Instagram influencer + brand collaborations are no longer new in the marketing game, but there are certainly brands leveraging influencer marketing better than others. While the expenditure laid down for some of these collaborations would have brands reaching deep into their pockets, we can still learn and implement something from each and every one of these partnerships.

The experience collaboration

Influencers want to have unique experiences to up their own content game, however this is becoming increasingly difficult to provide as brands trip over themselves and each other to win the experience crown.

Brands are sending influencers on lavish holidays, throwing insane parties and decking out everything with personalisation and boujee gifts, all in the hopes of lapping up some spare clout.

Plus the more extra the experience, the more they share with their fans, the more new eyeballs on your brand right?

You might even find yourself questioning your strategies, asking yourself… is that #Instagramworthy?

While my first experience with this kind of collaboration was with makeup super giant Tarte Cosmetics and their #trippinwithtarte – where they take lucky influencers and their plus ones to locations such as Bora Bora, Bangkok, the Maldives, Turks and Caicos, and Hayman Island, I’m sure they weren’t the first and they certainly aren’t the last company to use the extravagant collaboration tactic.

Mac Cosmetics, Glassons, Beginning Boutique and Benefit Cosmetics are just a couple of other brands that have used a similar game plan.

While payoff in brand awareness and reach can be extremely high, are the impressions long-lasting, and is it worth the exxy price tag?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by SHANI GRIMMOND (@shanigrimmond) on

The ‘everything can be made cool’ collaboration

Brands who have utilised the ‘cool’ girl influencers – especially in the fashion space – have struck gold.

What makes a ‘cool’ girl influencer I hear you ask? These are the influencers who have a religious following no matter how many sponsored posts they do. This is interesting considering we are hearing the words genuine and authentic being thrown around more and more.

As a little creative gold mine, influencer and style queen Izi Angus is a perfect example of this. She has an artfully curated Instagram feed that is a never-ending scrolling advertisement. Hardly any of Izi’s posts are sans a tagged brand, and yet people follow her religiously.

Now, I think Izi has achieved this success by carefully selecting the brands she works with. She rarely strays from fashion – except from the occasional beauty sponsorship – and people now follow her because they want to know where her clothes are from, making the tags appreciated.

In doing this she has also shaped her audience. Brands know that a collaboration with Angus will reach die-hard fashion lovers and the collaboration will probably be a success if you’re in the fashion space.

The lesson here is in how you select the influencer you work with. Match your brand with an influencer and their audience in the right way and you’ll get the right kind of attention.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by I Z I ~ A N G U S (@iziangus) on

The brand ambassador collaboration

Brand ambassadors can become a huge part of a brand, and as such every move they make is a reflection on the brand, too. For this reason you definitely want to get your choice right when it comes to picking an ambassador.

When Bondi Sands first hired Steph Claire Smith to model for a campaign – back when they were still relatively new to the game – they saw potential in Steph. And, boy, I’m betting they are glad they did.

Steph, who has 1.4 million Instagram followers, now acts as a living, breathing Bondi Sands campaign, and with a squeaky clean reputation this is a good position for the brand to be in.

Moral of the story: do your due diligence, don’t be scared of commitment, find the right person and start a long-lasting relationship.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Steph Smith (@stephclairesmith) on

The making a product collaboration

Everywhere we turn an influencer is coming out with their own brand and product. Whether they are doing it solo or partnering up with a brand, one thing is for sure – the people are loving it.

Brands that can get in on this goodness through a collaborated product are bringing in the sales as they open up their appeal to an audience of loyal and supportive followers.

While controversial at times, self-titled ‘holistic health princess’ and YouTube and Instagram sensation Sarah’s Day has nailed every brand collaboration like this.

Sarah has released products with Whitefox Boutique, Loving Earth, The Health Lab and Tropeaka, and this girl has the magic touch because her products crash websites and sell out in minutes.

I think this comes down to two things. Firstly, Sarah has created a cult following and secondly she has a keen business eye. She approaches her platform in a way that makes it a strong business and brand in itself, and is playing the long game by finding avenues outside of social media to earn revenue.

So choose your influencer wisely, make sure you’re on the same page and watch the sales roll in.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sarah (@sarahs_day) on

The package deal collaboration

In a different take on the product collaboration, brands have begun packaging influencers’ favourite products – products that already exist within the brand – into kits and seeing considerable success.

Benefit Cosmetics has now completed two collaborations of this nature with beauty YouTuber Chloe Morello, and the Hembrow sisters, who have been dubbed the Kardashians of Australia.

Both kits did extremely well and involved nothing more than working with the influencers and repackaging their existing products. A much simpler product collaboration.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Benefit Cosmetics Australia (@benefitaustralia) on

The unexpected collaboration

While you could say that brands mostly choose to work with influencers that strictly reflect their brand and product offering, this is not always the case.

Introducing, the wildcard influencer.

I’m not saying you need to go to the opposite end of the scale, but you could instead aim for influencers who are different from your brand, but still have an audience that will enjoy what you have to offer. This middle ground is your happy place.

Katherine Sabbath is a prime example.

While known for her cooking, she has brand deals with numerous companies outside of her niche.

Fashion and athletic labels, tech companies and alcohol brands are all getting in on the Katherine Sabbath market.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Katherine Sabbath (@katherine_sabbath) on

The OG influencer collaboration

Celebrities. The mythical creatures that live in Hollywood and grace our television screens.

While most brands are turning to up-and-coming influencers for partnerships, that doesn’t mean celebrities are out of the game.

Uber Eats recently used this technique in its “Tonight I’ll be eating…” campaign. Using a variety of celebrities and injecting humour, this campaign has stuck in people’s minds.

Its main campaign video has upwards of 2.5 million views on YouTube. That’s a lot of views.

While this is probably more expensive and costs a pretty penny, the point to consider is the pull of celebrity power isn’t dead. Especially, as Uber Eats has found, when you’re showing known faces in compromising situations.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Uber Eats Australia (@ubereats_aus) on

The non-influencer influencer collaboration

These are the collaborations that focus on being genuine and authentic above all else.

They come from the brands that align with influencers who push normality and humour over product placement and aesthetics.

Jadé Tunchy is a prime example for influencer collaborations of this nature. She is sent products and works with brands in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. She has even gone as far as publicly stating that when agreeing to branded content on her channels, she wants to have full creative control.

While her feed is filled with beautifully captured images, you’ll also find funny and realistic pictures and videos using sponsored content on both her feed and stories.

Jadé has a second account @therealjadetunchy, which she describes as ‘here’s what my life looks like without a filter and without me trying to be cute.’

For example, she recently posed in Lahana Swim. Plot twist: she also had her boyfriend pose in Lahana Swim.

While giving up creative control and letting the influencer do their thing may be scary, at the end of the day they have built an audience by being them. They have a following for a reason and what they are doing is obviously working, so why not.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jade Tunchy (@therealjadetunchy) on