The rise of influencer marketing over the past 15 years or so has been rapid and impressive, to the extent that today, it’s practically a given for niche influencers to get involved in every marketing campaign, especially if you’re looking to attract Gen Z customers.

Recent research from the Social Shepherd reported that 36% of marketers believe that content created by influencers performs better than brand-generated content, and 51% agree that influencer marketing helps them acquire better customers. At the other end of the relationship, four out of every ten people who are active on social media report that influencers or content creators have affected their purchase decisions to some degree.

There are a number of different ways to apply influencer marketing to your brand campaigns. Sometimes it can be a challenge to identify the best type of influencer campaign for your specific brand, target audience, or business goals.

To help you leverage the benefits of influencer marketing for your company, we’ve gathered the five best types of influencer marketing for different situations, together with excellent examples of brands and creators doing it right.

1. Giveaway Contests

Everybody loves a freebie, but influencer-sponsored giveaway contests can generate a new level of engagement, reach, and brand exposure. Influencers leverage their existing audience and credibility, attracting participants who are highly engaged with their content. This translates into increased visibility for the sponsoring brand or product, because participants are even more likely to share, like, and comment on the contest posts.

Of course, you still need to manage the contest effectively. Beyond working with an influencer who is a good match for the message, you also need to apply an effective strategy that makes the most of the giveaway opportunity.

When LoungeFly partnered with Turning Red star Rosalie Chang, participants were asked to tag two friends who love the movie, as well as following both the brand and the influencer’s accounts.

It’s also a good idea to set up a landing page using a tool like VBOUT, to convert visitors to sign up for an email newsletter, join a members’ club, or learn more about the brand.

2. Product Reviews and Unboxing

Unboxing videos are a massively popular form of influencer content. Consumers love the insights they provide about a product and participating in the anticipation involved with the experience of unpacking it.

Casetify has a smart ongoing collaboration with Gibi, who uses their phone cases for her therapeutic ASMR methods.

When it comes to product reviews, more is often more. It’s worth it to collaborate with more than one reviewer, so that you can deliver a range of perspectives on your products and connect with more target audiences.

Popular Pays makes it easy to discover creators for specific types of campaigns, like reviews and unboxing, and manage a project with multiple influencers for the same product. The platform allows marketers to find creators who are the best fit for campaign specifics and to collaborate with them at scale, with briefs, approvals, discussions, analytics, and payments all taken care of within the platform.

3. Sponsored Content

Sponsorship is a brilliant way to seamlessly integrate your brand’s message or product into the influencer’s feed in a way that fosters authenticity and trust among your target audience. As long as you choose an influencer whose values align with those of your brand, their endorsement comes across as more genuine than traditional advertising.

This alignment lies behind the success of Once Upon a Farm’s collaboration with Samantha Vanderpool, who used her authentic commitment to parenting and healthy eating to showcase their Overnight Oats pouches. It’s just as effective for B2B marketing, as Sitecore proved when they worked with Ann Handley on a how-to CX guide for marketers.

Choosing to use sponsored content meant that these brands benefited from Samantha and Ann’s expertise and credibility as well as their reach and engagement.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great low-risk way to enter the world of influencer marketing, because you’ll only pay for conversions that actually take place. Of course, that requires effective management using a tool like Tapfiliate that accurately tracks clicks and conversions, helps you recruit suitable partners, and automates campaigns.

Affiliate marketing means the influencer has an incentive to produce high-quality, engaging content that effectively promotes your brand and products. Use affiliate links to track

Business influencer Wholesale Ted includes a number of affiliate links in her YouTube videos, which she encourages followers to use as a way of showing appreciation for her content.

5. Brand Ambassadors

Unlike one-off collaborations, brand ambassadors have long-term relationships with the companies they promote. They practically become synonymous with the brand, integrating its products or services into their content in a consistent and authentic manner which fosters deeper connections with their audience over time.

Gymshark manages this excellently in its ongoing connection with fitness content creator Annabel Lucinda. Her genuine desire to inspire and educate others about exercise and fitness syncs perfectly with Gymshark’s brand messaging.

Working consistently with the same influencer means that followers view her as a trusted advocate, helping to reinforce brand awareness and loyalty among her audience.

When to use ambassadors as your influencer campaign type: This tactic is generally best for brands that have mature, proven influencer marketing strategies in place. Have you been working with a wide variety of influencers for several months, and are you able to track which ones are driving the most impact for you? Are some of these influencers extra-enthused about your products and love collaborating with you? If so, then these are likely the best relationships to take to the next level with a more intensive partnership.

Influencer Marketing Trends to Be Aware Of

Regardless of the type of campaign you run, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the general trends that are happening in the space. This will help ensure that your activity has maximum impact, resonates with audiences, and doesn’t cause any embarrassing damage to your brand reputation.

Some key trends to keep in mind:

1. The rise of micro and nano-influencers

While influencers with massive audiences might seem on the surface to offer the most reach, they generally drive far lower engagement rates. Therefore, today’s influencer marketing managers prefer to work with influencers who have smaller, more engaged followings that serve as niche communities unto themselves. Micro-influencers are those with up to 100,000 followers, while those with under 10,000 followers are known as nano-influencers.

2. The need for authenticity and transparency

It can be tempting to try and pass off sponsored posts as organic, but this is problematic for two reasons. One, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been cracking down on sponsored activity that doesn’t include disclosures, resulting in steep penalties and brand damage. And two, niche influencers’ followers can sniff out brand collaborations a mile away, and they’ll get turned off if they feel like someone is trying to dupe them. These influencers have built their audiences by being authentic, so it’s important that the content they create and distribute for you be similarly authentic.

3. Experimenting with the newest types of posts

The various social media platforms are at war with each other, copying each other’s features and experiences to try and keep audiences engaged. As a result, every time a platform rolls out a new type of post (stories, shorts, reels, live broadcasts, etc.), they’re likely to favor that post type in their newsfeed algorithms. Therefore, experimenting with these post types in your collaborations with influencers can help maximize reach and engagement.

Influencer Partnerships Can Be the Gift That Keeps on Giving

There’s no doubt that when done right, influencer marketing works. Admittedly, choosing the right campaign type for your goals and the right collaborator who aligns well with your messaging is a vital prerequisite. But with so many tools around to help you, there’s no reason not to dive into influencer marketing campaigns.

About the Author

Oliver Thyra is the head SaaS copywriter and content strategist at Your Marketing Digest. His intense passion for marketing and his engineering background in software engineering has made him a guy who understands how to sell software subscriptions with words. In his free time, Oliver enjoys quality time with his pets (he has got 4 golden retrievers!).