BLOG | February 29th 2020

5 Insane (But True) Influencer Marketing Case Studies

2020 marks the start of a new decade, and influencer marketing is already making a name for itself in the Roaring Twenties. Our Instagram feeds are full of beautiful images promoting everything from lemonade to household cleaners. 

But with all the hype, where’s the truth? How do you know influencer marketing ROI is realistic in such a crowded online space? 

The thing is, 89% of marketers say their influencer marketing ROI is equal to or even better than their other channels. Influencer campaigns are like marketing on steroids: not only go they put your brand in front of new audiences and boost your reputation, but they have a hard, measurable impact on your sales

In other words: yes, influencer marketing is still effective. But if you want to drive your customers’ purchase decisions, you’ve got to do more than hire Kim Kardashian to sell diet pills. Influencer marketing is a tool, and like any other tool, you’ve got to wield it to get results. 

5 influencer campaign case studies that crushed it

Whether you’ve never tried influencer marketing before or if you’re stuck on how to create your next great campaign, don’t sweat it. Learn from the big brands that have come before you, taking the best pieces of their campaigns to refashion your own.

And if you need a little help persuading your boss to embrace influencer marketing, we’ve got just the remedy. Check out these 5 influencer marketing case studies to see how influencers affect the bottom line. 

1 – Kettle + Fire

Kettle + Fire sells traditional, high-quality, grass-fed bone broths to health-conscious foodies. Voted one of the best Paleo brands by healthline.com, Kettle + Fire needed to deepen its brand reputation on social media. But they were too busy handling the business side. Somebody had to cook all that bone broth, after all. 

Kettle + Fire knew they needed help with social media marketing, but weren’t sure how to make it happen. Doesn’t social media require a lot of work? A lot of content? Extra hands that they didn’t have? 

The Strategy

Kettle + Fire wanted to communicate the specific benefits of eating their product. They liked the idea of influencer marketing but wanted to keep the content curation on-brand. 

That’s why they partnered with Trend. We made a list of targeted influencers who might be a good fit for Kettle + Fire’s bone broth products. After narrowing down the list, we selected influencers who could deliver the most powerful imagery. 

The Results

A team of influencers followed Kettle + Fire’s brand requirements, creating dozens of beautiful, high-resolution Instagram posts for the brand. Plus, Kettle + Fire used these curated images on their Facebook Ads to get more traction. In a two-birds-one-stone solution, Kettle + Fire got the beautiful imagery they always wanted, on top of a more effective Facebook Ads campaign. 

The results were incredible. We tested their old creative against the new creative and found that Kettle + Fire earned $4 in revenue for every $1 spent in Facebook Ads. That’s a 61% improvement in Facebook Ad performance, all thanks to influencer marketing. Bam!

Want to see how we do it? Watch our product tour and learn more!

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2 – Iceland Foods

Iceland Groceries may sound like a Nordic company, but it’s actually based in the UK. And this frozen food brand had a problem: its customer approval ratings had plunged to an abysmal 10%. 

In the past, Iceland used big-name celebrities to promote its products, but these campaigns weren’t going well. They needed real influencer marketing ROI, stat. 

Iceland realized the reason celebrity campaigns weren’t working is that they didn’t show real people. Iceland pivoted its campaigns to target everyday people, like mommy influencers. Since customers are more likely to trust a micro-influencer over a celebrity, this proved to be a sneakily clever choice on Iceland’s part. 

The Strategy

Iceland brainstormed a yearlong strategy where it partnered with regular-Joe food bloggers to get some oh so good user-generated content. On top of that, they implemented social listening and paid ads to really get the message out there. The goal of the campaign was to deepen customers’ bonds with Iceland products, with the ultimate goal to sell more frozen food. 

The Results

Iceland had to make frozen food sexy and appealing, which was no small feat. But during its partnership with 50 micro-influencers, Iceland hit the jackpot. By showcasing a diverse range of everyday people using their products, Iceland saw:

And if this doesn’t drive home Iceland’s influencer marketing case study, we don’t know what will: this campaign was so effective that Iceland piggybacked on this success, targeting a new batch of micro-influencers with a second campaign, The Power Of Frozen.

3 – Warby Parker

Nobody wants to wear thick, granny glasses. Bespectacled people want reliable, fashionable, and affordable eyeglasses. Warby Parker entered the eyewear industry in 2010 to deliver just that. Today Warby Parker delivers direct-to-consumer glasses with plenty of spunk. The brand is known not only for its superhero-level customer service, but its creative branding decisions. 

Warby Parker is by no means a new name on the block, but they still wanted to push more product awareness and engagement on Instagram. They wanted influencer marketing ROI and took a micro-influencer approach to get it. 

The Strategy

Warby Parker selected 7 micro-influencers with decently-sized followings on both Instagram and YouTube. Their “Wearing Warby” influencer campaign partnered with influencers who already had an affinity to Warby. In fact, all of Warby’s influencers had already posted about Warby organically before this campaign. This ensured Warby partnered with influencers who were in it for the love of Warby (the cash was just a nice perk). 

“Wearing Warby” showcased Warby glasses in everyday life. One influencer might be baking while wearing her Warby’s while another painted his latest masterpiece. By targeting influencers in creative industries, Warby not only expanded its audience, but pushed itself as a lifestyle brand. 

The Results

Warby’s influencers showed off their specs by doing the crazy, fun, creative stuff they liked to do already. And Warby got crazy influencer marketing ROI from this campaign:

  • The influencers reached over 800,000 people. 

  • Posts received over 55,000 likes combined. 

  • All posts received a total of 640 comments. 

  • The average engagement rate was 3.45% across the campaign. 

Warby Parker’s hot designer shades can’t protect your eyes from this blinding truth: influencer marketing is a must for product brands. 

4 – Health-Ade

Los Angeles-based company Health-Ade makes small-batch, cold-pressed kombucha. Known for its funky flavors, emphasis on health, and brazenly unique voice, Health-Ade still needed help penetrating the market. 

The thing was, Health-Ade needed to focus on their kombucha mothers, not wooing real mothers to try their products. How do you crank out the high-quality, branded content followers expect when you don’t have the resources to make it happen?

The Strategy

Health-Ade reached out to Trend for help. Our team leveraged our database of vetted influencers to find people who could promote the Health-Ade name to their followers. 

Health-Ade ended up partnering with several influencers, who created 214 Instagram posts for the brand. Best of all, each post was chock-full of repurpose-worthy content that Health-Ade could reuse on its site, social media, ads, and a lot more. 

The Results

Thanks to their influencer campaign, Health-Ade now has brand-specific creative they can use everywhere. But we know that alone won’t convince your boss that influencer marketing ROI is real. 

Consider this: Health-Ade got 1.6 million impressions from their influencer marketing campaign. Since it costs $7 to get 1,000 impressions on Instagram, we generated $11,200-worth of impressions for an eensy-weensy fraction of the cost. If Health-Ade had hired a full-time employee to do this (at a cost of $42,000 a year, give or take), that would have been over $30,000 more expensive.

Case in point: influencer marketing gets you the content you need, the impressions you want, and the savings that make your boss salivate.

5 – Dyson

The other influencer marketing case studies on this list showcase human influencers—but as any Instagram user knows, influencers also come in different shapes, sizes, and species. Pet influencers have a lot of pull on social media. 

For brands like Dyson, pet parents are a perfect target audience. Since expanding its product line to specifically address pet cleanup, Dyson has been working overtime to increase its reach in the pet space. 

Dyson created an influencer marketing campaign on Instagram with the goal of pushing product awareness. Few pet owners realized Dyson was a reliable solution, and the brand wanted to change that. It also wanted to boost its Instagram engagement. 

The Strategy

Dyson partnered with 5 pet influencers on Instagram, largely targeting dog owners. The brand gave influencers a very loose creative brief, giving pet owners creative control over the posts themselves. The posts simply had to be humorous and show how pet owners cleaned up after their fuzzy companions. 

What worked with this campaign was Dyson’s willingness to give creative control to influencers. It also targeted influencers based not on their following size, but on their audience. One Dyson influencer had a following of just 2,500 people—but it had the highest engagement rate out of any other influencer in the campaign. 

The Results

Dyson was pretty darn brave to give influencers so much control, but it paid off. Dyson saw influencer marketing ROI that included:

  • Over 1 million views. 

  • 115,000 likes. 

  • 1,935 comments. 

  • 10% average engagement rate. 

That’s ROI we can howl about.

The bottom line

Yes, influencer marketing has reached a fever-pitch in 2020. But just because something is popular doesn’t mean it won’t work for your brand. Au contraire, these 5 brands got influencer marketing ROI so insane we did a double-take at the numbers. 

It’s time to try something different. Let’s make your next influencer marketing campaign a hands-free haven of ROI. Get a free demo of the Trend influencer marketing platform to see how partnering with trusted trendsetters means more money in your pocket.

Download our content report to learn more ways Influencer generated content can help your business grow.

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