Tips for Implementing a Regional Influencer Program
There are several reasons why a brand would want to run an influencer marketing campaign that's segmented to select regions of the country; Your products may only be available in retailers on the west coast, your product or campaign theme is only relevant to a certain geographic area, or perhaps you're piloting your first influencer marketing program and implementing a control group in a select geography. Whatever the case, regional influencer marketing can prove effective when done properly.
To help break down what steps should be taken to achieve success, we're going to dive into our award-winning influencer marketing program for Häagen-Dazs that aimed to target millennials in NYC and drive them into select Duane Reade and Walgreens stores to purchase pints of delicious ice cream.
Location, Location, Location
As we mentioned above, there are a variety of reasons one might want to run a regional influencer marketing program. No matter the case, the first step that needs to be taken is narrowing down your location and focusing on the uniqueness of the area.
For Häagen-Dazs, our team was tasked with specifically focusing on the NYC area, so everything in the campaign needed to tie in, including the campaign theme. For this, we branded the campaign "Häagen-Dazs Open Container", which was a play on words aligning the brand with current events in the local market (NYC mayor’s address on the city’s position on enforcing open container laws was met with much elation from residents).
Hiring Proper Talent
The next big task was hiring local talent that aligned with the brand's target audience. Notice there are two major components we just mentioned that you need to be mindful of when vetting your influencers: location and audience information. Hiring local talent is going to ensure that the content created is locally relevant. For example, our Häagen-Dazs influencers created content that centralized on common NYC themes, like capturing the busy and bustling streets, the famous brownstone steps, and roof top views that locals recognize and can identify with. Secondly, not only should the influencer be in your target market, but the majority of their audience should also be. The average influencer is going to have a following that spans across the entire country. New York City is only about six percent of the U.S. population. So, just because an influencer lives in NYC, doesn't mean all of the people who live there follow them. If you don't already, use a third party tool to break down each influencers audience composition.
Additional Targeting to Ensure Geographical Relevancy
Traditional influencer marketing isn't going to prove very effective for regional campaigns for two main reasons: 1. As stated above, not all of an influencers following is located in the geographical zone you're targeting, and 2. Only a small percentage of the influencers audience will even be exposed to the organically posted content. Because of this, extra steps need to be taken via a paid media strategy that ensures your top-performing local content reaches the people you want it to.
For Häagen-Dazs, we layered in several different amplification tactics to ensure content reached our target. Visuals and videos featuring a NYC-vibe were syndicated via secondary local influencers on social channels, neighborhood sites like Nextdoor, and via proximity targeting on mobile channels to reach the right people, at the right time. We also upped our game by segmenting the audiences around participating locations into digital zip codes and targeted people in those areas who were on their phones at the time, in a physical proximity to a Duane Reade or Walgreens location and with above average likelihood to buy ice cream.
Asking the Audience for Participation
Another great tactic, especially if you're looking to influence foot traffic, is to have influencers invite their audiences to take action in a fun and unique way. In NYC, influencers hosted the #HDOpenContainer Instagram Challenge, encouraging audiences to stop by select sampling events and show off the free single serves they received. Printed collateral at each event helped to encourage passerby participation as well. This addition of print material brought the campaign and conversation full circle, having started digitally, moving audiences to take physical action, then driving them back to social media to share their own content showcasing the product in store.
We've seen excellent results with not just this regional program for Häagen-Dazs (check out the full award-winning entry here), but with Tyson, Revlon, Sabra, Till Vodka, Hallmark and others.
Hopefully these tips help you move in the right direction with a regional campaign, but if you think you may still need assistance, contact us using the form below and we'll get started on a custom strategy for your brand right away.