If you don't believe all of the hype about influencer marketing and whether it really works and converts, here are 3 influencer marketing case studies that you should know. Each of these brands has launched and found epic success by leveraging influencers to drive brand awareness, exposure, conversions and customer retention, all with a slightly different, but equally deliberate, influencer marketing strategy.
With roots in Australia, block-colored, neoprene swimwear brand Triangl absolutely nailed it with a strategic influencer marketing campaign, thrusting the brand into the spotlight and on an uphill trajectory since launching in 2012. Aussie Founders Craig Ellis and Erin Deering packed up their lives and moved to Hong Kong to chase their swimwear dream, but as every start-up does, they did it touch in the beginning. With limited budget for marketing and advertising, the pair turned to Instagram and began a strategic social and influencer campaign that saw Kendall Jenner (among many, many other celebrities), sing the praises of the humble startup.
How did they do it? They identified Kendall Jenner as one of the most prominent and influential icons among 20-something millennials (the Triangl target market) and so, came up with a strategic plan to get on her radar by gifting some their signature styles to the people in her social circle. Their big break came in 2013 when Kendall appeared on a friend’s Instagram account wearing Triangl, and Tweeted a happy snap to her millions of followers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Another success story from the land down under, HiSmile, a start-up based on the sunny Gold Coast, has attributed their glowing success to one thing - influencer marketing. Turning over $10 million in just 18 months, Founders Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic targeted big names with broad reach to introduce their teeth whitening product to 15-24 year olds. And that they have done.
The pair bootstrapped HiSmile with $20,000 of their personal savings, and much of that was used sending their product to influencers as it was the best way to reach consumers and create the HiSmile lifestyle. 18 months on and influencer marketing is still the hero of their marketing strategy, and new relationships are constantly on the horizon as they continue to target big names with broad reach across a number of platforms including Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube and Musical.ly. Understanding the true value of influencer marketing, HiSmile struck up a deal with non-other than Kylie Jenner, whose post about HiSmile received 1.6 million likes and 253,567 comments from her 77 million Instagram followers.
Image credit: @kyliejenner on Instagram.
Finding a gap in the market and using influencer marketing to take advantage of it is how mid-range watch brand Daniel Wellington became a household name among Millennials. Steering clear of traditional marketing and print advertising, Founder Filip Tysander focused on a digital strategy that leveraged social influencers to launch his brand and drive exposure to his target audience. To do it, the Daniel Wellington team targeted thousands of influencers across a range of niche groups, including travel, fashion, photography and lifestyle, gifting watches left, right and centre with a unique 15% off discount code for each influencer collaboration.
The influencer strategy and discount codes, coupled with a recognizable product and a strong Instagram strategy which combined high-quality content, audience engagement and an enviable lifestyle, was an undeniable success. So much so that in 2015, the company’s revenue was around $220 million. Not bad for a timepiece that was designed to be a timeless classic at a friendly price point.
Image credit: @designbyaikonik on Instagram