2019 has brought scores of attention-getting influencer-marketing campaigns to the channels of social media and to the consumers who follow those influencers. However, only a small number of these campaigns really stand out from the crowd.

They’re campaigns that, due to their creativity and understanding of influencers’ audiences have boosted engagement, awareness, and ROI for savvy companies. As marketers and brands make plans for social media campaigns, they should take their cues from some of the top influencer-marketing campaigns 2019 brought:

Chipotle LidFlip Hashtag Challenge

Chipotle Mexican Grill partnered with YouTube personality David Dobrik to celebrate National Burrito Day, even naming a burrito after Dobrik. Chipotle and Dobrik took to the short-form video app TikTok to promote a #ChipotleLidFlip hashtag challenge. TikTok is hugely popular with members of Generation Z and one of the top-three apps downloaded in 2019’s first quarter.

The campaign was inspired by a video that went viral of a Chipotle employee, Daniel Vasquez, performing a burrito bowl lid-flipping trick. Dobrik, who now has 5.7 million fans on TikTok alone, created a TikTok video of him-self flipping the lid on a Chipotle burrito bowl. He challenged viewers to create TikTok videos showing off their own lid-flipping skills. The six-day campaign drew 110,000 submissions from a highly engaged audience, and the hashtag attracted more than 230 million views in a month.

Adidas She Breaks Barriers Campaign

Competing with influencer-marketing champ Nike for customers, Adidas upped its game with its She Breaks Barriers campaign. The campaign focuses on keeping girls in sport and empowering them. It features compelling stories from female athletes including WNBA star Layshia Clarendon and marathoner Rahaf Khatib.

As part of the campaign, Adidas also identifies the barriers girls often encounter that prevent them for participating in sport and encourages conversation about how to break through them. It also offers online courses to coaches, role models and mentors to help girls realize their full potential.

Dove, Getty Images, GirlGaze and Project #Show Us

Dove, Getty Images, and the GirlGaze Network teamed up for the Project #ShowUs campaign, in order to reflect a more inclusive, authentic view of beauty. To accomplish their mission, they partnered with hundreds of female photographers and directors to photograph and film women and non-binary people around the world. The women they photographed also determined their own search phrases that they thought best described them. The campaign generated more than 5,000 images that are offered to media and advertisers to help expand the definition of beauty.

Bobby Berk and Corian Design

Interior design influencer and star of the TV show Queer Eye Bobby Berk partnered with Corian Design to showcase the company’s surface material products and interiors. Berk worked with Corian to create individual kitchen designs for each of his Queer Eye castmates. With 2.5 million followers on Instagram, Berk is well positioned to help Corian reach a dedicated audience of interior designers and design aficionados.

New York Travel Influencers and Curaçao

Travel destinations have a lot of competition when it comes to targeting the lucrative New York market. Three major airports offering flights to thousands of destinations across the globe service the New York metro area. And New Yorkers can be notoriously picky and skeptical when it comes to selecting their getaways.

The Curaçao Tourist Board realized partnering with New York-based travel and lifestyle influencers would be an excellent way to reach travelers in the New York tri-state area. Working with 11 local influencers with New York-based followings was one key way for the Curaçao Tourist Board to get its message directly to its target market.

It helped Curaçao cut through all the travel advertising clutter New Yorkers are bombarded with to reach the influencers’ audiences. And it succeeded spectacularly—the campaign achieved an astounding ROI of 82,648 per cent and reached nearly 10 million New Yorkers on social media.

Frito-Lay’s Smiles Campaign

When Frito-Lay wanted to target millennials, the company created the Smiles campaign, which spotlighted a positive message and mission. The campaign focused on putting the smiles of real, everyday people on bags of their snack foods with more than 60 new bags.

Frito-Lay’s Everyday Smilers promotion profiled 32 people working to benefit their communities and put their smiles on the bags. Among them was non-profit influencer Paige Chenault, founder of an organization that throws birthday parties for homeless children. Other people profiled included Hugh H., whose non-profit Residency Apparel helps women make the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

For another branch of the campaign, Lay’s partnered with influencers to promote Operation Smile, a non-profit that helps kids born with cleft conditions get safe surgeries. Lay’s also encouraged followers to take selfies of themselves with Lay’s Smile bags and to share them on social media. Frito-Lay also donated $2 million to Operation Smile over the first two years of the campaign.

The good vibes that the Smiles campaign generated also brought high levels of engagement among fans. During the first year of the campaign, fans shared 700 selfies a day, prompting Frito-Lay to continue the promotion beyond its original run. And just one of the campaign’s Operation Smile Facebook videos scored an impressive 14 per cent engagement rate.

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