Customer preferences have undergone a drastic change in the past decade or so. With the advent of digital media, a massive number of people go to online stores to make purchases.

From groceries to clothing, books to accessories, it’s much more convenient for customers to purchase them online and save themselves a trip to a brick-and-mortar store. The main reason why some customers still prefer to shop from physical stores is that they are then able to actually see, touch, and feel a product before purchasing.

Because of these changing preferences and also because it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to set up an online retail store these days, there are hundreds of thousands of e-retail businesses. Which means that there is immense competition in this space. And so, retailers (both online and offline) are faced with the challenge of how to stay profitable.

Social influencer marketing offers a simple yet effective means for retail businesses to stand out from the crowd and reach their target audiences. In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can use social influencer marketing to make your retail business more profitable.

Why Retail Brands Need to Focus on Social Influencer Marketing

Before we take a look at how retail brands can leverage social influencer marketing, let’s try to understand why this is important.

For one, it takes a lot for a retail brand to stand out among the thousands of small and medium-sized retail businesses out there today. On top of that, customer loyalties run deep with giants like Amazon and Walmart.

Social influencer marketing offers a convenient and effective way to showcase your products to thousands of consumers. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about spending money on the wrong audience. If you can collaborate with relevant influencers in your niche, you can actually reach and influence your intended audience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that social influencer marketing offers to retail businesses.

1. Reach Your Target Audience

If you have a product that is meant for women in the age group of 18-30 years, does it really make sense for you to broadcast your promotional message to a broad audience? You’d simply be wasting your money if you don’t focus on a targeted audience segment.

Social influencer marketing can help you reach the exact audience segment you’re targeting. By collaborating with relevant social media influencers (whose follower demographics match those of your target audience), you can get your products in front of those who really matter.

Social Influencer Marketing

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2. Win the Trust of Your Audience

Given the multitude of retail brands out there today, why should your target audience choose you over others? In other words, how can you win their trust so that they feel comfortable spending their hard-earned money at your store? Once again, social influencer marketing can help you with this.

Through their passion, ideas, and insights, these influencers have acquired thousands of loyal followers – people who truly look up to them and their recommendations. So, when an influencer in your niche endorses your brand or products, it serves as a glowing testimonial for your brand. This can help you gain credibility among your target audience and win their business.

Social Influencer Marketing

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3. Enhance Your Brand Image

Adding to the above, endorsements from social media influencers also help to improve the perception of your brand or products in the minds of consumers. The number of likes and shares such posts get and the kind of comments people leave on them will give you an indication of how people perceive your brand.

And if the followers of an influencer like the posts, they are likely to share them and help spread the word about your brand to their circles too. All of this will help to enhance your brand image.

4. Amplify Your Reach

Most influencers have hundreds of thousands of loyal followers who love to engage with their content on social media on a daily basis. So, social influencer marketing can help you broadcast your marketing messages to a huge audience (that too, a relevant one) which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Social Influencer Marketing Strategies for Retail Businesses

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of social influencer marketing for retail businesses, let’s take a look at some of the strategies that you can use. You can use any of these or combine a few depending on your social influencer marketing campaign goals.

1. Giveaways or Contests

Giveaways or contests are an inexpensive way to boost loyalty and enhance your brand image through influencer marketing. You can ask your influencers to create and post about a contest for their followers and you can give away a few of your products to the contest winners.

The important thing to remember while running giveaways is to make sure that the criteria to enter and win are disclosed clearly. Care needs to also be taken to ensure that the selection is fair as this will go a long way to boost your credibility (and that of the influencer).

When done correctly, giveaways can help you reach an enormous number of people in a very short time. Usually, the criteria to enter such contests will include following your social media account and that of the influencer, and tagging another person in the comments (to increase visibility).

Remember to offer something attractive as a prize or people may not be motivated enough to enter the giveaway. For example, the giveaway sponsored by Petco below includes multiple attractive prizes for dog lovers.

Social Influencer Marketing

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Discount codes and affiliate links pretty much work the same way in social influencer marketing. All you need to do is provide a unique discount code or an affiliate link to each of the influencers you work with. Influencers will then need to create content promoting your products and share the discount code or affiliate link with their followers.

So, how does this help you? This actually provides dual benefits. It encourages the followers of the influencer to use the discount code to make a purchase. And when they do, the influencer earns a commission. So, not only does this strategy help you increase your conversions, but it also helps you build stronger relationships with your influencers.

Social Influencer Marketing

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3. Promote Product Launches or Events

Another great social influencer marketing strategy is to host events or product launches to which you can invite your influencers. Provide them with an amazing experience and ask them to showcase it on social media. This is a great strategy that can help your retail brand grab more eyeballs and become the talk-of-the-town.

Social Influencer Marketing

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Final Thoughts

Social influencer marketing can offer an array of benefits to retail businesses. However, you need to make sure that you select the right influencers from your niche so that you can reach your target audience effectively. Use a warm outreach and offer them something substantial so that they’ll be more invested in your campaign.

Besides monetary compensation, you can share free product samples with them, invite them to events that you participate in, and introduce them to your networks. Such gestures will help you build stronger relationships with them and make your campaigns more successful.

Can you think of any other ways to use social influencer marketing for retail businesses? Let us know in the comments below.