From Pied Piper to Mike Jordan, from folklore tales to present day celebrity endorsements, we have seen the power of influence. Mike Jordan alone has raked in fortune, thanks to his endorsements for Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, etc. And what about Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and 50 Cents famous endorsements on the tube and social media platforms?
But what if you are a start-up and you don’t have millions of dollars. Don’t worry, you are not stranded. From the past couple years, digital marketers have discovered gold in the form of minor celebrities or micro-influencers. We have come a long way from million-dollar deals with celebs to $100-250 deals with YouTubers and Instagrammers who have a loyal following of tens and thousands of fans. Let’s see some famous examples of micro-influencers in digital marketing and understand how it works.
When American Greetings launched their Leap Day campaign named #ThankList, they used micro-influencers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to build awareness for their campaign. From Betty White to other lesser-known influencers promoted the tag and they got an overwhelming response. The post saw an engagement of over 19k followers on the influencer-generated post and in all 2152 user posts were generated within the campaign.
This post from Jessie James Decker garnered over 58.5k likes and 300+ comments. But while Jessie and Betty White are famous, a lot of others aren’t. Here’s how jeanatravels, a CA-based famous Instagrammer, blogger and photographer with over 18k followers promoted the hashtag and got over 400 likes. Jeana has no other claim to fame.
Join the #ThankList #30DayChallenge: I’m thankful for my family – not a day goes by that they don’t make me laugh and love my life. I challenge my best friend Kas, @SouthernBellasWays, to create her own, share and join the challenge! For every #ThankList created and shared on social media, American Greetings will donate $1 to United Way Worldwide #ad #socialgood #dogood
When compared to what Decker and Betty White achieved, this might seem quite less, but user generated posts are quite cost-effective and come across as genuine!
Love and Pieces
Love and Pieces is a small business catering to a very narrow niche with their designer jewelry. They are based in Miami and their business doesn’t seem very big or old and they seem a bit green at marketing, nevertheless, they hit the grand slam with their influencer marketing tactic. The best part is you don’t have to be a big company like Walmart or Nike to get influencers. Even small businesses who set up shop using DIY e-commerce platforms can find themselves good influencers in their budget. Love and Pieces went the influencer-route at just $100.
They contacted Jelly and Day, famous YouTubers with around 26k subscribers, through FameBit, because apparently they realized that video marketing is going big and they had to jump on the bandwagon. The video was watched over 28.7k times and got over 1600 likes. Jelly and Day are a cute lesbian couple and they don’t do many sponsored videos; they have hundreds of hilarious videos on everything from being lesbians to 6 ways to use a condom. They offered a special discount to code to customers who came from YouTube to track sales.
However, since in this video their website was mentioned in the end, they decided to make a second video and this one turned out to be better than the first one. This video was created by Stephanie Lange and has been watched over 95k times and has around 2380 thumbs up. They even picked up many Instagram followers, so all in all, they had a nice experience with influencers.
Vend used Traackr to get in touch with 20 influencers, all popular editors from top retail publications and members of National Retail Federation. They further asked these 20 people to choose two more influencers and thus made a top 50 list. These people were asked to display Vend badge on their blog.
The result? They got 5,000 pageviews in the first 30 days with more than 500 social shares on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Their influencer outreach was scored at 23%, which compared to its competitors’ 0% reach looked phenomenal.
It is not always small companies like Love and Pieces that are tapping into influencer marketing. Walmart too when they wanted to promote their Star Wars campaign. They chose Meghan McCarthy (cartoon voice impersonator), an active social media personality with presence on YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter of course. Nice choice on the influencer because the crowd who appreciates cartoon voices and play acting would appreciate Star Wars contest.
Anyways down to the details: Meghan McCarthy has over 1,100,050 followers on YouTube and if you are a millennial and spend too much time on social media, chances are you must have bumped into one of her snaps or videos. If not, congratulations, you just found out about her! Sorry, back to the topic again, the YouTube video was viewed 166,939 times and had around 7460 views and 600k engagements following the endorsement! If you are into weird girl-child voice, you can watch the video here.
From Universal Pictures to Amazon, a lot of Fortune 500 companies are now seeing the light and using the power of micro-influencing. With the face of changing influence, we can safely conclude that startups and small niche businesses are in for a lot of pleasant surprises.
Just a few takeaways before we leave:
- Choose your influencer platform wisely; here’s a good guide to working with influential bloggers to help you get started
- Design good content, contests or giveaways to ensure you get the most out of the campaign
- Make sure your video, blog or post comes off as genuine as possible
- Get your link or mention as early in the video or post as possible or you will just be pouring money down the drain
- You can even go the road less trodden and get in touch with influencers directly, but something about the escrow payment services, make influencer platforms a good choice for newbies. So if you are a newbie, you know what you have to do.
Inscribe these 5 pieces of incredible advice on the wall above your desk or may be just on your sticky note!