As digital media becomes more complex and noisy, brands must research influencer marketing case studies and learn the best practices for launching programs they can integrate into their digital strategy. By collaborating with influential consumers and technologists, you can reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers.
There are several influencer marketing case studies that demonstrate success and brand value. Below are a few snapshot case studies from some top consumer brands and retailers.
Consumer Influencer Marketing Case Studies
How H&M Used Four Sponsored Videos to Reach 12M+ Consumers
H&M (short for Hennes & Mauritz) is a Swedish clothing retailer headquartered in Stockholm. They provide affordable and fashionable clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. They operate in 74 countries with over 5,000 stores.
H&M partnered with influencers to build brand awareness and interest during the holiday season. They aimed to drive clothing sales, especially for their holiday line. They aligned their content with each influencer’s personality and lifestyle to create H&M’s authentic content and brand messaging for the campaign.
To achieve their goals, H&M worked with four notable celebrities: Peyton List, Hannah Simone, Tyler Posey, and Jana Kramer. H&M went with stars with highly engaged communities and devoted social media audiences. Each celebrity posted a 10-second video as a teaser followed by a one-minute video across each social media channel, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Each influencer created six posts, totaling 24 total influencer assets. Every influencer’s post included the hashtag #hm and a link to their official website. Their use of various social media channels greatly increased their social reach and catered to a diverse audience.
The H&M influencer campaign was a resounding success, reaching 12 million YouTube views and an average engagement rate of 10% across social media channels. The influencers posted teaser clips that helped create excitement for their holiday campaign. Sharing repetitive content at different times was also a genius touch, enabling H&M to reach more viewers across the brand’s digital ecosystem, increasing their campaign’s visibility and reach.
How Olay’s Influencer Campaign Achieved An Instagram Engagement Rate Higher Than 8%
With the beauty influencer industry so crowded, Olay aimed to leverage Instagram influencer marketing by creating a unique program. Olay sought to generate relatability through female influencers to connect to a diverse, primarily female, audience. They were also aiming at increasing brand awareness and establishing brand affinity.
Olay’s campaign encouraged women to embrace their natural beauty and defy societal expectations. To achieve this, they partnered with nine diverse female influencers (The Fearless 9) as the faces of their campaign, encouraging women to be unapologetically themselves. “The Fearless 9” included models, athletes, and other female powerhouses. The influencers used the #FaceAnything hashtag to spark a movement encouraging all women to embrace their natural beauty. The 28-day challenge featured the influencers breaking free from their regular beauty routines and using only Olay skincare products in preparation for a makeup-free event at the end of the challenge.
Olay achieved an 8.33% engagement rate on Instagram, with over 21 million followers targeted. It was able to break through and connect with Millennials and Gen Z audiences through authentic messaging. By supporting diverse influencers in sharing their personal stories, Olay reached out to millions of consumers with credible content.
How Dunkin’ Donuts Used the “Sipping is Believing” Campaign to Rally Espresso Lovers
Dunkin’ Donuts has always been known for coffee, but it sought to increase brand awareness and affinity for espresso products. They also wanted to increase purchase intent and traffic to their stores.
Dunkin’s campaign aimed to capitalize on the popularity of its handcrafted espresso. Their “Sipping is Believing” campaign aimed to improve their Instagram engagement and overall social media presence.
Their marketing strategy was simple: utilize nano and micro-influencers in Philadelphia to reach an authentic audience and produce high engagement. Their campaign featured several influencers with 50,000 followers and below around Philadelphia. The female influencers created natural-looking posts to be more relatable and appeal to their more personal followings. Each post was tailored to showcase local pride in various ways, making the content highly targeted and tailored to the Philadelphia audience.
With more than 1.1 million followers targeted, Dunkin’ Donuts achieved a 5.2% engagement rate with its influencer marketing campaign. Their nano-influencer technique generated higher engagement rates. Dunkin’ was able to organically grow a local support base and increase awareness around their new espresso drinks using two simple hashtags––#phillyrunsondunkin and #sippingisbelieving.
There are hundreds of influencer marketing case studies with big brands that achieved impressive results. But B2B and technology companies can also benefit from influencer marketing.
B2B Influencer Marketing Case Studies
SAP’s Holistic Approach to Raising Awareness on Health Care Management
SAP Success Factors is a cloud-based software platform for human capital management (HCM) to support various HR functions such as business continuity, healthcare benefits, performance management, talent, and learning & organizational development.
While most companies have embraced wellness programs and initiatives, SAP Success Factors sought to create a program to share valuable insights on health and wellbeing from internal and external industry experts. Their primary goal was to raise awareness around their solution by addressing their audience’s pain points and crafting a strategy to leverage unique expertise areas and social media followings to connect with their target audience.
Their influencer marketing campaign featured several tactics centered on an eBook that featured the gems and insights of 10 influencers. Their influencer pool consisted of various industry names, some of their clients, partners, and internal experts. Their campaign also featured a landing page, creative for social media, organic social, and influencer social messages.
Their campaign was an instant hit, with a whopping 272% increase over their download benchmark. Additionally, the organic social media messaging from both the brand and the various influencers drove 86% of all the views and 69% of conversions. Finally, they also achieved a 68% conversion rate on their landing page.
IBM’s Multifaceted Influencer Marketing Campaign
A few years ago, IBM ran an influencer marketing campaign that leveraged employees and external influencers. IBM encouraged their employees to tweet about their products and share more information through social media to attract customers and build awareness.
IBM’s unique marketing strategy that turned people’s heads was its partnership with Gaurav Gupta, a leading designer from India known for his dramatic sculpture-like designs. He designed the first AI saree gown using IBM Watson, an AI platform designed to assist businesses in different industries. The collaboration showcased Watson’s ability to provide unique dresses to business owners in various industries. The gown was designed with color-changing LED lights, which, using IBM’s technology, changed color based on the winner’s dominant trait.
IBM’s collaboration with a celebrity designer was a genius way to showcase the vital role that data plays across industries. It also served to show that AI can be an integral part of creative spaces such as fashion. It created mass awareness of AI and how you can use it to discover new paths each day and improve the quality of life, transforming the world we live in.
Oracle Dyn’s Cybersecurity Intelligence Report
Oracle Dyn initiated a campaign to increase awareness and authority for their security solution featuring bot management. Their goal was to raise awareness and establish themselves as a credible cybersecurity titan. Another primary goal was to help organizations take control of their cybersecurity and stay one step ahead in the never-ending battle against cybersecurity threats.
Oracle hoped to achieve its objectives by initiating a relationship with several key influencers in the industry. They reached out to various experts within the company, including Eric Vanderburg, Kevin L. Jackson, and many other relevant industry influencers, to collaborate on a report titled The Cybersecurity Intelligence Report: Bot Management & Mitigation. The report featured tips and advice from industry experts for organizations on how to identify bots, mitigate damage, and create an overall culture of security.
The fact that their campaign was a huge success is no surprise. All the influencers they reached out to engage in creating and sharing the report participated. Within 60 days of the report’s launch, the program exceeded its goal. Their success can be attributed to their campaign being tailored to the needs of their target audience. The report was aimed at helping to address the pain points of the audience through authentic, meaningful content. The nature of this marketing tactic was well-suited to their industry and helped establish their authority as a source of meaningful, reliable information.
B2B Influencer Marketing Stats
Some of these B2B influencer marketing stats are somewhat dated, but it still holds today: 57% of the decision has already been made when buyers reach out to a technology vendor. How? Research.
The B2B sales funnel is highly complex, but it’s essential to understand what you’re against. The following B2B influencer marketing stats from Gartner and other sources are beneficial. The stats prove that by partnering with influencers, you can increase the reach and trustworthiness of your message:
- 83% of B2B buyers say online reviews are extremely/critical when researching a purchase
- 80% of buyers say they are more likely to purchase from a company that has authentic user-generated content
- 75% of executives say they are more likely to buy from a vendor after reading positive online reviews
- 65% of senior executives say they would pay more for a product/service if they were able to read reviews before purchase
- 55% of buyers say they would be willing to pay more for a product/service from a company with great user reviews
This is where influencer marketing stats and case studies come into play. I would argue that influencers should be the foundation of your B2B brand strategy. When it comes to promoting B2B technology, you must consider the needs of your target audience. After all, they’re the ones deciding what to purchase. What do they care about? How do they make decisions?
Bloggers. Thought leaders—subject matter experts. True influencers are not measured by the number of followers but by the level of engagement with their community. With a profound understanding of their audience, influencers direct all their efforts into creating content, layering on a particular point of view about a topic, and establishing a solid foundation of relevance and authority. They build communities where their opinions are valued, updates are followed, and shared content. They connect at a very human level, even when speaking to thousands of followers. Some refer to this as “scalable intimacy.” It opens up the potential for marketers to touch a significant number of people efficiently while treating each as an individual, ultimately providing value in return. Several brands hire influencers as content creators and see tremendous value in doing so.
So how can B2B companies and technology brands leverage influencer marketing stats and research?
Identifying the right influencers is a good start. And popularity is not always the most significant indicator of influence. A few questions come to my mind when I think about measuring influence:
- Are their values naturally aligned with company objectives?
- Is their audience relevant and likely to be interested in the product and services of the company?
- Do they create content that is engaging, useful, and trustworthy?
Other than B2B influencer marketing stats, the way that you identify influencers is also essential. Thought leaders, industry analysts, journalists, and contributors to relevant publications–recognize those genuinely influential with your buyers and go from there. I use a methodology that considers the following collective data points:
- Reach: What is their network size, or how large is their online community? You’ll have to consider RSS subscribers, social media followers, connections, etc. Reach is significant because it’s one indicator of the potential distribution of content.
- Relevance: How often do they discuss topics and categories that align with your business? Did they mention it six months ago, or are they consistently talking, writing, and sharing content related to the industry?
- Resonance: When they speak, share or write long-form content, how far does it travel, and do others interact with it in the form of likes, comments, shares, linkbacks, etc.? The assumption is that higher interactions equal higher resonance.
- Reference: Are they referenced by other like-minded influencers? This is a good indicator that their industry peers respect their opinions.
Then, think about the B2B buyer journey. By aligning strategic content with influencer programs, influencers can introduce new products to their audience at the awareness stage, raise visibility and demonstrate the product at the research stage. Direct customers to make purchasing decisions at the sales stage.
Ultimately, strategic influencer content can open the door for brands to connect with audiences in more natural, relatable, and, most importantly, authentic ways. In some cases, the influencer activation may not require “activation.” You can learn a lot and gain actionable intelligence about influencers by just researching their conversations and online habits
Consider these influencer marketing stats when creating an influencer marketing strategy.