Retail Influencers and the Power of Personalization  

Clothing stores curate “we think you’ll love” product recommendations. Retail apps offer personalized greetings. Beauty retailers introduce individualized skincare regimens based on preferences. Customers have grown to expect and desire personalized experiences from their favorite retail brands. Guess what? The same holds true for influencers.

Retail Influencers and the Power of Personalization - two young women playfully posing with a clothes rack

Interested in how you can transform an interaction with an influencer into a moment for brand advocacy? As someone who works with clients in the retail sector, below are a few considerations (hint, personalization is key).

First, Find the Right Fit

Finding the right fit for your brand is the difference between building a relationship to humanize your brand and building a campaign that falls flat with your audience. Finding the right person goes far beyond follower count — look for people who authentically care about your brands, your purpose, etc. One way to find your “crew”: Search social hashtags, tagged photos and locations to uncover influencers naturally engaging with your brand or category. You’ll have the best chance of engaging an influencer — and their audience — if you create authentic, on-brand content.

Be Fans of Your Brands’ Fans

Don’t view influencers as transactions or order numbers. Instead, treat them as you would a friend. You wouldn’t expect your friend to celebrate your birthday if you ignored theirs, would you? So, why wouldn’t you celebrate a new addition to an influencer’s family when they celebrate your brand’s “baby,” like a new menu item or new product? It’s a relationship, so treat it like one. Tailor your communications to congratulate a recent addition to the family, celebrate their follower milestones, or send a mid-day pick me up if they are in a slump. Personalize your communications to celebrate each influencer’s uniqueness. A little goes a long way!

Offer Exclusive Content

Any brand can send out a mass mailer, but highly personalized influencer experiences and communications are difficult for competitors to imitate. Look for unique — and personalized — ways to stand out:

  • Curate an exclusive at-home experience of the newest product in your lineup. Send apparel in their size, send food products ahead of launch, etc.
  • Grant access to brand experts — all the way up to the C-Suite — to provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes, and human, look at the brand.
  • Customize promotions, discounts and coupons for your influencers and their audiences.
  • Build in personalized “Easter eggs” within mailers, pitches — you name it!

It’s Not a One and Done: It’s About Building a Relationship

It’s about caring, connecting and keeping in touch. Retailers are always looking to win over consumers in every interaction through in-store convenience, seamless customer service and unique experiences tailored to individual customers. The same approach should be applied to influencers. The better the long-term relationship you cultivate with influencers, the more likely they’ll be brand advocates.

In a time where influencers — and consumers — have come to expect personalization, brands that deploy the copy-and-paste influencer engagement approach run the risk of getting left behind. Want to talk further about turning influencers into advocates and quantifying the business impact of influencers through omniearnedID? We’d love to hear from you.

Kelsey is a managing account supervisor in Ketchum’s Retail sector. A graduate of Pepperdine University, Kelsey currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.