The Rise of Influencer Marketing

It shouldn't come as news to anyone that the landscape of digital marketing has changed drastically with the rise of Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Vine and every other social network. This popularity gave rise to a whole new sort of celebrity: the influencer.

An influencer is a non celebrity with a strong following on social media. These people have more or less made a living off of cute selfies/funny memes/beautiful photography or really.. anything! Although many feel that having a strong Instagram following means nothing but that you have too much time on you hands, what brands have realized is that influencers have a much more engaged community then an A-lister. This makes their profiles goldmines for meaningful reach and engagement to people who trust these influencers opinions, as well as the products and services they use.

Here are few examples of my favorite campaigns using influencers:

1. Birchbox

Birchbox teamed up with Emily Schuman of the fashion blog Cupcakes and Cashmere to help market their product: a box of beauty samples delivered to your doorstep for $10 a month. With over 18,000 likes and a reach of over half a million customers, they were incredibly successful. Birchbox continues to use influencers in their marketing efforts, going as far as having "influencer takeovers" on Instagram, where fashion and makeup bloggers talk about their favorite products that they've discovered through Birchbox.

2. Bellagio Las Vegas: #UltimateVegas

Bellagio Hotels hand picked over 20 influencers to promote a contest to win a tip to their Las Vega location using on-site photos. The influencers were everyone from the largest travel influencer on Instagram, Beautiful Destinations, to Vine personality Amanda Cerny. Photographer Murad Osmann and his wife Natalia Zakharova also took part with the beautiful photograph below, which was shared with his 2.9 million followers on Instagram.

Over the 8 week campaign Bellagio's Instagram following grew by 100%, and engagement grew by 175%. Hard to argue with those numbers! Organic traffic to their website also doubled in their key markets in the U.S., Australia, U.K., and Mexico. 

3. Squarespace

Squarespace took a different approach to their influencer marketing and used Youtubers! A technique executed successfully by many other brands, notably Audible and Samsung. Squarespace teamed up with popular Youtubers who fit their target demographic and created short, sponsored videos like the one below. The niches they worked with were pop culture, learning, gaming and movies. A few of their top pics were Good Mythical Morning, Cinema Sins, Ray William Johnson, and Tyler Oakley.

To date the Squarespace sponsored videos have over 35 million views and a reach of 57 million viewers. This campaign was actually one of the ways I heard about Squarespace myself, so great job! 

Hooray for influencer marketing and data that drives results!