, versatile selection of both daily and classic jewelry that women everywhere can love everyday of every season.
By working closely with suppliers, and through constant communication, we are able to eliminate any middleman markup, and offer the same high-quality, luxury style that other brands offer for only a fraction of the price.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

Social media is changing the way we communicate with our target audience. Influencer marketing is a big thing in advertising now, simply because it's powerful and much more effective than paid advertising.
It is totally practical and effective for small business which does not have a big budget. In this campaign, we only selected 10 bloggers and Instagrammers, who perfectly fit. We went through the steps from identifying key influencers, evaluating the key influencers engagement, building relationship and discussing initiatives and implement, and finally measuring results.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

Our delicate jewelry is highly affordable and styles are perfect for any occasions. So instead of a series of steps from building following, brand awareness, and to eventually gaining conversions, we believe there should be a chance to get instant sales and valued customers. While many brands pay great attention to the number of followers.

We consider quality is more meaningful to quantity. And net sales is the goal of this influencer campaign. And we made it. We achieved 300% ROI!

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

Every business is different and thus the target audience is different. If you are not really sure. Do a little research. Find out what your direct competitors do. What kind of influencers they collaborate with. This is very easy to figure out. Simply google it for bloggers or visit their official social network accounts.

Find out if any posts are created by influencers. If yes, visit that influencers and see details. Once the target audience is defined. Use the relevant keywords to search on whatever the influencer management tool you use.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

Yes, we offer free samples in exchange of influencers’ honest review, or even cash compensation. We explored practical and cost effective tactics to reach out to our market segment.

What we offer highly depends on the feature of each account. Most importantly, we prefer to work with the ones who have passion to our jewelry. When building relationships with them, we could have a sense to these.

How long did the campaign last?

Our most recent campaign lasted about two months, from reaching out to influencers to evaluate results. We literally spend some time to carefully identify key influencers. Many influencers collaborate with brands for their personal interest. Besides this, they usually have a full time job. So make sure we allow them enough time to create valued content. Most of them need at least two weeks after receiving the samples.

What were the results of the campaign?

After a series of practices, we have recently achieved 300% ROI by collaborating with influencers on Instagram managed by our own team.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

Yes. We utilize both paid and free tools. Google Analytics (free) helps us to monitor our traffic and understand conversions. SimilarWeb (similarweb.com) (paid) lets us discover our competitors’ valuable referral traffic. We have tried a few tools, we were charged a few hundreds of dollars per month, but nothing better than Ninja Outreach. It’s a great tool to find tons of influencers and improve efficiency. And the cost is much more affordable for small business. We do highly recommend to take the advantage of these tools.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

To identify key influencers are the hardest part of running the campaign. It is also highly time consuming. There are so many influencers out there who have massive following. However, we need to narrow our list to the ones who are the most active, relevant and influential in an area of interest to our target audience. Before this, we need to have a clear understanding that who is our target audience. To find the ideal influencers are not easy. But it totally worths it in terms of ROI.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?
  • Do not only pay attention to the number of followers/audiences and the engagement rates.
  • Look further to their active followers, what they comment, if they are your targeted audiences?
  • Collaborate with influencers who truly love your brand. Contests/giveaway is the most effective way to gain new followers.
  • The post/review should highlight the product properly and obviously.
  • If the product is relatively small, you should have close-up shot.

Kathy Zhang, the founder of Benique, started her career in fashion in New York city. She believes jewelry is an extension of the personality, a fun and spiritual complement to any lifestyle, and a way for women to express themselves. After several years of researching the fashion jewelry market, she built Benique and aims to positively influence the lives of women everywhere.

Pros:

1. Spent less resources and thus gained high ROI
2. Worked subtley with the same niche influencers.
3. Used prospecting tools.

Cons:

1. Spent long time dealing with influencers.
2. Worked with small population of influencers.

Black N Bianco's 6 Month Long Influencer Marketing Campaign

blacknbianka

Give us the background of your company - what is it and who is it for?

My company was started back in 2012 when the economy took a nosedive and I was laid off my job. Due to my previous employment, I made a lot of connections in the industry and was able to create my own kids clothing brand. Our target audience are for young parents who are looking to purchase a formal outfit for their little kids. Our products are very affordable so families from any background can purchase a cute a little outfit for their special day.

Tell us the background of the influencer marketing campaign?

I started an influencer marketing campaign because I believed viral social media marketing was the future. I saw the huge potential to grow my brand through real product reviews that gave my brand credibility to compete with larger brands and retailers. Consumers are doing a lot more research before they make a purchase and this gave my brand an opportunity to build consumer confidence through influential bloggers who reviewed my products.

What were the marketing goals of the campaign?

Gain credibility from influential social media users and bloggers. Their voice and opinion was vital to my success because they were my target audience.

How did you target influencers aka what metrics and information did you use?

Everything was done manually through Google. I had to Google their metrics and use an estimated guess to figure out how much influence they had in the industry. I’m never doing that again because it took up way too much time and it wasn’t always accurate.

Did you provide anything to the influencers in return for their help?

Yes I would provide them with my industry knowledge or a product sample for them to review. Providing them with useful and helpful content was key to having the influencers take my brand seriously.

How long did the campaign last?

It lasted for 6 months.

What were the results of the campaign?

The results were amazing. Within 6 months the influencing marketing campaign had brought me more traffic and conversions than any other marketing campaign I have implemented. To this day they are still bringing me great conversions.

Did you use any tools to make your campaign easier?

I did not use any tools, but if I did it would have made the process much easier. I don’t think I will ever start another influencer campaign without a third party app or tool.

What was the hardest part of running the campaign?

Organizing. It was very difficult to keep in contact with all of the bloggers and social media users because everything was so unorganized. Using a manual outreach email made it even worst because it was so time consuming.

What was a major takeaway you learned about influencer marketing?

A lot of small business will stop trying when they are met with rejection, but a third party software is a great filter to finding those bloggers who are interested.

My name is Lisa Chu and I own a small clothing company named Black N Bianco. My company is dedicated to providing affordable and adorable kids formal wear like boys suits, boys tuxedos and flower girl dresses. I started my business because I wanted to follow my passion in the fashion industry. I've been very blessed to find success in this competitive industry and I owe a tremendous amount thanks to influential bloggers who helped spread my brand message.

 

Pros:

1. Used in-house resource.
2. Provided helpful content that enticed influencers.

Cons:

1. Used manual labour for prospecting and outreaching.

 


Epic Example of Influencer Marketing - LeadPages

There are lots of ways to partner with influencers and bring success to your business. Some of which were applied by our guests. Some worked out well some didn't do that great. So what is the Epic Example of Influencer Marketing? you ask.

Well one company I really love is LeadPages They really are doing everything right, it seems.

Using Influencer Marketing they went from zero to 25k paying customers in less than 2 years.

That's INSANE.

Unfortunately I am not privy to the inner workings of LeadPages' strategy, but at least on the surface I can tell they are doing some fantastic things to market their product online.
Consider the following strategies for partnering with bloggers

Giveaways

LeadPages is notorious for giveaways. It seems every time they appear on a blog, podcast, or webinar they're giving away a license (or several).

For example, here they are giving away a license on OkDork.com

And here they are again giving away a set of three licenses on Smart Passive Income

With everything they're giving away, it's a wonder how they make any money?

Oh wait, no it isn't - because without a doubt for every license they giveaway, dozens more people sign up on account of the exposure.

Often the posts with giveaways attract hundreds of comments, in which prospective customers talk about how much they want to win, and current customers talk about how much they love the product.

While I don't have number to back this up, when you go from 0 to 25k customers in less than two years, you know that this strategy is working hardcore.

And at the core of it, is connecting with influential bloggers, because it's their audiences, not LeadPages', which are driving the sales.

Webinars

Webinars have been shown to have absolutely dirty conversion rates.

And by that I mean high.

One of the marketing techniques LeadPages does very well is couple appearances with follow up webinars.
Because realistically, a podcast or a guest post is only going to drive so many sales.

Often, podcasts don't highlight the product as in depth, so it's not as likely to drive direct sales as it is exposure.
But with webinars as a follow up, well, now you're talking.

I've been to a LeadPages webinar and one of the aspects that makes them different from other ones I've attended, is that LeadPages doesn't sell you on the product - they sell you on the experience.

That's right - instead of just walking you through the product and its features, they walk you through things that are tangentially related to the product.

For example, they may talk about the the freebie teasers and headlines that convert the best.
And, as an aside, here's how you can do all of that in LeadPages.

As a result, LeadPages is shown as a necessary tool that accompanies the presentation (which, is generally more entertaining than being so product focused).

Guest Posting

LeadPages makes fantastic use of guest posting, both inbound on their blog and outbound.

For example, here's a blog post by John Dumas writing about how he built a $98,993 sales funnel using leadPages

By working with John, LeadPages gets:

  1. A terrific customer case study/testimonial
  2. Access to John's audience (assuming he shares on social media, etc)
  3. Great content that will drive traffic to their website (SEO, Social media, etc)

That's why you partner with influencers.

Podcasts

Podcasts are all the rage as of late and LeadPages recognized that. They've appeared on a whole lot of Podcasts, such as John Dumas' Entrepeneur On Fire

Here they are again on The McMethod

Basically, they just started popping up EVERYWHERE.
for awhile, they even had their own podcast, where they partnered with influencers such as Noah Kagan from OkDork.

Conclusion

LeadPages saw early on that in order to grow they had to partner with bloggers and market themselves through common digital mediums like Guest Posts, Podcasts, and Webinars.

Additionally, they use giveaways as a means to drive engagement and convert leads.

The result?

A multi-million dollar business.