9 Popular Influencer Marketing Campaign Types: A Brand’s Guide to Leveraging Creator Collaborations

The 21st century has brought several changes and advancements to marketing, but it has also presented brands and marketers with challenges and pitfalls. The number of Internet users increased 18 times between 2000 and 2022, providing brands with a new channel to reach a global audience. Online advertising could increase smaller brands' visibility and reach. Data analysis enabled precise customer targeting and enhanced customer experience.

As a downside, the rapid spread of internet users also led to audience fragmentation. An emerging new generation spent more time online and viewed traditional advertising with skepticism. Consumers were bombarded with commercials and information non-stop resulting in ad weariness and distrust.

One of the major developments in digital transformation was the emergence of social media, which has many benefits as well as drawbacks. People sought out school friends and relatives on these platforms or socialized with individuals with similar interests. Social media's fast-paced nature, endless content streams, and algorithmic features enable users to find like-minded people and make new acquaintances. In no time, brands recognized the marketing potential of these platforms and created branded channels and pages, and utilized their advertising solutions.

As a result of social media outlets, the concept of social proof and influence has arisen, and due to this, the first influencers have appeared on the scene. Initially, they were the social media users who were followed and listened to by millions of people around the world. Businesses were quick to team up with them and advertise their products through them. A new marketing tactic involving creators was born: influencer marketing campaigns.

What Is an Influencer Marketing Campaign?

Typically, an influencer marketing campaign involves a brand and an influential person who promotes the brand’s products or services to a specific target group. Businesses can partner with content creators, industry experts, or social media users with large followings for many reasons, including expanding their reach, gaining more exposure, connecting with niche consumers, enhancing their reputation, driving engagement, and growing conversions. Influencer marketing campaigns can take many forms, from sponsored photo posts and unboxing videos to product reviews. It allows companies to leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing on multiple channels. But influencer collaborations don't just appear out of thin air. They require strategic planning, as well as flexibility and adaptability as social media features, trends, and user behaviors continually change.

What makes a successful influencer marketing campaign?

A successful campaign accomplishes its intended goals and produces positive results. Yet success shouldn't be measured solely through the eyes of the company. It's important that the campaign ends with a positive outcome for the influencer, as well.

For brands

Achieving the campaign objectives: Obviously, this is the top purpose of any marketing activity. Goals will help ensure a campaign message is coherent and reaches its target audience. Goals provide the framework for the entire effort, from influencer selection and content ideation to market mapping and execution. Without them, measuring and determining the collaboration's shortcomings and strengths is impossible.

Genuine connection with the audience: The right content creators enable brands to reach an interested audience as well as engage them authentically, which strengthens the relationship between the company and the clients.

Increased exposure and reach: Having your brand exposed to a large audience is beneficial in itself, but greater visibility leads to increased customer and sales growth, improved brand recognition, and more website traffic. Using the right marketing intelligence tools can be helpful in maximizing your reach.

Positive brand sentiments: Businesses can become more human and relatable through creators who agree with the brand's values. They are able to create content that speaks directly to the target audience and portrays the brand in a positive light.

For influencers

Collaboration opportunity: Influencers learn the ins and outs of brand collaborations through campaigns. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their creativity, knowledge, and skills within a particular framework. Additionally, they can earn money or access free goods and services.

Follower growth: With the right partnership and brand, their content can generate a lot of engagement and grow their following.

Established reputation: By partnering with well-established companies, not only does the brand's credibility and reputation improve, but that of the influencer as well. They can become sought-after thought leaders and authority figures in their fields.

Content: To stay relevant and competitive, creators must keep their followers' attention and be active on social media constantly. Luckily, brand partnerships provide them with content ideas.

Long-term partnerships: A collaboration between a creator and a brand that complements one another is the building block of a long-term relationship. It's clearly a win-win scenario for both parties.

How do you structure and run an efficient influencer marketing campaign?

Influencer marketing is agile, so you may need to adapt quickly to changing conditions, but it's still important to plan ahead. Start by defining what you want to achieve. Clearly defined objectives will facilitate the further planning process, measuring the campaign, and analyzing its performance.

Next, identify your target audience and research other players in your industry. Determine your intended customer's demographics, interests, and buying habits so you can select creators whose followers are compatible with your target audience. Competitor analysis reveals the strategies used by other companies, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as previous creator cooperations. Compare your performance to that of at least 5-6 of your closest competitors, learn from their mistakes, and gain a better understanding of the market environment.

Select the right influencers who align with your prerequisites, brand values, and campaign goals. Consider studying their engagement rate, audience authenticity, content quality, and past collaborations. Outline campaign details, that include the key message, target audience, goals, dates and schedules, and the campaign’s theme. Brief content creators about deliverables, and draw up a legal agreement that sets out the conditions, obligations, expectations, and legal considerations.

Maintain effective communication with influencers at all times and answer any questions they may have. Foster long-term relationships with influencers by acknowledging their hard work and contribution to the campaign’s success. Ensure that influencer content follows legal and ethical guidelines and that paid, sponsored, or gifted content is properly disclosed.

You can find the best Instagram Influencer outreach template here.

Share influencer content across multiple channels, such as emails, blogs, and your website, after securing their permission. Monitor and measure your campaign’s progress and creators’ performance. Social media analytics and influencer marketing platforms allow you to track the impact and effectiveness of your collaboration. Using these data will help you refine your strategy and stay ahead of the curve.

We can conclude that influencer marketing campaigns, no matter how organic or spontaneous they seem, are well-planned. Still, don't confine creators to a strict format, and don't tell them what to put in their posts. A successful influencer campaign works because the parties collaborate on the content. The influencer brings their creative and distinctive style, while the business provides guidance, so the advertisement can still be identified with the brand. With the basics sorted out, let's look at the nine most common types of influencer marketing campaigns.

Sponsored and paid partnerships are the most common influencer marketing campaign type. Typically, it involves influencers promoting or mentioning the products or services of a business in their content and getting compensated for it. An advantage of sponsored collaborations is that brands of any size and industry can take advantage of them. They simply need to find content creators whose rates are aligned with their budgets and whose content matches their target audience.

Branded content allows businesses to target specific audiences through creators who tailor their content to those audiences' preferences. A brand-sponsored post can also add a fresh perspective to a brand's content strategy through the content of influencers.

As influencer marketing took off, many companies made the mistake of working with influencers who were willing to advertise anything just as long as they were adequately compensated. In light of this practice, sponsored content is viewed with suspicion by many people. Work with influencers who can identify with your philosophy and care more about long-term returns and the needs of their followers than short-term profit.

Paid ads must be disclosed on social media so that users can differentiate between organic and sponsored content. Disclosure regulations aim to protect consumers from deceptive advertising methods and maintain transparency.

Goal: Increase brand awareness and website traffic, lead generation, and introduce new products.

Duration: This campaign type is transactional or short-term in nature.

Complexity: Easy. It's not difficult to plan and execute them. Businesses can communicate the campaign's main idea to their content creators and what captions, keywords, hashtags, and mentions to include.

Compensation: Influencers are usually paid a one-time fee, but some brands also provide them with promo codes that they can share with their followers.

Tracking: Utilizing UTM parameters in the URL will allow the company to monitor traffic directed to its website from the creator's post. Businesses can create custom landing pages and track incoming traffic, or analyze referral traffic with analytics tools.


Giveaways, also known as contests, are collaborations where businesses send free goods to influencers who offer prizes to their followers for completing certain actions. This can include subscribing to or following the influencer’s and the brand’s social media accounts, liking and sharing the post, or tagging a friend in the comments.

Giving away products on social media is the perfect way for businesses to boost engagement and increase excitement about their products. Giveaway campaigns can encourage user-generated content if reposting and using specific hashtags or brand mentions are part of the rules.

Freebies are an attractive incentive for people to participate in your contests, grow your followers, and engage with your content. Make sure the prizes are enticing and offer value for users. The downside of this campaign type is that many people will unfollow you once the campaign ends.

Brands must ensure giveaway contest rules are clearly outlined in the creator's post. Besides specifying the campaign duration, it is also critical to share how the winner will be chosen. Failure to comply may result in your account being blocked.

Goal: Grow reach, engagement, and follower size, and enhance brand exposure.

Duration: Giveaways are one-time and transactional collaborations.

Complexity: Medium. Social media giveaways must be transparent and have straight entry rules. It is important to be aware of platform- and location-specific legal considerations regarding eligibility and disclosure. Communicate effectively with winners and participants throughout the campaign.

Compensation: Influencers should be reimbursed for their work in money or by free products. You may combine monetary and non-monetary compensation.

Tracking: Make sure to monitor brand mentions and campaign hashtags if your entry rules specifically emphasized their use. Track follower growth and engagements.

Influencer affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing was a proven method of increasing sales before influencer marketing. By using affiliate links, companies advertised their products through individuals or other businesses. Their partners were paid a commission or a percentage after each sale. As influencer marketing took off, many brands began working with influencers as affiliates, leveraging their expanded reach and close relationships with their followers to boost sales.

Marketing with influencer affiliates aims to gain new customers and increase the number of purchases, or generate leads, downloads, and signups. With this program, new and smaller influencers who don't have big followings can also earn extra income. Since affiliate marketing campaigns don't require upfront payments to creators, they're particularly beneficial for businesses with small budgets. Affiliate marketing is profitable for all companies, regardless of budget, since the costs are low and the returns are high.

Affiliate collaborations have a relatively low entry barrier, thus anyone can become an affiliate, but it's still important to collaborate with people who are knowledgeable about your niche. Tracking clicks and sales and determining which influencer contributed to the purchase requires extra tools and measures. A disadvantage of this partnership is that the success of your campaign is dependent upon the performance of the creator.

Goal: Drive conversions, grow sales, and generate leads.

Duration: Affiliate marketing campaigns are usually long-term collaborations.

Complexity: Hard. Developing a reliable and prosperous affiliate network takes time and dedication. Results take time.

Compensation: Those brands that have limited spending options may opt to offer commissions after each sale. Commissions combined with a flat fee, however, will incentivize creators even further.

Tracking: Affiliate links and attribution models enable brands to attribute sales to the right person.


Influencer gifting involves sending free product samples to influencers whose followers are similar to the company's target audience. Their goal is to attract the attention of influencers, who will then promote their product or service to their social media followers. Gifting campaigns are cost-effective because influencers don’t have to be paid upfront. It is unlikely, however, that all influencers will accept free products or mention them in any way.

Brands must increase the chances of creators noting freebies in at least one image post as much as possible. This requires a careful selection of influencers and choosing candidates who will like the product or service. Companies should demonstrate their knowledge of and affinity for influencers' styles and previous posts. It is important to put a great deal of emphasis on communication and compiling the product package. Customization is key to creating a WOW effect.

Gifting campaigns have the disadvantage that you don't have control over the contents. Influencer posts may be negative or inconsistent, which doesn’t match the aesthetics of the company. With nano- and micro-influencers, your reach will be limited.

Learn the peculiarities of creating efficient gifting campaigns, get to know how product fulfillment can enhance your campaign results, and how to encourage creators to talk about your products and your brand.

Goal: Increase brand awareness and exposure, drive traffic, foster long-term relationships with influencers, and customer acquisition.

Duration: Due to the need to establish a relationship with the influencer, campaigns of this type are considered to be lengthy.

Complexity: Hard. Influencer gifting is designed to make the influencer feel compelled to share posts about your gifts with their audience without you asking them to do so.

Compensation: You provide free products or exclusive services to influencers as gifts, so there are no fixed fees. Brands may offer promo codes or combine affiliate programs with gifting. In this way, the creator earns after each sale.

Tracking: By tracking unique promotional codes and affiliate links, you can determine which influencers are successful. Check brand mentions and analyze referral traffic closely using analytical tools.

Brand ambassadors

Ambassadors may be influential people or celebrities or your customers who have been huge fans of your product line or content creators who have collaborated with you on previous campaigns. An ambassador represents your brand consistently across multiple online platforms, sometimes extending their role to offline events. They genuinely believe in the brand and its values. They love their products and recommend them based on their experiences.

Brand ambassadorship programs entail creating and nurturing long-term relationships with influencers. Advocates with a notable following, trusted by their followers, or subject matter experts in their niche can help build a brand's reputation. Brand ambassadors can actively participate in product launches. The feedback and ideas they provide help businesses improve their goods and strategies. As a result of their understanding of the brand's message and products, they can communicate with customers and address issues or answer questions.

Ambassadors have a close relationship with their followers, who trust their words. So, scandals or negative media coverage can quickly destroy public trust and undermine even the most carefully crafted campaigns. Another drawback of brand ambassador programs is that they require a substantial financial investment. Thirdly, regular endorsements from the same individual may cause ad fatigue among users.

Goal: Increase brand awareness, enhance trust and establish credibility, and market expansion.

Duration: Brand ambassadorships are ongoing long collaborations between brands and content creators or celebrities.

Complexity: Hard. Requires dedication and mutual trust from both parties and constant relationship building. It takes a lot of effort to identify the right ambassadors. Advocates have to avoid overexposing brands.

Compensation: Typically, they receive regular monetary compensation over a specified period. Plus, they might get customized gifts, exclusive discounts, or early access to products.

Tracking: You can regularly check the level of engagement brand ambassadors’ content triggers. Monitor hashtags and brand mentions. You can easily track sales, if you provided them with unique promo codes or measure the number of clicks if they used your website link in their posts.

Content whitelisting

Influencer whitelisting, creator licensing, and white labeling. There are many expressions for this campaign type which is a combination of influencer marketing and paid social ads. Social media’s organic reach is decreasing year by year, which is why influencer promotions are necessary. But even influencer endorsements can be amplified with creator licensing campaigns.

The whitelisting process allows businesses to use influencers' social media handles and content for paid advertising. Companies can use this sort of campaign to reach a highly motivated but diverse audience, tailor their ads to their tastes, and compare how different influencer content performs.

Additionally, this advertising solution doesn’t spam influencers' feeds with brands’ content, so the creator’s followers won't get tired of their repeated ads. Facebook and Instagram allow companies to create dark posts visible only to the users they want to reach.

Influencer whitelisting may cause some creators to feel cautious because this type of partnership only works if the creator feels comfortable working with the brand.

Hashing out the details of a content whitelisting program with all its legal conditions isn’t a quick process. As part of the agreement, parties need to cover such points as how long businesses can use the content, if full usage rights are granted, and whether they can edit the wording of the post. In the absence of an exhaustive contract, there is a risk of a copyright lawsuit which can cause tension and eventually ruin the relationship between the brand and the creator.

Goal: Expand reach, grow brand awareness, boost traffic, and provide consistent content quality.

Duration: Content whitelisting programs are usually one-time collaborations.

Complexity: Medium. Despite being a short-term, transactional partnership, the legal agreement between brands and creators preceding the actual campaign execution can be time-consuming. Brands need additional tools, such as ad management tools. For the best results, they need to test different captions, text, and CTAs.

Compensation: Businesses can offer a fixed payment or a hybrid reimbursement that combines flat fees with complementary services or products. Influencers involved in white labeling, generally charge higher rates.

Tracking: The ad manager allows businesses to monitor content performance, including impressions, clicks, views, and conversions. By using UTM parameters, marketers can use analytical tools like Google Analytics to track the buyer journey.

Event activations

Businesses use event activations to engage audiences through live shows, sports and music festivals, and conferences. Organizing live events is an excellent way for a brand to promote itself and its products and services. By involving influencers in their campaigns, companies can make these events even more memorable.

Influencers can create teaser posts, countdowns, and behind-the-scenes videos to increase excitement. Checking in live from the venue allows them to highlight key moments in real-time, or share their thoughts and experiences afterward.

Companies have to make sure the creator includes the time and location of an event in their post if it's a festival or conference. Brands should encourage creators to use relevant hashtags, brand mentions, and links. Later on, these will make it easier to track influencer posts' performance.

Goal: Increase brand awareness and engagement, create buzz around new products, build credibility, and showcase unique value propositions.

Duration: Event activations are one-time partnerships between businesses and influencers.

Complexity: Hard. A business must find creators who are a good match for the event and resonate with the target audience. Another challenge brands face is influencers' availability and schedules. The content should complement the campaign's and event's message. Teaming up with mega-influencers requires a big budget.

Compensation: Fixed payment. The bigger names you hire the deeper you have to dig into your wallet.

Tracking: You can determine the level of engagement and anticipation by monitoring brand mentions and hashtags. Adding UTM parameters to URLs will enable you to track traffic and clicks.

Content campaign

Content marketing campaigns aim to provide informative and entertaining or visually stunning resources for users. On the one hand, this approach leverages photos, videos, and infographics to attract and retain consumers. On the other hand, it establishes the brand’s expertise and niche authority.

By integrating influencers into their strategy, businesses can tap into interested audiences and amplify their reach across numerous platforms. The creators can present the brand in a fresh and unique way by incorporating their personal experiences into their storytelling. Influencer-generated content provides authenticity and social proof. The focus is on creating quality content, so it's crucial to work with creators highly qualified and recognized in their fields.

Goal: Build authority, retain audience, improve brand loyalty, and produce high-quality UGC.

Duration: Content campaigns are mostly one-time or transactional collaborations.

Complexity: Easy. Brands must pay attention to brand alignment though.

Compensation: As with most one-time collaborations, influencers are paid a flat fee.

Tracking: It depends on the ultimate goal but it can never hurt to monitor mentions and traffic.

UGC campaigns

In essence, brands that harness user-generated content, or UGC, maximize word-of-mouth marketing. It isn’t uncommon for people to share their opinions with others after trying out a product. Since the Internet and social media have grown in popularity, consumers have more channels through which they can express their thoughts about commodities and services.

Users and customers can create many types of content, including testimonials, reviews, forum comments, unboxing videos, and social media posts. Since UGC comes from people who are already familiar with a brand or product, it provides the strongest social validation. Additionally, it saves businesses money, allows them to be more authentic, it can go viral quickly and humanizes them. Brands can use several strategies to incentivize users to create content. Among them are challenges and contests, prizes and awards, or the chance to join a community.

Despite its many benefits and seemingly spontaneous nature, user-generated content campaigns also need to be carefully planned. Content usage rights, managing and filtering consumer content, and moderating negative posts can make managing a UGC campaign challenging.

Goal: Drive engagement, improve brand credibility and authority, increase brand awareness, and provide social proof.

Duration: UGC campaigns can be either short-term, like the #SwitchTheChobaniFlip TikTok challenge or ongoing, such as the #AsSeenOnMe campaign by ASOS.

Complexity: Medium. Requires an easy submission method and adequate resources to manage the volume of content. Consumer-generated content is often used by brands across multiple platforms, but businesses must obtain permission for that. Additionally, user-generated posts must be in sync with the brand's message.

Compensation: Businesses can offer prizes, awards or products that are not commercially available.

Tracking: Since the campaign hashtag is expected to be used in many campaigns, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on it. Furthermore, mentions and traffic to the company's social media accounts and website can be also tracked.

Which Influencer Campaign Is Right for Your Brand?

And voila! A total of nine influencer marketing campaigns, each serving a different marketing purpose. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which should be considered before making a decision. Think about your goals, budget, and experience in influencer collaborations before you start. To begin with, choose shorter, less difficult campaigns. Nevertheless, if you already have sufficient knowledge and experience, you can engage in longer and more complex campaigns.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
Topics:Campaign Types
July 14, 2023
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 162.2M+ account database.