These days, most brands are working with bloggers and trying their hand at influencer marketing. And for good reason! Influencers are relatable and trustworthy. Their recommendations are far more genuine than your claims about your own products and they also give you access to untapped markets. But if you want your influencer marketing campaigns to stand out from the competition, you'll need to get creative. Ahead, we're sharing eight creative ways to work with bloggers on influencer marketing campaigns.
How To Get Creative With Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
If you haven’t noticed, many bloggers in the fashion, food and lifestyle space have recklessly abandoned Facebook – at least to some extent – in favour of a more image-focused platform. That platform is Instagram and it’s here to stay. Unfortunately as a brand, Instagram content can feel a little dry and consequently doesn’t do much in the way of catching your customer’s attention. But what if your customer’s favourite blogger takes over the reins of your Instagram account for a takeover? Well, let’s just say your customers will be pretty happy to see some fresh content from you and said blogger. Collaborating with a relevant blogger can also do wonders for your credibility, meaning you become a top-of-mind choice when it comes time to buy.
An Instagram takeover can be executed in many ways depending on what you’re trying to achieve. A common way is to let the blogger take you through a ‘day in the life’ kind of scenario. Big-time brownie points if they can tie that experience back to your brand in an authentic way.
Eyewear company, Coastal teamed up with Alanna of Xander Vintage for an Instagram Takeover during New York Fashion Week. Alanna wore Coastal glasses in all the photos, which the brand used to tie back to a ‘shop the look’ post on their own blog.
“Your best customers are your greatest influencers.” – Jay Heinrichs
Now more than ever, customers are encouraged to be content creators just as much as they are distribution channels. With the rise in social media, marketing has evolved from a monologue, into a two-way conversation. If you want your customers to engage and share content, getting creative with your campaigns is of utmost importance.
HP demonstrates this perfectly. They partnered with musician, Meghan Trainor to create fan-generated content that struck a chord, literally. They encouraged people to partake in a fan-generated video mixed with behind the scenes footage of Meghan Trainor’s tour as it happened. Her fans were encouraged to tag their Instagrams and Vines with the hashtag, #BendTheRules. By doing so, they could partake in the fan-generated video called #ThatBassTour. What’s more, they teamed up with fashion bloggers to further bring this campaign to life. Although fashion bloggers have no direct link to a product like HP, the tech aspect ties back beautifully. This campaign demonstrates how you can think outside of our own industry when nailing down the right blogger for your collaboration. Suddenly, the HP tablet is perceived as a must-have product for fashion bloggers or fashionable people in general who like to take pictures. Who would have thought?
Nothing captivates an audience like an inspiring or quirky video. We are especially inspired with how Mogo Money thought outside the box and partnered with fashion bloggers, Kastor + Pollux on a weekly video series, called #MogoMondays. Built around the theme of saving money, the two quirky bloggers explore fun activities that are easy on the pockets. This of course ties back to Mogo, a prepaid credit card that encourages a smart way to spend money. Video also serves many other purposes, such as educating viewers, increasing your search rankings and inspiring action from customers. Find a creative blogger to partner with and you’re set!
Giveaways are one of the most exciting ways to collaborate with bloggers. Why, you ask? Because everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s super relevant.
If you have the budget to work with a high caliber blogger, this can be a great way to earn some serious credibility too. Just be sure to monitor your results carefully so you know for the future whether or not the investment was worth it. Measure giveaway entries, website visits, social media engagement, increase in social following and anything else that is relevant for your business.
If, on the other hand, your budget is more limited partnering up with a handful of smaller bloggers on a group giveaway can be tremendously lucrative too. It gives you access to more readerships, more potential customers and more bloggers that are willing to share your content beyond the giveaway. According to Izea, 72% of bloggers share additional posts about their sponsors for free, outside of their contractual agreement. You will find this is the case more often with small to medium size bloggers.
Watch brand, Daniel Wellington partnered with popular fashion blogger, Her Waise Choice on a giveaway this past November. Their giveaway was very timely – no pun intended – as the brand was starting to get a lot of recognition through bloggers. While the watch was seen on just about every blogger’s wrist though, customers were only just starting to catch on. Featuring the watch through a giveaway was a great way to draw more awareness to the brand. Her Waise Choice encouraged participation amongst her readers by asking them to comment on her post with their watch of choice, plus follow Daniel Wellington across their social media channels. The giveaway generated a ton of comments, shares and active participation among the blogger’s audience.
DSW did a great giveaway with a group of 18 bloggers. That’s right, 18 bloggers! As you can imagine, this wasn’t just lucrative for the brand but all the participating bloggers as well. Readers could participate in all 18 contests, meaning they had 18 chances to win a $250 gift card to DSW.
Getting branded content on an influencer’s blog is great for visibility but bringing that content onto your own platform and building a community can be equally lucrative for you in the long run. So, what does it all mean for you? Tons of sharable user-generated content that you can share across your social media platforms. Improved organic search rankings. Added credibility to your brand if the contributors are influential. Interesting content for your customers to peruse, meaning more time on site for them to get excited about your brand. As a result you’ve just created a desirable lifestyle around your brand, one that your customers will want to be a part of. So, build a cool ambassador program and they will come!
Herschel Supply Co. developed the Well Travelled series, which encourages credible photographers to take their product on their travels around the world. The photos are featured on Herschel’s site but the product shots are few and far between, putting the focus on landscapes and travel as opposed to the brand. It’s a subtle way to promote their product, while remaining relevant and authentic to their customers. Score!
Nothing draws a crowd to your event like a blogger with a large network of friends and fans. If your event doesn’t have enough of a draw to guarantee attendance, throw in a blogger host and you’ve got yourself a full house and a captive audience to boot. Integrate the blogger into the event by allowing her to tell your brand’s story. Are you introducing a new spring collection? Great, give her the reins to show attendees how they can style your pieces for the upcoming season. Are you launching a new mobile application? Let the blogger show attendees how she uses your app in an every day setting. The options are endless so get creative and allow for input from the blogger. She’s been around the block a few times and knows what she’s doing.
Alicia Fashionista used her fashion and eyewear styling smarts to land an event-hosting gig with Clearly Contacts for their #MyEyeStyle holiday event. Many of the attendees were Alicia’s friends, fans and peers, which ensured a captive and receptive audience.
Event ambassadors are slightly different than event hosts in that their job is to get the word out about your event and increase overall attendance. The #BreakUpAndMove movement is all about encouraging people to break the bad, whatever that may look like in their own personal life. They partnered with about ten fashion and lifestyle bloggers to promote their healthy movement event and get their readers out for it. Each blogger did a sponsored blog and social post to really get the word out and draw attention around the hashtag, #BreakUpAndMove.
There ‘ain’t no party like a Twitter party and there’s one simple reason for this. Twitter parties exist only in the digital sphere. So, if you don’t have the budget to throw a full-blown event, an online and socially driven one might be right up your alley.
Here’s how it works. Invite a carefully selected blogger, or even a group of them to weigh in on a pre-determined topic. Make it timely for the season, a holiday or something relevant to your brand. Someone from your team can act as the moderator to ask the blogger/s pre-determined questions. Those questions should be carefully selected to reflect a conversation your customers and their readers will want to follow along with. To that end, you also need to make it worth their reader’s while so throw in a giveaway that will entice them to join the Twitter party. Do make sure to actively promote the party in advance and ensure participating bloggers do the same.
Target Canada never seems to disappoint with their Twitter parties. Recently we’ve seen a few good ones for Black Friday and Target Pharmacy. With Target Pharmacy, they always make their Twitter parties timely by tying them into the time of the season when people tend to get sick or suffer from allergies. For this particular campaign, Target focused on how on how to keep your family healthy during spring. As a prize, they gave out 10 $50 gift cards. More importantly, they worked through a large group of mommy bloggers, like Shayna from Mommy Outside the Box, to get the word out about the Twitter party.
While the options for blogger collaborations are endless, we often see the same campaigns done over and over again. But as more marketers and communicators catch on to the value of influencer marketing, how will you stand out from the digital crowd? Now, more than ever businesses of all kinds are getting creative not only with their campaigns but also with who they partner with. It’s time to think outside the box!