Influencer marketing has become an incredibly popular marketing channel across both B2C and B2B brands. Every industry has influencers, and every business can work to grow their name by tapping into the audience of celebrities, bloggers, and public figures.
Consider how a restaurant’s traffic would spike after Anthony Bourdain ate there or how an H&M dress would sell out when worn by a pop star. Bringing influencers through your doors is one of the best ways to promote your brand.
If you want to leverage social media influencers, follow these tips to learn how you can use influencer marketing to grow your business.
1. Host Events and Fundraisers
Everyone hopes an influencer or celebrity will just walk through their doors, but it’s highly unlikely that it will happen organically. If you want people to notice your brand, you need to give them something to pay attention to.
Host in-store events and activities that bring people to your store. This could be a dog wash or a car show or mom’s night out depending on your brand. You can also host fundraisers to support causes in your community, so that when customers come out they know they are making a difference.
As you create your event, send out special invitations to your social media influencers. After all, you can’t expect them to immediately know that you have an event planned. An invite will increase the changes that they attend. Also, create opportunities for attendees to post about the event, with photo ops and social media tags. This will create a buzz around your business even if your influencers don’t attend.
2. Ask Influencers to Share Their Experiences
Whether the social media influencers arrive at your brick-and-mortar location on their own or because of an event that you invited them to, ask them to post about your brand and their experiences with it.
This doesn’t have to be an in-depth review. Often, a simple mention from an influencer is enough to drive interest and traffic for a brand.
Your influencers can share photos of your restaurant or spa and talk about what the food was like or how much fun they had. Just make sure they tag your business so their fans can check out your brand when following the influencer’s recommendation.
3. Send Out Free Samples
If you run a product-based business, consider sending out product samples to influencers and asking them to share reviews.
Unboxing videos are incredibly popular, especially in younger generations. These are videos where an influencer orders an item and then opens it, explaining the features and the experience as they do so.
For example, an influencer might order a charcoal mask and explain what the packaging is like, what the mask feels like, and whether or not they recommend it. Unboxing has become so popular that even Amazon encourages people to share their video reviews of products.
4. Look for Paid Influencer Marketing Opportunities
When most people think about social media influencers, they think about the Kardashians or YouTubers who make several thousand dollars per post. While these influencers have a massive reach, you don’t have to work with these personalities (or their budgets) to hire influencers.
The most common influencer budget size is $1,000 - $10,000 per year, which means many brands only spend about $100 per month on the low-end of influencer marketing. While Kylie Jenner won’t return your calls for $100 per month, many local influencers and smaller personalities will likely accept that payment (or a similar, larger amount) to promote your brand.
These are often hobby influencers who promote brands for fun or social media influencers who are just starting out. You can also find local bloggers in your area or influencers in your niche and set up a paid promotion plan where they talk up your brand.
5. Create Cool Photo Ops
Social media is incredibly visual. Twitter and Facebook both prioritize posts that have images, while Instagram and Pinterest are built entirely around sharing visual content.
Your social media strategy needs to be highly visual, along with your influencer marketing plans. About 80% of marketers use visual content in their social media marketing, so you are likely to be ignored (or stand out in a bad way) if you only post text and links.
If you want your influencer marketing to be effective, then make it visual. Give customers something to take a photo of and share with their friends.
The #foodporn on Instagram has 200 million tags, proving how badly people want to take great photos of what they’re doing and post them on the web. If you want to have success with social media influencers, then you need to create something visually appealing that people want to find and like.
Additional Reading: How to Grow a Social Following Using Your Physical Storefront
6. Track Your Social Media Mentions
As you start to grow your influencer marketing program, make sure you track your mentions from notable influencers. Take screenshots and record noticeable posts and see if those posts turn into noticable changes in your foot traffic. You will soon be able to see which influencers change the behavior of their fans and turn potential audiences into new customers.
Remember, in the world of social media marketing, quality beats out quantity. It is better to have an influencer who wows your target audience and makes them take action than dozens of mentions that get widely ignored.
Go Further With Social Media Influencers
Working with social media influencers is a smart way to generate interest about your brand and drive new customers into your business.
For more tips on how you can leverage social media to reach new customers, check out our recent post: 25 Themed Social Promotions for Brands. With this list of ideas, you’ll never struggle with wondering what to post on your social channels. Read it now.