Skip to main content

When it comes to influencer marketing, some companies do it better than others. They excel at finding the right people to connect to the right audience and are able to provide genuine results for a brand, all while avoiding controversy and gentle reminders from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission  about disclosure rules.

If your brand is looking to up its game when it comes to influencer marketing, it helps to watch and learn from the best. Here are a few of the best influencer programs currently out there.


AirBnB is a disrupter in the hospitality industry. On May 2018, CNBC reported that the company had more than 4.5 million active listings on its site and is valued at around $31 million.

The brand launched an influencer program back in 2015 when the singer Mariah Carey posted her own property on the site. Since then, it has worked with celebrities like Lady Gaga. Providing her with a free place to stay, when she performed the Super Bowl halftime show during the NFL championship game in 2017.

Lady Gaga’s sponsored post received more than half a million likes and thousands of comments. And because she was the big act during the halftime show, the post was also shared across multiple news and media outlets, further increasing its reach.

Although AirBnB has had some success with influencer marketing, its influencer program isn’t particularly extensive. In an interview, Rachael Haley, the global connections strategy lead at the company, revealed that because the brand does so few influencer or sponsored posts, it very carefully considers the potential effect of everything it produces.

Key Takeaway for Brands:

Sometimes, less is more when it comes to influencer marketing.

Southwest Airlines

Already known as the “most social airline,” Southwest Airlines recently launched a top-notch influencer program. At the beginning of 2018, it chose a group of influencers to serve as “Southwest Storytellers,” or ambassadors for the brand.

The influencers use the hashtag #SouthwestStorytellers to share their travel adventures.  The group is pretty diverse and includes a fashion blogger, former football player, musicians, and several travel/adventure bloggers.

Key Takeaway for Brands:

Get influencers to act as ambassadors for your brand by sharing their stories with their followers.


Beauty brand Glossier was founded by a blogger , so it’s not much of a leap to imagine the brand has one of the best influencer programs out there. AirBnB typically takes a “less is more approach” and Southwest has a dozen people in the role of brand ambassador.

Glossier is much more democratic in its approach to influencer marketing.  QZ, founder Emily Weiss stated that every woman is an influencer, creating an opportunity to engage with customers around every corner.

Part of the brand’s influencer program involves re-sharing selfies taken by people using its products. It also has teams of ambassadors made up of its biggest consumers. Additionally, the channel contains a chat room. These allow you to communicate with each other over location-specific Slack channels. Its influencer program works more like a referral program. Glossier rewards its most involved influencers  with store credit to buy more Glossier products.

Key Takeaway for Brands:

Sometimes, regular customers make the best influencers.

Fenty Beauty

R&B/hip-hop star and influencer Rihanna is the iconic creator of Fenty Beauty. Fenty Beauty is different from makeup lines and influencer programs is its focus on inclusiveness and diversity. Rihannas name alone gives her product a boost.Billboard reported that Rihanna fans are nearly four times more likely to make a purchase. 

And she’s not the only influencer promoting the products. After the brand’s launch in September 2017, Allure posted several videos from beauty bloggers.  The many beauty tutorials featuring Fenty also helped highlight the brand’s focus on diversity. Unlike most other makeup lines, the makeup foundations come in 40 different shades.

Key Takeaway for Brands:

Choose an influencer to be the focal point of your influencer program, but don’t ignore smaller or lesser-known voices.

Fashion Nova

To hear NPR describe it, Fashion Nova seemingly “came out of nowhere and is everywhere, online at least.” So, how did the brand go from zero to one of the most coveted fashion brands, at least among a particular demographic of Millennials and Gen-Zers? Influencers.

Celebrity level influencers like Kylie Jenner and Cardi B. have worked with the brand. Fashion Nova regularly works with what could be described as an army of influencers. The brand has admitted to working with thousands of influencers, somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000. The company also makes it easy to for wanna-be fashion influencers to sign up on its website.

Quartz reported the brand had one of the highest earned media values (EMV) during the first five months of 2018.  More than 12,000 influencers mentioned Fashion Nova in some way, and only 700 or so posts were paid for by the brand.

Key Takeaway for Brands:

Sometimes hype sells, and few things are more effective than word of mouth. Getting influencers to wear and post about your products is sometimes all you need to get a campaign off the ground. The key thing is to pick the right influencers.