Influencer marketing is that new kid on the block who has become extremely popular and for all the right reasons.
With content marketing as its father and social media marketing as its mother, influencer marketing turns out to be a game-changer.
You can call it the Most Valuable Player i.e. the MVP of the marketing game if you will.
This is because the global influencer marketing value has consistently grown at a CAGR of over 50% since 2019 and reached $16.4 billion in 2022.
Let’s define what this marketing phenomenon means, shall we?
Influencer marketing is the marketing technique wherein you collaborate with well-known digital creators to spread your brand’s message to a wider audience. Ideally, these digital content creators have a sizable following and reach amongst your target audience. The influencers have a stronghold on the audience as they might be an expert in the niche and publish entertaining pieces of content.
Influencers help grow your eCommerce business as they have built a community that trusts them. A recommendation from their end acts as social proof for this community and moves them ahead in the marketing funnel.
Here are a few strategies that can help you achieve higher conversions and scale your eCommerce store.
Table of Contents
- 1. Finding the right influencers
- 2. Focus on micro and nano influencers
- 3. Plan on building long-term partnerships
- 4. Strive for authenticity
- 5. Run multiple campaigns
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Finding the right influencers
This may seem like the most trivial part of influencer marketing. But the more you face the music, the more you understand that it is the most crucial strategy of them all. The thing is, every third individual that you meet is calling themselves an influencer nowadays. So how can you find the perfect influencer out of the hundreds of different profiles out there?
The answer lies in the nature and goals of your marketing campaign. While shortlisting the influencers that you wish to collaborate with, keep the following things in mind:
- The influencer posts content related to your products
- They have an above-par engagement rate, no matter the number of followers
- They have a unique voice
Here’s the response of the marketers on what they evaluate before collaborating with the influencers.
Alongside content quality, the next biggest factor is target audience. Be sure to check influencer audience demographics before partnering, to make sure creators are actually reaching your target market.
Also, leverage social listening to find noteworthy creators who are sharing your content. You can capitalize on these opportunities while building an influencer marketing campaign to grow your eCommerce business.
2. Focus on micro and nano influencers
If you have been doing some research about influencer marketing, you must be familiar with the different tiers of influencers. They are categorized into celebrities, mega, micro, and nano influencers based on the number of followers. Micro-influencers have anywhere between 10k to 100k followers whereas nano-influencers have followers below 10k.
You might be wondering why you should focus on collaborating with them when you can work with mega influencers who have millions of followers instead. Many eCommerce companies make the mistake of falling for high numbers to reach a wider target audience. However, these influencers might not have a grasp on your niche audience and have relatively lower engagement rates. Not to mention, their incentives or fees would be through the roof, of course.
Whereas you can increase the ROI while working with micro and nano influencers. They have budget-friendly rates plus quite a competitive engagement rate. Their audience, no matter how small, is very closely knit and has a higher probability of engaging with your eCommerce store on the recommendation of the influencer. See how the engagement rates go down as the number of followers increases.
This influencer marketing strategy works exceptionally well if you want to target a very specific community based on location, demographics, or interests. For instance, if you want to expand your market in a particular city, then mega influencers might not be the right option.
A mega influencer may have a lot of followers from that city, but their content caters to a wider audience. In such cases, a locality-based micro-influencer would help you generate better results as they specifically cater to that city’s community.
3. Plan on building long-term partnerships
Influencer marketing is seen to benefit from long-term partnerships. Social media algorithms demand a constant supply of quality content. So a one-off post or video will not help you capture the target audience.
If you don’t want to be “out of sight, out of mind” you have to build a long-term relationship with the influencers. Use influencer relationship management tools further to manage them.
This gives you an opportunity to increase the touchpoints with potential customers. For example, an eCommerce company and an influencer agree on a three-month collaboration where the content creator has to produce one feed post and three Instagram Stories a month. This generates 12 different touchpoints between the brand and the consumer in a quarter of a year.
This is exactly the kind of meaningful volume that can generate more traffic for your online store. Collaborating with reputable influencers on a more ongoing basis reflects a higher level of legitimacy, both on the influencer’s and eCommerce brand’s part.
4. Strive for authenticity
On social media, authenticity is one of the most efficient methods to develop a digital community, and it’s also becoming a big influencer marketing trend. Creators are opting to publish less filtered and more in-the-moment photographs of their lives, rather than the flawlessly maintained feed look.
So, how does this affect brands?
Collaborate with influencers who know how to make non-pushy ads and sponsored content. To put it another way, don’t stress too much over finding influencers with the “ideal” look. Instead, pay attention to the artists who build genuine connections with their audience and provide useful original content. An example can be a video where the influencer spends a day at your eCommerce micro-fulfillment center to give the audience a real-life rundown of how your drop-shipping company operations work.
The best influencers would be those who are truly passionate about your industry or products. They would be able to create genuine content that resonates with their followers. As you go through influencer marketing campaigns, you will find several forced sponsor placements. This type of advertising would neither help your brand nor the influencer’s reputation.
You need to find influencers who can extensively talk about your products from their unique perspective. They should be able to showcase the best features of your products and talk about your brand without disengaging their followers.
5. Run multiple campaigns
Gifting a product in exchange for mention
This is one of the first campaign kinds, and it works well with micro and nano-influencers. It is not only inexpensive, but it is also simple for them to do.
Zitsticka, a skincare brand, sent its products to influencer MissBeautyDreams as a gift. The influencer then posted their review about the product through their Instagram account. This generated significant visibility for the brand.
You’re paying an influencer to promote your product or service on their social media or blog. These are more expensive, but they can have a bigger impact.
Sony Playstation sponsored Instagram and Youtube posts of tech influencer Justin Tse to promote their VR headset. The influencer reviewed the product and described their experience in the posts.
It is the kind of marketing campaign where you make money by giving an influencer a discount code or an affiliate link. You’ll be charged a commission or fee per sale here. Amazon’s influencer program would fall under this category.
Hair Bello promoted its hair care and hair styling products in collaboration with fashion and lifestyle influencer Mariano Di Vaio. You can see the unique discount code “MDV20” in the post description. People could use this code to get a discount when they purchased from Hair Bello. In turn, the brand could trace the number of conversions it gained through Mariano.
Collaborating to create content
You can use this to share the content they’ve made on your social media networks. Alternatively, the content can be shared on both your and their channels.
Zapier collaborates with marketing influencer L. Michelle Smith to post content about their solutions on her website. In turn, you will find guest post contributions by L. Michelle Smith on Zapier’s website.
Account takeovers for a day
Here, your social media accounts will be taken over by an influencer who will use it to publish content with their followers. This familiarizes their target audience with your brand. With account takeovers, you can get engagement on your brand’s digital marketing channels instead of the influencer’s account.
Poultry brand My Pet Chicken allows author, photographer, and influencer Aliza Eliazarov to handle their brand’s account for a day. All the posts were from Aliza’s perspective and gave a unique voice to the brand’s online presence.
Working with an influencer to co-create a product
These types of campaigns work well especially if you have an eCommerce store in the fashion or beauty industry.
Beauty Works, a luxury hair enhancement brand, collaborated with influencer Molly Mae to create an entire collection of products under Molly’s name.
Live shopping has recently become a great strategy to incorporate influencers into your marketing campaign. In 2022, Live-Stream Shopping generated more than $500 billion in sales. The Live Shopping feature is ideal for eCommerce, and when it’s combined with influencers, it’s a highly effective way to create a fresh shopping experience and generate sales.
This shopping format has been enticing viewers around the world. The format especially gained popularity during the pandemic and it’s only gotten more popular.
Live stream shopping combines the convenience of eCommerce with the personal interaction of in-store shopping. In this format, an influencer puts out a live stream on a particular subject relevant to the products. People can watch the video and add the products they like to the cart without leaving the stream.
For instance, if you are selling kitchen appliances, you can collaborate with an influencer chef to live-stream authentic Italian cooking techniques using your products. While people enjoy the content, they can also buy the products directly from the live stream.
Live shopping streams create an engaging environment that is conducive to impulse buying. They can also see the products being used during the stream by the influencer. This would help them overcome any reservations they might have about the product.
Influencer marketing is here to stay. eCommerce companies, big or small, are brainstorming strategies to incorporate relevant influencers into their campaigns. The process has evolved from social media marketing and continues to provide excellent reach to the target audience.
Once you choose the appropriate influencer whose ideas and goals match your brand, you can collaborate with them to produce engaging content. You can use the above-mentioned strategies for your campaigns. It is also necessary to adapt to an ever-changing online environment and bring in new ideas through such influencer partnerships.
You can use Keyhole tools to find influencers for your eCommerce brand, compare different influencers in a niche, track the performance of the influencer marketing campaign, and measure the ROI from each campaign. Experience Keyhole’s influencer marketing and other features with a free trial.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is influencer marketing in eCommerce?
Ecommerce influencer marketing refers to a marketing strategy wherein brands collaborate with online influencers to promote their brand and products. This marketing strategy allows an eCommerce brand to connect with the influencer’s followers.
2. Does influencer marketing work for eCommerce?
Influencer marketing can help eCommerce brands expand their audience base by leveraging the influencer’s popularity. This strategy can help eCommerce brands achieve a variety of marketing goals such as brand awareness, online engagement, and conversion.
3. How to use influencer marketing in eCommerce?
There are several ways to employ influencer marketing in eCommerce. You can collaborate with influencers to create content, share branded content through the influencer’s account, launch an affiliate marketing campaign with the influencer, and so on. Each influencer marketing strategy will yield different results for eCommerce brands.