100 Real Life Influencer Pitches that Worked

Examples of successful strategies real marketers and entrepreneurs used to pitch influencers

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These days, when people are deciding what to buy, they don’t look to companies – they look to other people. They look to those whom they know and trust.They look to online influencers. Social media stars with millions of followers. Bloggers with millions of readers.

“Normal” people who have amassed large followings online simply by being themselves, and sharing content that resonates.It didn’t take long for savvy business people to realize the marketing potential here, because when influencers speak, not only do hordes of people pay attention, but they act.Thus the world of influencer marketing was born, where companies connect to large audiences through the voices of influencers they trust.

Influencer marketing is not just for big businesses however – it’s just as useful a strategy for startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers and small-business owners.If you’re reading this post, you most likely are already aware of the immense power and potential of influencer marketing. You may even have an influencer or two (or ten) you know you’d like to partner with.

What you may not know is how to get started! Enter the influencer pitch. To tap into the power of influencer marketing, you need to first convince an influencer to work with you, and to do that, you need to pitch them with your plan. The only problem is that influencers are busy. The top influencers are inundated with daily requests for their time and attention.

So you not only need to pitch them, you need to pitch them well. Damn well. To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled the following list of epic influencer pitches just for you! Read on for ideas, tactics, tips and strategies for crafting a stellar influencer pitch – one that will have any influencer reply with a “Hell yes!”

Influencer pitch strategies:

  1. The power of social media promotion
  2. Challenge them to a contest
  3. Guest posts, roundups and more
  4. Supporting a good cause
  5. Organizing live events
  6. Turning over social media account control to influencers
  7. Free product giveaways
  8. Organizing trips
  9. Sponsored videos

 

The Power of Social Media Promotion

  1. Feature the Fashion Influencers and They’ll Feature You Back

    Gap increased brand awareness and drove traffic by featuring key fashion and lifestyle influencers on Styld.by, Gap’s online social hub for shopping and sharing style.
    The influencers also generated their own content on their social media channels, sharing photos of professionally- and self-styled outfits of Gap clothes with hundreds of thousands of their followers. Of course, each post included #Gap hashtags and links to Styld.by and Gap’s own social channels.

  2. Mom-Bloggers Make the World Go ‘Round

    Tyson Foods tapped into the mom-blogger movement (1/3 of bloggers are moms!) last holiday season by inviting moms to share photos of fun chicken nugget creations. The result? Chicken nugget snowmen pop up all over the web, the campaign pulls in 8 million impressions and Tyson Foods sees a 42% sales hike in the ensuing weeks.

  3. Honest Tea Invites Influencers to Join a National Conversation About Honesty

    Honest Tea encourages bloggers across the US to share moments of honesty in their lives, using the #RefreshinglyHonest hashtag. In exchange for their engagement, Honest Tea features their stories on their social media channels.

  4. Volvo Uses Tech and Research to Find Diamond-in-the-Rough Influencers

    To promote a road-trip event celebrating Volvo’s 60th anniversary in the US, Volvo sought out influencers away from the limelight. Rather than go after the obvious social media stars, they instead looked for people with real relationships with their networks, such as stock-car racers and auction specialists. They fed these influencers Volvo-related content and shared their comments and stories on Volvo’s social media channels.

  5. Downy Features Artists’ Work in their “Soft Sculpture” Campaign

    To promote a campaign revolving around photos of “soft” sculptures, with the #SoftSide hashtag, Downy pitched influencers and artists to contribute to the campaign with their own content, to be featured on Downy’s social media channels. Downy also naturally attracted to the campaign numerous influencers and artists who were already creating their own soft sculptures. The campaign reached 50 million impressions in Industry publications, increased their brand-favorability by 5 points, and doubled their social media engagement levels.

  6. One Kings Lane Invites Bloggers to Share Their Dream Vanities

    The home décor business One Kings Lane invited bloggers to assemble their dream vanities, with a One Kings Lane statement mirror as the centerpiece, to be featured on One Kings Lane’s site.

  7. Boohoo Makes a YouTuber the Face of their Spring/Summer Campaign

    In exchange for featuring their clothes in her Coachella Inspired Lookbook, Boohoo made YouTube star Amanda Steele the face of their spring/summer campaign, and gave her a 35%-off promo code for her US-based followers.

  8. Citibank Elicits Tweets with a “Favorite Food” Debate

    To promote its dining rewards program to Indian customers, Citibank pitched two top food-influencers, Kunal Vijaykar and Maria Goretti, to be featured in a video. The video had Vijaykar and Goretti arguing over the best foods in Delhi and Mumbai, and invited consumers to tweet back their own favorite foods, along with the #WhatsOnYourPlate and #LuvToDine hashtags. The video was a hit, and celebrities and regular consumers alike joined the debate with gusto.

  9. Oasis Fashion has Micro-Influencers Share Local Neighborhood Photos

    Oasis Fashion pitched bloggers across the US to share photos of themselves wearing Oasis outfits in their favorite neighborhood spots, with the hashtag #UpMyStreet. The influencers photos were also featured on Oasis’ social media channels, and by the end of the campaign Oasis’ Instagram following had topped 116,000, and their US web traffic increased by 6% in the ensuing months.

  10. Lululemon Features Any Fan’s Photos

    Lululemon partnered with Olapic to engage with all of its fans, not just the top influencers. Anyone can post a photo in a Lululemon outfit with the #TheSweatLife hashtag and potentially be featured on Lululemon’s website. Thousands of customers’ photos have been featured so far, with tens of thousands of views. Lululemon’s revenue increases were in the double digits last year, so the micro-influencer method is obviously working!

  11. Shares are Guaranteed When You Name Your Products After Bloggers

    When ModCloth reaches out to bloggers, they don’t just pitch them to be featured on the ModCloth blog, they permanently name one of their dresses after them! The winning “Blogger of the Moment” is featured wearing their new namesake dress, along with other ModCloth pieces of their choosing. After treatment like that, how could a blogger not share the experience with all their fans afterward?

  12. Let Your Influencers Share Their Own Vision

    When Cathay pitched travel influencers to help promote their travel ethos, they encouraged them to share photos of their choosing with the #LifeWellTraveled hashtag, but no mention of Cathay or the campaign. While Cathay was eventually mentioned in later posts, the strategy of starting things off with just the values behind the campaign gave the hashtag a momentum and authenticity that was unique. Don’t be afraid to let your influencers share their own take on your brand’s hashtags before starting a campaign. Remember Nick Brennan’s advice: Pitch the story, not the product.

  13. Birchbox Gives Everyone the Chance to Be an Influencer

    Birchbox crafted perhaps the biggest influencer pitch of all time, by publishing an open call in early 2014, inviting all bloggers and vloggers (yup, all of ‘em) to become a “Birchblogger.” In exchange for talking about Birchbox and its products, Birchbloggers get early access to sneak peaks and spoilers, free products to review on their blogs, access to prizes to give away to their audiences, invites to blogger-only events and the chance to be featured in Birchbox brand content.

  14. UNIQLO Connects Bloggers to their Fashion Heroes

    Uniqlo reached out to iconic Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely with a win-win pitch to collaborate on a clothing line together. Each benefited from the fans of the other in this power-collaboration. Uniqlo also hosted a live Google Hangout with Kiely, and invited influential bloggers to join and ask questions live. In exchange for spreading word of the event to their audiences, the bloggers were featured live on the Hangout, and had the rare opportunity to ask Kiely their questions.

  15. Madewell Includes Fashion Influencers in Personal Photoshoots

    Fashion company Madewell pitched five of the top Instagram influencers to take part in a campaign for the anniversary of their signature tote bag. The influencers posted photos with the tote bag, including the campaign’s #totewell hashtag, and Madewell featured the influencers on their blog and social media channels, sweetening the pot with extras like Q&As, styling tips, and behind-the-scenes featurettes. With just these five influencers, Madewell’s campaign reached over 1 million consumers.

  16. Fox Pitches a Make-Up Star to Transform Herself into a Possessed Movie Character

    To generate awareness for their upcoming straight-to-digital film, The Exorcism of Molly Hartley, Fox Home Entertainment pitched social media makeup star, MadeULook, to take over their Snapchat and use her makeup skills to “possess herself”, i.e. transform herself into the film’s possessed character. MadeULook promoted the campaign on all her social media channels beforehand, driving traffic to Fox’s Snapchat account, and got to show off her makeup skills to Fox’s entire audience! The end result was a successfully gruesome Snapchat transformation, reaching over 2 million people.

     

    Challenge Them to a Contest

  17. Maybelline Malaysia Lets Fashion Influencers Try their New Product

    Maybelline Malaysia partnered with nine of the top Malaysian Instagram influencers to bring awareness to their new product: Baby Lips Electro Pop lip balm. Similar to Gap’s strategy above, the Instagram influencers were featured on Maybelline’s social media channels wearing the new product, in exchange for sharing Maybelline content on their personal channels with the #DareToNeon hashtag. The influencers also helped Maybelline promote a contest to encourage fashion-passionate teen-tween girls to share their own photos of using the new lip balm. It was a small demographic, but in the end more than 700 photos were posted, helping the #DareToNeon campaign reach over 300,000 people.

  18. Partnering with Major Publications to Offer Influencers Exposure

    Buick pitched 9 Pinterest influencers in non-automotive fields to enter a design contest, in which they would create Pinterest boards showcasing how the new Buick Encore resonated with their passions and personal style. Lifestyle magazine editors (from publications like Oprah and Lucky) voted among five finalists for a single winner, whose Pinterest design was then translated into a conceptual design for the Buick Encore, to be featured in the 2013 New York Auto Show. Buick’s campaign was massively successful in terms of brand publicity on Pinterest – Michael Wurm Jr., the winner of the contest, alone has close to 4 million followers!

  19. Tata Motors Invites Twitter Influencers to Compete for a New Car

    To promote the launch of their new electric car, the Tata Bolt hatchback, Tata Motors featured four twitter influencers in an online reality show, where they were “locked” in 4 glass cubicles, and needed to generate the most online buzz to escape, and win a brand new Bolt in the process. Tata Motors also offered prizes to the influencers’ top supporters to drive even more engagement. The campaign was a smashing success, creating massive amounts of shares and engagement throughout the contest.

  20. App Company Evokes Tweets and Instagram Posts with a Contest

    Startup Sprout It launched their new gardening app with a contest to engage and connect with influential home and garden bloggers. Bloggers could share a photo of their backyard with the #GrowInspired hashtag for the chance to win a backyard makeover. The campaign was a hit, connecting Sprout It with the online home and garden influencer community and reaching over 313,000 people on Facebook and 60,000 on Twitter.

  21. HuffPost Features Bloggers in a Thanksgiving-Themed Challenge

    Huffington Post reached out to nine bloggers with a challenge: create a festive Thanksgiving project on a budget. Huffington Post featured each bloggers’ work in a cute, informative article, with links back to each blogger’s site. A simple pitch that worked out well for all parties involved.
     

    Guest Posts, Roundups and More

  22. Craft Your Pitch Like a Wikipedia Page

    Ryan Moore needed media support for his documentary “A Year Without God,” so he pitched journalists how he thought they’d like to be pitched. Rather than sending an email that would blend in with all the rest, he made his pitch look like a Wikipedia page, keeping it at one page and including photos. The pitch was unique and made it easier for journalists to get the gist of the pitch quickly.

  23. Give to Influencers Before You Ask

    Brian Harris, the founder of Videofruit, put Gary Vaynerchuck's “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook” pitch strategy to good use in an email pitch to HubSpot. Gary V’s strategy is more easily understood as “give, give, give, ask,” i.e. give a ton of value before asking for anything in return – or don’t ask for anything at all. It’s like Babette Pepaj says, “The key is to get on their radar and earn their interest before it's time to hit them up with a pitch.” Brian went above and beyond in his email pitch, crafting a custom, minute-long video sample of what he could create for them (this is a lot of work). His only ask? If they’d be interested in something like that. One time, he even sent an iPhone app to a bestselling offer for free. Now that’s a jab!

  24. Pitch People the Way They Want to Be Pitched

    Ashley Hockney of Teachable successfully reached out to well-known entrepreneur (52.4K Twitter followers) Chris Ducker with a pitch. Why did he respond later that night? Because she did her homework, read on his website that he prefers to be contacted via Twitter, and acted accordingly! She may have been more comfortable sending an email, but she did her research and it paid off.

  25. Show Off Your Credentials to Make It Easy for Them to Say Yes

    When blogger Ludwig Sunstrom, of Start Gaining Momentum, set out to pitch one of the biggest self-development blogs in the UK, he took a risk and ignored the site’s advice to not bother with credentials when sending in a pitch. Ludwig crafted a killer pitch that concisely shared his background and included links to 3 guest posts he had written and 3 relevant posts from his own blog. The site he pitched was appropriately impressed, and gave him the guest post right away.

  26. Give Bloggers More than One Option in Your Pitch

    When a PR agent set out to promote a client’s book, naturally she went looking for bloggers who specialized in writing book reviews and who wrote in the book’s niche, finding one’s life purpose. But when she pitched these bloggers, she gave them three options of contribution to choose from: host a guest post from the author, interview the author, or publish a book review. This array of choices allowed her to craft a quick pitch that also appealed to bloggers of different styles, with different schedules!

  27. Keep an Eye Out for Roundups

    Dave Schneider of NinjaOutreach looked for roundup posts in his niche, and crafted a clean and clear email pitch to have one of his posts included in a roundup of award-winning business blogger Matthew Woodward.

  28. Listen to Your Grandma: Thank You Letters Pay Off

    Another win from Dave Schneider, this time from closing the loop with the influencers whose answers he included in his roundup post mentioned above. He sent them a quick follow-up email to thank them for their time, provide them with a link to the published post and invite them to read and share the post on a few different sites if they wished. Your grandma was right: don’t forget your “thank you” letters!

  29. Offer a Major Influencer Exclusivity

    Jason L. Baptiste pitched TechCrunch with an exclusive story of his soon-to-be-launched WordPress plug-in, and it was a live blog post less than 5 hours later. Baptiste’s pitch worked so well because: 1. He clearly and concisely described his plug-in (what it did, why it was useful, why it was special, etc.), 2. He included links to make it easy for TechCrunch to read more or contact him, and 3. He sweetened the pot by giving TechCrunch exclusive access to the story and offering giveaways to TechCrunch readers. Easy as 1, 2, 3!

  30. Detailed Research Pays Off

    Dave Schneider sent Sean Ogle of Location180 an email pitch, asking if he could guest post on Ogle’s site. Ogle agreed, no doubt due to Schneider’s stellar pitch, which included detailed research into which articles performed best on Ogle’s site and a detailed explanation of what he wanted to post and why it would be valuable to Ogle’s reader-base.

  31. When the Subject Line Grabs Attention, Your Pitch Will Be Read

    When one blogger pitched Huffington Post with an offer for an exclusive story, they used an email subject line that practically guaranteed their pitch would be looked at: “Is a Barbie Body Possible [Exclusive Study – Infographic].” Remember Jerrid Grimm’s words here: “Your email subject line might be the only thing a busy reporter will ever see, so make it count.”

  32. Opening a Pitch E-Mail with an Xzibit GIF

    When the creators of the Next iPhone keyboard app sent an email pitch to BuzzFeed, they decided to speak their target’s language. They knew that BuzzFeed articles are often filled with GIFs and memes, so rather than send a boring text-only email (like everyone else does), they opened their email with an Xzibit (the rapper and Pimp My Ride host) meme. And what do you know, BuzzFeed featured their app in an article soon after that!

  33. Prezly Strikes Gold with a Roundup Post

    Prezly sent email-pitches to experts asking them to contribute to a roundup post with their answers to the question: “What is the #1 thing PR pros can do to build solid relationships with influencers on social media?” Over 50% (!) of the email-pitches received replies, and Prezly crafted these replies into one of their most popular content pieces yet. Using high quality visuals to spruce up the blog post, SlideShare for an initial traffic boost, and social media promotions tagging even more influencers, Prezly ended up with 13,500 SlideShare views, 550 tweets, 4,000 website visits, 17 newsletter subscribers and 9 signups for their PR software.

  34. When an Influential Blog Asks you for a Link to their Site, Ask them for a Guest Post

    When Hubspot reached out to David Schneider of NinjaOutreach, pitching him on adding a link to a Hubspot article to one of his own blog posts, David made the most of the opportunity. He agreed, in exchange for an introduction to someone he could talk to about writing a guest-post for Hubspot. Schneider received an introduction and promptly landed a guest-post, which ended up including two links back to his own site: one in his author profile and another in the article itself! Not only that, but the article he wrote, on “Outreach Scripts Used by The Pros”, allowed him to link to other experts. This gave him a perfect excuse to email these experts, to let them know he wrote about them, thus starting the “courtship” (as Jeff Boss puts it) process necessary to building a lasting business relationship.

  35. Bombas Re-Pitches Influencers with Each Achieved Milestone

    When running their IndieGogo campaign, Bombas socks reached out to the same list of media influencers every time they hit a new milestone. People who didn’t reply when they had $20k in funding decided to hop on board and feature their campaign when they’d hit $100k in funding. As Robleh Jama of Tiny Hearts Apps says, “the media operates in a story-driven attention economy. You have to make things compelling for the reporters or writers that you’re pitching.” A $100k-funded success story is certainly more compelling!

  36. NinjaOutreach Rake in the Guest Posts with Offers of Free Giveaways

    The folks at NinjaOutreach reached out to prominent bloggers pitching guest posts in exchange for three lifetime licenses to use their new product, one for the blogger, and two for the blogger’s audience. The email-pitch template they used converted at a consistent 20%!

  37. "Big Leap" Lands a Huffington Post Article with an 85-Word Pitch

    The marketing agency, Big Leap, promoted a video of their client, Extra Space Storage, by crafting a short article highlighting the video and then pitching this article to major publications, like Huffington Post. Big Leap did their research and found a Huffington Post reporter in their niche to pitch to. A short and sweet email-pitch landed them the guest-post, which ended up receiving over 200,000 Facebook Likes and 15,000 shares.
     

    Supporting a Good Cause

  38. Hawaii Knows Hawaiian Travel Influencers Love to Love Hawaii

    To attract first-time visitors, Hawaii’s tourism department started an Instagram campaign inviting Instagram users to share their experiences of Hawaii with the #LetHawaiiHappen hashtag. To get the campaign rolling, they pitched top Instagram influencers and influential Hawaii natives to contribute their own content highlighting Hawaii’s lifestyle and natural beauty. The campaign generated over 100,000 posts, and 65% of everyone reached by the campaign said they now plan to visit Hawaii within the next 2 years.

  39. Sprint Appeals to Influencers’ Sense of Morality

    Evan Kraus, the VP at APCO Worldwide, helped Sprint raise enough public support to prevent AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile back in 2011. Evan and his team demonstrated Sprint’s commitment to shared values like competition, innovation and free-access to key influencers, who in turn inspired millions of people to voice their objection to the merger to the FCC when they opened for public comment.

  40. Reebok Pitches a Fitness Campaign to an Author Who Needs It

    This campaign perfectly exemplifies the power of offering your services to an influencer in need. In this case, bestselling author Chetan Bhagat needed help bringing fitness back into his life. Reebok stepped in and designed Reboot 100, an exercise and diet plan designed to transform the author in 100 days. In exchange for the help, Bhagat shared his experiences and his progress (or lack thereof!) with his 10+ million fans online.

  41. Boxed Water Connects Influencers to a Nature Friendly Cause

    Boxed Water started the #ReTree campaign in 2015, where they pledge to plant 2 trees for every post posted with a photo of Boxed Water and the #ReTree tag. They recruited top Instagram influencers for help spreading word, gaining access to over 3.7 million followers. In exchange the influencers got to support a good cause, and be seen doing so of course! To date, nearly 135,000 trees have been planted, solid strides on the way to their goal of 1 million by 2020.

  42. Swisspers Snags Top Influencer Engagement by Connecting Their Campaign to Charity

    Swisspers set up a #SleepNaked campaign to encourage women to remove their makeup before bed. To spread news of the campaign and stir up engagement, Swisspers pitched top influencers to share makeup-free photos online. Whoever sent in the most popular photo would receive a donation to their charity of choice. Influencers love contributing to a good cause, and Swisspers put that knowledge to good use!

  43. Miss Possible Invites a Major Influencer to Support their Cause

    When the folks at Miss Possible: Dolls to Inspire reached out to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls on social media, all they had to do was introduce themselves to get featured on the Smart Girls Facebook page. Even major influencers are happy to support a good cause when it aligns with their interests and values, and in this case Miss Possible’s mission to empower and inspire young girls matched up perfectly with Smart Girls’ mission to encourage women of all ages to be their authentic selves.
     

    Organizing Live Events

  44. Invite Influencers to Events in Their Field

    Sometimes influencer pitches are quite simple: let them know of an event they might be interested in, and invite them to come along and share about their experience. This worked well for ad agency Emisare, which pitched home design bloggers to attend the furniture industry’s largest event, High Point Market. Bloggers obliged, chose their favorite designs and shared about them online, boosting attendance and generating plenty of social buzz.

  45. Verizon Invites Influencers to Attend Meetups and Start a Community

    Verizon needed to generate buzz around its fiber-optic communication services, but there was no existing community to tap into. So they created one! Verizon hosted a number of home innovation meet-ups in New York and Boston, and invited various tech and innovation influencers to join in on the emerging conversation. Most people, and tech and innovation geeks especially, love to be on the leading edge, so attending was a no-brainer. Verizon now has a community of over 1000 members to draw influencer power from in future campaigns.

  46. Food Lion Invites Bloggers to Compete in a Cook-Off

    To refresh their image and promote their brand as a source of fresh, cheap ingredients, Food Lion hosted a cook-off for local Baltimore food bloggers, with each blogger competing to the make the best, cheapest meal using only Food Lion ingredients. A fun activity, delicious, healthy food, and some friendly competition – what could the bloggers say but yes?

  47. Beauty Bloggers Are Taught How to Give Head Massages

    To promote their #ArtOfOiling campaign, coconut oil hair company Parachute Advansed enlisted the help of a number of beauty bloggers. The bloggers were flown to an event in Mumbai, not only to be treated with delicious food, and head massages by massage experts. They were also taught the massage techniques themselves, to share with fans. They also wrote articles about the event and Parachute Advansed's products, which were all featured on Parachute Advansed's social media channels.

  48. Toyota Pitches a Free Test-Drive, and Delivers a Wild Surprise

    YouTube stars Rhett and Link show up yet again! Toyota roped them in with an offer of a standard free test drive, which would be filmed and shared on everyone’s social media channels. Rhett and Link agreed, unknowingly signing up for the ride of their life! The test drive ended up taking them to a Motorcross course, complete with jumping dirt bikes, fireworks, rings of fire and more! Toyota’s video reached more than 130k views, while Rhett and Link’s videos mentioning the campaign reached more than 10 million!

  49. Thinking Outside the Box: A Scooter Company Pitches Food Influencers for Help

    Rather than enlist the help of influencers more obviously connected to their company, Mahindra Scooters took another tack. Instead they pitched food bloggers to join an arranged ride through the streets of Bengaluru and Mumbai, using the scooters to visit famous foodie spots. The influencers live-tweeted the event throughout the day, and were featured in a photo/video gallery of the ride on Mahindra’s site.

  50. Social Media Stars Love Going to Sponsored Parties

    Revolve Clothing set out to define itself as a major fashion trendsetter with their epic Coachella campaign a few months ago. They enlisted the help of multiple social media stars to share branded content with their audiences. Revolve also hosted a Desert House party, invited the social media influencers along and had them share their experiences online, with the hashtag #RevolveFestival. The campaign ended up pulling in 16 million views, 12,000 likes and reaching over 30 million people.

  51. Pitching 43 Harry Potter Influencers Old School

    The W20 group needed help getting Harry Potter fans to content-driven events like webinars and red carpet nights. Emails sent to fans about upcoming events were getting a half-percent click-through rate, if they were lucky. So Bob Pearson, the president of the W20 group, turned to the 43 influencers behind most of the Harry Potter-related share conversation. Pearson ditched the mass-emails and decided to bring some old-school class to the table, inviting the influencers to events, calling them and writing personal, individual emails. The payoff? With 43 influencers engaging their readers and stirring up excitement, the CTR of Harry Potter event-emails skyrocketed to 9.5-10%!

  52. The Way to an Influencer’s Heart is Through Their Stomach

    Lyfe Kitchen, a restaurant and retail grocer line, used the powers of influencer marketing to grow their business and expand into 1000 new super-markets in just a few months. Working with top social media influencers in the sports and health and fitness worlds certainly helped, as well as food tastings for a sports management company and for Self Magazine editors, which lead to raving articles and plenty of word-of-mouth exposure.

  53. BMW Lures Influential Olympic Athletes with Free Test Drives, Which Draws Huge Crowds

    The sports marketing agency Octagon developed a national influencer campaign for BMW in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics in London. The campaign involved inviting consumers to special test-drive events with USA Olympic team members attending, promotions of $1000 allowances towards purchasing a BMW, $10 donations to the U.S. Olympic Committee for each test drive taken, a blow-out event in Time Square, and an event at a hospitality center for athletes and their families in London called the USA House. The chance to meet Olympic athletes drew over 40,000 people to 277 events. BMW sold cars to around 5000 people, and in the following weeks, their site visits jumped 26%, their YouTube channel got 80,000 new views, and 14,000 new fans joined them on Facebook.

  54. Dole Throws a Pre-Coachella Brunch for Top Social Media Influencers

    To connect with Coachella’s large health- and wellness-focused audience, Dole invited social media influencers to a healthy, outdoor-brunch to kick off the last day of the music festival. The influencers shared photos with tags back to Dole’s page and the #sunshinesquad hashtag. The top posts received more than 15,000 likes all together.

  55. H&M Organizes Candid Photoshoots for a Top Instagrammer

    H&M teamed up with model and Instagram influencer Hailey Baldwin for a Coachella campaign to promote H&M’s new Coachella-inspired clothing line. Both sides featured each other’s content on their channels with the campaign’s #HMLovesCoachella hashtag. Hailey Baldwin accessed H&M’s 14+ million fans, and H&M reached Baldwin’s 5+ million. One photo received nearly 300,000 likes in a single week!

  56. Nikon Gives Influencers Cameras

    Nikon partnered with Warner Sound for a wildly successful influencer campaign at the 2012 SXSW event. Over 500,000 people online watched musical performances live-streamed using Nikon cameras. Select influential artists were given Nikon cameras to share their experiences back-stage. Stations and roaming photographers also gave public event-goers the opportunity to use the Nikon cameras and instantly share their photos on social media channels. More than 1,100 photos were captured, with more than 15,000 social media posts using the #NikonWarnerSound hashtag, one of the top-trending conversations throughout the 3-day event. In the end, the campaign resulted in 46 million media impressions in leading publications and 166 million social media impressions.

  57. British Airways Hosts Influencers in an Airborne Innovation Lab

    British Airways organized an event like none other in 2013. Prominent Silicon Valley thinkers from companies like Google, IBM and Microsoft were gathered on a flight from San Francisco to London. En route, they brainstormed 22 concepts to address four angles of the STEM challenge, eventually choosing a winner for each category: fostering women in STEM, expanding STEM, meeting U.S. demand for STEM talent and growing local STEM opportunities in emerging economies. These concepts were presented to a UN Committee in London. British Airways promotes their airline, associates themselves with some of the top thinkers in the world and the United Nations, and helps facilitate potentially world-changing conceptual action-plans. Not bad for a day’s work!

  58. Hosting Influencers as VIPs at a Summit in Shanghai Pays Off

    The PR company Edelman helped HP by successfully pitching nearly 600 international influencers to attend a massive HP product launch at a Global Influencer Summit (GIS) in Shanghai. The influencers got front-row/first-in-line access to the unveiling of over 80 new HP products, as well as invitations to attend an exclusive product showcase, talks by keynote speakers, and six private HP strategy-and-vision sessions. Over 60 million readers were reached through 2,500 articles about the launch, and Edelman alone was responsible for more than 74,000 social media conversations during the 2-day event. In total, 35 billion (that’s billion with a b) media impressions were generated around the world, during a controversial time for HP, no less.
     

    Turning Over Social Media Account Control to Influencers

  59. Capital One Lets Influencers Use its Instagram to Show Off the Contents of Their Wallets

    Capital One put a twist on their “What’s in your wallet?” campaign by putting a twist on typical influencer marketing tactics.
    Rather than simply featuring influencers on their Instagram channel, Capital One gave three Instagram influencers – photographers Zach Rose, Paul Octavious, and Kimberly Genevieve – access to their channel! The influencers shared photos of the unexpected contents of their wallets, bringing Capital One to the attention of their combined audience of more than 750,000 followers. The campaign increased Capital One’s overall image perception by 3% and ad recall among consumers aged 45 and up by 25%.

  60. Birchbox Lets a Blogger Curate Their Monthly Box of Sample Products

    Birchbox sends samples of the hottest new beauty products to its subscribers every month – a perfect opportunity to bring in some outside influence!

    They invited blogger Emily Schuman, of Cupcakes and Cashmere, to curate their May box last year. Both Birchbox and Schuman promoted the campaign with Instagram photos, resulting in over 18,000 likes. Birchbox spread news of the campaign to Schuman’s 260K+ Instagram followers, while Schuman’s own blog was spread to all of Birchbox’s fans. Talk about a win-win!

  61. Birchbox Hands Over the Instagram Reins for Mother’s Day

    Birchbox gave Christina Zilber, founder of Jouer Cosmetics, access to their account for Mother’s Day last year.

    Zilber posted four photos of her life in L.A., bringing her audience together with Birchbox’s for a day of shared passion for beauty and fashion. The day ended with a giveaway, where users could win cosmetic products by sharing their favorite beauty tips learned from moms. 1,135 user-generated posts and a flurry of comments marked high levels of engagement for a successful campaign.

  62. Coca-Cola Lets a Social Media Star Take Over Their Snapchat Account

    Coca Cola regularly hires social media star Cody Johns to run their Snapchat during large events, such as NASCAR races. Johns creates all the content, and also gets the opportunity to cross-promote it with his own channels, while Coca Cola gains access to Johns’ hundreds of thousands of followers.
     

    Free Product Giveaways

  63. Philips Gives a Top YouTube Chef a New Kitchen Tool to Cook with

    To promote their new Air Fryer, rather than trying to create their own YouTube channel, Philips simply tapped into an existing star’s channel: Sanjay Thumma, of VahChef. Philips gave Thumma the Air Fryer to cook with – and not just for a week or two! Philips sponsored a six-month long branded online cooking show with Thumma using the Fryer to make different dishes. The videos combined have millions of views!

  64. The Best Influencers to Pitch are the Ones that Best Fit Your Values

    As Brandon Gains at Referral SaaSquatch reminds us, “Influencers with popular content tend to accumulate large followings. But this doesn’t necessarily make them the best fit for your company.” So to reach more of the American market, Nespresso made sure to team up with Instagram influencers that perfectly fit their classic, clean, and modern style. In exchange for sharing photos of drinking Nespresso with their thousands of followers, tagged with #ACupAbove and @nespressoUSA, each influencer received a healthy dose of the entrepreneur’s fuel-source: coffee!

  65. Lord and Taylor Dresses Up Instagrammers in the Same Dress

    Fashion company Lord and Taylor put a spin on the classic “roundup post” with this campaign. Rather than sending emails to elicit answers to a single question, Lord and Taylor sent 50 influential Instagrammers the same dress to wear and share photos of. The targeted campaign worked well, and the dress sold out the following weekend.

  66. HP Has Artists Test the Creative Power of Their Computers

    When looking for influencers to test and review their new Spectre x360 notebook, HP turned toward artists rather than techies. By highlighting examples like gymnast and Olympic medalist Samantha Peszek, who was pitched the idea of using the notebook to fine-tune her routine, HP broke out of the tech-box and demonstrated the creative capacity of their new product to a broad range of audiences.

  67. Acura Gives Influencers a Week with the New Acura

    Acura promoted their new Acura ILX a few years back by giving top millennial influencers a week to try out the car. The influencers naturally hopped on the opportunity, sharing their experience with their temporary rides via blogs, tweets and videos, leading to boosted Acura sales and a 750% ROI for Acura!

  68. Give Influencers the Chance to Become Brand Ambassadors (and Make Money on the Side)

    Huckberry takes the free-product-giveaway tactic of influencer marketing to the next level, by setting up key influencers as brand ambassadors, with access to their own online store, with curated items. Influencers can then share links to the store with their followers, and for every purchase made, they receive a commission!

  69. Daniel Wellington’s Pitches Include Free Watches

    Using the power of influencer marketing, the Swedish watch company transformed from a small $15k startup to a huge brand-name in only five years! Daniel Wellington (DW) pitched top Instagram influencers to be featured on their channels by giving out free watches, and providing discount-codes for their audiences to use. DW also uses the #danielwellington hashtag and a daily best-photo contest to encourage regular people to post their own photos of DW’s products. More than 800,000 photos have been posted with the #danielwellington hashtag so far, and in 2015 alone, DW made around $220 million without investing a dime into traditional advertising.

  70. Opera Coast Keeps Things Playful by Sending Influencers Surprise Packages

    To break into India with their new mobile internet browsing app, Opera India eschewed the email pitch and went right to the gift package. Packages were sent to artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and more, each one containing a personalized note, an invitation to use the new app and a bag of kinetic sand to play with and stir up the creative juices. The influencers shared about their experience receiving the package and using the app online, and many were featured in an Opera Coast video.

  71. US Soccer Enlists the Public Support of America with Personalized Jerseys

    To hype up support for the US Women’s National Soccer Team leading up to last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, US Soccer sent personalized jerseys (Obama, Yoncé, etc.) to hundreds of influential politicians, musicians, actors, athletes and celebrities. Happy to support America and the Women’s Soccer Team, many influencers posted photos of themselves wearing the jerseys, along with the #OneNationOneTeam hashtag.

  72. GNC Earns Influencer Trust by Focusing More on Supporting than Promoting

    GNC set out to show consumers that its products are great for more than just bodybuilding. They did so by reaching out to influencers interested in heart health, super foods, gluten-free diets, and yoga (among other things), and engaging with them by adding to ongoing conversations in forums and social media groups. Only once a relationship was built did they send more information and free samples, encouraging them to share feedback online.

  73. K-Mart Sends Gift-Cards to Bloggers and Their Fans

    Including benefits for the influencers’ fans is a great way to raise the value of any influencer pitch. K-Mart sent 6 bloggers gift-cards to use on shopping sprees, which they would write about on their blogs. They also sent each blogger a $500 gift card to give away to their fans in a contest, which they entered by leaving a comment. 

  74. Everybody Loves Chocolate…Including Influencers

    To drive sales for a limited edition chocolate, Cocoa Colony pitched top Instagram influencers with an offer they couldn’t refuse: join their campaign in exchange for chocolate. Each influencer received two premium boxes of chocolates, one for them and one for their audiences. Even if you’re not a chocolate company, this is probably one of the best influencer pitch strategies around!

  75. Sphero Gives SnapChatters the Ultimate New Toy to Play With

    The toy company Sphero needed help promoting their new Star Wars toy, the BB-8 droid, so they turned to top SnapChatters to include the toy in their videos. The influencers got to play around with an awesome toy, and Sphero tapped into powerful influencer markets. The campaign reached 10 million views in a single day, with over 500,000 engagements across social media channels.

  76. Live Lokai Hands Out Bracelets to the Right Influencers

    Live Lokai, a relatively small company at the start of the year, struck marketing gold with their campaign for this year’s Coachella festival. To introduce their festival-friendly bracelets to festival-goers, Live Lokai pitched traditional and social media celebrities alike with free bracelets and branded content to share with their fans and followers. The campaign was a massive success, generating 2.2 million views, 14,000 likes, and reaching a jaw-dropping 40 million people!

  77. Aeropostale Give Outfits to Top Instagrammers

    Aeropostale knows they can drive massive sales just by getting top Instagrammers like Aspyn Ovard Ferris, Meghan Rienks and Suede Brooks to post photos wearing Aeropostale’s outfits. And that’s exactly what happened. Aeropostale hooked up these 3 Instagram stars with some clothes, and in exchange they shared photos of the outfits with their combined audience of 3.6 million followers.

  78. Giving Mom-Bloggers Ice-Cream to Eat and Write About

    Wendy’s found influential mom-bloggers and paid them to try out their Frosty cones and then write about their nostalgia-inducing effects. Not surprisingly, the campaign was a success! Wendy’s was featured in a number of different blogs, and hordes of readers suddenly found themselves craving a Frosty cone of their own.

  79. Give Bloggers a Party-Kit and They Will Throw a Party!

    Daily’s Cocktails and Wholly Guacamole teamed up for an Oscar’s themed campaign that leveraged blogger influence to great effect. The pitch went like this: each blogger would receive a variety of products from both brands, as well as their own roll-out red carpet, to throw a pre-Oscars movie night with friends. They would then write up review posts of the products, including photos of the night, and share it across their social media channels with the #RedCarpetReady hashtag. Of the 150 bloggers pitched with this fun idea, 125 signed up for the campaign, which in the end pulled in a 786% Return on Investment for Daily’s Cocktails.

  80. Pitching Influencers with Science to Market Chocolate Milk

    Weber Shandwick applied influencer marketing in a campaign for the Built With Chocolate Milk campaign. The public relations firm pitched health and sports influencers – sports nutritionists, fitness bloggers, scientists, and famous athletes like Hines Ward – with scientific information on the benefits of chocolate milk, and the chance to be featured in their campaign as authorities on the subject. The campaign successfully shifted public perception of chocolate milk from nothing more than a kid’s drink to a viable, healthy performance beverage, leading to a consistent increase in sales every year since the campaign’s start in 2012.

  81. NatureBox Sends Food to a Mom-Blogger

    Capitalizing on the knowledge that 20% of women shopping online look to bloggers for purchasing advice, and that word-of-mouth drives twice the sales that paid ads do, Naturebox looked for ways to access the mom-blogger sphere. Enter blogger Joanna Goddard, of A Cup of Jo, whom Naturebox pitched for a cross-promotional campaign. Naturebox sent Goddard some of their healthy snacks, and then posted three photos of her children munching them down. This resulted in 1,200 likes and the attention and trust of Goddard’s audience, over 50,000 readers at the time.

  82. Jaguar Gives a Young Instagrammer a Car to Drive for a Month

    To dispel its stale image as a car only for older, wealthy British drivers, Jaguar gave a young American Instagram star an F-Type coupe to drive around and pose in. She shared photos of the experience to her more than 275,000 followers, tagging @jaguarusa, and the following month Jaguar saw an 8% increase in sales, and its best September month of sales ever for the F-Type.
     

    Organizing Trips

  83. BREAKING NEWS: Bellagio Suites and Helicopter Rides Are More Enticing than Guest Posts

    Bellagio Las Vegas teamed up with Beautiful Destinations, the largest travel influencer on Instagram right now, to increase brand reach via an epic #UltimateVegas campaign. 20 of some of the top social media influencers in the world were invited to stay at the Bellagio and participate in events such as helicopter rides, sharing their experiences on social media channels with the #UltimateVegas hashtag and tags back to both the Bellagio and Beautiful Destinations. The campaign also used a contest to drive user-generated content to Bellagio’s Instagram page. Almost 43,000 posts have been tagged with #UltimateVegas thus far!

  84. Turkish Airlines Expands their Reach by Flying YouTubers Around the World

    Turkish Airlines teamed up with 10 top YouTube influencers for an epic travel campaign. In exchange for flying these influencers around the world, Turkish Airlines gained access to the influencers’ collective audience of over 40 million subscribers. One influencer’s video alone has received nearly 1.2 million views!

  85. Johnnie Walker Turns Influencers to Globetrotters with Sponsored Trips Around the World

    To increase their reach and promote their brand-values of adventure, memorable experiences and enjoyment of life, the whiskey label Johnnie Walker regularly pitches top influencers with sponsored trips around the world. Influencers have visited Formula 1 races in Milan, Johnnie Walker heritage sites in Scotland and luxury product launches in Shanghai, sharing photos to their followers and links back to Johnny Walker.

  86. Tugu Takes an Instagrammer to Lombak

    Asian hospitality brand Tugu pitched travel Instagrammer Jack Morris with a sponsored trip to the exotic Indonesian island Lombok, resulting in photos shared with his 1.1 million fans, one of which received over 40,000 likes in 2 weeks! Morris gets a trip of a lifetime, Tugu inspires legions of fans to visit their stunning locales.

  87. Ford Brings Bloggers on a Unique Fishing Trip

    To promote their #FordBackToBasics campaign, Ford Canada invited select bloggers and digital influencers to come on a Sturgeon fishing trip and share their experiences on social media. Vancouver-based blogger John Biehler said attending was a no-brainer, as the trip offered unique opportunity to experience something new.

  88. Contiki Sends Canada’s Top YouTubers on a Trip to Thailand

    A surefire way to inspire influencers to share about your brand is to send them on elaborate trips to Thailand! Top Canadian YouTube influencers enjoyed a 2-week trip of a lifetime, sharing near-constant updates with their fans via social media and the #ContikiThai hashtag, and spreading word of Contiki and their #NoRegrets travel ethos.

  89. When Pitching Mom-Bloggers, Include Their Families

    When Abbi Agency pitched mom-bloggers with personalized, sponsored trips to Lake Tahoe, they made a smart move by including their families in the trips too. This is a perfect example of pitching influencers with their lives in mind.

  90. Mariott Crafts a Unique, Personalized Trip to Each Blogger

    Sure, not everyone can afford to send an influential blogger on a cross-country trip, but you can learn from Mariott’s attention to detail here. Rather than send a blanket pitch of the same trip, each influencer received a unique experience. Both the trip pitched and the pitch itself was customized to fit the style of the blogger, how they write, what they’re interested in, who their audience is, etc. The end result was eight separate yet simultaneous itineraries for 8 bloggers to share online with their audiences.

  91. Contiki Promotes the Wild Side of Travel with Videos Featuring Top Travel Influencers

    The group travel company Contiki Legends partnered with top social media travel influencers to promote their brand and get audiences excited about travel. Contiki sponsored a series of videos with themes like Jump, Explore and Party, taking the influencers on different trips and adventures. Altogether the videos have received over 2.6 million views and 42,000 likes.
     
     

    Sponsored Videos

  92. AMC Invites YouTube Stars to Make a Video

    To promote the release of their new drama Halt and Catch Fire, AMC reached out to YouTubers “The Fine Bros,” and offered to sponsor a promotional video that would fit right into their existing “Kids React” series. The Fine Bros were happy to oblige, and create a cute, funny video showing kids reacting to old computers from the 80s, perfectly yet subtly fitting the theme of Halt and Catch Fire, a fictionalized account of the first computer companies. The video was a hit, and to date has over 18.5 million views.

  93. Buick Recruits YouTube Stars for a Viral Video

    Buick sponsored YouTube stars Rhett & Link to make a comedic video urging people to spend less time on their phones. The video, which features a Buick vehicle, now has 9.7 million views and over 150,000 likes.

  94. DragonVale has a YouTube Star Bake a DragonVale-Themed Cake

    The creators of the iOS/Android game DragonVale sponsored influential YouTuber Rosanna Pansino to bake a DragonVale-themed cake and share the video to her over 6 million followers. While not everyone has the cash to sponsor videos, everyone can benefit from the kind of creative, out-of-the-box marketing ideas that lead to promoting a videogame through cake! The cake itself was featured in the game for a limited time and the video included a quick demo of the game and links for Pansion’s audience to play the game for free. So far the video has received over 1.1 million views and 26,000 likes.

  95. Marriott Invites Influencers to Star in Prank Videos

    Mariott pitched a number of influential YouTubers to contribute to and star in a series of sponsored and branded videos. The campaigns successfully promoted the Marriott brand to millions of YouTube subscribers. One video involved throwing a surprise party for a guest, and to date has over 3.8 million views.

  96. "Try The World" Does it All: Free Food, a Sponsored Video, Audience Giveaways and More

    Try The World, a company that offers customers curated boxes of gourmet foods from around the world, pitched a YouTube star with more than 300k subscribers an irresistible offer. She received a free box of food, a 30% discount code, and a branded link with her name in it to share with her fans. All she had to do was create a video of trying all the food and share it with her fans.

  97. CuriosityStream Pitches a YouTube Product Placement

    CuriosityStream sponsored a product placement of their new educational streaming service in a LinusTechTips YouTube review video, gaining access to the popular YouTube channel’s 2.6 million subscribers. CuriosityStream included in the pitch a promo code for LinusTechTips’ audience. The video has 473,000 views and almost 13,000 likes.

  98. Lenovo Features Influencers in Interactive Videos

    Lenovo brought on four Twitter influencers to promote their new Yoga 2 tablet. Rather than pitch them the same old plan to share reviews on Twitter, Lenovo got creative and set up a gamified website to feature the four influencers in interactive videos. Each video featured one of the influencers trapped in a box, and users had to hunt for clues to get them out, learning about the new tablet in the process. Lenovo’s campaign tapped into the large audiences of the influencers, and the influencers’ own reach was broadened due to being featured on Lenovo’s website and as teammates of the other influencers.

  99. Audible Lets a YouTuber Flex His Full Creative Muscle

    To reach new audiences on YouTube, Audible gave YouTube star JacksFilms full creative freedom to promote them in his own style. The decision to hand over the creative power paid off, with the video reaching more than 1.5 million views. Audible also created a custom URL with Jack’s YouTube channel name for Jack’s fans to access a free Audible trial.

  100. Wendy’s Connects Influencers to Fans with a Unique Live-Streaming Campaign

    Wendy’s promoted new summertime drinks by utilizing Live-Stream technology to connect fans with YouTube stars Rhett and Link, of Good Mythical Morning fame. Sponsored videos are nothing new, but it’s no wonder Rhett and Link decided to join such a creative campaign, where they got to interact with new and old fans alike, live, making up personalized songs and skits on the spot. The campaign was a hit for Wendy’s and Rhett and Link definitely had a blast!

How many of these pitching strategies and tactics have you already tried? Have you mastered any of them already? What Epic Pitches do you think we left off our list and need to be shared? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

 

Written by Scott Brown
Scott Brown is the founder and CEO of NewswireGenius.
As an entrepreneur and a marketer, Scott has used publicity as a marketing tactic but felt that it could be made more efficient through data science. By allowing marketers to drill down on PR strategies used by successful companies in their industry, NewswireGenius aims to add science to the art of publicity.