Influencer marketing is undoubtedly one of the best marketing strategies in today’s digital world. After all, most people are tired of being bombarded with ads and only trust the opinions of people they know personally. And, there is no denying that influencers play an important role in influencing the consumers’ buying behavior and decision-making process.
But do you know how to get moving with influencer marketing? It can take your business to whole new levels you never thought possible, but only if you take the time to do it right.
Here is everything you need to know about influencer marketing for e-commerce, including its different types, how it can help your business grow, and more!
There are several reasons why eCommerce businesses should use influencers marketing, including but not limited to:
Increase brand awareness and reach
Influencer marketing is a highly powerful way to reach people you couldn’t otherwise. Influencers often have thousands to millions of followers, so working with them can drastically increase your brand awareness. In addition, they have a dedicated, loyal following who will go out of their way to support and promote anything they recommend.
Because of that, these people are often ideal brand advocates. If they like your products, their followers will too. That provides you access to a new pool of potential customers who will probably be receptive and open to your offerings.
For example, suppose someone who has thousands of followers on Instagram recommends a particular e-commerce site as one of their favorite locations to shop online. In that case, many of those followers will likely follow suit. So not only will they begin shopping at your store but there’s also a chance they might check out other products you sell as well.
According to a survey, 49% of consumers consider recommendations from influencers when making a purchase decision. The trust and credibility of an influencer recommendation, particularly from a well-known social media figure, significantly impact customers’ buying decisions. By working with influential individuals on social media, your business will be able to increase sales.
Influencers have a following that trusts their suggestions, so they make great salespeople. In addition, the influencers themselves can serve as walking advertisements for your products or services if their audience is interested in similar things.
Builds trust and authority
One of the essential benefits of influencer marketing is building trust and authority. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. So when you have an influencer with a large audience pushing your product or service, it builds instant credibility.
The influencers aren't just pushing your product; they are vouching for it as well. Moreover, they have used your product and likely seen its value first hand. That results in greater trust between you and potential customers.
Improve your SEO
When done perfectly, influencer marketing can be a powerful way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). One of Google’s primary ways of determining which websites are most relevant and valuable is through links.
What’s more, Google and other search engines weigh sites with backlinks heavily in their rankings, and influencers can provide an easy way for you to get influential links. These links are permanent even when you migrate from the current store to a new one .
When high-profile people share your content or products on social media or their blogs, you’re often getting lots of exposure as well as positive links that will help boost your SEO. Additionally, sharing content from other sites through social media also helps those sites gain exposure and lead to more site visitors and SEO boosts.
Running influencer marketing campaigns can be significantly cheaper than traditional advertising. Influencers are more likely to promote your brand or product because they genuinely love it, whereas paid ads might be seen as pushy. As a result, you’ll spend less money on each campaign and reach more customers overall.
There are different types of campaigns regarding influencer marketing for e-commerce, as listed below.
Competitions or giveaways
Competitions or giveaways are one of the most popular influencer campaign types. Competition is very effective when trying to promote an event, product launch, or new store openings. Having influencers host competitions where you give your product away allows you access to their followers, increasing engagement and awareness.
It also provides your brand with many potential advocates who promote your brand on their feeds after winning a competition.
Social media takeover
A takeover on social media is when an influencer replaces your content with their own. For example, a social media takeover might include a new profile picture, banner image, and bio. That allows your followers to see how that influencer lives and gets a natural feel for who they are as a person.
The best part about a social media takeover is that it’s easy for you as a brand because you don’t have to create new content. Instead, the influencer is doing all of that work! In turn, it helps increase exposure among your current followers and those who don’t yet follow you or know about your brand.
Influencers can link a product or service on their website/social media posts with a unique referral code. Whenever visitors use that code, they will be sent directly to your store, and you’ll pay a commission on anything they buy. The more people an influencer reaches, the more money you can potentially make from affiliate marketing.
Sponsored social media post
One way to work with influencers is via sponsored social media posts. Here, an influencer promotes your brand or product by posting a picture of themselves using it. It’s best if they write a short blurb about their experience with it as well. And your account and products will be tagged!
The more an influencer likes and uses your product and gets other people engaged in that enthusiasm, all while creating high-quality content about their experience with it, can be priceless. Not only do you get free exposure from someone who already has a lot of followers (bonus!), but you also get real-time data about what appeals most directly to those followers.
Long-term brand ambassador
Influencers make fantastic brand ambassadors because of their trustworthiness and loyal audience. Long-term influencer campaigns can be more effective than short-term campaigns. Since influencers will naturally continue to spread your message and help promote your products long after a campaign has ended.
They can also be more cost-effective than celebrity endorsements or mass media marketing. Influencers will create original content inspired by your brand and include links back to your site so you can measure conversion rates and optimize future campaigns accordingly.
Unboxing and Reviews
The most popular type of campaign in influencer marketing is unboxing and reviews. Typically, bloggers will be sent free products in exchange for their honest opinion. In addition, they may also receive referral credit towards making a purchase.
Review or unboxing campaigns are great because they can be completed relatively quickly and inexpensively by partnering with bloggers on sites like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
The influencers usually record an unboxing video showing you what’s in a product box. They can shoot like: A thumbnail of their hands holding up a product (for example, holding a pair of shoes or sunglasses) or teaser text teasing why they were excited about getting their new product.
In another video, they open up the package and show you what’s inside. Then, they give a detailed review or test out any accessories that come with it.
Below are step-by-step instructions to build a strategy for influencer marketing for e-commerce campaigns:
Step 1: Determine your goals
First things first, you should understand precisely what you want to accomplish with your influencer marketing campaign. Understanding your end goal is key to creating an effective strategy.
You can pick from some goals altogether, including but not limited to: Increase Brand Awareness, Building Brand Identity, Audience Building, Engagement, Lead Generation, Customer Loyalty, Link Building.
Step 2: Know who you’re trying to influence
Before hunting for influencers, figure out who your target audience is and where they hang out online. For example, if you’re trying to sell physical goods, consider targeting users on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
If you want to reach a B2B market, then LinkedIn or Twitter might better bet. But, first, create a brief: Think about what content will resonate with your audience and how influencers can best support that content.
Step 3: Understand the influencer landscape
The next step in crafting an influencer marketing strategy is to decide whether you want to launch a campaign with micro-influencers, macro-influencers, or both. What's critical here is how many people each influencers can reach.
If your brand sells a luxury product that only appeals to a niche market, then you should look for macro-influencers who can reach hundreds of thousands of customers. In contrast, if your product appeals to a broad audience, like skincare products, you may be better off using multiple micro-influencers with thousands of followers per account rather than just one big name with millions.
Step 4: Choose a Type of Influencer Marketing Campaign
Next, you should choose which type of campaign you want to run. Several varieties have been mentioned above.
Step 5: Find influencers
Once you’ve had a firm grip on your overall strategy, it’s time to get specific. Look for influencers in your niche who have a positive relationship with your brand already. You can compile a shortlist of influencers yourself or use a tool to find the ones.
To find relevant influencers for your brand, look at online personas (website; Twitter; Instagram; Facebook) and their offline presence (blogging jobs or magazines). Each influencer's unique audience means that not every influencer will be a good fit for your campaign. You might need to test several different ones before you find someone who reaches your ideal audience.
Step 6: Reach out to influencers privately and personally
Now that you’ve found the suitable ones, it’s time to connect with them. The very first step is simply reaching out and introducing yourself. You should tell them about how much you love their content or why they should give your product a shot.
Connecting with them more personally will help influencers see you as more than just another brand contact. And connecting on social media, where it’s easier to learn about someone as a person, can further humanize your outreach. The more personalized your outreach is, the better chance you have of receiving a response.
Most importantly, ask them if they would be interested in trying out your new product! And if they say no? Thank them for their time anyway. That alone makes you stand out from 95% of other brands in an influencer’s inbox.
Step 7: Collaborate with your influencer to develop compelling content
Once influencers have decided to work with you, collaborate with them to create content tailored to their specific audience. Most influencers are looking for ways to engage their existing followers or improve how they engage potential customers.
Suppose you can create opportunities for them to do that through your product, great! But, if not, you may need to reach out directly through other channels like email or social media.
Make sure each piece of content ties back into your product somehow so that people understand why it is relevant. That will help drive your desired actions down the line, typically purchased on an e-commerce site.
Step 8: Measure your results
You need to define a way to measure your influencer marketing for e-commerce campaigns. The most common metrics used are engagement rate (basically, how many followers interacted with your content), conversion rate (number of people who completed an action you asked them to do), and leads generated. These may vary depending on your goal, so be sure to choose ones that align with what you’re trying to achieve.
After launching your influencer marketing campaign, it’s essential to measure your success. The data you collect will give you a clear picture of how well your campaign is working, which will let you optimize your efforts going forward.
You can use a variety of tools for measuring performance, such as Google Analytics or Swrve. Also, check out our resources on tracking ROI with paid social ads here.
If you find challenging to do influencer marketing for e-commerce yourself, you can seek assistance from a robust tool.
Heepsy is a tool that makes influencer marketing easy. It tracks and verifies social media profiles of influencers, making it effortless to identify their audience size and demographics. The tool also comes with advanced search filters that help you find target influencers based on follower count, location, gender, and other criteria. It also helps manage outreach campaigns through its automatic messaging tools.
Heepsy provides access to its contact database of 40,000 active micro-influencers for further discovery opportunities. Accessing all these features requires an annual paid subscription starting at $49 per month per brand account.
Pitchbox is a tool that lets you search, connect with, and manage bloggers. After signing up, you can create campaigns based on interests or demographics. These campaigns are then sent out to bloggers who can choose if they want to participate. Once they agree to participate in your campaign, they’ll start brainstorming ideas with you via email.
Pitchbox will show you how much each blogger earns per post to know how much their participation will cost. Additionally, once you choose which influencers will work with your brand, Pitchbox handles negotiations so that you just need to wait for yes or no.
The platform isn’t free, but several packages are available, ranging from $29/month to $1,499/month. Regardless of what package you choose, they offer a free trial period so you can know how it works before committing.
Unbox Social allows you to find relevant influencers by leveraging several data sources to help you find them. Furthermore, it makes it easy for you to work with influencers with a similar audience base as your brand. Aside from being an influencer marketing for e-commerce tool, Unbox also tracks your campaign performance across channels to ensure success.
In addition, it gives suggestions on how much an influencer might charge based on their popularity. The higher their Klout score or the number of followers they have on a particular platform, for example, the more expensive they’ll be.
With AspireIQ, you can search, discover, approach, manage, validate, create campaigns with influencers. In just a few effortless clicks, you can find all kinds of influencers on specific topics or products based on keywords or followers/fans amounts.
You can directly interact with them via email or more traditional messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger. This way, you don’t have to wait for them to reply on social media and have an easier time interacting with them privately.
The tool also enables companies to track social media campaigns using specific metrics like number of followers, likes/retweets/comments, engagement rate (or how often people repost images), among others.
Influencer marketing for e-commerce is rapidly becoming the most effective tool in an online marketer’s arsenal. It has the ability to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and convert visitors into customers at a rate that’s 3x higher than average. What’s more, it can be used by every business, regardless of size or niche.
So whether you’re looking to grow your online store or just want to learn more about this modern marketing technique, hopefully, our guide has provided you with all the information to get started!