When we talk about Brand Partnerships, we often mean a brand collaborating with an Influencer.

While that is true, there are instances where brands have partnered other brands or social groups and leveraged Influencer Marketing. The results could easily make you a believer in Influencer Marketing, if you are not, already.

In most cases, this works well when the campaign is built around a social purpose/action. We live in a time when audiences see clearly through Advertising tactics such as Product Placement. It is, therefore, vital to tie Influencer Campaigns to social issues that Influencers and their audiences care about.

Here are a few cases to help us understand and value social purpose and Brand Collaborations for Influencer Marketing campaigns.

Let’s start with the Belgian brand, Alline. It’s easier to touch on this campaign because the team that worked on this, were my colleagues at the time. Last year, they partnered Pink Ribbon Belgium, to promote their new line of hair growth boosting supplements.

Of course, they could have decided to pay influencers to pose with their product with captions around its offerings, instead, they worked with micro-influencers who encouraged their Instagram followers through their story and feed posts to donate their hair to survivors of breast cancer, while sharing the message about the brand’s latest product and its key selling point to boost hair growth.

This campaign worked well for two reasons:

  1. It revolved around an issue that most people may have experienced, cancer, thus creating a relatable factor.
  2. Influencers called for their followers to support a cause that they cared about while indirectly promoting the product, because, if you have donated your hair you may also be exploring ways to achieve quick growth. 

There are instances, in Ghana, where brands could have taken advantage of brand partnerships and social purpose/action to create awareness around new products.

An example that sticks out to me is the Access Bank, W campaign a few years ago, which sought to raise awareness around new banking products for women while empowering women.

So, let’s assume the bank collaborated with an organization that drives female empowerment while using influencers to leverage conversations around female financial independence.

Again, assuming all 3 actors created content, around the campaign, for their social media channels, this would mean brand exposure to newer audiences who would have otherwise never heard of Access Bank’s offerings or the social organization, social proof, because influencers would share their experiences with the product which would also boost Access Bank’s SEO by increasing their search-ability rankings, which then translates into more leads.

Ghanaian brands are already doing this. A couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon a World Wellness Day and Yoga Day campaign in which Decathlon, a sports wear retailer in Ghana, partnered a Plant-based skincare brand, R&R Luxury, to organise a wellness event, to celebrate the launch of a sustainable refill pack from R&R luxury.

This was part of the sports brand’s KPIs to increase life expectancy at birth from 67 to 77 years. They used a range of influencers from micro, niche to celebrity influencers to spread the message, on prioritising wellness.

The space used for the event and the Yoga instructor both posted the campaign to their respective social pages, tagging Decathlon and the skincare brand.

This campaign works well because;

  1. It revolved around two topical issues, sustainability and wellness.
  2. Both brands share a similar demographic type as targets within their markets. That’s, people who value health and wellness, whatever it may look like for them.
  3. The campaign ran with a variety of influencers to reach a wider audience.
  4. With an Instagram page currently boasting 15K followers, compared to R&R luxury, a well-established African brand, with over 31k followers on the same platform, Decathlon is new to the Ghanaian market.

They leveraged the exposure gained from this partnership to grow their brand in Ghana. A smart move.

  1. This partnership also created awareness opportunities for the brands that played a role to bring the wellness event to life, including the events space and the Yoga service.
  2. This partnership was also an opportunity for R&R to extend its brand beyond Africa by associating with Decathlon, a well-known international brand.
  3. Influencers on this campaign had, in the past, been vocal on wellness-related issues, thus creating a follower base that holds their opinions in high regard.

Ultimately, influencer marketing campaigns that work around Product Placement, are slowly dying out as more Influencers take social action.

They understand the power of their influence and use it to affect issues positively or negatively. This generally draws in an audience that trusts them enough to know that their brand as Influencers goes beyond getting paid.

For your next campaign, look out for Influencers supporting a cause and see how you can weave your campaign around that cause to create a compelling message. Their followers are who you are trying to target.