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Any user of social media has definitely seen a sponsored post before. Many people think of the typical format where an influencer does a cheesy pose with a product, but recently, posting sponsored content has taken many different shapes. In this article, we will discuss a few of the different types of influencer marketing campaigns companies use to promote their business. Hopefully, you will be able to find one that works for you!
1. Sponsored Content
Starting with the basics, sponsored content tends to look like the classic example mentioned above. Usually, this begins with a company reaching out to an influencer and asking if they are willing to promote the product or service on their own social media. In some cases, the influencer will be the one reaching out to the company asking to work together in the same way.
Depending on the influencer you are working with, the final result will most likely be a picture, video, or blog post promoting your company or product. These types of influencer marketing campaigns typically begin with the company sending a detailed campaign brief to the influencer. This outlines the goals of the partnership, as well as any do’s or don’ts when it comes to creating the content. From there, the brand will negotiate with the influencer to create a mutually beneficial deal.
This type of influencer campaign works best when you give the influencer creative freedom. Remember, they know how to engage their audience best. Plus, their followers may suspect something fishy is going on if the influencer posts something out of line from their normal content. It’s best to allow the influencer to remain as genuinely themselves as possible while promoting your product.
Here’s an example from Carl Thompson, founder of his own clothing brand, Hawkins and Shepherd, where he partnered with Marks and Spencer.
View this post on Instagram
(AD) We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore. 🏝 That’s my thought for today, I’ve interpreted that in a number of different ways and it’s very empowering and inspiring. 🙏🏽 This photo was taken yesterday during sunset golden hour on Gili Trawangan wearing pieces from the new @marksandspencer summer collection *don’t worry the Bintang was on its way! ☀️#MyMarks #MarksAndSpencer #traveling #wanderlust #travel #tblogger #backpacking #indonesia #giliislands #gilitrawangan #bali 📸 Photo taken by @ajthompson14 & inspiration taken from my main man @thisistimothy feed ✌🏽
One of the most common types of influencer marketing campaigns is a review. The premise of these posts is that a company or brand will send an influencer a product or service for free, and the influencer will review it on the channel in exchange. If you’ve ever seen an “unboxing” video on YouTube, this may have been the driving force. Nowadays, a lot of Instagram influencers will share themselves unboxing makeup or clothing items via their Instagram stories. Typically, the influencer is unboxing new items they have never used before and reviewing them for the first time on camera.
(Keep in mind though that some influencers have built their brands around unboxing and reviews, like Jeffree Star, so they may be receiving products through other means than a partnership.)
These types of videos are also common in the tech industry. Below is a video of Jacques Slade unboxing a reviewing a media kit sent to him by Jordan Brand.
Similar to the sponsored post, this type of partnership can operate based on a set of broad and flexible guidelines set by the brand. However, as you’ve probably guessed, this can run into some ethical issues. Some brands require influencers to only say positive things… and sometimes influencers don’t mind going against that policy to say what they really think.
This example is from Benjamin Burnley, the frontman of the popular band Breaking Benjamin. He was approached by EA Sports to give a positive review of their Star Wars Battlefront game. Instead, Benjamin posted this…
The moral of the story: Be careful what you ask for.
3. Competitions and Giveaways
Giveaways are always fun! They can be a win-win for your brand, the influencer, and their fans. The easier the process it is for audiences to enter the competition, the better. Typically, brands offer a free product or service for the influencer to give away to their followers.
Competitions and giveaways can include:
- Engaging with the influencers post itself by:
- “Liking” the post
- Commenting a certain phrase or hashtag
- Tagging up to 3 friends in the comments
- Engaging with the brand outside of the post by:
- “Liking” or following the brand on their social media channels
- Going to the brand’s website and signing up via form or email list
- Submitting photos, stories, or other types of entries to be judged by the brand
In this example, David Dobrik teamed up with a popular ticketing app, SeatGeek to give away a new Tesla. All fans had to do was interact with David’s account, interact with SeatGeek’s account, and share the competition with their own followers.
View this post on Instagram
Hey guys for Christmas Seatgeek and I are giving away this Tesla to one of y’all!! Just follow me and @teamseatgeek, share to your story, and tag a friend in the comments! Choosing the winner on Christmas Eve!! – UPDATE THE WINNER IS: @valerierrico No purchase necessary. Exclusions apply. Terms and Conditions here: https://bit.ly/2PNwgYl
4. Product and Content Collaborations
Instead of a one-off type of collaborations, many companies have worked alongside influencers to co-create products or content. This is seen a lot in the beauty and fashion world when influencers create makeup or clothing lines underneath one company. Shane Dawson’s recent collaboration with Jeffree Star Cosmetics took the world by storm when Shane worked alongside JSC to create an entire line of products from eyeshadows to liquid lipsticks, to makeup bags.
This process is a super involved one and probably better for companies that have already built a name for themselves in their industry and are manufacturing their own products. But, influencer marketing campaigns like this can go a long way, especially when the influencer can display a clear call-to-action (CTA). An example of this is plant-based food blogger Kimberly Espinel’s partnership with Dee Muesli. Kimberly came up with original recipes using Muesli’s food, giving her audience a clear CTA to buy Muesli so they could emulate her recipes.
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#ad If I can use my reach to shine a light on artisanal small business owners, makers and food related products I will! . . . Hence I’m over the moon to share these moist #vegan seasonal apple breakfast muffins in collaboration with @deemuesli today🍏🍎🍏. Their hand-made, #glutenfree, organic muesli is some of the best I’ve EVER had and made these quick and easy muffins extra delicious 😋 . . . You can find the full recipe on the blog, link on stories for ease, in my profile and here https://thelittleplantation.co.uk/blog/vegan-apple-muesli-muffin-recipe-deemuesli . . . P.S. I’m sharing a behind the scenes #foodstyling sesh of these moody shots over on stories today PLUS reveal something SUPER important I did today too. . . Preset TLP simple darkest wood . . . #meatlessmonday #meatfreemonday #feedfeed #f52grams #whatveganseat #foodandwine #savblogawards #eattheworld #thisisfall #theartofslowliving #hautecuisines #thelittleplantation #lifeandthyme #foodphotography #foragebyfolk #thatsdarling #veganuk #herbivore #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #tcmlivingwell #livefolk #flatlayforever
5. Long-Term Brand Ambassadors
As the name suggests, a long-term brand ambassador will partner with your brand for an extended period. This is a type of influencer marketing campaign where the influencer can serve as a “face” of your brand, just like celebrities do in traditional advertising. Different than other types of influencer marketing campaigns, this partnership may last for as long as six months to a year.
These types of influencer marketing campaigns can bring great results because:
- Repetition keeps your brand at the top-of-mind for the influencer’s audience
- Frequent promotion allows you to show the versatility of your brand’s offerings
- A stronger relationship with the influencer allows for more trust, credibility, and authenticity in the content
- There is a lower churn rate in your marketing strategy, which generally relates to less uncertainty and more convenience
Here, fitness influencer Matt Upston is celebrating 3-years as a brand ambassador for a sport nutrition company, Science in Sport. (This one is a win-win because an ambassador is hosting a giveaway.)
To celebrate being a @ScienceinSport #Ambassador for 3 years I’m going to give away a #SiSTrainingBundle to a lucky winner. Winner must RT this and be a follower of me and #SiS winner Chosen 9pm on 12th October #SiSComp @UKRunChat @uktrichat @UKCycleChat pic.twitter.com/PSK4d9XcMy
— Matt Upston (@MattUpston) October 11, 2018
6. “Takeovers” on Your Platform
While the first five tactics involve your product showing up on an influencers page, this involves an influencer showing up on your product’s page. During a takeover, the brand gives the influencer access to its social media channels for a set amount of time. Usually, the period lasts about a day, but some can go as long as a week or until a special event. This can be done on multiple platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and even Twitter!
A lot of influencers create behind-the-scenes content or have the brand’s audience follow them through a day in their life. This can be a fun way for your audience to see an influencer interacting with your product in real-time.
The downside of this type of influencer marketing campaign is that you have to share your password with the influencer, so a high level of trust is needed. (And a contract too.)
Now that you have a good idea of some types of influencer marketing campaigns, start exploring which ones might be right for you and your brand! Our biggest tip: Go with micro-influencers. They will be easier to reach and form relationships with!