2020 A quick guide to Influencer marketing for your eCommerce business

For any kind of businesses including eCommerce to stay relevant in their market, having a strong social media presence is essential. But considering the ad blockers and different ways of blocking paid ads on browsers and on social networks influencer marketing is a smart move. In this guide, we’ll show you an implementable and actionable strategy of how to leverage influencer marketing for your eCommerce business.

The history of eCommerce begins with a man who sold a CD of “Sting” to his friend via his website, which is considered the first American retail platform. Since then eCommerce evolved to make products easier to discover and purchase.

Although e-business refers to all kinds of online business, eCommerce refers specifically to the transaction of goods and services, from retail to digital products.

If you’re running an eCommerce business a working marketing strategy for generating new leads is very important to run your business successfully. And if influencers aren’t a part of that strategy, you could be missing out on opportunities to get in front of your target customers.

Influencer Marketing in a nutshell

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Influencer marketing is about leveraging the power of word-of-mouth by getting influential social media users to talk about your brand. Influencer marketing is about a collaboration between brands and influencers, social media users who have expertise in a particular industry or niche with huge numbers of followers. What makes them influential on social media is their expertise and broad audiences. Therefore they have the power to affect the purchase decisions of their audiences.

Unlike celebrities they can be anyone, they are industry experts, gurus, artists, even your math professor.

The reason why influencer marketing is effective is that the engaging nature of social media. Today’s consumers want to interact, to be informed and entertained by brands. Besides, there is the fact that influencers already built up a high amount of trust with their audience, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.

It’s no surprise that the influencer marketing industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth by 2020. The survey conducted by Mediakix found that 89% of marketers said influencer marketing was better than other digital marketing strategies.

By having influencers to mention your brand or product is a marketing campaign by itself. The beauty of influencer marketing is that unlike traditional advertising it’s more organic and audience-specific.

All things considered, influencers’ posts forge trust with customers. Indirectly, brands enjoy valuable endorsement that cannot be replicated with standard ads.

To take it a step further, influencer marketing is an eCommerce strategy that focuses on using these social media influencers. They drive your brand’s message to a larger market instead of marketing directly to them yourself.

How influencers and social media are changing eCommerce

The product discovery on social media is growing continuously. More than 80% of consumers discover products they like on social media. Instagram, specifically holds the largest share among other platforms as 48% of consumers discover products on Instagram. For comparison, this number was 18% in 2017. The other platforms like Facebook and Pinterest are growing with 70% and 22% respectively.

As you can see from the results social media plays an important role in driving consideration introducing people to things.

Gaining online trust equals sales. Influencer marketing is a tool to build trust around your brand. By aligning your e-business with influencers you’re not only gathering influencers’ audiences but also the audience that trusts them. It’s one of the most effective ways to attract customers as they hear about your ads through someone they trust.

So you’ll need a strong eCommerce strategy that will generate trust in your brand. A powerful eCommerce strategy will help you to plan a process to achieve your online store’s goals and increase its position in the market. Before starting a promotion campaign be sure to have a proper checklist.

How to Build Your Influencer Strategy

  • Identify Goals and KPI

First thing first, set clear goals. Many young brands often falter on the goal-setting stage. Influencer marketing can serve to build and increase brand awareness, reach new audiences, and drive customer acquisition. Every campaign should target one business goal. When you focus on too many objectives at once, it will not help either.

  • Choose the target audience

If you want to maximize sales and get the most out of your marketing budget, you need to define the right target audience. Knowing who is buying your products will help you to know whether you’re working with the right influencers and save you from spending all your marketing budget. So, how to identify your audience?

It’s a good start to begin with a larger group that would be interested in your brand then get more specific by considering demographics like location, gender, age and so on. You can use these metrics to narrow the audience even more.

  • Establish social media channels

On top of finding the right audience, you’ll want to find the right social media platform for eCommerce business. The platform you pick will depend on where you want to reach your audience and what kind of influencer content you want to create.

Instagram

Instagram already reached 1 billion active users in 2018 and the number is steadily growing since then. It means that the chances of your potential consumers being on the platform are high. The average age demographics are no older than 35 years old, with the majority of users being female.

As Instagram’s built around sharing photos, it’s the best platform for any retailer who wants to show off their products. Instagram stories have more than 250 million daily active users. This feature allows posting videos and photos, creating simple polls to gather customer data.

Besides, Instagram’s Shopping Tags feature allows eCommerce marketers to tag specific products in their images so they are shoppable on the platform.

If your goals are reaching new audiences and building awareness, creative Instagram campaigns should be part of your influencer strategy.

Facebook

Facebook with 1.62 billion active daily users is the most popular social media platform in the world. This makes it a logical starting point for an eCommerce retailer.

Facebook marketing is a great way to blend into the experience users enjoy most about the platform. The posts that users find more informative and entertaining always get higher engagement. That’s why it’s essential to know and understand your target audience very well. In fact, most users find the brand’s Facebook page more interesting that the company website.

Keep in mind that, there is a high competition for News Feed. Businesses have to pay to boost their posts to stay competitive. Depending on your goals the platform offers various marketing tools to get the most out of your efforts. Businesses can target their audiences by using advertising filters such as their interests, income, behaviors, etc. Just like Instagram. Facebook’s algorithm is also good at personalizing paid content by users. So your boosted content will find the right people to engage with it. The key here is not to forget to engage with your users, as well.

YouTube

As the saying goes, an image is worth a thousand words. It’s a powerful visual social network with nearly 2 billion monthly active users. The audience is diverse with the age demographics between 25 to 44.

The platform offers highly engaging content, regular and live videos. YouTube users enjoy a total of 1 billion hours of video content daily.

The platform is a good way to go viral. Try to create posts that solve the customers’ problems or address common questions related to your industry. For an eCommerce business, there is no better way than to move into the area of viral videos.

What makes YouTube unique is its ability to demonstrate your products in use. The platform also allows adding a direct link in the video’s description to the relevant product page to connect it to your site.

These were big brothers of social networks, now, time to talk about a new breed of social media platforms: Twitter, Snapchat and Tik-Tok.

While Twitter has a character limit that may seem a barrier to convey your message, it’s an effective platform in terms of influencer marketing. There is a 5.2 times increase in purchase intent when users see tweets from both influencers and brands.

Snapchat caters only for the youngest audience. With over 188 million daily active users, the platform has more engagement than any other social media platform. It also allows for ads and customized filters by location. Snapchat recently released an in-app eCommerce platform for products. This means that brands can actually sell their products within the app.

To some, TikTok seems like a digital fad. To others, it’s the next wave of social media. Just like Snapchat, the majority of users are youngsters who love funny videos. Users can add music, face filters, emoji stickers, and other free editing tools to make videos more creative. The key feature of Tik-Tok is live streaming. Because of its immediacy and real-time engagement opportunity people love live streams.

  • Find influencers in your niche/industry

The next step is finding and selecting the relevant influencers for the eCommerce business. You can find valuable influencers on every social channel around the web depending on what type of content you want to create. The right influencer for eCommerce business is the one that matches your brand’s style, tone, and mission as well as might depend on your budget and business objectives. Before collaborating with influencers review the key metrics and decide which are important for your strategy. There are four types of influencers:

While celebrity influencers might work well for years, influencer marketing grew out of it. Besides, they usually charge enormous sums and most consumers don’t trust them these days. Considering that your audience is online, this one is not a good option to go for.

As people started to trust traditional advertising and celebrities less and fewer, micro-influencers took a more central position.

Here important things you should know before starting micro-influencer marketing:

  • More authentic: They are much like their followers.
  • Engaged with the audience: Micro-influencers tend to have a highly-engaged niche audience that values the influencer’s recommendations as a peer. They also have good communication with their followers.
  • Niche-focused: They are experts in their industry. As a result of their expertise, they are highly likely to affect the purchasing decisions of their audience. So, micro-influencers drive most traffic into conversions.
  • Finally, there’re many of them on social media who ready often to collaborate.

Where to find influencers

Influencer marketing platforms like Keepface is the right place to start. All you need is to sign up as a brand and find relevant influencers just filtering by audiences, demographics, location or industry. In addition to just helping to find the influencers, the platform automates the whole influencer campaign for you.

  • Create meaningful content

Creating meaningful content is key to get people to trust your brand and make a purchase.

Unlike paid ads, influencers are exceptional at generating meaningful and organic content. Organic influencer content has a higher engagement rate, brands also can benefit when an influencer shares or mentions their content.

Keep in mind that you should strive to only partner with influencers who align with your brand.

Make sure the content that influencers are creating is relevant to your eCommerce brand and products and represents your brand’s beliefs, values, and mission.

How to collaborate with influencers

There are many collaboration ways with influencers. Here are the most popular types of campaigns that are best for the eCommerce business.

1. Discount codes and affiliate marketing

Provide influencers with promo codes. Incentives such as discounts associated with promo codes are a great way to promote your products. Who doesn’t love discounts?

2. Competitions and giveaways

What is better than discounts is winning free products. Holding giveaways to followers is a great tactic to quickly drive followers to the brand’s social media channels.

3. Instagram storytelling

Instagram’s amazing feature allows for posting more content without cluttering the followers’ feed. You can also attach direct links to your products, so influencers can easily draw their followers to your website.

4. Product reviews

Product review is one of the most common but also most efficient influencer campaigns. This type of campaign works so well because they are similar to reviews from peers. The idea is simple, people always check reviews first before buying something.

Finally, the last step is to measure the true ROI of the influencer marketing campaign. Which metrics are important to measure.

  • Reach and views
  • Engagement
  • CTRs to an eCommerce page
  • Increased search traffic
  • Shares and referrals
  • Tracking tags
  • Coupons and promotional campaigns

Let’s take a look at some successful influencer campaigns done by eCommerce brands.

eBay’s “Fill your cart with color” campaign

World’s growing eCommerce company eBay started an influencer marketing campaign to combat the global domination of its competitor, Amazon.

eBay worked with fashion and lifestyle influencer @kerifay, to market itself as a lifestyle brand — a place of limitless imagination, color, and style that you can use to mix and match and create a new look. The campaign, called #fillyourcartwithcolor, saw record-setting results, with nearly 350K engaged followers.

The reason behind eBay’s success is its right strategy. As you know, eBay is neither a fashion brand nor a clothing company, not even a lifestyle brand. But, Instagram is very much a lifestyle-based social media platform that is in love with fashion. eBay used the influencer campaign to rebrand the company for the Instagram audience. By the time the campaign was over, eBay became to known as a lifestyle market where millennials could create their own unique look.

Gwynnie Bee’s influencer campaign

Gwynnie Bee, a rental clothing e-retailer for plus-size women, always puts influencers at the center of their social media strategy. Rather than looking specifically for individuals who often worked with other fashion companies, considered those whose audience overlapped with their own. This means looking for micro-influencers on YouTube who create content related to topics such as lifestyle, accessories, food and more. Just like @plusjones, Youtuber and co-owner of PLUS Model Magazine.

Together with influencers, GB created more authentic and non-scripted but that also aligns with BG’s overall marketing goals, as well. The goal was YouTubers to spread Gwynnie Bee’s messaging in a meaningful way.

Besides, the company also created a “closet” on the brand’s website to showcase the specific items that loved most. As a result, the campaign saw CTR of 5.85%, which is about 3x the average.