Most people don’t shop in isolation. They are inspired, informed and assured by others throughout the path to purchase. A slew of marketing approaches have developed to identify, activate or enable key individuals who can sway the brand preferences, buying decisions and loyalty of others. Together, they make up the influencer marketing ecosystem.
Companies like Target, Old Navy, Lord and Taylor, Aéropostale and Dick’s Sporting Goods have paid these big stars to create content: back-to-school look books, music videos, Vines documenting the buildup to a store visit, Instagram posts with 50 celebrities wearing the same dress, or tweets about the arrival of a new collection.
Increasingly, however, retailers are working with influencers who have less reach but greater relevance for a select group of shoppers. This middle tier, whose members often have tens of thousands of followers, include parenting bloggers, cooking vloggers, food “pinners,” fashion Instragrammers and gamers. They are highly respected by segments of the customer base of such retailers as CVS, Food Lion, Pier 1 Imports, Ikea and Lane Bryant, all of which have tapped this group of influencers in campaigns.
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