Influencers & Affiliates

9 Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Our recent 8-part series on influencer marketing explained the concept and key tactics. My article “4 Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns” then offered compelling examples.

In this post, I’ll explore nine types of influencer marketing campaigns suitable for ecommerce.

Giveaway Contests

Giveaways are a cost-effective lead-generator and branding vehicle. They also entice audience members to share with friends and colleagues.

A good example is the teen-focused fashion brand Colorful Natalie. It collaborated with teenager Emmy Butcher and eight other micro Instagram influencers to promote its giveaway contest: a chance to win a $100 gift certificate and a pair of Nike Air Jordans.

Note below how the rules are clearly stated. The intent is to tag as many friends as possible to increase one’s chance of winning.

Screenshot of Emmy Butcher's Instagram post for Colorful Natalie

Colorful Natalie partnered with teenage fashion influencers, such as Emmy Butcher.

A separate post showcased the Nike shoes. The campaign generated tens of thousands of likes and comments across all nine influencers — 4,200 likes and 700 comments on Butcher’s profile alone. Every participant followed Colorful Natalie’s profile.

Instagram post by Emmy Butcher showing the Nike shoes

A second post by Emmy Butcher on Instagram showcased the Nike shoe giveaway.

Event Activations

Event activations promote meetups, gatherings, campaigns, and similar. The goal is to partner with influencers who can drive brand awareness and lasting relationships. The right influencers can help an event appear credible, which will increase sales afterward.

Revlon’s Mascara Day campaign with Walgreens is a good example. Revlon worked with 32 influencers, including beauty blogger Lynne Cain. Each developed content — text and images — around Revlon’s mascara.

The campaign reportedly generated a 671% lift in Revlon and Walgreens mentions while driving in-store traffic and unit sales.

Screenshot of Lynne Cain's blog post promoting Mascara Day

Beauty influencer Lynne Cain promoted Revlon’s Mascara Day on her blog.

Social Media Takeovers

Social media takeovers allow influencers to “take over” your feed, giving them posting privileges for a set period. This type of campaign can expose your business to new audiences and drive engagement. The key to a successful social media takeover is influencers with loyal followers.

Apparel retailer Everlane chose Teen Vogue editor Michelle Li to promote its new bootcut jeans. Li is a fashion expert with a dedicated audience that followed her Everlane’s Instagram Stories about the new product.

Screenshot of Michelle Li's Instagram post for Everlane

Everlane chose Teen Vogue editor Michelle Li to promote its new bootcut jeans.

Sponsored Social Posts

A social media post from the right influencer can drive sales and build trust. Look for influencers with high engagement, quality content, and authenticity. For example, check out how Köe, a beverage manufacturer, tapped a health and fitness influencer on Instagram, @joyfullygreen, to build brand awareness and sell the organic Kombucha drink.

Screenshot of @joyfullygreen's Instagram post for Köe

Köe tapped an influencer on Instagram, @joyfullygreen, to build brand awareness and sell the organic Kombucha drink.

Sponsored Blog Posts

Blogs written by influencers are one of my favorite campaign types. Done correctly, they don’t feel like a sales pitch. Take the example of Shari’s Berries, a retailer of chocolate desserts. It partners with small, trusted publishers to build a story around its products. Here is an example from Spot of Tea Designs, a craft-idea blog.

This campaign was for Mother’s Day. But instead of focusing on the product, Spot of Tea Designs told a story about enjoying a decadent treat with her mother and family. The sweets brought everyone closer together for a day.

Screenshot of blog post on Spot of Tea Designs' website

Shari’s Berries partnered with Spot of Tea Designs, a blog for craft ideas.

Guest Blog Posts

Guest blog posts are written by the merchant, not the publisher. The goal is to build authority, grow an audience, and drive traffic to your website. Write something that adds value to readers’ lives. And don’t think small. A guest blog could be in Business Insider or on Cultural Daily, a small community board. I used both to drive traffic to my digital gallery with great success.

Pre-release Campaigns

Pre-release influencer campaigns show off an upcoming product to build anticipation and buzz, driving a “fear of missing out” mentality. Online apparel brand Vici does this by partnering with dozens of fashion influencers on Instagram. Using their Stories, Vici teases new products before launch and offers influencers’ followers an exclusive discount code to buy.

Screenshot of Amber Lancaster's Instagram post for for Vici

Apparel brand Vici collaborated with dozens of fashion influencers on Instagram for pre-release campaigns.

Unboxing Videos

Unboxing videos are self-explanatory: influencers unbox your product and then critique the process. This type of content can help perfect your brand story for new customers and audiences. Unboxing isn’t about selling your product as much as the experience of receiving and using it.

Choose an influencer in your niche who can explain the product in use. And look for high engagement rates. An influencer with fewer followers but high engagement is always better than the opposite.

Ridge Wallet may be the best example of an ecommerce company that has mastered influencer unboxings. This example is with YouTuber @RegisKillbin. He introduces his audience to Ridge’s products and explains what he likes about them.

Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors are influencers who represent your business and products for an extended period — elevating awareness, trust, and sales. The possibilities are seemingly endless with the right ambassador.

For example, Gymshark, the fitness-focused apparel company, built an ecommerce empire via authentic, real-life brand ambassadors with a passion for fitness.

Stephanie O’Neil, Gymshark’s head of public relations and brand partnerships, told Fashion and Beauty Monitor, a PR service, “It’s all about being authentic. The vast majority of Gymshark ambassadors were once fans and consumers of the brand. Who better to represent the brand than those who actually love Gymshark?”

Remember that when considering your own brand ambassadors.

Screenshot of an Instagram post from a young female in a wheelchair promoting Gymshark

Gymshark built an ecommerce empire with authentic, real-life brand ambassadors.

Carolyn Mara
Carolyn Mara
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