March 23, 2020

How Influencer Marketing Helped KILROY Raise Brand Awareness [Case Study]

A journey of a thousand miles begins with KILROY

Founded in 1991 in Denmark, KILROY is a travel agency that offers tailor-made advice and affordable trips for young people and students. They believe that experiencing other cultures has a profoundly positive impact on the individual’s perspective.

We had a chat with Annelies Hulshof, Online Marketer at KILROY Belgium and Luka Host, Influencer Marketing Manager at Influo, who managed the influencer marketing campaigns for Annelies. Both campaigns, #mykilroymoment, and #mykilroydream, had outstanding positive results. As a result, this helped KILROY Belgium power up its brand awareness and positioned its brand as a go-to travel buddy for young, dynamic people.

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Bright lights, big city

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Considering KILROY is an international company, how do you approach marketing?

Annelies: In every country, there is a local, dedicated digital marketer. In our Copenhagen headquarters, there are specialized content marketers that help create content for each market and support regional marketers.

Our digital marketing activities consist of various online channels. We use everything from Facebook, Instagram, to Google ads. We must reach our audience online as our customers are young people who are digital natives. In addition, together with our online channels, we also try to focus on offline marketing, like organizing events and travel fairs.

Engaging new audience through contest and storytelling

How did you start with influencer marketing?

Annelies: KILROY entered the Belgian market in 2015, so we are still a relatively new brand. Therefore we made generating brand awareness one of our most important goals last year. Given the fact we had a specific target audience, influencer marketing seemed like a perfect fit.

All countries have different budgets, meaning the bigger the market, the higher the budgets are. Each region decides on the model and scale of their campaigns. In Belgium, we decided to work with a small group of micro-influencers and we ran two campaigns. This helped us spread the word about KILROY, attract new followers to our @kilroybelgium Instagram account, and position ourselves as a new player on the market.

What factors did you consider when deciding to work with Influo?

Annelies: We needed an agency that would lead the project as we didn’t have experience working with influencers. For that reason, we started looking for a platform with a good database to discover influencers that would fit well with our brand. When we discovered Influo, it offered a full circle service and it seemed very professional, so we decided to give it a try.

I saw many benefits in our two teams collaborating: you bring the expertise on influencers, and we have the knowledge of the market. Overall, we enjoyed working with Influo tremendously, as you showed confidence and high-level expertise from the start.

The campaigns were very well set up, starting from the concept up to technical execution. The implementation of hashtags, setting up a landing page and tracking the journey of the audience was easy.

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Don’t wait for another year. Don’t wait until somebody else says it’s okay. Don’t wait. Things will keep going and life will keep happening and before you know it, life will flash by in the blink of an eye! Time doesn’t wait for anyone. So take risks and create opportunities for yourself. Make decisions for yourself! Because no one else but you can make them! Just believe in yourself, believe that anything can happen! •
The biggest step we took this year was leaving our comfy life behind us and start traveling the world together. 🌏 Were we afraid? Hell yeah! But we just made the decision to follow our dream! And so can you! • A lot of people ask us how we plan such a big trip and the answer is that we couldn’t have done it without @kilroybelgium 💛 They helped us plan this adventure of a lifetime, arranged our flights, our campervan, tours and so much more. That’s how #MyKilroyDream came true… If you want to know more about how we planned our trip with @kilroybelgium and their world-trip tool, tomorrow we will be showing everything you need to know in our stories 💫. •
What are your New Year resolutions? Are you going to take a big step in 2019? 🙌🏻. •
#ad #collab #kilroybelgium #kilroy
#neverstopexploring #passionpassport #traveltheworld #worldtrip #poweroftravel #chasingtheworld #travelgoals #travelinspiration #roamtheplanet #travelnow #discovertheworld #discoveraustralia #uluru #ayersrock #outbackcollective #roamearth #placestosee #worldnomads #travelinspo #wheretonext #wanderluster #coupleswhotravel #amazingdestinations #passportinonehand #themoderndayexplorer

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“Influo stands for ethical influencer marketing campaigns, and that really wouldn’t have aligned with our values.”

In most influencer marketing campaigns, influencers get to try out the product. This wasn’t the case with these campaigns, as KILROY was working with a limited budget. Sending 25 influencers on a trip was not an option. So how did you go around that?

Luka: We had to get creative with the campaigns. Of course, we could have just given the influencers cash and said go promote this product and say you love it without ever trying it. But that’s just not right. Influo stands for ethical influencer marketing campaigns, and that really wouldn’t have aligned with our values.

The campaigns

Can you tell us more about the first campaign #mykilroymoment? What do you think about the content that the influencers created for that campaign?

Annelies: We created the #mykilroymoment campaign as a contest, to make it fun for the influencers and their followers. The goal was to generate some buzz around the #mykilroymoment hashtag. The objective of the influencers was to encourage their followers to use the #mykilroymoment hashtag as many times as possible. The more hashtags their followers posted, the more they got rewarded. On top of the other cash rewards, the influencer with the most hashtags got a voucher of €1,000 that they could use for any KILROY trip.

The content each influencer and their followers shared was really good! People still use #mykilroymoment hashtag even though the campaign has been over for more than a year, which proves the quality of the campaign. It’s great to see content from influencers to inspire other people that are passionate about traveling.

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Ondanks dat ik momenteel weer even in een dipje zit, sluit ik binnekort 2018 af met een goed gevoel en heel veel mooie herinneringen. Voor het eerst na jaren te vechten tegen een eetstoornis en ondergewicht maakte ik een fysiek zware reis naar Zwitserland die je alleen kan met een gezond gewicht en mindset. Ik kan niet in woorden uitleggen hoe dankbaar ik ben dat mijn lichaam mij naar dit soort plekken wist te brengen ondanks dat ik er al die jaren zo slecht voor heb gezorgd. Dit geeft mij extra motivatie om uit dit dipje te komen en in 2019 gezond en wel twee maanden richting Amerika te vertrekken! Ik ben klaar voor de toekomst en klaar om weer heel lief te zijn voor mijn lichaam. Waar trekken jullie naartoe in 2019? ‍ ‍ ‍• @kilroybelgium heeft namelijk een geweldige worldtrip tool waarmee je jouw eigen reis heel gemakkelijk kan samen stellen. Een link en meer uitleg vind je in mijn story’s! ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍• #ad #collab #mykilroydream #travel #edrecovery #mentalhealth #warrior #bodypositivity

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Can you tell us more about the second campaign #mykilroydream, and how did you approach that project?

Annelies: With #mykilroydream, we wanted to generate awareness about our (then) most recent product, which was an online tool that helps young people plan their trip around the world.

The key message of the campaign was that while getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, big dreams can be achieved. While #mykilroymoment was launched as a contest, the main concept of the #mykilroydream campaign was storytelling. The influencers shared a personal and inspirational story of overcoming their challenges, and they encouraged followers to share their stories about what scares them and what is their biggest dream. We wanted to promote a positive message about how anything is possible once we get out of our comfort zone.

The result

Both campaigns had considerable success. How did you measure the results?

Annelies: Through set up KPIs, of course. The KPIs from both campaigns exceeded our expectations. In the first campaign (#mykilorymoment), we had an initial target of generating 50 hashtags. In the end, we gathered over 500! It’s crazy. Both campaigns struck the right chord with the audience.

However, it’s hard to track the long-term results of these campaigns because we don’t know if these campaigns influenced people to book a trip with us. In our industry, there is an extensive customer journey, from making the decision to finally purchasing a trip. On the brand awareness level, we achieved what we planned. People in Belgium got to know KILROY, who we are, and what we do. We’re also planning to launch a brand awareness survey to further analyze the outcome of the influencer campaigns.

Do you have any advice for the companies who are just starting with influencer marketing?

Annelies: Influencer marketing is not as easy as it seems. You have to be careful about who you choose to promote your brand. It’s really important you find influencers who are authentic and who your target audience can relate to.

We see so many influencers popping up every day, as there is a lot of money revolving around this industry, which makes it hard to trust everyone completely. I would advise doing research and an in-depth analysis of the demographics and interests of the followers of the specific influencer before starting any conversation.

Campaign results

Facts about KILROY

  • Founded: 1946
  • Industry: travel
  • HQ location: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Number of employees: 421

The campaigns

  • 2 campaigns run on Influo
  • 96 pitches by influencers in total
  • Deals made with 25 influencers in total
  • Total fan base reached: 487K
  • Rewards: cash reward and KILROY travel voucher

Campaign goals:

Generate general brand awareness for KILROY within the target audience of students and young people who might consider traveling or following their dreams.

The talent

Some of the influencers Kilroy worked with so far:

Results:

  • 420K impressions on social media
  • 30K people engaged on social media
  • 17,56% engagement rate on social media
Content type Amount Impressions Engagement Engagement rate
Instagram post 34 171K 30K 17,59%
Instagram story 39 189K
Facebook post 1 769 44 5,72%

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