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Inside Influence: IAB Influencer Marketing for Publishers Guide & Case Studies

Why Publishers are Increasingly Turning to Influencer Marketing – and What That Means for Marketers

The IAB Influencer Marketing Guide for Publishers outlines how publishers are using influencer marketing tactics to both build their editorial brand and to engage the right audience on their platforms.

Download the IAB Influencer Marketing for Publishers Guide

Below are a few case studies to illustrate how influencer marketing can be used to enhance branded content efforts and publisher events:

Remy Martin

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Remy Martin


  • Publisher: Condé Nast / GQ
  • Brand: Remy Martin
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Draw out themes of luxury and associate their narrative with Remy Martin
  • Execution: GQ used men’s fashion designer Angel Ramos, who has a 40,000+ Instagram following. He was chosen as he was a good fit to reach the target of stylistic, fashionable men.
  • Results: N/A
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Kohl's

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Kohl's


  • Publisher: Disney Digital Network
  • Brand: Kohl’s
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: To increase awareness and affinity for Kohl’s New Jennifer Lopez Collection
  • Execution: We teamed up with Kohl’s to send three top social influencers to the Jennifer Lopez All I Have Tour in Las Vegas and gain backstage access to hang out with J.Lo herself. Decked out in the new collection from Kohl’s, influencers played around in the wardrobe rooms, received personalized Kohl’s x J.Lo Styling and sat in front row at the event. Influencers posted images and videos from their weekend extravaganza across Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. To continue the promotion, each influencer also posted their favorite OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) across multiple platforms post launch.
  • Results: 9.6 million Instagram reach; 9.9 million Snapchat reach; 215K social engagements
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littleBits

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littleBits


  • Publisher: Disney Digital Network
  • Brand: littleBits
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Create awareness for littleBits products and generate the flow of creativity and gift ideas
  • Execution: Disney Digital Network utilized Pinterest Influencers to pin 6-8 pins from the littleBits Pinterest board into their own gift ideas boards. For example, the Eh Bee Family created a custom video for their Facebook page.
  • Results: 10 million total reach; 78K social engagements; 3.4 million total Facebook views
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Sonic

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Sonic


  • Publisher: Disney Digital Network
  • Brand: Sonic – Sonic Sipsters
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: To drive awareness for the launch of the new Sonic Lemonade and Limeade flavor combinations for summer
  • Execution: We aligned with top Millennial Entertainment Influencers to be the ambassadors for the Sonic Drive-In brand. Each influencer created highly-engaging, quirky branded “Sipster” videos on their Instagram profile as hero video content. To build excitement and peak curiosity prior to the launch, influencers posted teaser Snapchat and Instagram content announcing their partnership with Sonic. We also created: 15 and: 30 second pre-roll cut downs to promote across YouTube and all Sonic O&Os (Owned and Operated stations).
  • Results: 15 million total cross-platform views; 576K social engagements; 34% view- through rate
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Almay

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Almay


  • Publisher: Hearst / Cosmopolitan
  • Brand: Almay
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Boost brand and publisher exposure
  • Execution: Cosmopolitan worked with influencer Jenn Im on a campaign for cosmetic brand Almay where Im walked viewers through a tutorial on how to get her signature “Instagram Glow.”
  • Results: N/A
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River Island

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River Island


  • Publisher: Hearst / Cosmopolitan
  • Brand: River Island
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Get the River Island message to both the influencers’ combined reach of 265,000 followers, and Cosmopolitan’s audience of millions, across a variety of platforms
  • Execution: The campaign included four influencers – Lottie Murphy (Lifestyle blogger), Hannah Crosskey (A Fashion Fix), Louise O’Reilly (Style Me Curvy), and Monikh Dale (Tres Monikh) who were presented as part of a branded editorial piece disclosed as “Cosmopolitan/Fan Promotion.”)
  • Results: N/A
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David Webb Jewelry

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David Webb Jewelry


  • Publisher: Page Six (New York Post)
  • Brand: David Webb Jewelry
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Raise brand awareness and drive sales for luxury jewelry house David Webb’s Motif Collection across influencer Natalie Lim Suarez's (@NatalieOffDuty) 493k Instagram followers, and through a shoppable branded content article on Page Six
  • Execution: Post Studios produced a photo shoot with fashion influencer and model @NatalieOffDuty featuring David Webb’s Motif Collection. Selects from the shoot were included in a shoppable branded content article on Page Six, and Natalie posted two of them on her Instagram account. Post Studios also designed the David Webb ads surrounding the branded content.
  • Results: Not yet available - the campaign is still live at time of publication
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Lane Bryant

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Lane Bryant


  • Publisher: Refinery29
  • Brand: Lane Bryant
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: To celebrate, amplify, and generate conversation around Lane Bryant and Refinery29’s The 67% Project
  • Execution: Refinery29 cast five influential creators to partner with for a full year. The ambassadors created
    original social content entrenched in body positive messaging, contributed content to Refinery29, participated in events and live panel discussions, and contributed a cadence of organic, added value content to the partnership. Refinery29 also tapped Danielle Brooks to serve as both a spokesperson and Creative Director of the initiative, creating a greater synergy between Lane Bryant's This Body campaign (in which she appeared) and the integrated partnership with Refinery29.
  • Results: The initiative drove over 295 Million Social Impressions and was nominated for a Digiday Content Marketing Award for Best Brand + Influencer Collaboration.
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Under Armour

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Under Armour


  • Publisher: Refinery29
  • Brand: Under Armour
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: To drive awareness of the Under Armour brand to lifestyle-minded consumers
  • Execution: In 2017, Under Armour tapped host and producer Lucie Fink of Refinery29 for a bespoke and
    exclusive seven-month partnership to reach lifestyle-minded consumers. Under Armour supported Lucie's fitness and creative pursuits during the partnership, and in turn Lucie shared moments from her unique fitness journey across social, integrating Under Armour visually and thematically. Throughout the partnership, Lucie drove awareness for the brand and attended multiple Under Armour events, also appearing on their digital channels.
  • Results: Though partnering with Lucie, Under Armour was able to align with the brand values and authority Refinery29 possesses in the lifestyle space, reaching her highly engaged audience in an authentic way.
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Buick

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Buick


  • Publisher: The New York Times (HelloSociety)
  • Brand: Buick
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Promote the Buick Lacrosse at Fan Fest in Tampa, FL for the College Football Championship.
  • Execution: Content Creation with Influencer, Josh Peck, on a cross-platform social campaign.
  • Results: Josh’s Instagram content delivered the highest overall engagement rate vs. content on Facebook and Twitter. 335% engagement delivery. 100% impression delivery.
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Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

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Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card


  • Publisher: The Wall Street Journal, WSJ. Custom Studios
  • Brand: Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Evolve the 2016 WSJ. Custom Studios program while raising the profile and affinity of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
  • Execution: WSJ. Custom Studios, in collaboration with the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card present, Inside the Moment, an immersive 360-photography execution exploring San Francisco, New Orleans, and Miami. Through interactive hotspot functionality, this program leverages local influencers and their secrets on what to do in town.
  • Results: Over 494,000 views to the custom hub during the length of the program, and each user engaged with an average of almost four pages during their time spent with the program. Over the length of the program, the hotspots were visited almost 80,000 times, with more than 10,000 clicks to the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card site resulting from these hotspot visits. Inside the Moment was named among “The 10 Best Branded Content Partnerships of 2017” by Ad Age.
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Dunkin Donuts

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Dunkin Donuts


  • Publisher: Time Inc. / The Foundry
  • Brand: Dunkin Donuts
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Attract a younger, more female demographic in the most integrated way possible
  • Execution: Entertainment awards ceremonies were used as an effective leverage point to attract the desired audience. The audience was offered behind-the-scenes look as some of Hollywood’s A-list got prepared to stroll the red carpet.
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Chase Marriott

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Chase Marriott


  • Publisher: Time Inc.
  • Brand: Chase Marriott
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Promote the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase to target the small business owner
  • Execution: A three-part video series with travel host/influencer “World Wide Nate”/Nathan Fluellen emphasized the business-traveler’s mindset and journey while demonstrating the card’s rewarding benefits.
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Olay

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Olay


  • Publisher: Time Inc.
  • Brand: Olay (Skin Advisor Tool)
  • Category: Branded Content
  • Objective: Encourage women to discover their personalized skincare regime with the Olay Skin Advisor Tool and Olay products
  • Execution: Through custom digital, social and print creatives, six beauty influencers showed consumers how the Olay Skin Advisor Tool provided them with an Olay skincare regimen tailored to their individual needs.
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Heineken

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Heineken


  • Publisher: Storyful
  • Event: Heineken - Rugby Clubs
  • Category: Publisher Event
  • Objective: Heineken wanted to bring Irish Rugby fans together and celebrate their passion for their sport and respective teams. Their goal was to launch a grassroots campaign that started with local micro-influencers and extended globally through a new website. These influencer stories would be featured on a vibrant microsite showcasing the best rugby fan stories from around the country and encourage other supporters to share their own stories with Heineken.
  • Execution: Storyful found over 25 influencers that launched 10 separate clubs in Ireland. Their clubs became a centerpiece of online hub and helped to associate Heineken with enthusiasts of Rugby.
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Food Bowl

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Food Bowl


  • Publisher: Tronc / LA Times
  • Event: Food Bowl
  • Category: Publisher Event
  • Objective: To amplify the buzz and excitement surrounding the Times’ debut Food Bowl event – a one-of-its-kind month-long food extravaganza inviting the best chefs and foodies from around the world to congregate in Los Angeles in celebration of all things epicurean.
  • Execution: The LA Times tasked their exclusive media partner, Glocally, to identify influencers to meet their goal.
  • Results: Influencers effectively created buzz, for example, Glocally creator @laurenrhoden has received 10.8K views on her Food Bowl video
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Download the IAB Influencer Marketing for Publishers Guide
Read the blog post.

IAB publisher members are invited to contribute additional case studies for inclusion on this page in the format seen below.  You can submit up to three examples, preferably those where you can share as many detailed results as possible. Please send to [email protected] with the subject line “Publisher Influencer Case Study Submission.”