How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Store
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We all know that influencers can help online businesses meet a variety of marketing goals – from creating brand awareness to driving conversions. However, very few people know and understand the value that offline stores can derive from influencer marketing.
A consumer’s buying journey and purchase intent typically starts online these days. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be directed to offline stores to make the final purchase. With the right techniques, you can drive in-store traffic with the help of influencer marketing.
Here are some of the most effective strategies that you can use to drive traffic to your store.
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Leverage Influencers to Promote New Launches
A great way to drive in-store traffic through influencer marketing is by asking influencers to promote new products or store launches. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool that several brands have used to create a buzz around new launches.
Now, with the rise of influencer marketing, you can work with the right people to build excitement for your launch. Influencers can post about the upcoming launch on their social media. You can plan a series of posts and stories they should publish in the days preceding the launch.
You can also invite popular influencers to your store launches, as that will definitely drive in-store traffic. Influencers have a highly engaged and often massive following. So with news of their visit to your store, you may get plenty of people visiting because they want to meet the influencer. So you can leverage that to drive in-store traffic through influencers.
Check out this post where the popular Olympian Michael Phelps posted his picture at a newly-opened Omega store. The post got over 86K likes and reached his 3.3 million followers. Creating a buzz like that can definitely drive in-store traffic for retailers.
Host Influencer Events and Contests
You can host influencer events and ask influencers from your niche to participate. This will help you in two ways. First, events like these can help drive a lot of in-store traffic as people would gather to see their favorite influencers. Second, these influencers can then post pictures of the event, further enhancing your brand’s online popularity.
For example, LaCroix Water hosted an influencer event where people participated in a contest to create art using empty LaCroix cans. Then they hosted a brunch where all the final designs were showcased and numerous influencers attended.
The best part was that the whole venue was Instagram-worthy and several of the influencers posted pictures about the event and the art pieces being showcased.
Events like this can generate a lot of publicity for brands and help drive in-store traffic by stirring up curiosity about the brand. After all, who wouldn’t want to go to the store and buy one of those colorful cans after seeing such beautiful pictures on Instagram?
Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors
Why look for influencers to promote your brand, when you can leverage your social-media-savvy employees to do that for you? They know your brand in and out, and can help spread the message within their circles.
Using a network of employees to act as influencers and brand ambassadors is an effective strategy to drive in-store traffic and promote your brand.
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Form an Online Community
You can form an online social community comprising of employees and loyal customers to promote your brand, even if you sell only via offline stores. Just because you don’t sell online does not mean you can’t promote your brand online.
You can use this as a platform for employees and customers to post pictures using your products or start a discussion on topics related to your niche. Perhaps you could invite micro-influential fans to be a part of the community to further amplify its impact.
Example – Macy’s Style Crew
Macy’s Style Crew program was started to encourage its employees to share pictures using products sold at their stores. Or they can share any fashion and style content with the community and talk about the latest industry trends.
Post on Social Media
The company also promotes the latest style trends on Instagram using the hashtag #macysstylecrew. So, the same picture or content can be used both for the community and for social media promotions. You could encourage influential fans to use the hashtag as well.
Use Influencers to Create Ad Campaigns
Another great way in which offline retail brands can drive in-store traffic through influencers is by involving them in their ad campaigns. You can either feature popular influencers in your ads or ask them to create the ad content for you.
This will add an element of authenticity to your ads and would help you engage your audience more effectively.
American Eagle did something like this for their Spring 2019 ad campaign. They gave the entire creative control for their ad campaign to 10 Gen-Z influencers. They were tasked with creating ads, including taking pictures, styling, and directing the entire campaign.
Here’s one of the numerous pictures that were created as part of the campaign.
You can also repurpose influencer content to create ads for your retail brand. This will save both time and money and deliver impressive results.
Ask Influencers to Visit Your Stores for an Authentic Experience
This is a brilliant way to get influencers to visit your offline stores and post pictures and share their experience.
If you provide some in-store services, then you can invite local influencers from your niche to try them. If they like your services (make sure that they do), they will write positive things about their store visit and share their experience on social media. This will encourage their followers to also visit your store for a similar experience.
For example, check out this post by influencer Alex who visited a Macy’s store and tried their MyStylist service. She shared her experience on her Instagram page where she has over 10K followers.
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Contrary to popular belief influencer marketing is not just for online brands but can be leveraged by offline businesses as well.
The strategies mentioned above can help any offline retailer drive in-store traffic through influencer marketing. So, try out these techniques and see your footfall soar.
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