In order to stay competitive in today’s market, a strong social media presence is crucial for any business. Although traditional marketing methods are still the base of most marketing strategies, the constant rise of the number of social media networks and their users opens a whole new world of product placement options. In addition, social media allows companies to establish relationships with their customers and build trust. In order to make the most of the marketing opportunities social networks offer, brands often turn to influencer marketing, as an ecommerce strategy, to reach a larger customer base and improve overall brand presence. So how can influencer marketing help your ecommerce business? Read on to find out more about the benefits of cooperating with an influencer and why this marketing strategy has become popular over the past few years.
How does influencer marketing work?
An influencer is a person who has a large number of followers on social media due to the content they produce in a specific field. This means that they have acquired a certain reputation of being knowledgeable in their niche and are often somewhat of a role model for their followers. That being said, it’s their reputation and the relationship they have with their followers that can do wonders when it comes to marketing. The main reason why influencer marketing is becoming more effective than ads and commercials lies in the fact that people tend to trust other people more than brands and their ads. This is even more pronounced when the other person is someone they hold in high regard for whatever reason. Apart from the obvious benefit of reaching a very targeted and interested audience, the fact that your company is being recommended by a person they trust will generate more traffic, and, consequently, a boost in sales.
Developing an influencer marketing strategy
Just like any other type of marketing, in order for an influencer marketing strategy to be successful, it needs to be well thought-through and fine-tuned to your company. Some of the key aspects you should pay attention to when devising the strategy are:
- Approaching the right person for your targeted audience
- Collaborate to create your marketing campaign
- Track the results and adapt
For further clarification on the subject, as well as some useful tips and insights, you can browse the internet for some advice, and/or watch a couple of tutorials on YouTube, posted by users who have experience with influencer marketing and strategy development. Spending some time to acquaint yourself with how this type of marketing works will help to prepare you for implementing it, and give you a good idea of what you can expect from it.
Reaching out to influencers
When considering who to approach, you should always look for influencers who are in the same niche as your company. Since they create content related to a specific field in which they have a personal interest, they have extensive knowledge and have likely developed a certain level of expertise in it, which reflects on the quality of their content. It’s also important to keep in mind who you want to reach with your message, since the right influencer for your campaign depends on your target audience. If you aren’t sure about whom or how to approach, you might want to enlist the help of a social media management agency in order to ensure your company connects and creates a long-term relationship with a relevant influencer for your targeted audience. Once you have agreed upon the terms of the collaboration with the influencer of your choice, the first step is behind you, and the real work can begin.
Creating a marketing campaign
This is arguably the most important step of the process. Use the experience and knowledge of the influencer and work together when designing the ecommerce campaign, since it needs to suit both your company’s goals and the influencer’s style. If the influencer has previous similar experiences, they probably already know how their audience will respond to different approaches, and this is something you should keep in mind before dismissing any ideas. Below are some of the tried methods you can use for your campaign:
- Promo codes – Providing incentives, such as discounts associated with promo codes for influencer followers can be a great way to promote your products, by including them in the content the influencer publishes. Apart from that, promo codes allow you to easily track subsequent purchases, as a measure of how effective the influencer is, or whether their followers are the right audience for your brand.
- Giveaways – Influencers can organize giveaways for their followers, which can direct them to social media pages with different calls to action. In order to participate in the giveaway, followers are usually required to follow certain directions, such as following pages, tagging friends, liking a post, etc. In the end, a random winner is picked and rewarded with either a gift card, a certain product or service, or some other reward. This method is especially effective for increasing brand awareness.
- Instagram Stories – This feature of Instagram allows users to post content which disappears after 24 hours, which will allow your business to post more content without cluttering the followers’ feed. By attaching direct links to your product to the stories they share, the influencer can effectively direct their followers to your website, as well as urge them to take the opportunity you are offering before it expires.
Once you have devised a marketing campaign with meaningful content through a mutual effort with the influencer, you are ready to start implementing it and reaping the rewards.
Tracking the results and adapting
Once your campaign is launched, you need to monitor how it performs, in order to determine which aspects of it worked as planned, and which haven’t, and ultimately, whether your influencer marketing campaign is profitable. Having clear campaign goals, such as to raise brand awareness, will make it fairly simple to measure the results of the campaign, by tracking different metrics relating to influencer marketing, and identify what you want to improve on in the future. Although some aspects can be tricky to measure accurately, others can be tracked fairly easily, and by ensuring you monitor the performance of the campaign as closely as possible, you can get a good understanding of the effects of your influencer marketing strategy. The metrics you should focus on depend on your goals. However, some of the more important include social media followers and audience growth rate, average engagement rate and visitor frequency rate, as well as the core metrics, such as the bounce rate and click-thru rate. Nevertheless, you should definitely read up on which metrics you should follow depending on your goals.
Influencer marketing is proving to be the number one marketing strategy for ecommerce businesses with its popularity continuing to grow. This is because it excels in areas where traditional marketing was found to be lacking. If executed correctly, influencer marketing can help businesses build trust with their target audience and improve brand awareness, as well as SEO, without the need for significant investments, which makes it suitable for companies of all sizes.
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About the author
Chloe Smith is a design enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).