Influencer marketing enabled McDonald’s to reach a new audience segment of 22.6k unique new users that had not been targeted previously and also garner 31 million+ reach.
This case study explores how McDonald’s increased the flow of direct orders on their application and website and how the campaign reached 31 million+ users by leveraging influencer marketing, and more.
McDonald’s has been present in India for over 26 years. With the passage of time, the competition intensified in the Quick Service Retail (QSR) industry with brands entering the market. The golden arches have gained popularity on the back of their service, prime locations, and traditional and modern marketing methods.
DRIM, performance influencer marketing platform, in a recent campaign with Madison World, delivered 27.2k for McDonald’s South and West while reaching an online audience of over 31 million. Over 3000 Instagram reels and YouTube shorts were floated around social media and received 20,000+ positive comments, increasing brand call in eight months.
The campaign’s goals have been clear since the beginning.
- To increase the flow of direct orders on McDonald’s application and website.
- To track the performance of influencer campaigns to assess their effectiveness
- Strengthening the brand image in the South and West of India
- Reaching a new audience segment that had not been targeted previously
The success criteria of the campaign was an order placed by a user on the app or the website.
The goal was to identify the right mix of influencers who could drive awareness for the brand in the South and West while also driving paid actions. In total, 51,000+ influencers applied for the campaign, while only 7,000 of the best influencers were approved based on engagement rates, relevance and blog niche.
The creative idea behind the campaign was to leverage the power of influencers to create meaningful relationships with their audience, drive sales, and increase direct sales for the brand vis the app for McDonald’s India (South and West).
The focus was to find and optimize for the influencers that resulted in the best ROI. The main messaging revolved around pitching McD as a beloved food joint which has made ordering with app more convenient. The same was delivered by a variety of different ways depending on the influencers and their niche. Keeping the brand safety and sanctity intact.
Filtering and approving the best influencers out of a large pool of applicants
With over 51,000 influencer applications received, DRIM had to develop a content moderation process to identify and approve the best-performing influencers for the campaign. Using a continuous machine learning algorithm, the brand was able to analyze and identify look-alike influencers to improve audience targeting and find the best-performing creators online.
Conducting a regional campaign for a specific geographic area (South and West India)
The company had to carefully identify and work with influencers whose audiences were predominantly based in these target geographies. This was a challenge as it had no control over the geographic distribution of the influencers’ followers, and it required a highly strategic approach to ensure effective reach and engagement with the target audience.
Educating influencers on creating engaging content
The company educated the influencers on intriguing methods to create content that would engage their audience and, as a result, increase sales.
Regularly optimizing the campaign using in-built analytics tools
The brand utilized in-built analytics tools within its platform to regularly optimize the campaign and improve its efficiency. This approach helped the brand to track and measure the success of the campaign based on actual results, such as conversions and sales, rather than just metrics such as likes and followers.
Ensuring brand alignment with influencer content
They also faced the challenge of ensuring that influencers followed the campaign guidelines and produced content that aligned with the brand’s values and messaging. To overcome this, it provided clear guidelines and maintained regular communication via the influencers talent managers team efforts with the influencers.
Overcoming budget and resource constraints
With a large number of influencers across different segments, the brand had to carefully allocate its resources and budget to ensure maximum efficiency. Despite these constraints, the campaign achieved impressive results, generating over 10 million impressions and a 7x return on ad spend.
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The DRIM team worked with McDonald’s to plan the influencer marketing campaign. The team identified the target audience, campaign goals, and the types of influencers to work with.
They used a continuous learning tool to identify and recruit a diverse and large number of influencers across different channels online in the geographies that the campaign demanded. The goal was to identify the best-performing channels and get the best results out of them. In total, 51,000+ influencers applied for the campaign; however, via its content moderation method, only 7,000 of the best influencers were approved.
The team segmented influencers into mega, micro, and nano influencers. This segmentation was done to reach a new audiences, minimize overlap and maximize the campaign’s impact.
The team approved the influencers based on their relevance to the campaign goals and their ability to reach the target audience effectively. Brand safety is of utmost importance and it ensured that the influencers followed the campaign guidelines and produced content that aligned with the brand’s values and messaging.
Influencers were provided with a unique link to McDonald’s application, which they shared with their followers. In the CPA (cost-per-action) model, the influencers got paid whenever a follower performed a desired action, in this case, an order placed via link which leads to the website or application. This model was beneficial for both parties, as the advertisers only pay for actual results, and the influencers get paid for actions instead of just followers, which is beneficial for measuring efficiency.
The team regularly optimized the campaign using in-built analytics tools within the platform. This optimization ensured that the campaign was delivering the desired results and that the budget was being utilized effectively.
It tracked and measured the success of the campaign based on actual results (i.e., conversions and sales) rather than just metrics such as likes and followers. This helped to determine the campaign’s ROI and its impact on the target audience.
It provided McDonald’s with regular reports on the campaign’s progress, including metrics such as reach, engagement, and sales. These reports helped McDonald’s to understand the campaign’s effectiveness and make informed decisions for future marketing strategies.
By leveraging the power of influencer marketing and the CPA model, the brand was able to drive real business results for McDonald’s while ensuring that the campaign was efficient and effective.
After the initial few weeks, it was identified that the most relevant blogger niches bringing the highest conversions were Food & Cooking, followed by Family, Life Hacks, and Discounts. The exact numbers are mentioned below in the infographics:
The selected bloggers covered 3800+ publications across social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Telegram, Meta (Facebook), and MX Taka Take. 186 mega influencers posted 510 posts, 1075 micro bloggers posted 1686 posts, and 806 Nano bloggers posted 1141 posts.
Within these platforms, the algorithm identified that Instagram was the one that delivered the best results. It also determined the type of Instagram layout that worked best for the campaign and then used this knowledge to grow it further. Among reels, stories, shorts, and IGTV, the algorithm identified reels as the best-performing type of publication that brought the highest number of CPAs (see Fig. below). While reels performed the best due to the engaging nature of the content, the next followed stories where bloggers used stories to reshare their reels and posts to increase the number of times a user interacted with a brand. With every interaction that a user had with a brand, the propensity to make a purchase the next time increased.
With constant campaign optimization and data being added to the system, the publications on the campaign received over 1 million likes, more than 20,000 comments and a reach of 31 million.
Factors that maximized the CPA
What made the campaign stand out from other influencer marketing campaigns was the human touch. While Drim’s operations team took care of the end-to-end execution of the campaign, Madison World could shift its focus to other campaigns that needed their attention.
3500+ social influencers have worked on the campaign, with a cumulative follower base of 16.7 crore and delivered an average reach of 30% of their follower count. Considering the industry standards and average engagement rate of approximately 2%, the 30% engagement rate was the primary driving factor for new users to the platform.
The campaign converted 22600+ new paying users. Influencers, on the other hand, also received compensation for every order they brought in. The campaign’s top bloggers brought an average of 212 new users for McDonald’s.
Orders delivered: Avg. 3.4k+ per month in South and West
Reach of 31 million achieved through over 3000+ publications.
Acquired 22.6k unique new users.
Yulia Aslamova, Head of Asia, DRIM Global, said, “As social media becomes increasingly prevalent, influencers have become a trusted source for product recommendations among their followers. DRIM has been able to bridge the gap between influencer marketing and ROI, as demonstrated in our successful partnership with McDonald’s India (South and West). By utilizing DRIM’s powerful ML technology, we were able to analyze a large amount of data to identify the most effective content types and virality factors.
Through our approach of paying influencers only for successfully delivered, paid orders via the app, we ensured that McDonald’s received a significant return on their investment while providing micro-influencers and top food creators with an opportunity to promote a beloved brand and earn unlimited earnings. Our focus on data-driven optimization and continuous learning sets us apart in the industry and we are excited to continue delivering exceptional results for our clients.”
Imran Ansari, Business Director, Madison World, said, “The campaign has provided a full-funnel benefit to us. Right from awareness to conversions. What stood out was the learning capability of the tool coupled with the manual brand checks by the team. Look forward to more”