A celebrity endorsement used to be the end-all be-all when it came to spokesperson promotion. Then entered social media. With news, images and videos at your fingertips, now anyone can be a spokesperson for a brand. And there are many ways to take advantage of those who may influence your business’s target audience.
“94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice, and influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising.”
– Social Media Today
My agency is helping improve brand awareness for a local boutique fitness studio with the help of influencers. Using a grassroots approach for a recent event, I pinpointed those who are influential in the Indianapolis area when it comes to nutrition, fitness and overall health and wellness.
I asked questions like the following:
- Who is currently checking in at local gyms in the studio’s surrounding area?
- Who has the image and charisma that matches for the gym’s core values?
- Which accounts are receiving genuine engagement rather than bot responses?
- Why would this person want to come to the studio as opposed to the current gym/fitness center they attend?
I created a list of more than 50 influencers — all of whom had at least 1,000 followers to reach out to. After that, I created a tier list based on follower amounts that would determine their amount of “perks” for being our social media partner/ambassador.
One thousand followers may not seem like a lot to some people, but if a brand can reach the demographic that perfectly aligns with them, there are definite payoffs. The influencers were invited to come out to a VIP Preview Night to try out equipment, talk to coaches and take a tour of the studio before the grand opening. They were given free “perks” in exchange for social media posts promoting the studio with their own personalized code for a membership discount. Some influencers could not come out to the predetermined night but were still allowed to get their classes and share their personal experiences from the class afterward.
Having these third-party endorsements was a much more powerful way to positively position the brand than if the brand itself had put out the same messaging about their amazing facility. It’s always better to hear from someone else how much they love a brand or business because it adds trust and credibility. And influencers do not always have to be paid in cash; many times there can be a trade-off based on what your company can offer (i.e. discounts, free items, free use of a service). As more people are paying attention to what others have to say about the brand than the brand itself, influencer marketing will only continue to grow in the future.
This approach can work for a multitude of industries as long as you are reaching out to the right people for the right reasons. If you’d like help reaching your target audience let me know!