Although influencer marketing has been around since televisions went mainstream, its modern day concept has undergone a complete transformation and is mostly understood in the context of the internet or more specifically, social media.
An influencer is an umbrella term for a person/group who regularly share their views through various social media platforms and command a sizeable following. There are all sorts of influencers on the internet.
The following are the most popular niches — Health & fitness, beauty, travel, business, fashion, luxury/lifestyle etc.
Influencer’s words carry weight thanks to human’s propensity to be captivated by social proof. The term social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where our actions and attitudes are influenced largely by the people around us (this could be both in the real or virtual world).
It’s this phenomenon that’s largely responsible for the birth of influencer marketing. Adweek predicts that by 2020 Influencer marketing will be worth $10 billion. But what does that mean for your e-commerce business?
In this blog, you’ll learn why influencer marketing makes sense for your e-commerce business and how to do it the right way and right away.
1. Finding the Right Influencer
There’s no shortage of influencers on the internet. For example, to be a Youtuber, all you need is a camera, a microphone, some basic video-editing skills and you’re good to go.
But when finding someone to speak for your brand, you need to be selective. Here are a few ways to find the right influencer for your business:
Look at Popular Influencers In Your Niche
Right at the outset, you need to take the popularity factor into account. An obscure influencer would fail to give you the necessary exposure, which defeats the purpose of marketing altogether.
So, if you’re in the tech industry, create a list of the most famous influencers who are reviewing the latest technology or electronic devices. Likewise, if you’re in the health and fitness industry, look for influencers that routinely talk about fitness, share helpful tips and ideas for healthy living.
Once you have the list, you can start the screening to find an ideal influencer for your business. Don’t forget to ask the following questions to yourself when you begin.
Will the influencer find your brand appealing?
Does the influencer already advocate your brand?
Will the influencer’s personality sit well with your brand’s image?
Will the influencer’s style suit your brand?
Does the influencer command a healthy following of your target customers?
Is the influencer well-versed in creating quality sponsored posts?
Find Influencers That Rank High on Popular Keywords in Your Niche
When looking for influencers in your niche, run a Google or Youtube search using the keywords that best define your products and services. Say, if you’re a web designing company, you can search for something like – ‘How to build a website with an eye-catching design?’ This will bring up a list of all the leading influencers in your niche who have published content in the video, graphics and audio formats. From here you can explore the potential candidates by looking at their previous work.
Influencers That Already Promote Your Brand
If your business has been around for a while, you may have some influencers who already talk about your products/services. Contact these influencers to reinforce a symbiotic working relationship.
We have seen tech giants like Apple, Google, Sony, Microsoft invite influencers from all over the world at their keynotes. The influencers get a free-pass to explore everything they like talking about, while the brand benefits from the coverage that an influencer brings through his/her channel. Similarly, different niches have different ways of involving their influencers in their product marketing.
Here’s Stephanie sharing her experience with Warby Parker glasses.
2. How to Build an Effective Relationship with Influencers
Building sound relationships is the foundation of influencer marketing. Here are a few ways to go about it:
Prime Your Influencers on Your Products & Brand Values
You can’t forego this step even if the influencer has a fair bit of understanding about your business and its product line. Start by informing them about what your brand stands for and the process that goes behind making the products and services.
Moving on, guide them about your key competitors and your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). Give them all the information regarding your products’ benefits and why they are an ideal choice for your target audience.
If the influencer is to play a key role in your marketing campaign, it’s advisable to keep him/her informed about the campaign’s objectives. These could either be generating x number of leads or attaining a particular sales target.
Establish a clear understanding as to what kind of coverage you’re looking for; should they do a product review, create a vlog on a major event or share photos on Instagram? Share your requirements but avoid altogether dictating the vein of the content or anything that curbs an influencer’s creativity.
Ask Influencers to Review Your Products
Product review is one of the most popular practices in influencer marketing. Think With Google notes that 62% of consumers watch a product review video before making a purchase.
This hardly comes as a surprise. With e-commerce purchases on the rise, online reviews serve as the easiest way to ascertain product trust and utility.
So, have the influencer do a product review to establish some credibility and gain wider coverage at the same time.
Here’s Dave Lee doing a comprehensive review of the Surface Pro 4 while proving why it’s the best 2-1 for college students.
Publish Influencer’s Content on Your Product Pages
Thanks mainly to the unmistakable candor of many famous online influencers, influencer marketing has progressed in leaps and bounds. So what we’re seeing now is brands posting content from influencer channels to their product pages to benefit from social proof. As per combined research by Twitter and Annalect, 49% of users rely on influencers’ recommendations when making a purchase decision.
3. Offer Attractive Coupons/Deals Through Influencers
Discounts and coupons have always been an effective means to drive sales at a rapid pace. As per Juniper’s research, digital coupon redemption will surpass $91 billion by 2022. What better way to increase coupon redemption than through influencers who command a vast audience reach!
4. Collaborate With Influencers Around Major Events
We’ve seen how effective influencers can be in promoting a brand and raising product awareness. Yet, to experience outstanding results double the effortsaround key events. Coca-Cola used this tactic to good effect around the Rio 2016 Olympics with its #thatsgold campaign.
#THATSGOLD was a tremendous success for Coca Cola during the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The idea was to relate the feeling of receiving gold on the podium with everyday moments of joy and satisfaction that people share with their friends and family. To promote this idea, the company rolled out a series of print-ads featuring more than 20 Olympians from all over the world in authentic, everyday situations. In addition, Coca Cola AU picked seven videos to edit and repurpose for social channels with a major focus on Facebook.
The hashtag went viral and the company generated over 1.5 million views and 12,000 organic engagements. The campaign was considered to be a major hit among teens and millennials.
This wasn’t a one-off event, we saw Nike release new boots for the Portuguese Football star Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Influencer marketing can send your sales figures through the roof. But it requires a decent amount of groundwork. The influencer’s personality and your brand’s values should be aligned.
After you’ve found the right influencer to represent your brand, build a strong relationship with them by keeping them informed about the direction of your marketing campaign and the key points you’re trying to communicate to your audience.
A working relationship also implies fair compensation for the services delivered. Always remember, influencer marketing can generate the desired results if it is executed in a diligent manner.
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