The 50 Best Brand Ambassador and Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Finding and documenting the best brand ambassador and influencer marketing case studies is no easy task. Social media changes quickly, and if you aren’t paying attention a great campaign idea can pop and dissipate in no time. That’s why we’ve documented the best influencer marketing examples in a variety of industries over the past several years, saving each for analysis and reflection later.

This monster list is by no means the end of the line, as it seems brand ambassador marketing is just getting started. Our examples focus on Instagram, but cross into YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitch, and more to provide brand marketers with a good cross section of how to do it right. We analyzed each program, and then took a random sample from each to arrive at some stats including average amount spent per post, total number of influencers engaged, and the average number of followers per influencer.

The 50 most impactful Instagram brand ambassador, influencer marketing, and microinfluencer case study examples.

Click the links below to jump to a section by industry. Brands are listed alphabetically by name under each industry section.

Activewear Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Influencer marketing and activewear go hand in hand. The origins of the most popular activewear brands today are rooted in competition against others and against yourself. It’s no wonder that microinfluencers and social media celebrities working in the activewear category tend to have big personalities, and create content that’s truly worthy of the game.

Adidas Originals: Bringing a new generation of cool to the forefront of limited edition marketing

Adidas Originals Influencer Marketing

The concept of #adidasoriginals is simple: Release limited edition, region-specific shoes in stores around the world, then promote the concept using Instagram influencers in each key region. While there are a lot of details wrapped up in the execution, Adidas seems to be firing on all cylinders to continuously innovate and bring new designs to market. Their Adidas Originals brick and mortar stores are complemented by a robust e-commerce presence, and marketing is handled almost exclusively through social media influencers.

By engaging popular counterculture and street style influencers, Adidas has also revitalized their classic lineup, seeing a resurgence in sales worldwide since beginning the Originals initiative. Another interesting side effect? It’s never been more popular for followers to post their own take on the Adidas look in hopes of becoming an Adidas Instagram influencer.

Adidas Originals 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $500.00
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1,500
  • Average followers per influencer: 45,000

Lululemon: Authentic brand ambassador marketing with experts

lululemon Brand Ambassador Instagram Post

Lululemon may be the brand that started brand ambassador marketing as we know it. Their initial store concept featured tie ins with local Canadian health and wellness experts. That same concept was later duplicated to their global footprint of retail locations, encouraging customers to spend more time in store and buy more product. Brand ambassadors are now prominently featured on the Lululemon website, and annual events are held to celebrate ambassadors and everything they do for the company. The brand supports efforts of their brand ambassador team by promoting their unique skills, classes, and even charitable giving (see above).

Separately, Lululemon engages in influencer marketing to capture health and wellness minded Instagrammers and deliver on the go messaging to millions of consumers worldwide. Not afraid to make use of microinfluencers – or those with under 50,000 followers – the brand maintains the local market focus that made it a multi-billion dollar company in the first place.

Lululemon 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $820.00
  • Number of influencers engaged: 475
  • Average followers per influencer: 32,000

Nike: Lifting up athlete brand ambassadors and microinfluencers

Nike Influencer Marketing Case Study

As one of the best known brands in the world, Nike maintains equity and leadership position by engaging an army of fitness brand ambassadors around the globe. These athletes are featured doing what they do best in Nike gear, and are often flown to exotic locations to complete an adventure travel look. Nike has been a brand that has relied on athlete endorsements from the very beginning. Now, athlete can mean anyone with an Instagram account that can bring top tier physical and mental fitness to the table.

Interestingly, Nike isn’t afraid to use microinfluencers to accomplish their global mission, engaging Instagram brand ambassadors with as few as 10,000 followers. This hyperlocal approach to influencer marketing creates a groundswell of pride for Nike one relationship at a time, a true feat for such a large organization. By staging photography and helping influencers produce exciting active life visuals, Nike also levels up their brand ambassadors by taking their photos to another level. This in turn creates an aspirational desire to work with the brand, encouraging free or for product participation.

Nike 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,500
  • Number of influencers engaged: 3,200
  • Average followers per influencer: 158,000

Under Armour: Creating a sub-brand around influencers

Under Armour The Rock Headphones

Since facing financial difficulty from 2016-18, Under Armor has emerged as a brand on the move thanks to one mega-influencer: The Rock. His positioning as the ultimate Under Armour brand ambassador has spawned a movement of no-nonsense, hard working, grit-driven brand advocates. Beginning with simple apparel, Under Armour has created an entire sub-brand for their top brand ambassador, recently extending the line from clothing to headphones. The honest and raw commentary of The Rock underpins the entire initiative, and merchandise (including his rugged Bluetooth headphones) is flying off the shelves.

While The Rock serves as the campaign foundation, additional athletes and microinfluencers have been engaged to extend messaging further, faster. Within a year Under Armour has positioned itself as the anti-Nike (also on our list) by showing that they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. This truly authentic persona is radical for such an established brand, but may be the very thing that was needed to propel it from financial catastrophe to standout success.

Under Armour 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $550
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1,250
  • Average followers per influencer: 23,000

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Fashion and Accessory Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Fashion and clothing is all about brand. In a world of fast fashion and disposable looks that change weekly, influencer marketing has become the driving force behind an entire industry. Reduced costs and faster supply chains are also revolutionizing the speed and cost of influencer marketing, and have made channels like Pinterest and Instagram indispensable to brand managers. Some of the top fashion brands in the world – and a few you may not have heard of – are using influencer marketing to break through and win new customers.

DSW: Upscaling a discount brand with aspirational influencers

DSW Influencer Marketing Instagram

When you’re a discount shoe retailer vying to compete in the luxury fashion world where brand rules all, influencer marketing makes perfect sense. DSW uses aspirational travel influencers that are slightly outside of their core demographic to build global luxury equity. The strategy has paid off so far, and DSW seems to be expanding the program, running more and more paid promotions with luxury, fashion, and lifestyle influencers around the globe. The strategy appears to be paying off. In the third quarter of 2018, DSW reported a massive 17.2% revenue increase to $833 million, complete with a positive outlook for future sales.

DSW 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $225
  • Number of influencers engaged: 4,100
  • Average followers per influencer: 17,400

Fashion Nova: Using influencers to seed sales and promotions in real time

Fashion Nova Plus Size Instagram Marketing

Fashion Nova wasn’t known by most even a few years ago. Today, it’s one of the most recognized online retailers in the women’s fashion. Their body positive, sizes for all shapes clothing has had a huge impact on the way women share their fashion experience, largely due to Instagram. By using an army of microinfluencers to dominate target markets region by region, Fashion Nova constantly brings new awareness and fanaticism to the brand. The brand ambassador program has had a remarkable effect, it’s also caused women the world over to seek out Fashion Nova for sponsored posts. By showing that women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities can be featured, Fashion Nova has beaten out competitors that don’t show as much diversity, and encouraged women everywhere to apply to become a Fashion Nova Instagram influencer.

Fashion Nova 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $550
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1,250
  • Average followers per influencer: 23,000

Forever 21: Featuring micro-Instagram influencers as a reward for sharing looks

Forever21 Influencer Marketing Case Study

Forever 21 has had some monumental Instagram influencer problems, including claims 0f copyright infringement and other politically sensitive topics. That said, their relentless pursuit of microinfluencers has resulted in strong sales around new product lines, such as their NASA branded line of clothing. In fact, over 80% of Forever 21’s featured Instagram influencers have fewer than 2,000 followers. That’s impressive for a global brand that needs to sell sizzle as much as bargain-priced fast fashion looks. The influencer program seems to be working for the brand that’s known for bringing in the moment pop culture into their merchandise. Microinfluencers may play a big role in helping these trendy styles catch fire at the grass roots level around the world.

Forever 21 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $225
  • Number of influencers engaged: 10,900
  • Average followers per influencer: 7,300

H&M: Sharing is caring with #HMxME and Nyden

H&M Influencer Marketing Case Study

The Swedish fashion brand known for outrageous styles at affordable prices created the Nyden sub brand in early 2018. The idea behind their new initiative? Partner with Instagram influencers to collect real time market data that would inform style development, simultaneously creating customers from committed Millennials willing to share their opinion through Instagram polls. When a new style is being prepared, a select panel of curated Instagram fashion influencers will use Instagram Stories to poll their followers about colors, looks, features, and details of specific garments. The data is then returned to H&M, where it is used to predict if a particular style will be a hit or a miss. There’s downside in this strategy too. Every competitor can see what’s happening in real time, creating a risk of fast fashion idea theft. So far H&M seems to be continuing the Nyden project with success, engaging fashion Instagrammers far and wide.

H&M and Nyden 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $125
  • Number of influencers engaged: 7,500
  • Average followers per influencer: 14,800

M. Gemi: Creating influencer momentum with an ever expanding line

M.Gemi Influencer Marketing Example

Disrupting the hand made shoe industry seemed like an impossible task, until M. Gemi came along that is. By acting as a referee and logistics coordinator for previously disparate Italian shoe makers, M. Gemi created a manufacturing engine capable of churning out new styles without sacrificing quality or craftsmanship. It’s a business model that is increasingly stealing market share from entrenched brands by cutting out inefficiencies and leaning on an increasingly easy to access industrial design ecosystem. But making shoes and selling them are two different things. That’s where influencer marketing helped pave the way to success.

By using microinfluencers from around the world to showcase a jet setting, professional, and aspirational lifestyle, M. Gemi quickly garnered interest (and sales) around the world. New styles released every week – yes, each and every week – means a constant flow of new content for influencers to promote, and a new message that can be tuned to seasons, styles, and uses. As influencers naturally move from one brand to the other, M. Gemi’s ability to find and begin working with new talent remains an important asset to the brand, and keeps consumers engaged and interested. Influencers are provided with trackable discount codes that offer incentives for new customers and help prove program effectiveness.

M. Gemi 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $730
  • Number of influencers engaged: 325
  • Average followers per influencer: 62,200

MVMT Watches: Building fast awareness with Instagram influencers

MVMT Influencer Marketing

How do you define the success of a brand ambassador marketing program? For watch brand MVMT, it was when they sold to Swatch for roughly $10M. Indeed, the entire MVMT brand was built with a scant marketing team and scrappy investing in influencer and digital marketing. The early attachment of the brand to living your best life with luxury influencers paid off – and quickly. Once the brand hit it’s stride the founders invested in more notable social media icons, and got more aggressive about bringing in new microinfluencers with the right look.

MVMT put their influencer first strategy to work by creating a landing page on their website where anyone could apply to be a part of the influencer program. Influencers were then categorized into tiers with dollar amounts attached to each, allowing a small MVMT team to scale the influencer program worldwide in a formulaic approach to brand ambassador marketing. The bigger the program got, the more influencers applied to be brand ambassadors. That created a self-propelled program that ended in the best possible way for the founders when they sold the brand to Movado Group for $100 Million. Not bad for a company built almost exclusively on Instagram influencers.

MVMT Watches 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $175
  • Number of influencers engaged: 3,300
  • Average followers per influencer: 132,000

Revolve: Bringing global glam to online fashion through curated influencer marketing

Revolve Influencer Marketing Application

Revolve is a relatively new player on the fashion scene, but they’ve certainly made their mark quickly thanks to a curated use of Instagram influencers. The #revolvearoundtheworld campaign showcases specific looks curated and delivered to Instagram influencers to showcase on their feeds. The looks vary by  region, but typically revolve around seasonal, popular trends with a bit of added flourish.

The key to Revolve’s Instagram success is coordination and planning. By launching similar looks around  the world at the same time, Revolve simulates a viral sensation without having to rely on chance. Timed sales and purchase incentives add to the e-commerce domination, and help push what would be considered more pricey looks into mainstream adoption.

Revolve 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $475
  • Number of influencers engaged: 2,150
  • Average followers per influencer: 80,500

The Gap: Walking the line in a perfect Instagram world

The Gap Influencer Marketing Case Study

Everybody knows The Gap. But in the era of fast fashion and intense competition, the company found itself being outshined by newcomers to the casual fashion world. Part of the challenge? Relevancy to the modern shopper. Beginning in 2016, The Gap began a transformative marketing campaign focused around brand ambassadors and initiatives like the #meetmeinthegap hash tag. The Gap makes ongoing efforts to integrate a variety of styles and voices around the world, encouraging more casual, ready to wear content from influencers on Instagram.

The idea of how to appeal to a wider audience while skirting the fine line between unattainable fashion and daily basics is novel in a world where Instagram displays the best of everything on demand. According to recent financial reports, company revenue is on the rise, though not as quickly as other brands in a similar space. Influencer marketing on Instagram seems to be creating a unique and more memorable look for the once ubiquitous brand.

The Gap 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $200
  • Number of influencers engaged: 6,000
  • Average followers per influencer: 34,100

ThirdLove: Taking a stand and winning on social media

ThirdLove Influencer Marketing Case Study

ThirdLove sells fit for all women, regardless of body shape. That strong attitude about undergarments has propelled them into the spotlight during a time when body image in fashion is a central issue in women’s fashion. ThirdLove walks the walk when it comes to Instagram influencers, showcasing women in all walks of life and all body shapes with the same level of enthusiasm. They also aren’t afraid to call more traditional brands out on their body bias. The #weareallangels hashtag has maintained trending status throughout 2018 thanks to a series of posts from Instagram influencers promoting body positivity, comfort, and fit. For a brand that didn’t exist mere years ago, it’s the perfect example of combining a relevant and serious movement with the right social media brand ambassadors.

Fashion Nova 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $200
  • Number of influencers engaged: 125
  • Average followers per influencer: 58,550

Victoria’s Secret PINK: Pivoting to a new brand position with influencer marketing

Victoria's Secret Pink Influencer Marketing

Victoria’s Secret hardly seems appropriate for brand ambassador marketing. Their women’s undergarments have caused controversy and challenged margins on a once dominant brand. Victoria’s Secret PINK is a more casually-focused brand targeting college-age women. By bringing a younger, hipper, and more affordable set of products forward, the brand wants to connect with the casual value shopper more concerned with comfort during long days of classes and activities. To that end, the company also recently launched an always on brand ambassador program focused primarily on Instagram. By aligning with young, diverse, and authentic young women, Victoria’s Secret PINK is showing rather than telling.

The active lifestyle imagery shared by PINK brand ambassadors reinforces inclusivity, diversity, and an overall level of comfort and performance that push the brand in new directions. It may be unexpected, but it’s also a great example of standing out with content that customers may not expect to see from a brand that has traditionally been thought of as older, less realistic ideals of beauty and femininity. It’s a smart pivot that can only ring true through influencers as ambassadors.

Victoria’s Secret PINK 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $120
  • Number of influencers engaged: 5,500
  • Average followers per influencer: 37,500

Zara: Composed global elegance through carefully selected brand ambassadors

Zara Brand Ambassador Marketing

Often credit as one of the first brands to embody the fast fashion movement, Zara has always been on top of their Instagram game. But integrating influencers into their marketing mix has been strangely slower than other brands in the space. On first glance, it seems that Zara isn’t actively promoting their garments via influencers at all. That’s far from the truth, as Zara is actively using a small, but curated group of influencers to promote their looks. By creating scarcity, Zara makes it seem difficult and desirable to be featured as an influencer.

The result has been extreme desire and willingness to do more for less. For example, in April 2018 Zara launched a competition on Instagram. 100 lucky Instagrammers would become official Zara brand ambassadors and receive a package of looks every month. The catch? To enter Instagrammers had to post Zara content and tag the @ZaraInfluencer account. By segmenting their influencer marketing program out in this way, the brand has launched a sub brand in which aspiring fashionistas all over the world want to be among the chosen few.

Zara 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,425
  • Number of influencers engaged: 350
  • Average followers per influencer: 225,000

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Automotive Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Car brands spent the days before social media talking about reliability, performance, and cost. Today, automotive and accessory manufacturers are selling lifestyle. That means showing what you can do in a brand new car rather than telling, and using influencers to do it. Everybody from highly visible entrepreneurs to style influencers have gotten in on the act, and the use of brand ambassadors in the automotive industry is showing no signs of tapping the breaks.

Autotrader: Bringing super influencer Doug Demuro into the brand fold

Doug Demuro Instagram Autotrader

If you don’t know cars, you probably don’t know Doug Demuro. He’s had a history working at some of the most recognized luxury car brands in the world such as Porsche and Ferarri, and as a writer for automotive publications. But he’s best known for his silly but incredibly informative YouTube channel, where he covers cars you and I will probably never drive in excruciating detail. Everything from door latches to cup holders in the world’s most important – and expensive – luxury cars are examined. Doug covers all the quirks and features of each before taking them on a spin and then giving them a patented Doug Score.

As Doug’s popularity as an automotive influencer grew, brands started to take note. In 2018, Autotrader effectively bought Doug’s social media presence by hiring him on as a full time brand ambassador. Now Doug plugs Autotrader in all of his videos and blog articles, and even offers handy lists of cars for sale that match the content of his videos. It’s a match made in automotive heaven, and  has resulted in more attention for the brand than nearly any other initiative in the company’s history. A bargain when you consider the cost of buying the equivalent amount of advertising space.

Autotrader 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $5,000
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1
  • Average followers per influencer: 1,430,500

Ford: Teaching an old dog new tricks

Ford Auto Dog Influencer Marketing

While many brands are finding the influencer market fully saturated, Ford has discovered a hack to stand out from the crowd. The car brand is using animal – and specifically dog – influencers to showcase a more playful side of owning a Ford vehicle. By showcasing the pups having the time of their lives in various vehicles, the brand is communicating a lifestyle message without being overly literal. The freedom of heading out on an adventure with your furry friend is compelling, and it doesn’t hurt that animals tend to garner more likes, clicks, and shares on Instagram than any other category. When you mix in adorable dogs, people care a lot less about looking at an ad. Even the staunchest Ford hater can’t help but give a heart to Instagram animal influencers.

Ford 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,000
  • Number of influencers engaged: 60
  • Average followers per influencer: 44,000

Honda: Adding a fresh feeling of independence with Indy Car drivers

Honda Indy Car Influencers

The Honda Civic may not seem like a race car, but followers on Honda’s official Instagram account may think otherwise. That’s because the brand has aggressively brought in top drivers from the Indy Car circuit to add an unmistakeable air of professional driver heritage to an otherwise basic auto brand. The strategy isn’t for the faint of heart, as pro racing sponsorships cost an arm and a leg. But for brands that can pull it off, the rewards are an added cool factor, and the brand equity of pro drivers, the epitome of cool.

Drivers are featured on the Honda Instagram account, but also make their own posts throughout practice and during race days. The content looks and feels like you are in the action, allowing followers to get an inside look at their favorite racers. Honda wins too; throughout the stories and posts you’ll find plenty of features-based content showing off new models of cars for the everyday driver.

Honda 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $100,000
  • Number of influencers engaged: 35
  • Average followers per influencer: 350,700

Porsche: A personal look at Instafamous car owners

Porsche Instagram Influencer Marketing

Porsche is well known for their high performing automobiles with distinct German heritage. But what exactly does a Porsche owner look like? Many Millennials recall their parents’ dream cars, or wealthy old people with nothing but time and money to spend. That’s the exact image Porsche wants to shed, and they are using Instagram influencers to help make it a reality. Beginning in 2018 Porsche began seeking out owners that have prominent Instagram profiles and collaborating with them to produce authentic, behind the scenes content. The collaborations give an inside look at the lives of younger, trending drivers that already have an established following.

Porsche hopes this will rub off on the brand, encouraging Millennials and younger generations to add their lineup of sports cars and SUVs to the consideration set while reminding everybody that the brand isn’t just your dad’s dream car. The strategy appears to be working, as 2018 was a record breaking sales year for several popular Porsche models.

Porsche 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $9,500
  • Number of influencers engaged: 20
  • Average followers per influencer: 220,900

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Consumer Electronics Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

The quickly changing world of consumer electronics is a high barrier to entry industry that’s become saturated with products from manufacturers the world over. New products and brands seem to pop up every day, and that means new ways to get around traditional advertising to attack a highly competitive space. From the latest headphones to top home theatre setups, influencers are now a core part of the marketing mix. What separates a gadget’s success from failure may have more to do with which influencers that brand uses

Beats by Dre: Leveraging brand ambassador endorsements to create cool

Beats by Dre Instagram Influencer Case Study

The best known headphones brand in the world didn’t start that way. Beats by Dre used high impact counterculture celebrity and social media influencer placements from day one to create cool. By positioning themselves as a new rival to traditional and less exciting companies, Beats was able to convince Millennial consumers to shell out $400 per pair of headphones. Even early negative reviews from audiophile blogs were no match for the groundswell of social media mentions, celebrity sightings, and music video appearances of the iconic over ear headphones.

But Beats by Dre didn’t stop at endorsements. They created a brand ambassador program that allowed for innovation, co-creating special editions and color combinations, or colorways, with brand ambassadors. These special editions became limited time collectibles, and further increased demand for the headphones. Each special edition also encouraged brand ambassadors to utilize their massive networks to promote the Beats by Dre, creating a shared interest with their most important representatives. Though this strategy is nearly a decade old, modern brands can take advantage of an increasingly flat supply chain that allows for rapid prototyping and innovation to do the same thing faster and cheaper.

Beats By Dre 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $17,500
  • Number of influencers engaged: 150
  • Average followers per influencer: 725,000

DJI: Taking drones made in China mainstream all over the world with influencers

Become a DJI Influencer Instagram

DJI is most famous for kicking off the drone trend, which has grown to become a massive category in the consumer electronics space. As cameras become more sophisticated, smaller, and easier to manufacture the possibilities for capturing eye popping photo and video are limitless. It seems like Instagram influencer marketing is the perfect spot for DJI to develop and deploy their products on a global level. Recently, they brand has also launched a line of home appliances in key markets, including arguably the best robot vacuum in Australia.

DJI branched out in 2018 thanks to a saturation of influencer marketing around drones and drone videos. Launching a new line of camera products and accessories, DJI also incorporated new influencers into the mix. DJI began collaborating with less known producers, artists, and musicians on Instagram to produce amazingly creative videos using only DJI hardware and software. As the videos trend, followers become inspired to try their hands at making content on their own, and turn to DJI to get it done. As of this writing, DJI has dominated nearly 70% of the global market on drones, and has made significant inroads into cameras and software. Not bad for a Chinese company nobody knew about only 5 years ago.

DJI 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $575
  • Number of influencers engaged: 725
  • Average followers per influencer: 35,000

Nikon: Breathing new life into the original Instagram photo contest

Nikon Photo Contest Instagram

Nikon takes photography on social media seriously. But that may be because for the past 50 years, they have held the Nikon Photo Contest, a call for photographers the world over using Nikon products to share their best snaps. Today, Nikon has evolved the strategy to become an entirely separate social media presence. By focusing on the photo contest and participants old and new, Nikon has created a remarkable and special space in the news feed that can’t be matched by anybody else. Combine that with ongoing lead collection from new contest entrants and it’s a recipe for one of the most successful rolling social media campaigns ever launched. Did we mention that submissions and usage rights are free?

Nikon 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $0
  • Number of influencers engaged: 235,000
  • Average followers per influencer: 415

Razer: Leveraging e-sports and Twitch influencers to smash the competition

Razer Instagram Influencer Marketing

Razer became famous in the early 2000’s for making precise computer gaming mice and keyboards with a cool, cyberpunk style. As the e-sports and gaming ecosystem grew, so did the company. Now makers of everything from gaming computers to chairs, Razer has added influencer marketing to promote their high end products to a wider audience. Using Twitch gamers on Instagram, Razer showcases their line of products beyond gaming, and seeks to attract an entirely new consumer audience. The recent launch of the Razer Blade laptop relied heavily on a campaign using photography influencers on Instagram. Showcasing the powerful graphics processing units found in each computer, Razer is making a play for Apple’s fan base: Graphic designers, photographers, and video producers.

Razer 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,100
  • Number of influencers engaged: 390
  • Average followers per influencer: 47,800

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Health and Wellness Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Physical and mental health are top topics for Millennials seeking to find balance between the stresses of work and life. Brands are following the trend by creating products that are designed to disrupt previously inaccessible, expensive, or outdated business models. Instagram influencers are getting in on the action by providing personal experience stories to complement products and services that help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

Casper: Brand partnerships and travel brand ambassadors

Casper Mattress Influencer Marketing

When mattress company Casper set out to disrupt an entrenched industry, they relied on “sleep ambassadors” to get the word out. Seeing that traditional marketing and the mattress store distributor model were broken, the Casper team engaged young, hip brand ambassadors to provide authentic and transparent content on YouTube and Instagram. These early reviewers helped spark interest in the brand, and smart digital marketing followed up to push researching prospects to buyers.

In just two short years Casper grew to eclipse many rivals, leaning on a mail order product and targeted messaging to keep the game going. The addition of new brand ambassadors continues, as well as brand partnerships to touch a more affluent audience. Recently, a special branded Casper mattress was deployed on all international business and first class American Airlines lie flat seats, along with direct response coupons placed in the amenity kit on each seat. Travel influencers were then organized to review the bedding, pushing the Casper name with a totally new bent.

Casper 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $2,500
  • Number of influencers engaged: 275
  • Average followers per influencer: 140,900

ClassPass: Leveraging expert fitness gurus for authentic Instagram content

Classpass Influencer Marketing Instagram

ClassPass has resources other brands don’t, like an army of highly motivated, energetic, and outgoing fitness instructors already adept at using social media to market their classes. By tapping into instructors in the ClassPass network, the brand has an unlimited – and free – trove of content to use any time in social media. ClassPass takes the most inspired images and promotes them on official brand channels, further encouraging instructors to tag, comment, and share brand messaging. It’s a strategy that seems to be working as instructors gain more prominence for participating in the ClassPass network. A further benefit to the brand? ClassPass gets the most authentic, expert-generated Instagram content 24/7 without having to slog through the process of Instagram influencer contracts, rights management, and authenticity issues other brands deal with on a daily basis.

ClassPass 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $0
  • Number of influencers engaged: 4,350
  • Average followers per influencer: 10,700

Gymshark: Unlocking potential with influencer marketing

Gymshark Influencer Marketing

In 2015 nobody knew the brand Gymshark. In fact, the 19-year old founder Ben Francis was hard at work creating what would become a household name in the UK within a few short years. He started by designing and creating a line of handmade, high quality, and fashion forward gym clothing. The vision was simple: Make something he would want to wear. Instinctively, the brand began sending samples to YouTube-based body builders and personal trainers, asking for their input on the products. Interestingly, the YouTube influencers were fond of the product from day one, posting video reviews and wearing Gymshark apparel when working out.

The effect was immediate, launching a brand that would grow to disrupt athletic apparel in the UK and beyond. The YouTube sampling program was done in a time when influencer marketing was in it’s infancy, and therefore stood out. Today, it usually takes more than free samples of clothing to get the attention of prospective brand ambassadors. While it may be too late to grow using the exact method Gymshark did, brands could look to create the same effect by upscaling and customizing a similar program to modern times.

Gymshark 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $200
  • Number of influencers engaged: 11,050
  • Average followers per influencer: 8,200

Lola: Transformative marketing through brand ambassadors

Lola Instagram Marketing Strategy

Marketers have always had a challenging time finding unique ways to talk about sensitive health topics. Lola is shaking things up by tackling authenticity around periods. Starting the hashtag #FirstPeriodFriday, the brand features social media influencers sharing short, candid stories about their first period experience. The message is clear: Many young women have similar experiences, and it’s OK to share. The brand has garnered an overwhelmingly positive reaction from Instagram followers, the media, and people the world over for rethinking how information around women’s health is shared. By destigmatizing the discussion, Lola has also positioned itself as a champion for women everywhere, creating a groundswell of social media praise and fanatic new customers.

Lola 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,750
  • Number of influencers engaged: 52
  • Average followers per influencer: 140,000

Soul Cycle: Energetic instructors show what the cult of the cycle is all about

Soul Cycle Instagram Strategy Case Study

Soul Cycle probably doesn’t like being called a cult, but if you’ve ever gotten into the lifestyle you know that isn’t far from the truth. It’s easy to get addicted to the energy of the studio, and it’s an experience that has been seamlessly reproduced throughout the United States. A good part of that gravity comes from the instructors themselves, who have been trained to live and breath the Soul Cycle lifestyle. That same energy transfers to social media, where instructors are encouraged to connect with customers and offer off hours content, tips, and encouragement. That activity further cements an already embedded customer base, and makes it that much harder to imagine trying a competitor. Staff instructors are also encouraged via the official brand social media channels, with regular reposting and “behind the cycle” content that exposes them to new followers and growth potential. The result? One of the lowest customer attrition rates in the health and wellness segment, and happier, more engaged customers.

Soul Cycle 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $0
  • Number of influencers engaged: 620
  • Average followers per influencer: 11,750

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Financial Services Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Financial services may be the last frontier for influencer marketing. Tough regulations, internal compliance teams, and marketers used to direct response have kept influencer marketing from flourishing as quickly as other industries. But as the landscape changes, banks, insurance companies, and investment firms are finding new ways to connect with prospective customers using influencer marketing and social media.

Chase Sapphire Points Credit Card: Travel bloggers as influencers

Chase Sapphire Influencer Marketing PointsGuy

Can a brand ambassador marketing campaign work too well? That may be the case for Chase and the launch of the Sapphire Preferred card. The points card was launched in a time when post-recession credit wasn’t easy to get, and perfect credit scores were few and far between. In a bid to win customers from entrenched financial institutions, Chase released the most ambitious points card ever conceived, with an unheard of signup bonus equating to $1,200. Travel bloggers and influencers were engaged to cover the benefits of the card, and as a result signups skyrocketed.

It was widely reported that thanks to a smart campaign that targeted Millennials through travel brand ambassadors, Chase lost millions in signup bonus giveaways. Banks are long term thinkers, and so over the long run Chase expects to recoup this loss with dividends. Indeed, two years after released the Sapphire Preferred card, Chase released a Sapphire Reserve card with additional signing bonuses for those with near perfect credit. Using the same techniques over again, Chase saw record signing bonuses a second time around, and stole market share from competitors like American Express and Citibank.

Chase 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $15,000
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1
  • Average followers per influencer: 150,000

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Food and Beverage Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Consumer packaged goods have exploded in the last decade with disruptive small players focusing on social media as a driver of awareness and growth. Entire segments of the market have been upended by cool, natural, and healthy brands replacing older, more processed incumbents. Influencer marketing has played a pivotal role in these new entrants catching on, as brand ambassadors showcase the latest and greatest on their feeds.

Boxed Water: Leveraging brand ambassadors to spread a green message

Boxed Water Social Media Strategy

Boxed Water regularly combines charitable causes with brand ambassador marketing. That connection has become increasingly important to younger consumers, leading them to make decisions based on overall environmental or ethical footprints rather than brand alone. Leaning into this trend creates a doubly effective campaign that taps into Millennials’ preference for brands aligned with causes while delivering a wholesome message. Boxed Water developed an entire brand – from name to packaging – around this concept. The positive reaction is tangible, as consumers flocked to buy a more ethical solution that doesn’t include plastic.

Boxed Water also began an aggressive Instagram influencer marketing program, showcasing their water at festivals, grocery stores, and in daily life. Influencers are more apt to work with a brand aligning with one or more social cause. By designing a product that is so intimately tied to reducing environmental footprint rather than slapping a label or tag line on an existing brand, Boxed Water one upped incumbents and created an effect that can’t be easily duplicated.

Boxed Water 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,000
  • Number of influencers engaged: 150
  • Average followers per influencer: 75,000

RXBAR: Creating an e-commerce craze around a product nobody has tasted

RXBAR Social Media Case Study

At the beginning of 2018 RXBAR had become one of CPG’s greatest come up stories. Starting as a small brand with a staff of 4, RXBAR rocketed to prominence as the coolest health bar on the planet. A disruptive look helped, but what sent them over the edge was the strategic use of Instagram influencers and brand ambassadors. By snapping pics with the RXBAR lineup in the gym, outdoors, and everywhere in between, RXBAR created a lifestyle campaign that was impossible to ignore. A smooth e-commerce experience on Amazon.com and their own brand website also helped earn more customers by relying on positive reviews to build trust. After all, a totally new brand needs more than just cool packaging to create a worldwide phenomenon.

RXBAR 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $200
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1,000
  • Average followers per influencer: 17,300

Shakeshack: Using local microinfluencers to lend regional authenticity to Instagram content

Shake Shack Influencer Marketing

Hamburger fast food restaurant Shakeshack has dominated the globe with a fast to market international strategy and careful location selection. Their tiny marketing team of five handles global communications – including public relations – for the fast growing chain. To shoulder the burden, Shakeshack employs a hyperlocal brand ambassador and influencer approach, contracting with individual boutique firms and influencers in each market they enter. This takes much of the daily grind off the plates of the marketing team while simultaneously creating a more authentic campaign experience around new store openings and new menu item launches.

Shakeshack makes extensive use of microinfluencers, and isn’t afraid to work with Instagrammers that have under 10,000 followers so long as they are engaging and true to brand. Often times, influencers are working for nothing more than free meal coupons and brand recognition. When you have a product that people love, the chances that influencers will work with you for free product goes up, even if that product is an $8.00 hamburger and fries.

Shakeshack 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $50
  • Number of influencers engaged: 3,200
  • Average followers per influencer: 6,750

Starbucks: Limited edition products launched by influencers

Starbucks Influencer Marketing Case Study

Starbucks has always been a popular coffee destination, but a growing global footprint combined with pressure from boutique coffee roasters caused the brand to undergo a radical transformation. In April 2017 Starbucks released a special surprise: The Unicorn Frappuccino. It was a dazzlingly colorful sugary treat that Instagrammers couldn’t resist. The drink became so popular that it caused back ups to form at Starbucks stores nationwide. Starbucks seeded this frenzy by inviting influencers to preview and share the limited time drink at release, stoking a massive fear of missing out reaction.

Since the success of the Unicorn Frappuccino, Starbucks has released several other limited edition beverages, all designed with visual aesthetic in mind. Their continued use of lifestyle influencers has helped create a new craze that has been helped by radical store redesigns to keep up with modern tastes. When flagship stores are renovated, social media influencers are invited in to experience the new environment and taste new beverage offerings. It’s an always on approach that started with a home run success, and revitalized a brand that was old news to consumers.

Starbucks 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $100
  • Number of influencers engaged: 2,600
  • Average followers per influencer: 20,000

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Makeup and Beauty Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Cosmetics, makeup, and beauty may be the industry most reliant on brand ambassador and influencer marketing. Showcasing beauty has always been the hallmark of an industry bent on perfection, but social media combined with e-commerce has brought an entirely new dimension of authenticity, sales potential, and pure guilty pleasure binge watching to the marketing mix. While it isn’t perfect, selling beauty products online may be the best example of the power of influencer marketing.

e.l.f. Cosmetics: Grinding out a 500+ participant influencer marketing program

elf Cosmetics Influencer Marketing Strategy

While fast fashion has become a household term to describe quick to imitate, affordable style design, fast makeup hasn’t caught on in the same way just yet. e.l.f. (stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) wants to change that. By taking popular but expensive makeup and making quick “dupes” costing a fraction of the price, the brand has catapulted into the limelight on price and well-timed PR alone. But price isn’t everything, and beginning in 2018 the brand began to activate influencer marketing around it’s core line of products.

By signing on young Instagrammers with a following, e.l.f. is seeking to build a reputation for quality as well as style. Following their successful PR strategy, influencers are asked to add e.l.f. products to their daily lists of “must-haves”. The brand further pushes these messages by reposting through their official Instagram account. By showing their products next to other luxury goods and lifestyles, e.l.f. is elevating their brand equity while providing social proof to impressionable followers. It’s a smart way to build brand when you don’t have the same cache in an industry obsessed with brand.

e.l.f. 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $450
  • Number of influencers engaged: 625
  • Average followers per influencer: 165,000

Free People: Letting the experts speak out with #TeamFP

Free People Instagram Stories Marketing

Free People helps women get a handle on their beauty routines with high quality, natural, products. Seeing is believing, and a brand built on authenticity and transparency can use social media to further push that experience. Free People uses their own staff to test products, documenting the entire experience on social media. The effect is twofold: It helps employees learn about the products they are selling, and gives followers the most authentic look at products usage and results.

Influencers don’t have to be social media celebrities to make a big impact. Free People’s trial campaign using those closest to the brand helps further their position as one of the most authentic players in the cosmetics game.

Free People 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $25
  • Number of influencers engaged: 10
  • Average followers per influencer: 5,250

Glossier: Disrupting cosmetics with influencer marketing

Glossier Influencer Marketing Case Study

Glossier is universally regarded as the brand that disrupted big cosmetics. By offering more affordable, but still glamorous lines of cosmetics around a “people powered” shopping experience, the company mission is to put beauty back into the hands of customers. But to keep that momentum, the brand needs a constant stream of new customers willing to share content about product preferences and use cases.

It can’t all be left up to chance, so Glossier works with a large contingent of social media celebrities and microinfluencers, asking them to share their honest experience with various products in Instagram Stories and posts. Glossier then selects the best content to be featured on their official Instagram channel. It’s living the brand mantra that beauty isn’t made in the board room, but by the people who use products every day. Celebrating those customers continues to help the brand maintain a foothold in an ever-changing competitive landscape.

Glossier 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $260
  • Number of influencers engaged: 1,340
  • Average followers per influencer: 57,000

Sephora: Beauty instructionals from microinfluencers get the job done

Sephora Influencer Marketing Case Study

Sephora is all about the best tool for the job. The brick and mortar stores rely on cosmetics associates to select and prescribe the best products for each individual need, while the social media presence reinforces that expertise with instructional content around hair, makeup, and styling techniques. By working with microinfluencers to come up with new and interesting ideas, Sephora inspires customers to try new looks – and in turn try new products. By closely associating with experts in the beauty field, the brand also garners additional credibility as the single source for all things beauty. That’s a potent mix of expertise and glam that gets the job done for women the world over. Managing the army of microinfluencers can also happen at the store level by including associates that have a following of their own.

Sephora 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $75
  • Number of influencers engaged: 2,900
  • Average followers per influencer: 12,750

Shills Natural: Capitalizing off of the charcoal mask craze on YouTube

Shills Black Face Mask Influencer Instagram

If you don’t know what a charcoal face mask looks like, you may have missed one of the biggest influencer sold products of the modern age. Protein shakes have nothing on this remarkable beauty product purpose built for the camera, and Shills Natural is at the heart of the movement. Beginning in 2017 and extending well into 2018, the brand has touted their famous black charcoal face mask on Instagram by using lifestyle influencers to show how the product works. The formula is simple: Create a video of yourself applying, drying, and then peeling off the rubbery black face mask. Then show off all the gunk it removed.

Simple, right? As it happens, this simple routine has taken social media by storm, creating a never ending stream of content as customers flock to try the bizarre – but effective – looking product. Since inception the company has gone viral by simply relying on a strange looking product and seeding it to Instagram influencers willing to participate.

Shills Natural 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $100
  • Number of influencers engaged: 4,600
  • Average followers per influencer: 16,000

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Software Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Selling the intangible is tricky enough as it is. A complex environment of mobile apps, desktop programs, and websites that act like software means marketing in new ways. Smart software publishers are turning to influencer marketing on Instagram to explore new possibilities, and introduce a new generation of customer to the advantages of using specialized tools to get the job done.

Adobe: Putting customers as brand ambassadors first

Become Adobe Influencer Brand Ambassador

While most people think of Photoshop face tuning for celebrities, Adobe has many important software products for designers, illustrators, and video producers. These products are not cheap, but in many ways have become the standard for creative development the world over. As Adobe continues to deliver products for high end tablets and smartphones, they have engaged in influencer marketing with creative partners around the world. By finding and contracting with artists. From surreal landscapes to vivid photography and video, Adobe influencers showcase how their desktop software and mobile apps bring a new dimension to the work. Influencers often teach classes and attend meet and greets with other artists, creating a network effect that extends influence even further.

Did you know Adobe has always celebrated their customers? Adobe makes frequent software updates to its many platforms, and each time includes a new welcome splash screen. Since inception in the 90’s, Adobe has used real commercial artists and illustrators to design those screens, providing credit to each by name. Their customer first strategy has paid off, and they have outlasted many competitor products that are no longer in existence.

Adobe 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $350
  • Number of influencers engaged: 300
  • Average followers per influencer: 110,000

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Travel and Hospitality Brand Ambassador, Influencer Marketing, and Microinfluencer Case Studies

Brands are keenly aware of Millennials’ desire for the digital nomad lifestyle. The travel and hospitality industry is poised to gain immensely from Instagram influencers showing off lavish and exciting trips around the world. Even though the true nomad life remains out of reach of those not in tech and tertiary businesses, brands are selling the dream of living large in exotic foreign destinations via a host of Instagram influencers.

Away Luggage: Setting a new precedent in a stagnant industry

Away Luggage Influencer Marketing

Away Luggage has disrupted the traditional brick and mortar model of selling baggage. Thanks to a sharp, minimalist design, exciting color options, and integrated tech (TSA be damned) Away has dominated the conversation about taking your show on the road. Combined with a price point that beats traditional luxury luggage brands like Rimowa, and it’s a recipe for Millennial travel perfection. Away began using Instagram influencers early on, but ramped the program up in 2018 to meet growing demand for lifestyle travel accessories. The brand showcases young, attractive Millennials traveling the globe in urban scenes, demonstrating style and versatility while romanticizing the experience. For luxury travelers on the go, Away Luggage is now in the consideration set alongside traditional luggage brands.

Away Luggage 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $525
  • Number of influencers engaged: 135
  • Average followers per influencer: 85,100

Carnival Cruise Lines: Bringing brand ambassadors into your world

Carnival Cruise Line Influencer Marketing Case Study

When your product is a floating entertainment paradise, starting a brand ambassador marketing program is a no brainer. That’s because once influencers get into your world, they can’t really escape. A constant stream of content is a guarantee – including exotic destinations, top food, and dreamy views. Carnival Cruise Lines brings brand ambassadors aboard for the experience of a lifetime, and help them create content with the hashtag #choosefun. Influencers become a captive audience for the brand, allowing them to maximize marketing value by putting together an intensive program of events and activities.

Cruisers that have already taken the plunge end up sharing their experiences and fond memories in post comments, and influencers engage for further encouragement. The net result is Instagrammers get to experience the Carnival experience through the eyes of their favorite social media influencers, and in turn develop a new appreciation for cruises. The brand plans to expand the program in coming years, showing they are getting the results they want and are ready to come to the table for more.

Carnival Cruise Lines 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,125
  • Number of influencers engaged: 40
  • Average followers per influencer: 255,000

Ritz Carlton: Millennial brand ambassadors revitalize an aging brand

Ritz Carlton Influencer Marketing

The iconic hotel chain undergoes a rolling #rcpartners Instagram influencer campaign. The year-round initiative is punctuated by regions and influencer categories to give the noteworthy brand a constant pop. Influencers are invited on all expenses paid trips to experience five star hotel service and share with their fans. Influencers that do particularly well have been rewarded with follow up adventures to other properties, making them official brand ambassadors.

While a free product strategy isn’t the cheapest thing for a luxury hotel chain, it does emphasize the power of influencer marketing. Brand ambassadors for Ritz Carlton are often the exact opposite of the old school image the brand portrays. Young, vibrant couples are often featured in romantic and dreamlike vacation scenes. That’s no small potatoes when the affluent wedding crowd comes to the table.

Ritz Carlton 2018 Influencer Marketing Stats:

  • Estimated average cost per post: $1,750
  • Number of influencers engaged: 25
  • Average followers per influencer: 140,000

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