In a world where shoppers don’t shop in isolation but instead rely on others to inspire, inform and educate them throughout the buying process, how can retailers ensure their brand is being seen and heard? Two words: influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing in retail
Influencer marketing is one of the most worthwhile avenues for retailers to connect with shoppers in a meaningful way. With today’s shoppers valuing connection, trust and inspiration from the brands they buy more so than ever before, being able to create meaningful connections with customers is a high priority for retailers. Adopting local influencers to market your brand gives your products a trusted voice, which in turn creates trust in your brand and can increase brand loyalty.
The rise of the online recommendation culture
The culture of online recommendations from perceived experts and celebrities is shaping the way shoppers shop in a profound way. If a celebrity or a social media influencer is using a product and posting about it online, you can guarantee that product will instantly sell out the door. Why? Because shoppers trust social media influencers to help them make a buying decision, in fact, an impressive 92% of consumers trust their peers over company advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions.
How to make friends and influence people
So where and how can retailers find influencers? Social media is hands down the best source for local influencers. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram see hundreds of thousands of influencers motivating hundreds of different retail sectors on a daily basis.
The best way to narrow down the right influencers is to use a hashtag search that’s relevant to your brand, such as #foundation. Judging different influencer social profiles will allow you to see how well they interact with their followers, how influential they are, and who their main demographics are.
Another option is to use dedicated influencer search tools such as BuzzSumo, a search engine that allows you to find influencers such as bloggers using specific keyword phrases or topics. From here, it’s simply a case of touching base with your chosen influencer and chatting to them about how they can market your brand.
The best think about influencer marketing is that you don’t need a large budget or top tier influencers straight of the red carpet. Enlisting the help of bloggers or Instagram personalities can easily be achieved by offering them product, instore credit and of course, an audience.
Who did it best?
Gap’s Styld.by campaign is the perfect example of a simple concept that was highly effective. This campaign engaged multiple influencers (including bloggers, models and singer) who had large followings across social media. These influencers were then photographed wearing Gap products, with a brief blurb discussing the celebrity and their style choices.
The campaign was highly successful in allowing Gap to create a variety of content based on a simple idea and enabling them to reach new audiences in different niches.
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