Influencer Marketing Playbook for Service-Based Businesses
In the service-based businesses domain, healthcare brands widely use influencer marketing to reach their potential customers. According to data from affable.ai, it is the industry with the most influencers in the USA and Indonesia. Restaurants, hotels, and airlines are next, where influencers are leveraging FOMO (Fear of Missing Out!) to market the experiences these service industries offer.
The USA already has a service-based economy, and the SEA countries are also progressively transitioning to one. Following the pandemic's initial wave, spending in the service sector has kept growing. In terms of health equity, the environment, and sustainability, healthcare became the most frequently discussed topic.
Influencers are at the forefront of generating demand for healthcare service providers, nutritional products, and wellness services. It is because Internet users of all ages are increasingly turning to social media research and making choices about anything from where to eat and vacation to which healthcare businesses they can have faith in. Consumers generally seek the counsel of people they know and trust, such as those in authority positions in the industry, in the community, among employees, or in the public eye (celebrities, journalists, etc.).
affable.ai scans how service-based businesses perform in different countries using influencer marketing. After beauty and lifestyle, the service sector is a burgeoning market with the potential to create successful collaborations with influencers. But brands still need to leverage it to increase ROI fully.
(NOTE: Our data for the number of niche influencers are derived using niche labels to generate an influencer list. It means some influencers do not specifically identify with a particular niche and may have been excluded. However, steps were taken to ensure that the influencers list included in our analysis is relevant to the industry and has a significant social media presence to provide as accurate a picture as possible.)
Influencer marketing growth in different service sectors
1. Healthcare Influencer Marketing
(Note: To identify niche influencers in the healthcare industry, we used a combination of labels including healthcare, hospital, doctor, and medicine to generate a list of potential influencers.)
Worldwide, more than 16.5k influencers advocate for a good diet, self-care, exercise, and mental wellness. The desire for health information, knowledge, technology advancements, and social media marketing have increased healthcare influencers. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia has up to 2.2K healthcare influencers. The US has 1.5K influential people, including key opinion leaders, athletes, and parent bloggers.
2. Airline Influencer Marketing
(Note: To identify niche influencers in the healthcare industry, we used a combination of labels including aviation, flight, airline, airplane and aircraft to generate a list of potential influencers.)
Globally, the airline industry comprises 13.1k travel bloggers, aviation enthusiasts, and frequent flyers, reflecting the rising interest in travel and the airline industry.
Since the US has the world's largest aviation market, airline influencers choose to focus on this sector. Thailand is the second-highest in number, followed by India. Vietnam has the lowest number of airline industry influencers.
By collaborating with airline influencers having engaged followers, airlines can reach a wider audience and generate buzz around new promotions. For example, an airline might partner with an influencer to offer a free flight or prize package to followers who engage with the influencer's content.
3. Food Influencer Marketing
Several eateries are teaming up with popular people on social media to spread the word about their business and menu to reach a wider audience. Worldwide, roughly 10.9K influencers are linked with promoting restaurants, food, and beverages. Almost 2,800 influencers actively promote restaurants in South East Asian countries. More than 1070 influencers in the United States regularly promote local eateries by sharing photos and reviews online. It opens the door to spread the word about the menu, ultimately boosting sales and solidifying client loyalty.
4. Salon and Spa Influencer Marketing
Comparing the salon industry to other service sectors like food, lodging, travel, and healthcare, it has the lowest influencers. The salon industry may be very regional and less globally present than other industries, which may be the cause. Also, many salons are tiny enterprises catering to the local population.
Influencers from the salon industry are gaining popularity on social media, especially Instagram. More than 1662 salon influencers in the United States, followed by 1101 in Thailand and 484 in Malaysia, represent a variety of beauty and hair-related content, including tutorials, product reviews, and behind-the-scenes looks at salons and spas.
5. Hospitality Influencer Marketing
(Note: To identify niche influencers in the healthcare industry, we used a combination of labels hospitality, hotels and resorts to generate a list of potential influencers.)
The market for hotel influencers is robust, with over 10.5k key influencers globally. These influencers feature distinctive and lavish hotels, specifically emphasizing upscale accommodations and unique destinations.
For instance, sponsored content involves partnering with an influencer to create posts or videos featuring the hotel's amenities and services. Brands offer a free stay, meals, or other perks in exchange for promotion. In addition, influencer marketing campaigns may include contests, giveaways, or other incentives for followers to engage with the hotel's social media accounts.
By examining the data for hotel influencers, it is visible that luxury properties and exotic destinations tend to be the most popular among influencers and their followers, positioning hotels as desirable destinations and attracting more potential guests.
The United States occupies the highest number of influencers accounting for 1.41K individuals. In Thailand, the hospitality sector is growing with over 1076 influencers, the highest among SEA nations. The hotel influencer market in India, Canada, and the UAE vary in size and focus. Still, all three countries have thriving hotel influencers helping promote and showcase unique and luxurious hotels to their followers.
Although the data clearly shows that influencers have become an essential marketing tool for service businesses, many companies struggle to run successful campaigns for their business. They struggle to understand the type of influencer they should partner with, the content format they should use, and more.
To help you overcome these challenges, we have created this exhaustive guide which can be used to strengthen your influencer campaigns and supercharge your ROI.
What Makes Influencers The Best Option For Service-Based Businesses
Working with the right influencers gets you closer to the audience. They are their loyal fan base, who look up to them for recommendations or useful content.
- Influencers can easily highlight the service value you offer. They highlight the results you promise.
- They know what works well with your potential customers. They know how to build a relationship based on trust and credibility.
- Influencers are aware of the latest trend on social media. So they incorporate that into their content, which makes it easy for you to hit the nail.
- If you use influencer marketing, you will know how your competitors are trying to attract consumer attention.
- Influencer content impacts your SEO by letting you rank higher in the SERP.
Influencer marketing for the service sector is more complex than product-based promotions. Unlike product brands, service-based businesses have an intangible product, which puts the customers at a buying risk because they don't know what they're getting before actually getting the service.
The audience in this sector does careful research before availing of any services. Recommendations from peers, family and social media influencers build the audience's trust and make them believe the service is worth their money. Whether you're an airline company, bank, restaurant, beauty salon or boutique, hotel, or consulting agency, you can use influencer marketing to build quality social proof for your business and reduce buying risk.
McDonald's, British Airways, Marriott, Uber Eats, and Chipotle, among others, leverage creator partnerships to establish unwavering trust in the audience for their business. Besides the big names in the industry, small businesses, too, are driving tons of engagement through local influencers.
Research shows that one in three consumers prefer TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and other social channels to discover new brands, products, and services.
"Every time I visit a new country, I search for good restaurants that I can check out. On the platform, I can watch short videos posted by people who have already been there. That makes me see the restaurant's vibe and its menu, and get a whole picture of the place from the video," Lovisa Wallin, famous social media influencer and TikTok star, tells the audience in an interview with Cure Media.
People using social media for product discovery is the primary driving factor behind influencer marketing becoming a powerful strategy for boosting visibility. Regardless of your sector, it is now a must-have tool in your marketing mix.
Influencer marketing with the right creators can:
- Build brand awareness
- Boost web/foot traffic
- Create User Generated Content (UGC)
- Drive positive brand sentiment
- Increase sales
- Enhance search engine optimization (SEO)
- Improve visibility and engagement