Guest post by Kate Terricciano Sirignano
Celebrating the holidays may look a little different this year, which means shopping center marketers will need to get more creative with their approach (and their budgets) to inspire consumers to shop. People want to see more than just ads served up through their social media feeds, they want to shop from word of mouth recommendations from trend setters they trust - most notably social media lifestyle influencers!
Why are influencers a key element of an effective mall marketing campaign?
Social media continues to grow at exponential rates, and influencers are crucial to that growth. It is estimated that by 2022, businesses will have spent $15 billion on influencer marketing (Business Insider), and this figure confirms social media has no intention of slowing down.
Influencers allow brands to target specific demographic groups pertaining to age, lifestyle habits, and interests through various social platforms. These influencers open up opportunities to reach new audiences and directly interact with them. Last year, we managed an influencer promotion at a major enclosed center in Chicago that netted 450 new Instagram followers and an increase of 22% engagement over a 7 day period!
What is the best way to find influencers that fit our center’s needs?
Local bloggers and influencers are great for targeting a specific geographic audience. Start with a refined google search such as “lifestyle influencers in Fairfield County, CT” and go from there. Instagram makes it easy for users to look at popular posts and accounts based on hashtags and tagged locations. Pick a few relevant hashtags like #holidayseason or popular nearby locations, such as a new trendy restaurant, to help narrow down the search. And take a look through your center’s own feeds - see who’s shopping and tagging you!
What are the best ways to manage social media engagement?
Responding to comments in a timely manner, liking photos, and sharing user-generated content to stories are easy and quick ways to connect. These small forms of engagement are an excellent way to form relationships with consumers. There are corresponding metrics associated with every social media post that measure impressions, reach, and post engagement. Be sure to keep track of these statistics to help gauge what types of posts perform the best and reflect on growth overtime. And guide influencers to the types of content you want - try on’s, gift guides, collaborations, etc.
Which social media platforms perform the best relevant to influencer marketing?
Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer content. According to a Big Commerce poll, 78% of marketers chose Instagram as the most effective content format for influencer marketing. Instagram makes it easy to boost posts with a specific audience based on variables of your own choosing.
How effective is influencer marketing? Is it a worthwhile marketing strategy?
The engagement rate tends to be higher (5.7%) on influencer sponsored posts as opposed to 2-3% engagement on branded content (Oberlo). Influencer Marketing Hub reported that in 2018, businesses who utilize influencer marketing will earn $18 for every dollar invested. When influencers have strong relationships with their followers, they have genuine interactions that lead to higher sales and ultimately a higher ROI.
So whether you’ve already embraced the influencer marketer trends, or are just exploring how to test it at your center, it’s becoming more apparent that influencer marketing is here to stay.
Working with influencers to stay ahead of the trends will not only allow for more authentic content creation, but also higher engagement with your posts. And who doesn’t want a little extra help planning content during this busy time of the year?! Interested in learning more about how we can help manage your influencer campaign? Let’s talk.