Table of contents
  1. 1. A brief introduction to influencer marketing
  2. 2. Overview and development of influence marketing through case study analysis
  3. 3. Advantages and disadvantages
  4. 4. Relevance to influence marketing
  5. 5. Best practices

Case studies can help a marketer develop a more effective campaign. They show what worked well for other brands and companies. These studies can provide content or angle ideas and they cover virtually every industry. 

A brief introduction to influencer marketing

Influencer marketing refers to the practice of having influential individuals regularly blog and post authentic brand messages to their social media regarding a single brand. Case studies refer to the post-campaign analysis of a specific brand’s campaign that documents methods, participants, and outcomes. 

 

Overview and development of influence marketing through case study analysis

Examining case studies over time reveals the development of influencer marketing. It reveals items like favored social media outlets, the appropriate number of influencers used, beneficial post types, efficacy of coupons, etc. 

While the term Word of Mouth (WoM) marketing became popular in the first decade of the 21st century, the concept of influencer marketing as an online concept has only existed for about five years. Offline influence marketing has existed for multiple decades though, using professional brand ambassadors to represent brands or products at in-store promotions and experiential marketing events. Now it even becomes easier thank to the internet and social media development. New statistics show that 34.4% of men and only 15.4% of women are influenced by blog reviews for consumer electronics purchases. Men are 2x more likely than women to be influenced by blog reviews while shopping in-store.

 

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of case study analysis is that any campaign can become a study after its wrap up. In fact, using an influencer marketing platform to create post-analysis after each campaign can help a marketing agency do its job better by uncovering what worked best and worst, as well as what needs to evolve. 

The main disadvantage to case study analysis is the qualitative nature of the studies, although the marketer can draw some quantitative analytics from each campaign. Because each campaign differs according to the brand, firm and target audience, these studies don’t provide an “apples to apples” approach to analysis. 

For example, the case study of the Bonobos men’s clothing brand #BetterThanAC campaign launched in summer 2016, used a single influencer for a digital marketing and social media campaign. Photographer and videographer Foster Huntington created a series of posts of the summer collection that blended with his existing content. The campaign resulted in three times the normal engagement rate for the brand. Huntington’s posts yielded 5.1 million impressions with more than 68,200 total engagements. 

This varies vastly to the campaign and results of the Pedigree case study. The “Buy a Bag, Give a Bowl,” campaign used multiple social media influencers using a combination of blog posts, social media content and video content. The campaign spread the word that for a specified period, for every bag of Pedigree purchased at Sam’s Club the brand would donate a bowl of dog food to a shelter. It resulted in a total media value increase of 1.3 times. It produced more than 43 million impressions, resulting in more than 62,800 content views and 9,300 blog engagements. 

 

Relevance to influence marketing

These studies remain relevant to marketing though by providing examples of successful campaigns. Companies of similar size that do provide a similar product and have a similar target audience can benefit from these studies of like firms.

Check out the InfluencerDB's collection of case studies here.

Best practices

  1. One reason these studies don’t provide better hard data and the transferable information is the lack of structure in their format. Start each campaign with the idea that a case study will come from it. Both marketing and influencer management agencies can do this to improve replicable results. 
  2. Document the campaign goals and expectations. Use marketing terminology for other professionals so they recognize key information. 
  3. Provide real numbers. Instead of describing a group of influencers, or providing examples of bloggers used, provide the actual number. For example, Brand Y contracted with 100 bloggers, 50 Twitter account holders, and 50 Instagram account holders. Specific data provides a potentially replicable activity. 
  4. Document the numbers of posts of each type. Rather than describe a series of Foster Huntington posts, write Huntington crafted “X” [number] posts on Instagram. 
  5. Describe what branded information or types of promotional materials the firm provided to influencers. Be specific. 
  6. Provide quantitative results of the campaign’s efficacy. Report on media value, content views, impressions, and audience data. These are the fundamental influencer marketing metrics that a marketer should pay attention to.