11 Influencer Marketing Case Studies with Unbelievable Results

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Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the past several years. What started as a novelty tactic for a select few digitally native brands has now become a multi-billion dollar industry and a mainstay for ecommerce startups and retail stalwarts alike.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to some of those brands in several influencer marketing case studies and look inside the strategies that have helped them become household names in their respective fields. But first, let’s get familiar with some recent trends. 

Influencer marketing stats and trends you should know 

Influencer marketing is now nearly a $5 billion industry in the U.S.

Many brands increased their influencer marketing efforts this year as a cost-efficient way of driving sales and improving brand awareness amid a looming recession. In the U.S., influencer marketing spending reached $4.99 billion in 2022. By 2024, that number is expected to grow to $7.14 billion. 

As of July 2022, the most popular influencer marketing platforms by spending were as follows:

  • Instagram: $2.23 billion
  • YouTube: $950 million
  • TikTok: $770 million
  • Facebook: $740 million

Influencer rates are on the rise. 

According to a recent survey, nearly 300 veteran influencer marketers said that rising influencer rates was one of the most common trends in 2022. As a result, many have begun prioritizing nano and micro influencers over their macro and celebrity counterparts. 

Smaller creators’ generally lower rates and a higher likelihood of accepting free products in exchange for products make them ideal partners for beginner and enterprise brands alike. However, bootstrapped brands interested in partnering with all creator sizes have found success in an affiliate model—a commission structure that only requires brands to pay influencers who get results. 

11 influencer marketing examples to inspire your next campaign

1. ICHIGO Inc. 

ICHIGO Inc. is a startup from Tokyo, Japan. It provides consumers with a subscription box service meant to celebrate Japanese culture through candy, snacks, and kawaii merchandise. 

Goal

In early 2022, ICHIGO Inc. built out an affiliate marketing program to generate buzz for its TokyoTreat and Sakuraco boxes. By zeroing in on high-performing creators who genuinely love the Japanese culture represented in ICHIGO Inc.’s products, the company planned to nurture a strong community of influential fans who share their brand affinity with engaged audiences.  

Execution 

ICHIGO Inc. works with creators of all sizes and pays them a flat rate or commission based on the number of conversions pulled in for the brand’s Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco boxes. The program deploys creators on multiple social media platforms but focuses primarily on YouTube creators who can reach an audience in the 18- to 50-year-old age range. As an extra incentive for their audience, ICHIGO Inc. gives each creator an affiliate link to offer their followers $5 off a subscription box. 

Results

With the help of GRIN’s intuitive affiliate marketing features, ICHIGO Inc. could execute multiple campaigns from start to finish and report on the success of each. As the brand continues to grow, ICHIGO Inc. relies on GRIN to nurture authentic relationships with niche creators and keep the brand love flowing. 

Within one year, ICHIGO Inc. was able to:  

  • Increase its creator roster by 30x. 
  • Recruit and retain creators with a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and the ICHIGO Inc. brand. 
  • Execute multiple creator campaigns each month.

Check out the full case study.

Ichigo AD example for influencer marketing case studies

2. Branch Basics

Branch Basics provides direct-to-consumer, non-toxic cleaning products. Each one comes with a concentrate that users mix with water in refillable bottles that are lighter on the wallet and the environment.

Goal 

Branch Basics hoped to scale its influencer program to have an army of brand champions providing authentic product endorsements for its non-toxic cleaning products. In addition to having its creators post about the brand on their personal social media accounts, Branch Basics wanted to repurpose the highest-performing creator content across its entire marketing mix to get the most out of its partnerships.

Execution

@julesacree Use ‘JULES’ for 15% off @Branch Basics starter kits #ad #cleaningtiktok #cleaninghacks #minimalist ♬ autumn – Study Beats

Branch Basics executed its influencer marketing program in two tiers—affiliate and paid. Its affiliates work on a commission basis and receive links to share with their followers. When an affiliate performs particularly well, the company offers them a paid partnership. 

But before Branch Basics partners with a creator, it always sends the prospect a free product to ensure they genuinely like them and can learn how to use them properly. This leads to more authentic content that helps move the needle for their followers.  

Results

Branch Basics counts on GRIN to help scale its influencer program while saving the team time it can use to build long-term relationships with creators. Branch Basics now maintains a large creator roster that genuinely loves the brand while still managing to reach out to roughly 300 new creators monthly.

With GRIN’s all-in-one Creator Management platform, Branch Basics effectively manages: 

  • 100-150 affiliates per month. 
  • 25 paid partners per month.

Check out the full case study.

3. Inkbox

Inkbox is a Toronto-based semi-permanent tattoo and accessories company founded in 2015. With its Freehand Tattoo Marker, custom design platform, and more than 10,000 artist-created designs, millions of people in over 190 countries have used the company’s products to express themselves with their plant-based, cruelty-free technology called For Now Ink™ that lasts 1-2 weeks.

Goal 

In October 2022, Inkbox ran a gifting campaign to drive awareness and build positive sentiment for the launch of the brand’s extended Freehand Tattoo Marker collection. The team sent products to 200 creators, emphasizing those who had used Inkbox before and enjoyed the experience, hoping they would fall in love with the new suite of Freehand Tattoo Markers and post about it organically and in a way that feels most authentic to them.  

Execution 

@joels.tattoodesigns tatted up thanks to @inkbox, so sick 😎 #inkbox, #tattooideas, #tattoomarker, #ad ♬ Hell N Back – Bakar

Because Inkbox sent products to so many different creators, the brand needed a way to track which ones posted about them organically. The brand also needed a way to perform outreach at scale, easily generate affiliate links, organize content, and secure necessary content rights.

Results

With GRIN’s help, Inkbox has built a community of high-performing creators who love the brand—many of whom have transitioned into long-term partnerships as brand ambassadors. And with a growing content library generated from its recent gifting campaign, the rest of the Inkbox team has plenty of amazing content it can repurpose across the entire marketing mix. 

From October 18, 2022, to December 9, 2022, Inkbox accumulated:

  • 70+ creators in the Freehand Tattoo Marker activation. 
  • 800k+ reach from creator content. 
  • 40% unprompted creator posting rate. 
  • 2x content received from typical evergreen campaigns.

Check out the full case study

4. Cuts Clothing

Cuts is a premium clothing brand specializing in T-shirts, sweatshirts, bottoms, and hats. The company’s goal is to provide clothing that is professional enough for work and stylish enough for a night out without sacrificing comfort.

Goal

Cuts recently executed a product seeding campaign with nano and micro influencers with the goals of growing the creators’ social presence and increasing Cuts’ brand awareness on TikTok. Success for the campaign meant establishing a sustainable “content farm” of high-performing creators to collectively produce 20-30 pieces of content with a 10%+ engagement rate and <$120 cost per acquisition (CPA).

Execution 

@cylussandoval #ad New Fall collection out now, link in bio to check out the rest of the collection. Use code CYSANDOVAL to save. #cutsclothing ♬ original sound – Marcos

The campaign assigned its creators 1-2 TikTok videos per month, each with a specific theme centered around a new product, collection, holiday, etc. New creators started on a one-month trial run, with the top performers invited for extended partnerships where they could become brand ambassadors and work more closely with the brand. 

Results

While leveraging the GRIN platform, Cuts created a team of 15 micro influencers who produced professional-grade content with little to no lift from the brand’s end. 

The campaign generated:

  • 30+ original TikTok videos.
  • 10%+ post engagement rate. 
  • <$120 CPA. 

Check out the full case study

5. Blue Wheel Media

Blue Wheel Media is an omnichannel marketing agency, helping beauty and wellness industry clients scale their ecommerce businesses by providing advanced digital marketing, content production, and marketplace advertising solutions. 

Goal 

For a recent partnership, Blue Wheel helped a haircare industry client drive sales by leveraging a paid influencer program with more than 100 nano, micro, and macro creators on TikTok and Instagram. After contributing to the paid campaign, each high-performing creator had the option to stay on long-term and earn commission through an affiliate program. 

Execution 

Blue Wheel needed the most efficient workflow possible to juggle the goals of its haircare partner, along with other clients relying on the agency to scale their influencer marketing programs. Blue Wheel also needed a way to provide a detailed overview of campaign success to prove their efforts were working. 

To keep everything running smoothly, Blue Wheel needed streamlined solutions for:

  • Influencer payments.
  • Communication.
  • Link generation.  
  • Content management. 
  • Reporting success. 

Results

GRIN’s leading Creator Management platform has all the tools required to help Blue Wheel’s haircare client reach their revenue goals and then some. 

With GRIN, Blue Wheel has access to:

  • Personalized Email Sequences. One-off emails are a thing of the past. With GRIN, Blue Wheel can communicate with all its prospects and partners at scale and generate automated follow-ups. Organized Content Library. Blue Wheel has all of its creator content under one roof. 
  • Ecommerce integration. GRIN integrates seamlessly with the ecommerce stores of Blue Wheel’s clients, making creating and assigning Affiliate Links a breeze. 
  • Activations Dashboard. Blue Wheel can easily track deliverables, analyze content, and see which creators need to be paid, all from a single dashboard. 
  • Reporting Dashboard. All the data Blue Wheel needs to report campaign success to its clients are automatically uploaded to GRIN’s intuitive Reporting Dashboard.

Check out the full case study.

6. nutpods

Nutpods is the #1 non-dairy substitute creamer brand on Amazon. The vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, and Whole30® approved brand is constantly tweaking and expanding its popular flavors to meet the trends and demands of its customers. 

Goal

It didn’t take long for nutpods to grow a dedicated fanbase eager to work with the brand. With a solid core of about 50 brand advocates working with nutpods from its early days, the influencer marketing team’s main goal was to build out an army of equally passionate advocates willing to share the love for their favorite non-dairy creamer company.  

Execution

@nicole_thenomad #ad The BEST matcha, hands down 🙌🏽🍵 the @nutpods make all the difference! #nutpodspartner #matcha ♬ original sound – Nicole Renard

Nutpods decided to step up its game with an affiliate program in addition to its ambassador program. Nutpods gave its ambassadors free products in exchange for content, while its affiliates could earn cash in a traditional commission model. Either way, the brand targeted high-quality creators ready to share their love for all things nutpods.  

Results

Nutpods relies on GRIN to run its product seeding and affiliate programs from end to end. Shortly after signing on with the world’s first Creator Management platform, nutpods grew its influencer roster to more than 250 creators and saw:

  • 1,000+ link code conversions.
  • 600+ orders fulfilled.
  • 3,000+ pieces of new influencer-generated content. 

Check out the full case study.

7. Organifi

Organifi is a superfoods supplement company. Its products are meant to power the mind and body with blends made with whole food, organic ingredients, and less than three grams of sugar. 

Goal 

Organifi’s mission is to bring the benefits of superfoods into every North American household through its line of drink powder products. But Organifi wants to be known as more than just drink powders—the brand prides itself on connecting with its customer community and following their health transformations. Organifi works hard to foster a community among its fans and uses an influencer marketing program to help with that goal.

Execution 

@kelseylynnjones it’s good to eat green! 🥬🥑🌱🥝🥦#plantbasedtiktok #wieiad #healthtok #fyp @organifi #ad ♬ Summer Background Jazz – Relaxing Jazz Nights

Organifi hones in narrowly on creators who most closely resemble their ideal customers. Using carefully crafted buyer personas, the team also pinpoints those directly aligned with the brand’s mission and values. The execution required a ton of creator outreach, but in the end, Organifi had a team of ambassadors who could truly represent the brand and what it stands for. 

Results

Organifi leveraged GRIN to perform seamless creator outreach at scale and manage its entire influencer marketing program without a hitch. 

In just a short period of time, the brand managed to:

  • Send 25k+ outreach emails.
  • Build a roster of more than 250 creators.
  • Generate 10k+ conversions. 

Check out the full case study.

8. Mari + Gold

Mari + Gold is a full-service creative marketing agency specializing in the hospitality, tourism, and lifestyle industries. The agency helps its clients build their brands with tailored strategies involving everything from influencer marketing and organic social media management to public relations, website development, and more. 

Goal 

Mari + Gold mostly partners with event-focused micro influencers who are most active on Instagram. Ideally, the partnerships last at least one year, so the creators have enough time to build brand affinity and generate the best possible results. 

Execution 

A manual approach to influencer marketing isn’t feasible if Mari + Gold expects to dedicate ample time to each of its clients. The team needs a way to communicate with each creator at scale, fulfill product orders quickly, streamline attribution, and analyze and report on the success of each campaign. 

Results 

Mari + Gold’s team has all the capacity it needs to treat every client like its only client. 

From 2021-2022, GRIN helped Mari + Gold generate roughly:

  • 4.5x increase in engagements
  • 480+ new creator partnerships (27% long-term)
  • 2,000% increase in link clicks
  • An average of 88% of campaign emails opened + clicked

Check out the full case study

9. tentree

Tentree is an eco-friendly apparel and lifestyle brand with a mission of planting 10 trees for every item of clothing sold and eventually reaching 1 billion. So far, they’ve planted more than 42 million trees all over the world in places like Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, the U.S., Canada, and more. 

Goal 

At first, tentree invested in traditional sponsored posts using professionally crafted content. But with a growing community of passionate fans, the brand began reaching out to environmentally friendly nano and micro influencers to produce more realistic and relatable user-generated content that could help tentree reach its ultimate goal. 

Execution 

@annevasea #ad @tentree 🌲 #seattlelife #seattlewashington #tentree #seattlethingstodo #seattlecheck ♬ Young – Vacations

Tentree reached out to numerous brand-aligned content creators who couldn’t wait to help the company fulfill its goal of planting 1 billion trees worldwide. Through the use of discount codes and affiliate links, tentree could track which creators drove the most sales for the brand and move its mission in the right direction. 

Results 

With GRIN’s robust Creator Management platform at its disposal, tentree quickly generated:

  • 13x creator ROI.
  • 1,000+ conversions. 
  • 800+ pieces of influencer-generated content. 

Check out the full case study.

10. MVMT Watches

MVMT is a Los Angeles-based retail brand selling high-quality, affordable watches, jewelry and accessories for men and women.

Goal 

Well before Instagram dominated the social media landscape, MVMT’s team instinctively knew its goal should be to work with talented IG photographers and content creators as a content-sourcing strategy. Years before influencer marketing became an everyday buzz phrase, the brand’s young, hip identity made working with influencers a natural fit.

Execution 

@lucabish Cook with us and then use code LUCA for 30% off @mvmt ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

MVMT began sourcing its iconic social media imagery by reaching out to Instagram creators with 30,000 to 500,000 followers willing to produce content in exchange for free products. As the content gained traction online, MVMT realized leveraging creator partnerships was ideal not only for content, but as a cost-effective solution for driving sales. 

Results 

Finding GRIN enabled MVMT to keep up with the rapid growth of its influencer program and become an indispensable tool in its workflow. 

With GRIN, MVMT has seen:

  • 7x influencer growth. 
  • 39k+ pieces of influencer content generated. 
  • 100k+ affiliate and discount code conversions. 

Check out the full case study

11. Trifecta

Trifecta Nutrition provides athletes and health-conscious people with fresh and organic meals delivered right to their door. As one of the country’s largest organic meal delivery services. Trifecta feeds tens of thousands of people throughout the United States each day.

Goal 

Because Trifecta’s product is perfect for elite athletes, the brand’s immediate goal for its influencer marketing program was to build relationships with pro athletes like UFC fighters, bodybuilders, and Crossfitters. Trifecta correctly assumed that the partnerships formed would provide invaluable social proof for the brand and help drive sales. 

Execution 

@jeanlucdecoster Teaming up with @Trifecta to give you guys a discount on some SOLID meal prep 😮‍💨 use the code START40 tobsave 40% when trying it oht for the first time… link in bio! #trifecta #trifectapartner #mealprep #foodie #workouttips #fyp ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

In addition to building relationships with professional athletes, Trifecta expanded its creator program to everyday health-conscious individuals who could generate relatable content and establish a community feel for the brand. Before long, Trifecta accumulated a vast library of quality creator content it could use across its marketing mix, getting the most mileage possible out of each post. 

Results

Shortly after coming on board with GRIN, Trifecta managed to:

  • Add more than 170 creators to its roster.
  • Compose 1,500+ threads of organized email communication. 
  • Produce 2,000+ pieces of influencer-generated content. 

Check out the full case study

Key takeaway: No matter your goals, influencer marketing can help take your brand to the next level. 

From increasing brand awareness to driving conversions and sales, partnering with authentic content creators has been the answer for thousands of brands looking for a cost-effective approach to marketing. The industry has grown exponentially and shows no signs of slowing down, making now the perfect time to implement or expand your influencer marketing program.

Learn more about influencer marketing: Influencer Marketing 101

Updated: June 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

All types of brands have had success leveraging influencer marketing as a strategy. However, the most popular industries include:

  • Fashion
  • Beauty/skincare
  • Sports/fitness
  • Gaming
  • DIY

The U.S. influencer marketing industry reached $4.99 billion in 2022. By 2024, that number is expected to grow to more than $7 billion. 

Influencer marketing’s effectiveness relies on a brand’s ability to leverage authentic content creators to provide honest product endorsements. By identifying creators who share a brand’s mission and values, marketers access to an engaged audience that is willing to listen when their favorite creator recommends a product or service. 

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Written by Quinn Schwartz

Quinn studied journalism at the University of Kentucky and now lives in Portland, Oregon. He’s particularly interested in storytelling in digital marketing and cost-effective creator strategies for smaller brands. When he’s not writing, you can find him at a concert, dog park, or debating whether or not to go on a run.

All-in-one creator management platform helping ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships.

© Grin Technologies Inc. 2022. All rights reserved.

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