Tried & Trusted: Influencer Marketing

Using an influencer can feel like a more authentic approach to advertising your offering, so should your salon strategy include influencers in its marketing mix? Lynn Hunter founder and Director of Talent at The Collaborations Agency makes the case.

Lynn Hunter

In the good old days, a recommendation from a friend or family member was often all that was needed to try a new salon or choose a different stylist. The advent of social media has changed all that and many people are now trusting a different source: the online influencer.

Influencer marketing is an indirect form of promotion, where goods or services are promoted or sold through people – influencers, bloggers or social media personalities – who bring their expertise, reputation or status to a brand. What makes these individuals especially influential is their following on social media platforms, whether it’s on Instagram, twitter or on their blog. They are perceived to be more genuine and authentic and as a result, their recommendation holds more weight for their loyal followers.

What can an influencer do for my salon?

Picking the right influencer can help a salon speak to their desired audience. For example, if an influencer’s followers are predominately 18-35 year old females in Dublin and your salon is in Dublin this might be a good match. You are essentially talking to an influencer’s followers when you collaborate. The core of our business is creating strategic alignments that are relevant and are results driven. Each collaboration, like each brand, is unique.

Why should I choose using an influencer over advertising?

Using an influencer means that a person can create incredibly styled, unique and engaging content; content that their followers love. You’re getting your messaging to the right audience in a cost effective way. This content can be fun, insightful, informative, and stylised to fit the brand.

How do I choose the right one?

The Collaborations Agency is all about aligning the right influencer with a brand. It needs to make sense and sit organically on the influencer’s channels. The collaboration needs to, above all, make sense. For example, if an influencer is known for discussing that they are interested in getting hair extensions to achieve added length, you would not collaborate with them to showcase your latest cut and colour offering. If an influencer is known for and vocal about being vegan you wouldn’t align them with a new dairy product.

What stats should I be looking at?

Engagement is huge. It’s one thing having a huge following but you want your followers to be engaged with your content – asking questions, reaching out, liking and sharing.

How do I find one?

Finding the right influencer is key to any good campaign. To find one, I’d recommend an agency because they can align your salon with the right influencer in terms of age, demographic, content, but also their location. If you’re a salon in Cork it’s best to have a Cork-based influencer so it makes sense for the brand. The Collaborations Agency joins the dots between brands and influencers.

How do I measure the results?

We provide campaign reports for each campaign including likes, comments and more in- depth evaluation like Reach, Demographic, Engagement, and Impressions. And an overall review of how the campaign went and any learnings for the next campaign.

Case study

We’ve worked with some of the world’s most recognisable brands: H&M, TK Maxx, Puma, Canon, IKEA, Aer Lingus, Boots, Maybelline, Bourjois Paris and more. One example was where beauty and lifestyle blogger Louise Cooney worked with GHD to create a series of ‘How To’ videos for her followers using GHD straighteners, hair dryers, hair curlers, brushes and hair products. These videos sat on her YouTube channel but Louise also cross-promoted on her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The videos garnered huge engagement from her followers and fitted perfectly with the aesthetic of Louise’s channels. Louise is from Limerick, has national reach and her followers fit into the 18-35 female category, which GHD included in their campaign brief. The perfect match.