The rise of Influencer marketing has helped to create a whole new world of online brands that are going from strength to strength. Meanwhile, the high street has struggled to compete and has fallen behind these e-commerce brands that are able to offer flexibility, choice and can deliver to (almost!) anywhere.
You only have to look at the news to see that once-dominant brands, from Laura Ashley to those within the Arcadia Group, are struggling to get by. Meanwhile, direct to consumer companies like Pretty Little Thing are striving despite having been around for a much shorter time. But how has that happened, and can the high street still compete?
High Street Brands are still an important part of British shopping culture and we believe that if they harness the power of influencer marketing and learn lessons from new challenger brands, they can certainly stay on top. Here’s how…
Creating Influencer-led Events To Gain Momentum
Most high street brands that have been successful with influencer marketing have used events to harness the potential of the creator’s network. Quality creators will have large, engaged audiences that will be thrilled by the opportunity of meeting them in real life.
Whether that’s to attend a meet and greet, listen to a chat from them or just head to the same locations as them, creator’s are able to motivate people to go and visit a shopping area and this means higher footfall and subsequently, potentially more sales.
A great example of this would be 7 Dials London, the niche shopping district at the intersection of Covent Gardens and Soho. To help increase the number of visitors, the shopping and lifestyle destination organised an event for creators, inviting them to showcase everything you can do there.
They worked with creators to produce feed content and Stories sharing what they got up to and giving their top tips for shopping, attending fitness classes and eating in the area. 7 Dials was then able to also repurpose this content for their channels, meaning they had a library of targeted creator content at their fingertips.
These kinds of events don’t have to be creator-only events though, they can be open to the public too. Many consumers like to come and meet the people they follow, so hosting in-store events with creators at the helm can be a great way to get more people through the door.
Telling A Story With Influencer Marketing
Another way that influencer marketing can be amazing for getting people engaged with high street brands is by telling a story. Instead of just promoting certain products or services, influencers can actually share the story of going to a particular shop or shopping area and frame it as an experience.
Regent Street did this really well around their 200 year anniversary, by getting creators to share their experiences of the street over the years. This led to emotion-driven content that reminded consumers why we all love to visit this iconic street.
We especially love the post they created with Mike Quyen which featured stunning images and a personal story alongside it. He wrote “I first visited the street 10 years ago and I can still remember how astonished I was when I first saw the Christmas lights go up and the beautiful architecture. Until this day I never fail to look it up in awe”.
If that doesn’t make you want to hit the high street, what does?
Collaborating With Creators On Products
To take it one step further than simply asking a creator to endorse or promote a product, getting their input in the overall design and marketing can be a great option. Brands should think about the ways that they can work with creators to harness the power of their network and get more people through the door.
A great example of this would be Primark’s collaboration with creator Alice Liveing to create an activewear line that not only appeals to her 650k followers but the general public too. In using Alice’s input, Primark was able to create a product that she knows people are searching for, based on her deep understanding of her audience.
In this sense, high street brands are not only able to reach a wider audience by working with creators, but they are able to create a product that the audience needs too.
Using An Always-On Strategy To Build Long-Term Partnerships
The high street could learn a lot from its online counterparts when it comes to establishing long term partnerships that have taken the place of old school sponsorship campaigns.
In working with key creators on a regular basis and establishing a strong affinity, brands will be able to consistently use creator content and bridge the gap between the online and ‘real’ world.
John Frieda nailed this always-on strategy this month by using creator content for their in-store marketing as well as collaborating on social media. Their Violet Crush range has taken off thanks to before and after creator videos that showcase the product, so it makes sense that they would use the same creators in store too.
By using creator images in-store, John Frieda was able to build brand loyalty and jog people’s memory of the amazing effects of the product. Not to mention that by using creator content they end up with highly authentic content at a lower cost than traditional marketing - it’s a win-win!