The Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing For E-Commerce Stores

The Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing For E-Commerce Stores

Sep 26th 2019 - 7 minute read

The Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing For E-Commerce Stores

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 anytime soon. Although people primarily use social media for networking, entertainment and news, they also turn to social content for inspiration on what to buy.

What do consumers, young ones in particular, now do when they’re deciding what to buy? They turn to their favourite online personalities, from Instagram models to YouTubers, 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 piece of makeup to get, are you likely to feel more attracted to one sitting on a product page or one that you see your favourite influencer wearing?

Over the last few years, influencer marketing has positively exploded.

According to a study by Sparkler, 31% of people stated that they were influenced by influencers and celebs when deciding what to buy.

Naturally, marketers are paying attention.

A recent survey showed that 75% of businesses are using influencers 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...

First things first, what is Influencer Marketing?

To get under the skin of influencer marketing, you need to understand exactly who influencers are:

An influencer is someone who has built a following through their social media content.

Influencer marketing is when brands work with these influencers to increase awareness or drive sales for their product or service. Influencer marketing involves finding the right influencer for your product or brand and working with them to meet your objectives.

So, how exactly do marketers do this?

There are many different ways that companies work with influencers, including:

  • Gift them your product and they may give your brand exposure by sharing it on their channels. Drop them a line along with the gift for the best chance of exposure.
  • Work with them to run a contest or giveaway for their followers.
  • Sponsor an influencer’s content where your product is promoted and offer a discount code for their followers.
  • Ask the influencer to review your product or service in a video - authenticity is key here!

Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

So, the question is: does it actually work?

Here are the key advantages of influencer marketing:

  • You will be able to reach a defined audience

Influencers may not have as wide a reach as traditional celebrities, but their following will usually be more defined and more engaged. They are also more relatable than major celebs and usually have a niche or specific interest. For instance, there are gaming bloggers, health and fitness experts, beauty vloggers, etc.

Their followers will already have an interest in that niche. This makes it easier for marketers who want to reach a small and engaged audience set of potential customers.

  • You will likely see an increase in conversions

While influencer marketing may not show an instant impact in Shopify sales, you’re likely to see conversions elsewhere. This could be an increased social media following or more subscribers to your email marketing database.

However, if sales are your main goal, you can tailor your influencer marketing campaign to help with that as well. For instance, offering a discount code for followers can be a great way to drive sales.

  • You can increase brand awareness

Working with influencers will give your e-commerce store instant online exposure. It’s a relatively quick and easy way to create a bit of a buzz around your brand and product.

  • It’s a relatively low cost form of marketing

For all the advantages that it offers, influencer marketing is quite an inexpensive marketing tactic for e-commerce owners. This ideal for Shopify startups with limited spend.

  • It’s easily measurable

One of the best things about influencer marketing? It’s incredibly easy to measure results. Look at your e-commerce analytics to check how much traffic has been driven through the influencer post. You can also see how many sales have been driven by checking how many people used the campaign-specific discount code.

Make sure you set up the relevant tracking systems so all results are accurate.

Now, here’s the bad:

  • Choosing the wrong influencers 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. Retain authenticity by picking influencers who would be more likely to use your products.
  • Don’t force the influencer to read off a script. Allow them to adopt a natural approach so the content feels more aligned with what they normally post.
  • Avoid the hard sell. Anything that is too overly promotional is bound to be ignored. *Tailor your approach to the specific influencer so it feels more aligned with their content.

A Guide to Working With Influencers

Here’s how to get started as you consider influencer marketing for your e-commerce 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, drive sales? Your entire strategy will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve.
  • Develop a clear strategy with a budget.
  • Spend some time researching the influencers you’d like to work with.
  • Work out a schedule and set clear terms and timelines.

Where To Find Influencers

The first step of a successful influencer marketing campaign for your Shopify store? Finding the right influencer.

Here’s how:

  • Start by looking for influencers that are popular in your niche

The right influencer for you should already be well known within your niche. For instance, beauty brands should look for influencers with an interest in that space. Fashion brands, find an influencer that you think reflects your company’s clothing style. And so on.

Search for the top influencers that rank highly for keywords for your niche. Start with a simple Google search on search on the social media platforms using your keywords and you should get results with some of the key influencers in your niche.

  • Find influencers that would naturally love your brand

If you want your influencer marketing campaign to have any impact, look for influencers that are a natural fit for your brand. If it doesn’t make sense that the influencer would be an advocate for your brand, followers will be able to see straight through it.

If you can find influencers that are already interested in your brand, even better!

  • Look for a 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.

Take a close look at the creative style and quality of the content they produce as well. 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.

  • Look at the 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 get, and the level of engagement for their posts.

Social Platforms

Here’s a quick overview of some of the key social media platforms where influencers can promote your e-commerce brand:

  • Instagram: With 1 billion active users, Instagram is primarily used by the under 35. It’s well suited for growing brand awareness and also the most popular platform for influencer marketing. 99.3% of businesses use Instagram for their influencer marketing campaigns.
  • YouTube: One of the most effective social platforms for influencer marketing, YouTube helps with building awareness and driving traffic to your e-commerce page. 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 YouTube.
  • Facebook: With more than 2.2 billion users, Facebook can offer wide reach. Recently, their Live videos have become more popular for influencer marketing campaigns
  • Snapchat: With 75% of Snapchat users being under 34 years old, Snapchat is well suited for brands looking to reach younger audiences.

It’s clear to see that well thought out and well-executed influencer marketing can go a long way in increasing awareness of your brand and driving sales. Hopefully, this article will help you define the influencer strategy for your Shopify store.

Need design and development help with a Shopify project? I have years of experience working on e-commerce projects for a wide range of clients across London, Hertfordshire, Essex, and other areas.

Get in touch and I’d be happy to jump on a call or meet for a coffee to discuss your Shopify development needs.