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How this natural retailer succeeded at influencer marketing

Teaming up with a local wellness "celebrity" turned out to be a mutually beneficial move.

rosewoodmarketthree.jpgWhat if we told you that your store could create a successful marketing campaign that would cost nothing but creative output and clever networking? That it wouldn’t require any sophisticated design or copywriting skills, and would be completely authentic and organic?

That’s the winning formula behind the Rosewood Market Ambassador Team, a collection of local influencers created by the retailer last year to help spread the word about the Columbia, South Carolina store–and vice versa. “The role of our ambassador team is to collectively foster a health-conscious community for the mutual benefit of each brand,” explains store owner Bryan Tayara. “Together, we combine communities to reach a wider target audience.”

The ambassadors collaborate with the store to host events on- and off-site, create digital content, and host social media promotions including giveaways, product reviews, store tour videos, cooking demos, at-home workout videos, studio visits and more. Currently, the store enlists four positive and outgoing influencers in the local area: a yoga teacher and reiki master, a nutrition student at the University of South Carolina, a registered nutritionist and dietician, and a personal trainer. “All have a background in the wellness industry, but all have special skills that bring value,” Tayara says.

The good news is that this program can be replicated at any natural food retail outlet. Here are Rosewood Market’s tips on how you can make it work:

  1. Choose the right partners. Thanks to social media, it’s fairly easy to see if there are any influencers who already engage with and promote your store. “You’re looking for customers, but also those with a following, and who are posting and telling their friends about you,” Tayara explains.
  2. Create an infrastructure. Rosewood Market sets attainable goals for its ambassadors, like mentioning the store between three and five times monthly on social media, hosting one event per year, and partnering up for a social media promotion like an Instagram TV video, cooking demonstration, or contest. “This bar is attainable, so we know they will make these goals, and they often go above and beyond,” explains community outreach coordinator Mary Agnes Duncan, who runs the program. In exchange, ambassadors enjoy a 20 percent discount at the store.
  3. Customize the experience. “You can do this in any store,” Duncan says. “If you know your customers, you can tailor it any way you need to.” One of the most successful ambassador campaigns at Rosewood Market, for example, was its #FitnessFridayGiveaway on social media. The prize was a free yoga class with an ambassador. To publicize it, the ambassador posted a picture of herself meditating in the aisles of the store, while the store posted a picture of Tayara in her yoga studio. Participants need only like both pictures and tag a friend to enter. “Another successful ongoing campaign is our surprise workout class visits,” Tayara says. “We show up 10 minutes before an ambassador’s class, give a quick educational talk on a health topic, and pass out product samples. We’ve seen many people visit our store directly after class to make a purchase and explore.”
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