Influencer marketing from being an ancillary marketing method has now become an 8-10 billion dollar industry worldwide.
It works wonders for businesses! Here are some more stats should you doubt the potency of influencer marketing in e-commerce.
- 89% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
- 50.7% of brands working with influencers run e-commerce stores.
- 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations
If you’re looking to tap into the power of influencer marketing, or want to optimize your current influencer marketing strategy, we have created a brief guide with all just the information that you’ll need.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Doesn’t matter if you work with a mega influencer celebrity like Kim Kardashian, who has millions of Instagram followers, or a niche influencer blogger like Karrie Truman, who shares instapot recipes with her 24k Instagram followers (as of September 2021), you as a business will always be in the win.
This goes on to say, influencer marketing is a boon for small businesses, as you can hire influencers as per your budget and it doesn’t show a big expense in your accounting software. While you can save money and you don’t need to pay for gigantic billboards and TV ads.
Here are multiple ways influencers can help your e-commerce business:
- Build your brand
- Help you reach the ideal audience
- Increase your social media following
- Give you good social proof
- Help you get high-quality backlinks
- Generate leads and boost sales
Now that influencers’ benefits are clear, let us understand the different ways you can use them for your marketing campaigns.
Different types of influencer campaigns include
Here are some ways you can get influencers to run a marketing campaign for you.
|Brand ambassadors||Making an influencer your brand ambassador who regularly promotes your brand in exchange for discounts and perks from your brand.|
|Discount codes||Giving influencers the power to give discount codes for your products and services.|
|Affiliates||Sharing special affiliate codes with influencers so that they can earn money every time someone comes through their funnel and makes purchases from your brand.|
|Influencer Takeover||Allowing an influencer to take charge of your social media accounts for a set amount of time (obviously, you decide the number of posts that should be made.)|
|Gifting||Giving influencers branded gifts in exchange for influencer marketing activities|
|Sponsored Content||Paying influencers to share your content or create new content that is made around your brand and share it on their social networks.|
|Guest Posting||Getting an influencer to let you post your article on their blog.|
Now that you have learned the benefits of influencer marketing, and how to work with influencers, let’s find out how to find the right influencers for your e-commerce business.
Quick Tips To Find Influencers
Here are the best tips to find the right type of influencers for your e-commerce business.
1. Look into your existing followers
Surprising, isn’t it? But it’s true — your best influencers might be sitting right under you. Therefore before going out to look for influencers, look into your existing customers first.
Find out who your biggest fans are? Who is tagging you in their Instagram Stories? Who is mentioning you in their visual content like YouTube videos etc.? Who are your most regular customers? Who has rated and reviewed you highly?
These people posting about you are loyal to your e-commerce brand already.
So, go through their social media and see the followers’ count, and if they have a considerable amount of the following, reach out to them for collaborative opportunities.
2. Find influencers specializing in e-commerce
When searching for influencers in your niche, the best place to start is with well-known and famous people in your industry. Industry influencers help spread your word faster and build brand awareness in your target audience!
To find such influencers, set up Google searches for your industry-related keywords and see who is regularly writing content or making a video or pictorial content about the same. You can also browse forums to see who is regularly answering questions that relate to your industry.
3. Find influencers who are promoting your competitors
This is another quick and easy way. Reach out to influencers who are already working with your competitors. This doesn’t mean they can’t promote your products. On the contrary, the influencers who already write and post about your industry will be more likely to share content about your business than those that never mention other brands of your industry.
You can find such influencers by searching industry-related hashtags on social media to see who regularly shares such content. You can even simply stalk your competitors’ social media.
4. Gauge the influencer’s authority
While choosing the right influencer for your e-commerce campaign, you need to evaluate their authority. This will determine if they have a relevant and organic reach to help you meet your goals. You do not want influencers with fake or paid followers.
Consider the following influencer ranking factors to measure their authority:
- Their number of followers
- Whether all their followers are real and not fake or bought.
- Engagement rate of followers
- Alexa Rank of website
- Their quality of content
- How deep knowledge do they possess about the industry?
5. Track your results
What you can’t measure is of no use for your business. Just like any other business aspect of yours, you need to track your influencer marketing KPIs. After your campaign is complete, see the results to decide if the campaign was a success or needs optimization.
For instance, if associating with a particular influencer’s results in the number and quality of leads you were hoping to gain, run more similar campaigns. However, if you fail to reach your goals with a certain influencer, you can either stop the association or re-strategize to see if you can produce better results.
Here are some of the KPIs you need to track your influencer marketing for e-commerce:
- Number of website visits
- Number of newsletter signups
- Number of sales generated through affiliate links
- Number of followers on your brand account
- Engagements with the campaign hashtag
- The amount of new branded content created
If the above section was too long to read, simply ask yourself these questions while finding an influencer:
- Can I see this particular influencer using and loving my product?
- Is the influencer’s audience relevant to my target audience?
- Does this influencer’s existing content align with my brand values and business goals?
- Do I want this influencer to represent my brand?
- Does this influencer have any fake or bought followers?
- Does this influencer come in my budget?
- Which platform do I want to use, and which influencer is active there?
How to choose the best social media platform for influencer marketing campaigns?
Choosing the platform on which to run your influencer marketing campaign is a foundationally important step.
Should you do it on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat? What about Twitter and YouTube or even TikTok?
Well, the answer depends on two things: your audience and goals.
Figure out which sites or apps are popular with your target audience in which networks they frequent, and how they use different social platforms?
Then you have to consider your short-term goal. Are you looking to drive awareness? More traffic or more conversions? Or is sales your goal?
Let’s go deeper and help you choose the platform!
Instagram Influencer marketing
Awesome for targeting a younger audience, as according to Business Insider, more than 90% of Instagram users are under 35. These days Instagram is the best platform for growing your following and brand awareness. Instagram Stories continues to be popular, making it a potent platform for delivering real-time and spontaneous content.
Having said that, while you can generate traffic and sales from Instagram, the overall process can still be quite cumbersome on the app.
Snapchat Influencer marketing
This platform works best when your target audience is even younger. According to Statista, in 2017, 83.4% of U.S. mobile phone users aged 18 to 24 years were active on Snapchat. Moreover, 78.6% of users ages 18-24 were active Snapchat users, while only the percentage of 25 to 34-year old active users was only 47.6%.
Snapchat also works well for promoting real-time content. Quoting BigCommerce, “Snapchat influencers work well for building awareness and creating buzz around real-time events like product launches or products targeting young audiences (think gummy bears).”
However, if you need to drive traffic or sales directly from your campaign, Snapchat may not be the best choice due to the lack of in-app functionalities.
Twitter Influencer marketing
Twitter is an excellent platform for reaching millennials. According to Hootsuite, “36% of Americans between 18 to 29 years use Twitter, which is more than any other age group. Usage, however, drops as age increases, with 22% of those aged 30 to 49 using it, 18% of 50 to 64-year-olds, and just 6% of those aged 65 and up.”
A Twitter-commissioned Nielsen study found that “1 in 4 new vehicle buyers in the U.S. had Twitter as an input to their vehicle purchase decision.”
Ideal for starting conversations, Twitter chats continue to stay popular, helping influencers and brands to continuously stay in touch with an order by telling stories and informing the audience on the latest updates.
YouTube Influencer marketing
YouTube is best for reaching millennials and (younger) boomers. According to data collected by Filmora, people ages 25-44 watch the most YouTube videos. And, sixty-two percent of YouTube viewers are male, while only 38% are female.
It’s necessary to note, though, that YouTube’s user base is incredibly huge (over 1 billion users), so you’ll have the benefit of reaching a wider audience considering you know how to please the YouTube algorithm.
YouTube can be used both for increasing brand awareness and generating traffic for your e-commerce business. As BigCommerce notes, “YouTube is particularly special because it works well at every part of the funnel — offering both visual branding opportunity and attributable traffic to your site.”
Best tools to find influencers for your e-commerce business
Here are some of the tools you should surely check out.
The LinkedIn for influencer marketplace.
Dealspotr is a platform that connects influencers to businesses while offering discount codes through their website.
Here you can offer “free product campaigns” wherein you supply free goods to influencers as a fee, or you can choose a “promotional fee campaign,” where they pay influencers a fixed amount as a fee.
You can also offer influencers an exclusive discount code for their followers on your products.
Dealspotr recommends spending at least $100 if you want to work with small to medium-sized influencers.
Dealspotr doesn’t offer a point-of-sale option which means their customers can set up deals on the platform, but they’ll have to find workarounds to get those discounts applied to their orders.
Heepsy is another influencer marketplace that connects businesses with influencers. It has more than 11 million influencers on sites like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook.
It provides data about influencer audiences, engagement rates and gives influencers an “authenticity score.”
It will also help you make sure they don’t have a ton of fake followers and even monitor the effectiveness of campaigns.
Their data-driven approach makes it easier for e-commerce businesses to find the right influencers and also makes sure your influencer campaigns drive sales.
Other potent tools include:
Influencer marketing — a must for an eCommerce business to become a brand
As an e-commerce business owner, it is high time you tap into the power of influencer marketing if your goal is to grow massively and have roof-breaking sales. With the pandemic, more and more businesses have opened online stores, from mom-and-pop stores to big offline retailers.
Again, an influencer doesn’t necessarily mean a celebrity with a very large audience; go for relevant micro-influencers. Hope that this guide will help you get started or optimize your influencer marketing campaign and get your e-commerce business the recognition and sales it deserves.
Shubham Rajpara is a T-shaped marketer with writing being his forté. He is a psychology graduate that helps him leverage him to write persuasive copy. He has extensively written for SaaS companies and marketing agencies. For all your copy and content needs you can find him on LinkedIn.
Tags: digital marketing, ecommerce, Influencer marketing, influencers, social media