– Kristina Petrick, Creative Director for OTBT
“People are turning to friends, celebrities, and influencers who inspire them most to learn how to best adjust to new norms. This presents brands with the unique opportunity to reach new consumers by partnering with influencers who have already built a strong sense of community. With that said, influencers and brands must work closely together to ensure their messaging feels both relatable and authentic.”
The hashtag challenge was named #THE1Challenge. In the campaign, the influencers performed dance moves specifically created for the campaign with the new 1 series and challenged other users to duplicate the moves. Our efforts resulted in 31M video views and 548,000 new users to elfcosmetics.com in just 90 days. This campaign ultimately helped lead to a greater engagement with TikTok—which included the viral #EyesLipsFace campaign.
Best Influencer Marketing Examples
OTBT (Off The Beaten Track) designs and sells women’s casual and travel shoes. It’s a young, vibrant brand that has quickly grown in popularity despite only launching a few years back. Much of this success can be attributed to their influencers and their influencer marketing strategy.
Who says your influencer has to be human?
The Lagavulin campaign is what happens when fiction perfectly matches reality. Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman collaborated with Lagavulin Distillery to release the “Offerman Edition” Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey.
There are two very important things that all of these influencer marketing campaigns have in common: they know their audience, and they know which influencers their audience likes. Throw in data and an influencer management platform, and you’ll have the building blocks for a fantastic (and profitable) campaign.
— Brent Villiot, Senior Strategist of Social and Creative Strategy at Tinuiti
This campaign proves just how much niche businesses can profit from influencer marketing when they choose the right influencer. Yeehaw Cowboy is an online-only fashion retailer that makes and sells cowboy boots and apparel.
This is a fantastic example of brands collaborating with established YouTube creators. In this campaign, Nike and YouTube channel “What’s Inside?” paired up to create a series of sponsored videos, including one where they sliced a pair of Nike Air VaporMax sneakers in half to see what was inside. Sonja is often recruited by brands to promote their products to her audience–and not just for videogame companies. To date, she’s worked with brands like Uber Eats, Michelin, Audi, Intel, SyFy, and HTC through both sponsored content and direct advertising.
Ryan started his influencer career in 2015, where his parents recorded and uploaded videos of him unboxing various toys. His reactions and the toys being showcased amassed literally billions of views, attracting toymakers like Mattel, LEGO, Spin Master, Roblox, and other sponsors.
3. Loki The Wolf Dog
Part of this strategy included launching three new channels for the brand—Snapchat, Pinterest and TikTok—as part of their “e.l.f.ing Amazing” brand campaign. With this launch, Tinuiti helped e.l.f. become the first-ever beauty brand to advertise on TikTok.
e.l.f. was eager to activate millennial and Gen Z segments where they lived most: social media. Tinuiti created an integrated strategy across the social platform ecosystem.
“Social media accounts for approximately 44% of our gross e-commerce revenue, with influencers providing an estimated annual reach of 750,000 potential customers. They generate the majority of our lifestyle and content, while also creating brand exposure across the country, especially in the southeastern US states.”
OTBT’s Instagram officially launched in January 2015, but its actual influencer program only began in 2017. The team chose to focus on micro-influencers with accounts of 5000 followers or less. Since beginning the program, they grew their influencer community from a handful to over 400, 200 of which just signed on in 2020.
The examples below cover a variety of industries, strategies, tactics, and outcomes. Collectively, this list illustrates just how much room there is for innovation in influencer marketing and how you can introduce it into your own brand.
The result? A product that sold out in 45 minutes. The product and campaign were so successful that Morphe and Jacklyn Hill are currently working on a second version of the product, unofficially dubbed the “Jacklyn Hill Palette Vol II.”
To publicize this launch, Nick Offerman tapped the personality of his fictional character Ron Swanson. In a bold yet character-appropriate move, released a 45-minute video of Nick/Ron simply sitting next to a fireplace while drinking the whiskey. There isn’t a single line of dialog or narration, or any background music asides from the title sequence. Just the crackling of the fire.
When BMW launched its new 1 Series sedan, it decided to break its own mold and conduct its very TikTok influencer campaign. The car manufacturer partnered with prominent influencers Falco Punch, Sky & Tami, and PatroX as part of a #hashtag challenge.
5. Yeehaw Cowboy
The campaign was a huge success, having been viewed over 6 million times and liked forty-seven thousand times.
As of 2020, Ryan is 8 years old. His YouTube page now has 25.7 million subscribers. Its media content has expanded to include animated cartoons, educational videos, and videogame Let’s Plays. Ryan’s name and likeness now graces hundreds of toys and games – sold online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
6. Nike Air Vapormax
The Hashtag Challenge Plus allowed TikTok users to purchase Ralph Lauren products directly from a branded in-app store for the duration of the campaign, which greatly increased the company’s ROI.
The campaign’s Instagram account generated 173 million impressions, 2.3 million likes and comments, and million worth of earned media.
7. Ralph Lauren
The virtual celebrity released multiple pieces of content to help Prada increase visibility, such as animated GIFs, Instagram videos, and a virtual tour of the event’s Prada booth–all the while decked out in virtual recreations of iconic Prada designs.
Ralph Lauren’s #WinningRL campaign was the first major successful influencer campaign to use TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus. The campaign featured actress, model, and influencer, Diana Silvers. Users were to share a time they won a real-life challenge in a unique way that could only happen on TikTok.
8. Lil Miquela
So Tom’s of Maine approached micro-influencers and offered them product and brand-related rewards in exchange for advertising. This led to incredible amounts of engagement, bringing in over 4.4 million new clients in the first three months.
This was more than a throwaway product cashing in on an influencer’s popularity. A lot of thought and effort went into designing the eyeshadow palette, and Jacklyn’s pride and excitement was obviously genuine.
You don’t have to be a human to be an influencer. Just ask Loki the Wolf Dog.
As of today, Tom’s of Maine works with over 20,000 micro-influencers, with a total reach of over 19 million people.
10. Morphe X Jacklyn Hill
And yet the video has been viewed nearly 4 million times and been discussed across multiple articles from whiskey afficionados. This just proves that strong, silent types can make viral videos, too.
This canine Instagram star has over 2 million followers who log on to see him and his owner, Kelly Lund, romp through the North American wilderness.
Tom’s of Maine manufactures personal care products and decided to approach their influencer marketing strategy in a different way. Their products are made using only natural ingredients, and wanted to be absolutely sure they were talking to people who valued this information.
The US Open played heavily into the campaign, with Ralph Lauren being closely associated with the tennis tournament. Diana Silver’s initial video matched the theme, and the top three challenge winners received official Polo Ralph Lauren US Open apparel as additional incentive to participate.
11. Ryan’s World
In 2018, fashion giant Prada made a bold move and enlisted virtual influencer Lil Miquela to help promote their Fall 2018 collection.
Videogame influencers are a huge but unsung group. One such prominent influencer is Sonja Reid, aka omgitsfirefoxx. She began her career posting videos on the live-streaming service Twitch in 2013 and has since grown her audience by playing League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Minecraft. She currently has over 700,000 followers on YouTube and Twitch.
If you want to begin your own influencer marketing program but don’t have any ideas, then we can help. We’ve compiled a handy list of the best influencer marketing examples available for you to learn from.
12. Tom’s of Maine
As of this writing, Falco’s video has accumulated 243,000 likes and the hashtag itself has collected over 6 million views.
In 2019, they partnered with budding YouTube creator Jeremiah Craig, whose videos about country music and cowboy boots drew their attention. This relationship resulted in over ,000 of revenue for Yeehaw Cowboy through a combination of paid advertisements and collaborative content.
Mercedes invited Loki and Kelly to help create the #MCPhotoPass campaign, which involved driving through snow-covered Colorado mountains in a 2017 Mercedes GLS. The campaign was a mix of video, photography, and VR. Mercedes installed 3D cameras facing outside the vehicle so that viewers could experience running through snowy terrain alongside Loki, while internal-facing cameras showed the cabin of the 2017 GLS. Mercedes also invited prominent Instagram photographers to provide additional coverage.
If we’ve learned anything from this list so far, anyone can be an influencer; whether it’s a fashion model, an animal, or a virtual construct. So it should not surprise anyone to learn that one of the biggest influencers in the world is a child named Ryan Kaji.
Some influencer and brand partnerships are so strong they go beyond simply promoting a product. In Jacklyn Hill’s case, Morphe gave her the opportunity to create her own product using Morphe’s resources. They collaborated and eventually released the Morphe x Jacklyn Hill eyeshadow palette.