The dramatic growth of influencer marketing has also resulted in new trends and developments in this sector. It has never been easier to promote your business and sell through social media. Let’s look at some of the key influencer marketing factors for e-commerce this year. These insights will help you plan an effective influencer marketing strategy for your business in 2022.
Millennials today hold enormous influence over E-commerce purchases and emerging trends and are not easily convinced by traditional advertising approaches. With the advancing technology and the accelerating digital era, one such marketing approach that has gained widespread momentum is influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a dynamic tool that provides social proof to convince online users to indulge in a purchase. Most influencer marketing trends dictate that people today are more likely to rely on an influencer recommendation than several other forms of marketing.
Influencer marketing strategies have been remarkably effective in increasing brand awareness, driving engagement, and boosting sales. According to a Twitter-sponsored study, a whopping 40% of Twitter users claimed to have made a purchase after coming across an influencer's tweet about it.
Business marketing via influencers has proven to be surprisingly effective when targeting millennials. However, randomly approaching influencers that might not even be related to your industry to market your products will not generate the desired campaign success.
If you wish to leverage influencer marketing the right way and proliferate profits for your E-commerce store, follow these tips:
Pick your Social Media Platforms Carefully
Upon learning about your target audience, the first step towards influencer marketing is choosing the right social media platforms where most of your potential buyers are present. If you're running a Snapchat campaign, but most of your target audience is on Instagram, you might get little success out of your investment.
Identifying the appropriate platform requires an analysis of your audience and the objectives you wish to achieve. Conduct surveys and research about the websites preferred by your customers. Establish your campaign goals, such as boosting website traffic, driving sales, spreading brand awareness, and more.
If your goal is to spread brand awareness and engagement, prefer Instagram over the rest. If you wish to boost sales, look no further than YouTube. Narrowing down social media platforms used by your customers will then help you approach the right influencers.
Approach the Right Influencers
After getting on the right social media platforms, the next step is to start approaching influencers related to your industry. This might be a daunting task since 73% of marketers felt influencer identification as the hardest challenge in their influencer marketing journey.
Pick the right influencer based on factors such as your brand's values, tone, and style. You must approach influencers who align with your company's ideals and resonate with your target audience.
Brands can benefit from social listening tools and other influencer marketing tools such as Mention to find potential influencers who are already fascinated by their products. Another option is to use HYPR's influencer platform, which features a staggering 10 million influencer profiles that comprise audience demographics, engagement statistics, and other significant information.
Brands can also find influencers on Shoutcart, a marketplace for finding influencers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Linkedin. This platform also lets you filter influencers by categories and based on the type of content they upload.
That being said, there are some red flags to look out for on influencer profiles:
Build Meaningful Brand-Influencer Relationships
Once you have approached the right people for the job, you must establish meaningful relationships with them to ensure a long-term partnership.
The influencers you have approached must be familiar with your brand and the products you sell. Be sure to provide them with deeper insights by reflecting on your product perspective and brand values.
Emphasize brand uniqueness and clearly state your competition and what makes you stand apart in the market. If you're hiring influencers to launch a new line of products, be sure to highlight their primary benefits and how they work better than the competition.
Disclose all relevant information about your campaign to ensure that you're clear about your expectations. Do you require positive product reviews? Do you want the influencers to vlog one of your events? Do you want them to upload a post about your brand or a product lineup on social media?
Mention all the details explicitly to prevent any potential misunderstandings. Provide influencers with creative freedom when creating content for your brand. You can discuss the creative direction of the campaign and suggest amends without bossing them around.
Brands typically compensate influencers by providing free products. However, long-term relationships often get built by compensating influencers financially since creating videos or reviews involves investment.
Influencers also sometimes perform financial investments to deliver visually appealing content, which helps drive more conversions for your business. Therefore, monetary compensation is the best way to pay for an influencer's services.
Let Influencers Handle the Content
Popular influencers are highly capable of approaching audiences and garnering their trust. They're more than aware of ways to approach their followers, which is why brands must retreat from the content creation front and let influencers address audiences their way.
Brands often try exercising control over the content via unreasonable requests, scripting, and other moderating behaviors that feel unnatural and hinder creativity. The best influencer marketing campaign is the one where influencers deliver self-generated content in a way that appeals to their followers. Consider this as one of the many benefits of influencer marketing.
However, if you're running the campaign on a higher level with a broader audience involved, you can exercise a certain level of moderation and ask influencers to include certain elements.
For instance, if you wish to boost brand awareness, you can organize a contest or giveaway. If you're chasing sales, provide influencers with a discount code they can offer to their followers.
Be Picky and Negotiate
It might be enticing to pick an influencer with minimal charges or the one who replied early to your outreach message. However, being hasty when choosing the right influencers to advertise your brand can prove fatal to your reputation.
After sending outreach messages to influencers, wait for a while and gather all responses. Once all responses have arrived, shortlist influencers based on their followers, engagement rate, number of likes, uploading frequency, and other relevant metrics.
After going through hundreds of influencer profiles, you will end up with only a few that comply with your company's ideals and standards. Don't fear the low numbers, as you will achieve a higher ROI with six influencers that comply with your brand's ideals than you will with 60 influencers who have 50-50 odds of driving conversions.
After shortlisting profiles, you must approach them with your brand values and expectations. You can readily grab the attention of any influencer by appreciating their content and, as a token of appreciation, sending them a free product.
Upon successfully confirming that the influencer is interested in your products, you must now discuss a potential collaboration. If you run a small company, the influencer's standard rate might be too high for your budget. However, instead of giving up on that influencer, consider negotiating for affordable rates.
Content creators who have less than 10,000 followers will be open to receiving compensation in the form of free products, while those with a massive following will want financial compensation.
You can negotiate with influencers by incentivizing them with discount coupons, exclusive offers, and early access to deals. Once you have extensively established your influencer program and garnered adequate brand awareness, you will be in a better position to negotiate with influencers.
Go Budget-Friendly with Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers have niche-specific social figures with followers below 25,000. Despite the small number of followers, their audiences are typically hyper-engaged relative to massive followings of other influencers who barely pay attention to influencer marketing posts.
A recent Markerly study reviewed over 800,000 Instagram accounts with 1,000 followers or more. The engagement rates for each account were monitored, which revealed that with the increase of follower counts, likes decreased significantly.
A 2016 study from ExpertVoice claimed that micro-influencers had impressive conversion rates regarding product recommendations which stood at 22.2 times higher for each week than the rest. This study also concluded that 82 percent of buyers were highly likely to listen to a micro-influencer's suggestion on a product/service from a brand.
E-commerce brands that sell niche-specific products and services and operate on a budget must strongly consider approaching micro-influencers rather than burning through their pockets to get a leading influencer on board.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most competent tools to rapidly expand an E-commerce business and boost profits. While the debate of influencer marketing vs. affiliate marketing might be different for various businesses, it's without a doubt that influencers have an extensive audience outreach and can quickly spread the word about your brand. Influencer marketing also builds trust and faith in buyers and fuels brand loyalty.
The tips mentioned above can help build a successful influencer campaign that can jump-start a small business. Influencer marketing can feel intimidating to someone with no experience in the online realm, which is why you should consider hiring a professional eCommerce marketing agency.