While they’ve been around for the last few years, there’s no doubt that influencer marketing is hotter now than ever before. But you have to do it right. Why? Well, if you’ve ever dabbled in using this as an eCommerce marketing tool, you know that it can be really easy to hire someone to advertise your brand on their social media channel and then never hear anything again, or don’t follow up on their end of the deal.
That’s why our team of eCommerce marketing experts put together this influencer guide to help you out. Keep reading to learn the who, what, when, where, why, and how of eCommerce influencer marketing.
Who? - Finding the Right Influencers for your eCommerce Brand is Key
eCommerce influencer marketing is a little like dating. You see someone online, and you really want to build that relationship. The truth is that you have to be just as picky when choosing a social media personality to work with as you do when looking for a romantic relationship.
It’s super important to choose influencers that reach your target audience and niche. However, you also want to find people who match your overall message and ethics. Influencer marketing gets a little tricky when something is said that doesn’t align with your brand’s core values or they’re repping your competitor’s brand. Everybody makes mistakes, but it can be detrimental to have bad media surrounding your influencer of choice.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to look at different types of influencer audience sizes. Both nano influencers (a hundred to ten thousand followers) and macro influencers (over a million followers) can be effective. But selecting the one that’s right for you is all in how you plan and what your goals are. It also depends on your niche and their overall audience engagement. For example, an A-list celebrity who is followed by all types of people could be great for brand awareness but not so much for conversions if you’re trying to sell a specific product.
What? - How to Decide the Details
Once you’ve decided on an influencer (or several) to work with and have a good idea of their requirements, it’s time to decide those finer details. We’re talking about things like how the influencer is going to post to their audience, whether you’ll provide them with free product, etc. It’s essential to get these things worked out ahead of time, as doing so sets the tone for how the promotion is going to run. Also, if you decide to go the gifting route, make sure that your influencers are upfront and make it clear in their post with hashtags or post copy that you have been gifted free products or paid to do the post. There are specific rules set by the Federal Trade Commission that should be reviewed to avoid being sued, so the more transparent your influencers are, the better!
There are multiple different methods of running an influencer promotion. For example, you can sponsor a contest for their followers. There are also other ways to leverage the partnership, such as offering a special discount code or asking for general social media follows. Choosing one generally comes down to your brand’s unique KPIs and niche, but these are just a few ideas.
Another option? Influencer whitelisting. This is when a brand gets special permission from an influencer to post advertisements on their behalf to the influencer’s social media account. Essentially a blend of paid advertising and influencer marketing is gaining popularity with eCommerce stores.
When? - It’s Always a Good Time for Influencer Marketing
There’s no real good or bad time for influencer marketing. After all, they’re constantly looking to provide their audience with new content. However, there are certain periods that are better for your brand as a whole.
For example, when you’re making a big holiday sales push or introducing a new product. Other examples include announcing a new partnership with the influencer, which many cosmetic brands do when they have a special line inspired by YouTube and Instagram stars.
Simply put, whenever you need a sales push, you should try to use your existing influencer relationships for a joint venture. Having these connections ahead of time is crucial, so make sure you’re consistently working on them.
Where? - Instagram Isn’t the Only Game in Town
While Instagram is one of the more popular arenas for influencer marketing, it isn’t your only option. Any social media platform is essentially a spot to make a campaign work. Think paid Facebook ads targeted to the influencer’s audience, a promotion on your website, or even a blast to your email list.
Additionally, some of the lesser-known video platforms are becoming huge for influencer eCommerce marketing. Need examples? Well, a cooking gadget company teaming up with a Twitch cooking channel. Or a health and wellness brand working with a TikTok star. The possibilities are out there; you just have to get creative on how you find these influencers for eCommerce purposes.
Why? - Proof That Influencer Marketing Works
There’s a reason why influencer spending has skyrocketed — it can generate 11x as much ROI as banner ads. But the process isn’t all that new. Using spokespeople to promote products is something advertisers have used for hundreds of years.
However, we are in a new era. It’s easier than ever for anyone to grow an engaged audience and produce quality content through social media. Increased availability and technology are what makes now the greatest time ever to start using influencers to grow your eCommerce brand.
How? - Getting Started with Influencers for eCommerce Sites
They say that jumping into influencer marketing is something that you really need to do with both eyes open and two feet in the game. Although that sounds a little corny to us, we get the emotion behind the sentiment. Simply put, if you’re going to go through the process of building relationships with social media influencers, you have to be willing to put in effort from the very beginning.
If you aren’t sure how to get started with eCommerce influencer marketing, then we’ve got you covered. At CAKE, we understand all aspects of the process, including outreach, engagement, tracking, and more. Let us handle creating your recipe for success with influencers while you get to enjoy all the sweet benefits! Please contact us today for details.