Influencer marketing campaigns can do more than just sell products and services like advertising does. It is a powerful strategy to generate brand awareness, drive conversation around a brand, create a powerful brand image among other things. Influencer marketing can be an effective strategy to target audiences in other domains. Today, we will take a look at how influencer marketing for airlines can be an innovative strategy to generate brand awareness and top of the mind brand recall.
In 2015, Air France, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and All Nippon Airways collaborated with travel and lifestyle influencers to tap into new audiences by creating rich and varied content for powerful brand messaging. Their approach to influencer marketing for airlines is unique and innovative as they went one step beyond travel influencers and collaborated with lifestyle influencers as well to incorporate their brand in several categories.
Influencer Marketing for Airlines – The Campaign
The objective of this campaign was to build brand awareness by partnering with top social media influencers across a myriad of platforms to reach new audiences. The brand wanted to leverage the influencers’ creativity to create engaging content with the purpose of driving profitable action. These airlines collaborated with food, fashion, travel and wedding bloggers among other lifestyle categories. Together, they developed an authentic, aspirational campaign messaging and integrated the brand into the influencer’s content organically.
As a part of this campaign, content creators, bloggers, social media influencers shared aspirational content created around their own personal lifestyle in the form of photos and blog articles. Some of these influencers have a large and loyal fan following mainly because of the kind of content they create and share on a regular basis.
Prominent influencers in the campaign
- 100 Layer Cake (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
- Tuula Vintage (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
- Song of Style (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
- Love & Lemons (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
- Sugar & Charm (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
- Design Love Fest (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest)
The results of this campaign are staggering. The campaign had a combined social reach of over 8.2 million across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. The total audience of blog posts related to the campaign garnered 5 million page views and 1 million unique page views in a month.
Some Examples from the Campaign
Song of Style for All Nippon Airways: In this article, Song of Style blooger talks about her recent trip to Philipines and Japan. She talks about flying with All Nippon Airways, their attentive flight attendants and the delicious food (along with its presentation) they serve in the business class.
Tuula Vintage for Cathay Pacific: In this article, Tuula Vantage shares photos from her trip to Maldives including some from her journey elegantly showing Cathay Pacific in the photos. At the end of the gallery, she talks about flying with Cathay Pacific when she discusses how to get to Maldives, Hong Kong and returning home to Sydney.
Why Airlines are Partnering with Social Media Influencers?
The aviation and airline industry is a complex space. Airline companies struggle with differentiating themselves from their competitors. Airlines are constantly adapting their marketing strategy to achieve a strong top of the mind brand recall among their target audience. In an article outlining the success of Alaskan Airlines in Business Insider, the author Ira Kalb wrote:
“you have to keep your brand in front of the public, and what too many companies do not understand is that people’s memories fade and younger prospects may not know the reasons why they should fly on your airline if you do not remind them.”
Influencer marketing for airlines is an area worth exploring especially when you consider the broad scope of the strategy and the goals that can be achieved. This campaign showcased the airlines in front of new audiences in a creative way, giving them a fresh perspective and aligning their brand image in a classy manner.
Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner Campaign: YouTube & Instagram Influencer Marketing
Subaru is a well-recognized brand in the United States. In 2017, sales rose by 10% to make it one of the fastest growing automobile brands in the country. Subaru has developed a strong market presence using influencer marketing. Today, we will look at the company’s success with YouTube and Instagram influencer marketing on the #MeetanOwnercampaign.
YouTube and Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaign Highlights
Subaru partnered with 20 Instagram influencers including but not limited to artists, professional athletes and photographers. The goal of the #MeetanOwner campaign was to increase Subaru’s brand awareness and establish a positive connection and brand recall in the minds of the people. Here are some of the key highlights from the campaign:-
Zach King is an Influencer with almost 21 million (almost 19 million at the time of the campaign) followers on Instagram. He performs visually stunning digital magic tricks. Due to mass appeal of his content, his audience is diverse and large in number making him a suitable partner for Subaru’s campaign. He created two sponsored posts on Instagram featuring magic tricks centering around Subaru’s cars.
In the first sponsored post, King created an illusion where a three piece cut out of a Subaru car was replaced by a real Subaru. He incorporated the brand in his style of content with the use of a branded prop which enabled him to promote the brand while he was at his classic best. Subaru gave King creative freedom, enabling him to satisfy his audience while simultaneously showcasing the brand. His sponsored posts generated over 1.6 million likes and 7K comments.
Devin Super Tramp
Audience: 592K Instagram followers & 4.6M YouTube subscribers.
Results: Over 160K likes & 856 comments generated through 13 sponsored Instagram posts as well as 1.2M views & 45K likes on 3 YouTube videos.
Engagement Rate: 4.2% on Instagram & 4.5% on YouTube.
Devin Graham, a.k.a Devin Super Tramp, is popular for this extreme stunt YouTube videos. At the tiime of the campaign, he had 592K Instagram followers and over 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube. Partnering with him in the #MeetanOwner campaign aligned the brand image of Subaru with outdoor adventure. He created three YouTube videos, two of which included professional stunts and one that featured Graham discussing his journey as a YouTuber and a stuntman.
In one of his sponsored YouTube videos, he is slip-sliding off a 500-foot cliff. Graham thanked Subaru for making this dream project a reality in the video description and in the captions of the five sponsored Instagram posts that promoted the video. In one post, he says,
“I’ve been driving a Subaru since I could drive at 16, and never thought I would have the chance to work with a brand I genuinely loved!”
His caption highlights his positive opinion of Subaru and communicates to his audience that the brand helped to make the exciting content they enjoy a reality. This is a genuine case of a customer testimonial and brand advocacy at its best. Devin’s three videos accumulated a total of 1.2 million views and 45K likes. A total of 13 sponsored posts on Instagram garnered over 160K likes and 850+ comments.
Shaun McBride a.k.a. Shonduras (226K Instagram followers and 1M+ YouTube subscribersat the time of the campaign) is extremely popular for his Snapchat stories and YouTube videos. He created 4 Instagram posts (garnered a total of 31K likes and close to 300 comments) and a 5-part YouTube series (1.2 million views and 28K comments) titled, “Our cool Subaru car and the cool things we do with it” as part of the #MeetanOwner Campaign.
Shaun is well-known for his drawings and doodles, they were a big part of his rise as a social media star. He has an active lifestyle and a laid-back personality. Through his videos, he highlighted Subaru as a family-friendly car. Much like Devin and Zach King, Shaun used his trademark style of content to engage effectively with his audience while simultaneously promoting Subaru.
Results and Key Takeaways
In total, the #MeetanOwner campaign generated 1.9 million likes and 9K comments on Instagram. On YouTube, the campaign garnered almost 2.5 million views and 73K comments. Here are a few key lessons and takeaways from YouTube and Instagram influencer marketing:
- Subaru gave its partner social media influencers creative freedom enabling them to effectively engage their audience and promoting the Subaru cars.
- The influencers explicitly declared the partnership as per regulations.
- Subaru was able to successfully align its brand image with being both family-friendly and suitable for outdoor adventures
- #MeetanOwner was used to increase brand awareness enabling other owners to follow the campaign and feature their Subaru cars on Instagram giving them excellent brand recall
- Subaru chose its influencers well, people who could shape its brand image as needed and reach a vast yet diverse audience.