No matter how effortless and natural they may seem, effective influencer marketing campaigns don't appear out of thin air! There are many steps marketers have to take in order to pull off attention-grabbing influencer activations, and one of the first is deciding what format a campaign will take and where it will appear.
If you're planning an influencer marketing campaign of your own, you already know the bar is high! As influencer marketing's popularity has grown, many brands have put their own creative spins on this kind of advertising. To give you a sense of the possibilities, we rounded up some examples of the best influencer marketing campaigns that have come across our phone and laptop screens in recent years. Read on to learn what influencer marketing campaigns are, the most common types, and seven of the best examples yet.
Table of Contents
What Is an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
What Are the Different Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
11 of the Best Influencer Marketing Examples
What Is an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Influencer marketing campaigns are a kind of advertising that features and is usually created by influencers, also known as content creators. Great for driving brand awareness, these campaigns capitalize on an influencer's popularity and social media following, no matter how big or small.
Influencers with smaller followings, such as micro-influencers and nano-influencers, help marketers tap into niche audiences. On the flip side, marketers use influencers with large followings, such as mega-influencers and macro-influencers, to generate buzz.
While influencer partnerships have a lot in common with celebrity endorsements, they have some crucial differences. Often, influencers are trusted figures for specific audiences who, unlike most celebrities, are in closer contact with their followers.
They add a sense of trust and authenticity to marketing campaigns by interacting with commenters and, maybe most importantly, creating the content themselves. And though influencer digital marketing is relatively new, it's also hugely popular. According to Statista, influencer marketing was a $16.4 billion industry in 2022.
What Are the Different Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
Influencers are endlessly creative when it comes to making social content (that's their job!), so there are many kinds of influencer campaigns out there. Still, most fall into a handful of different categories.
The different types of influencer marketing campaigns include:
Contests and giveaways
Unboxings and reviews
Unfamiliar with some of these examples of influencer marketing types? Let's take a quick look at each one.
Sponsored posts are promotional social media content that brands pay influencers to create and post. They can include many of the below examples of influencer marketing campaigns and — in many markets —they must clearly disclose that they are part of paid marketing partnerships. This can be via a distinct hashtag like #ad or a label, such as the "Includes paid promotion" ones that appear above at the top left corner of sponsored YouTube videos.
Contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are perfect for brands looking to increase their social media engagement rates. In these kinds of campaigns, brands provide influencers with free products or services that they can then gift to one or a few of their lucky followers.
In sponsored posts for giveaways, influencers will usually lay out what their followers must do to win, such as interacting with a particular branded post by leaving a comment or sharing it on their own accounts. These types of posts don't just promote your brand to the influencer's audience, they can also recruit that influencer's followers to promote your brand, too.
Unlike the other campaign types on this list, social media takeovers let influencers post content directly to brand accounts. For the length of the campaign, usually a day to a week, influencers essentially become a brand's guest stars by lending their voice, image, and style to their social media accounts.
Account takeovers offer a unique win-win scenario for both sides of the partnership. Brands get a cost-effective, but temporary, shake-up of their social media channels that they can then use to inform future campaigns and strategies. At the same time, influencers get the chance to speak to an entirely new, and sometimes larger, social media audience and score some new followers.
Speaking of takeovers - looking for more inspiration for your social content? Check out these innovative social media content ideas.
Brand ambassadorships take influencer marketing partnerships a step further than one-off posts with long-term campaigns. When companies tap influencers to be brand ambassadors they are essentially making that person a spokesperson for the brand, featuring them in ad content across all of the social media platforms they use.
And while using brand ambassadors helps grow brand awareness, it also requires a higher level of commitment in a marketing partnership. Since the influencer you choose will be the face of your brand, you have to make absolutely sure that they are a good fit for representing your brand and reaching your target audience.
Adding affiliate campaigns to your influencer marketing strategy is a great way to generate e-commerce sales. Affiliate marketing content comes in various types and forms, such as case studies and landing pages. Influencers, however, rely mostly on social media posts for their affiliate campaigns. In these kinds of posts, social media influencers offer their followers a special discount code for a brand's products or services. The exclusive discount motivates consumers to make a purchase. In turn, influencers earn money for every conversion from their campaigns. The results of this kind of influencer marketing can be clearly measured by related sales.
Unboxings and reviews
For these types of influencer content (popular across many channels but especially on YouTube and TikTok), brands send influencers free products to use and interact with. In unboxing videos, influencers open or "unbox" brand packages to capture their initial, real-time reactions to the products inside. For reviews, influencers take time to use the product or service and then share their experiences with their followers. As a result, unboxing and review influencer content can get more in-depth on the qualities of a product or service, making them perfect for long-form videos and blog posts.
Pre-release content is any kind of influencer marketing post that features products or services not yet available to the public. For these posts, brands give influencers early access to a product or service so they can build anticipation and hype for its release.
Collaborations highlight an influencer's creativity and how well they mesh with your brand. These kinds of marketing partnerships can take many forms but often involve brands inviting an influencer to design or create content featuring their products or a special edition of the products themselves.
For example, many apparel brands have invited influencers to design limited-edition clothes and shoes.
Of all the marketing activations on this list, events are the only ones that offer consumers real-life engagement with influencers.
Usually reserved for big-name influencers, event activations can be anything from in-store appearances to hosting brand experiences at large events, like music festivals. Event activations require big investments of time and money, but with the right influencer, they can also have big returns.
Your marketing strategy and goals will always dictate what kind of influencer campaigns you use. But no matter what, your influencer marketing campaign's success always depends on partnering with the right influencer who can deliver the results you're looking for.
11 of the Best Influencer Marketing Examples
If you're here because you're looking for inspiration for your next influencer marketing activation, we've got you covered. Below are some of the best examples of different types of influencer marketing campaigns.
Gymshark, a fitness clothing e-commerce brand, is a leader when it comes to successful, long-term influencer partnerships. It has mastered the art of choosing brand ambassadors that its target audience loves — well-known trainers and athletes. The brand regularly leverages those strong partnerships for pre-release campaigns that not only draw in new potential customers, but also keep their current customers engaged and excited.
For example, check out this Instagram Collab post featuring bodybuilder and Gymshark athlete David Laid. The fashion-forward photos — with a simple caption announcing the collection's release date and time — have gotten over 250k likes and counting.
From actors to makeup artists to sustainable fashion enthusiasts, ice cream giant Häagen-Dazs partners with a wide range of influencers for their sponsored TikToks. What do they all have in common? Each one does an expert job of capturing the fun, family-friendly energy of the brand.
Tip: Are you looking for fashion influencers? Here's our list of the top global fashion influencers including sustainable fashionistas and the top South African fashion influencers.
In 2022, Häagen-Dazs brought the excitement of its digital content to life with an event activation featuring Leslie Grace, a singer-songwriter who has more than 233,000 TikTok followers. Along with appearing at a brand event hosted at a Brooklyn bodega, she posted footage of her time there in a TikTok that drew 20.8 million views.
Luxury watch and accessories brand Daniel Wellington stands out for how it collaborates with influencers for social content marketing. Instead of explicitly calling out partnerships in its social posts, it takes a subtler approach by presenting influencer content as integrated parts of its digital marketing aesthetic.
That was the case in the series of clever, collaborative posts (check one out below) that featured the creations of a cocktail nano-influencer on the brand's Instagram business account.
Daniel Wellington doesn't sell cocktails, but influencer Kelly Pettit's high-quality Reels reinforce the elegance of the brand while promoting its products through creative product placement. This and other Daniel Wellington influencer campaigns highlight fresh approaches to influencer marketing.
One of the most well-known brands in the world, Coca-Cola, launched its first TikTok campaign in 2021 with a focus on content creators of color.
Along with tapping singer Khalid to announce its #SharetheMagic campaign, the company also enlisted Jalaiah Harmon, creator of the famed "Renegade" TikTok dance, to create an original dance challenge.
Coca-Cola used the initial campaign posts to invite other content creators to share their own creative works featuring Khalid's song "Open," which it highlighted in later TikToks.
#SharetheMagic positioned Coca-Cola as a champion of influencer diversity and helped them scout content creators to partner with even after the campaign ended.
Dunkin' (formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts) is one of the largest coffee companies in the world, but it hit the big time with Gen Z when it began a partnership with TikTok mega-star Charli D'Amelio back in 2020. Since then, the brand has launched multiple drink collaborations with the celebrity teenager while enlisting other top TikTokers for both short- and long-term partnerships. And sometimes those partnerships can become campaigns of their own.
In this video from 2020, Dunkin's influencer outreach was featured in a TikTok by content creator Zachariah. That partnership was still going strong in 2022 when Zachariah starred in the below TikTok announcing the return of Dunkin's pumpkin-flavored drinks. It racked up 16.8 million plays and more than 311,800 likes.
HelloFresh's meal kits are perfect products for demonstrative content like unboxing, review, and "cook with me" videos. Its YouTube channel has featured celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris and Antoni Porowski for quick instructional videos, but the brand also reaches niche audiences by working with a range of influencers for affiliate marketing campaigns.
Notably, HelloFresh does a great job of having influencers express themselves in their unique styles, as in the ASMR sponsored video below that drew 65,000 views in only three days.
As the Young Adult division of Penguin Random House, Penguin Teen's audiences are especially social media-savvy. They count on TikTok for recommendations for everything from their peers, so it makes sense that the publishing company would look there to drum up buzz for new releases.
Penguin Teen had major success with influencers in 2022 as it promoted the book All My Rage, a novel about a South Asian-American teenager. With a focus on South Asian content creators, it partnered with teen influencers from #booktok — the book lovers' corner of TikTok — and the platform's South Asian-American communities to reach readers who could identify with the main character. Together, these #penguinteenpartners got hundreds of thousands of views and inspired other TikTokers to create their own reviews of the book.
Influencer marketing is arguably one of the trendiest marketing channels. Credit cards, on the other hand, don’t have the same street cred. Enter CapitalOne, the financial organization that has partnered with major celebrities and influencers to promote the value of the CapitalOne Rewards system and the social impact of the brand.
Influencer marketing collaborations have included Martha Stuart, chef Andrew Zimmern, actress Whitney Port, and actor Samuel L. Jackson. Collaborations not only highlight the brand’s cool clientele but also Capital One’s brand ethos of supporting those who use and those in need.
To the millennials out there, Whitney Port needs no introduction. The reality star-turned-fashion designer has been a well-known figure since she appeared on The Hills in 2006. Since then, she has appeared on multiple reality shows, launched a fashion line, hosts a podcast, and amassed an impressive social media presence.
With 1.5M Instagram followers Whitney Port is a desirable candidate for a partnership. But, why CapitalOne you may ask? Whitney’s followers are super targeted; 93% are female and 59% are between the ages of 25-34.
CapitalOne is able to use Whitney to communicate with a focused audience, sending a specific message of giving and engaging on an authentic level.
Online mattress companies have grown quickly in the last few years. Big Fig is one such brand, but its product is slightly different from the rest — the brand is known as “the mattress for the bigger figure.”
Big Fig is a mattress company that provides plus-size individuals a mattress that is perfectly suited for larger frames. Big Fig also supports body-positivity and self-love. These values are integral to Big Fig’s marketing efforts.
As a brand that supports the importance of plus-size visibility, plus-size influencers have been critical to the brand’s marketing efforts. In fact, most of the promotion of Big Fig mattresses is through influencers.
This makes complete sense for this brand. When it comes to niche products like a plus-size mattress, the most effective forms of marketing are through targeted, niche audiences. The influencers who Big Fig has partnered with authentically blend passions such as fashion or wellness with body positivity values.
For example, Stefani Nicole is a Utah-based, plus-size travel and fashion influencer. Her content is full of fun, stylish inspiration posts that are likely to give every fashionista a green eye.
Stefani often collaborates with three friends, who also happen to be plus-size influencers. This perfectly aligns with what we said about niche influencers being super good at connecting brands with a targeted audience.
Stefani has 77.5K Instagram followers, making her a micro-influencer for Instagram influencer marketing. Each post is seen by an average of 7,000 users and receives 700 likes, which are really high engagement ratios.
Her Big Fig post, as seen above, reached 6K users, has an engagement rate of 1.32%, and an EMV of $2.7K. That means 6,000 people who already support and subscribe to Stefani were exposed to a brand she is endorsing. There is no better publicity than that.
Getaway House is a unique travel company that helps city dwellers escape to nature and “Just Be.” The Getaway Homes are tiny houses in wooded outposts, now in 14 locations around the U.S.
Each cabin is equipped with the basic essentials, such as a comfy queen bed next to a huge window, a fire pit, biodegradable shampoo, and of course, a cell phone lockbox. Sounds like the perfect 2022 vacation.
So, how do social media influencers fit in? A better question is, how don’t they fit in! Getaway Houses are idyllic for influencer content. With windows framing beds to create nature getaway images, the homes are a content creator’s dream.
But Getaway House doesn’t rely on beautiful scenery to get its message across. The brand has partnered with a diverse range of influencers to promote values of inclusivity — the notion that relaxation is a right for all.
Gia Gun is a popular Drag performer and YouTube influencer. She’s best known for competing on the sixth season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. In 2016, Gia came out as a transgender woman, and publicly documented her transition process to her 77.1K YouTube subscribers and 627K Instagram followers.
Gia’s openness has generated loyal followers who support her journey and authenticity. There are also fans from her days on Drag Race, who follow for the killer content. Her post generated 22K likes and reached over 100K users. It’s a perfect way to promote an awesome vacation getaway and progressive brand values.
Industry-leading beauty brand Dior set a new tone for beauty inclusivity with its 2020, 67 Shades of Dior influencer campaign. The brand wanted to promote its Forever foundation collection, which featured 67 different shades to suit any skin tone.
The goal was to generate buzz about the new collection as well as draw attention to the numerous color options – a clear nod to diversity in beauty.
To execute the campaign, Dior selected 67 influencers, each one representing one of the unique shades in the Forever foundation collection. The influencers created content that Dior could reuse on its own channels. Naturally, the campaign lasted for 67 days, with Dior posting one piece of content daily.
The 67 influencers collectively represented a reach of 2.66 million potential customers. Dior earned more than 1.85 million impressions, 591K engagements, and a 120% increase in engagement.
The brand also benefited from 290 pieces of content created, with 72% of those assets being repurposed on its owned channels.
By now, you probably have some influencer campaign ideas brewing, but you need the right tools to really pull it off. Meltwater's influencer marketing platform, Klear, helps you find and vet the perfect YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, and more for your eye-catching campaigns.
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