The Beginner's Guide To Influencer Marketing↘
With over 3.2 billion active users on social media, it’s clear to see that our obsession with social platforms isn’t going anywhere, but even though many people primarily use such platforms for their; networking, entertainment and news aspects, they also turn to social content for inspiration on what to buy from online businesses.
So, what do tech-savvy consumers do when they’re deciding what and who to buy from online? They turn to their favourite online personalities such as; Instagram models, content creators and public figures, to see what they’re wearing, where they’re going and what they’re doing.
Consider this, when you’re trying to decide what pair of shoes or which makeup product to buy, are you likely to feel more attracted to an item sitting on a product page or one that you have seen your favourite influencer wearing? Now, it’s all beginning to make sense why having an influencer marketing strategy is so important.
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has positively exploded and according to a study conducted by Sparkler, 31% of people stated that they were influenced by content creators and public figures when deciding what to buy online. So, naturally, marketers are paying very close attention.
A recent survey also showed that 75% of businesses are utilising the power that influencers possess as a marketing tool, with many planning to increase spending in this area over the next 12 months.
So, how can you apply this strategy to your own Shopify store? Let’s take a closer look, but first, we should address the most obvious question of all - what is influencer marketing?
To get fully acquainted with influencer marketing, you will first need to understand who exactly influencers are and what it is that they do.
In short, an influencer is someone who has built a following through their social media content posted online. So, an influencer marketing strategy is when brands work with these individuals to increase awareness and drive sales for their product and/ or service(s).
Having an influencer marketing strategy involves finding the right creator for your product and/ or brand, whilst working with them to meet your objectives.
So, how exactly do marketers execute this? Well, there are many different ways that companies can choose to work with influencers and some methods include:
- Gifting: Gift influencers either one or more products in return for exposure by content shared on the influencer's account's featuring your business.
- Competitions: Run a contest or giveaway with an influencer to gain momentum and exposure for your business through their following.
- Sponsored Content: Sponsor an influencer’s content in exchange for product promotion and offer a unique discount code that can be used by their followers.
- Video Reviews: Ask the influencer to review your product or service in a video - with this type of content, authenticity is key.
The Pros and Cons of E-Commerce Marketing Strategies
Like everything in life, there will always be pros and cons and this is no exception when it comes to utilising an influencer marketing strategy within your business plan. However, the question that everyone wants to know the answer to above all else is - does it work?
To answer this question in full, we must breakdown the outcome into smaller sections, starting with the key advantages of influencer marketing:
N0.1: Defined Audience
Influencers may not have quite as wide a reach as figures in the public eye, but their following will usually be more defined and engaged, which are great grounds to advertise with.
Believe it or not, influencers are also more relatable than major celebrities and usually have a niche or specific interest. For instance, the corners of social media are now home to; gaming bloggers, health and fitness experts, beauty vloggers, fashion fanatics, home décor enthusiasts, travel lovers among others.
So as you can probably tell, those that choose to follow such accounts will have an interest in that specific niche.
Ultimately influencers have made the task for marketers easier when it comes to reaching a small and engaged audience who could potentially turn into loyal customers.
N0.2: Increased Conversions
While an influencer marketing strategy may not provide an instant impact on Shopify sales, you’re likely to see increased conversions elsewhere.
For instance, this could be in the form of an increased social media following or further subscribers signing up to an email marketing database.
However, if increasing your store's sales is the main goal, you could try to tailor an influencer marketing campaign to help with this as well.
For example, try offering a discount code for followers to utilise as this can be a great way to drive sales to any business.
N0.3: Increase Brand Awareness
By making use of e-Commerce marketing strategies such as this, you will give your ecommerce store instant online exposure.
It’s a relatively quick and easy way to create a bit of a buzz around your brand and its products.
N0.4: Low-Cost Marketing
For all the advantages that implementing an influencer marketing strategy offers, this method is quite an inexpensive marketing tactic for ecommerce owners.
This makes it an ideal way for Shopify startups to broaden their reach with limited spending.
N0.5: Easily Measured
One of the best things about influencer marketing is that it’s incredibly easy to measure the results compared to other e-Commerce marketing strategies.
To measure the difference that an influencer marketing strategy has made to your business, take a look at the ecommerce analytics to check how much traffic has been driven to your business through the influencer’s post.
Additionally, you will also be able to view how many sales have been generated by analysing how many people used the campaign-specific discount code. So, make sure that you’ve set up the relevant tracking systems so that all results are accurate.
Now, that we’ve covered the pros, it’s only fair that we cover the cons too, so here they are:
N01: Influencer Selections
Choosing the wrong influencer(s) could have a detrimental impact on your brand. Sceptical consumers could be turned off if they feel that the product and the influencer are mismatched.
By selecting influencers who would be more likely to use your products, their followers will be more likely to engage with your brand.
N0.2: Retain Authenticity
To retain authenticity, whatever you do, don’t force the influencer to read from a script. Allow them to adopt a natural approach so the content feels more aligned with what they normally post.
N0.3: Avoid The Hard Sell
Just one word of advice, anything that is too overly promotional is bound to be ignored.
To ensure that your content travels that extra mile, we’d recommend tailoring your collaboration approach to the specific influencer at hand so that it aligns with their content.
A Guide To Working With Influencers
Here’s how to get started when implementing an influencer marketing strategy into your ecommerce store:
- Define Your Audience: Your entire campaign will be shaped around that.
- Set Clear Objectives: Are you looking to grow brand awareness, increase YouTube subscribers or drive sales? Your entire influencer marketing strategy will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve.
- Be Clear on Spend: Develop a clear strategy with a budget.
- Plan Ahead: Spend some time researching the influencers you’d like to work with.
- Schedule Deadlines: Work out a schedule and set clear terms and timelines in which content should be published.
Where To Find Influencers
Wondering how and where candidates can be found for your store’s influencer marketing strategy? Take a look at our tips below:
N0.1: Popular Niche
The right influencer for your business should already be well known within your brand’s niche. For instance, beauty brands should look for influencers with an interest in that space. Additionally, fashion brands should look for an influencer that reflects their company’s style and so on.
Another approach that you could execute involves searching for the top influencers that rank highly for keywords within your store’s niche. So, start the process with a simple search on social media using keyword hashtags and you should generate sufficient results with influencers within your brand’s niche.
N0.2: Naturally Love Your Brand
If you want your e-Commerce marketing strategies with influencers to have any impact, look for candidates that are a natural fit for your brand. If it doesn’t make sense that the influencer would be an advocate for your business, followers will be able to see straight through it.
If you can find influencers that are already interested in your brand, that’s a great avenue to travel down also.
N0.3: Personality and Style Match
To create as natural a fit as possible, search for influencers that suit your brand. Remember, this person will be representing your brand, even if it’s just for one post.
Personality is also important as you want to find someone easy to work with. So, be sure to take a close look at the creative style and quality of the content they produce and ask yourself, is it on par with what you’d expect for your brand? Even if the influencer has a wide reach, followers will simply scroll past a low-quality piece of content.
N0.4: Key Metrics
Once you’ve created a shortlist of influencers that you could potentially work with, it’s time to look at the numbers. Look at how many followers/ subscribers they have, the kind of comments they receive and the level of engagement that their posts generate.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the key social media platforms where influencers could promote your brand:
- Instagram: With 1 billion active users, Instagram is primarily used by users aged under 35. It’s well suited for growing brand awareness and is also the most popular platform for influencer marketing with 99.3% of businesses using it for their campaigns.
- YouTube: One of the most effective social platforms for influencer marketing is YouTube as it helps to build awareness and drive traffic to ecommerce pages. Many staggering statistics show that online video consumption is at an all-time high, with users watching more than 1 billion hours of video each day on the platform.
- Facebook: With more than 2.2 billion users, Facebook can offer a wide reach. Recently, their live videos have become a popular choice for influencer marketing campaigns.
- Snapchat: With 75% of Snapchat users being under 34 years old, the application is well suited for brands that are looking to reach a younger audience.
It’s clear to see that a well thought out and executed influencer marketing strategy can go a long way when it comes to increasing brand awareness and driving sales so, hopefully, this article will help you define what's right for your Shopify store.
If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!