Many techniques and strategies are enabling you to promote your online store. But what about influencer marketing? Have you ever considered working with online influencers and creators to promote your e-commerce business? Let’s find out whether it’s a good idea.
If you’ve never heard the influencer marketing term, let’s explain what it is first. It’s an online promotion technique where you cooperate with online influencers (people creating online content and having massive communities around them) to promote your store. Influencers can be helpful because of two reasons:
- They’ve managed to build huge communities (frequently counted in millions of users; although, according to Mediakix, 87% of Instagram creators have between 1,000 and 50,000 followers)
- People following them usually trust their recommendations
So, to put it simply, when an influencer recommends a specific product (from your store), it is likely that you will get hundreds of orders in a short time.
Is influencer marketing for you?
Of course, there are sectors where influencer marketing will be more and less effective. For instance, the undisputed number one when it comes to influencer marketing is beauty and fashion. According to Fashion and Beauty Monitor, 57% of companies in these sectors use influencers as part of their marketing strategy.
What about other sectors? In general, it’s all about doing some research and a bit of creativity. In fact, working with influencers in a less popular niche can mean your campaign will trigger even more attention! All you have to do is look for influencers working in your sector or something similar to it. You can look for lists of influencers in your country and browse them to find an influencer who might be interested in working with you. As an example, take a look at this list compiled by Hubspot. There are tons of similar lists available online. So even if you’re selling printers, mugs, or gardening equipment, you can look for someone willing to work with you. And speaking of working with influencers – let’s see how and where to start.
Working with influencers – two options
In general, there are two ways to conduct a marketing campaign with an influencer. A direct one and an indirect one. Let’s have a look at them.
A DIRECT WAY
In the direct option, you find the influencer you’ve been looking for and simply reach out to them. Many influencers leave their contact details (at least an email address) on their profiles, so it’s not that big of a challenge. You write an email or a Facebook message and explain what you have in mind – you pitch your proposal. If the influencer is interested – they will surely reply with a quote.
At this point, we have to clarify two things. First: Working with influencers is almost never free. Only rookie influencers might be interested in barter cooperation, but that’s rather unlikely in 2022. They treat what they do as a full-time job, and they want to make money out of it. And secondly, many people ask who should come up with the idea for the cooperation – you, as a business owner or the influencer? The safest answer is this: You should approach the selected influencer with at least an initial vision for your cooperation. Don’t expect the influencer to plan and execute the whole campaign for you. Again, do some research, find out what the given person has done in the past and gather some ideas. It will be easier this way to come up with a good idea for an influencer marketing campaign.
AN INDIRECT WAY
In the second option, you don’t reach out to influencers yourself but through an intermediary. There are numerous influencer marketing platforms that gather and work with them. You just reach out, tell something more about your business, and they help you find the best candidate and polish the idea for the perfect campaign. This option can be more expensive (you pay not just the influencer but the platform as well), but from many perspectives, it’s also simpler and quicker, and that’s worth something, right?
INFLUENCER MARKETING PLATFORMS
If you type this query in Google, you will get a whole list of platforms offering such services. As it happens, even Zalando, a fashion e-commerce giant, has one! Their platform is called Collabary, and it provides the management for the entire campaign, from selecting influencers to measuring results. For obvious reasons, this platform is particularly for beauty and fashion e-commerce businesses.
Other platforms, not limited to these market sectors, comprise:
- Grin.co(this platform is specifically designed for online stores)
- Klear.com (they offer this interesting feature where you can turn your influential customers into influencers working with your brand)
- Mavrck.co(this platform enables working with different types of influencers, including macro/micro-Influencers, advocates, referrers, and loyalists)
How to be successful in influencer marketing
When it comes to this technique, there are three elements you have to take care of before you start the campaign. Whether you decide to opt for the direct or indirect way, you should:
- Select the best candidate(s): Look for online creators who are involved in your niche (or at least a similar niche). There’s no point in working with an online gaming influencer when you’re selling sporting goods. In other words, you need an influencer that will give you access to a community comprising your potential customers.
- Come up with a good idea for a campaign: Influencer marketing, unlike performance marketing, is all about creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. You can’t just ask your influencer to paste a link to your store and write, “I recommend this store, buy something today”. Believe us; it won’t work. Influencers and their communities value authenticity and creativity. And that’s what your idea should be – authentic and creative. If you have a hard time coming up with a good idea, you can ask the influencer platform for help or hire an agency that will do all this work for you.
- Measure results: Influencer marketing should be measured. After all, most likely, you will spend at least several thousand dollars on this campaign; you can expect some return on investment, correct? Here, influencer platforms have the upper hand because they offer built-in analytics modules, so you know what results the campaign has generated. This way, you can easily calculate whether it was profitable for your business.
TAKE CARE NOT JUST FOR THE INFLUENCER BUT FOR THEIR COMMUNITY AS WELL
Some brands tend to think, “we will pay him/her good money, so the campaign should be effective”. Well, not necessarily. Influencers are far more effective when they can offer something to their communities, even a small benefit. For the sake of the campaign, you could create a special promo code that anyone who will see the campaign could use to buy your products with a free shipment or a small discount. It will also be an excellent way to measure the campaign's effectiveness – you can simply check how many orders have been placed using that special code.
You now know what influencer marketing is all about, how to be successful with it, and where to start. Lastly, let’s have a look at three examples of successful campaigns. Maybe they will be an inspiration for your next campaign?
Examples of influencer marketing campaigns
TRESTIQUE: BEAUTY INFLUENCERS
Trestique is a sustainable beauty brand offering clean, zero-waste makeup kits and essentials. In 2021, they conducted a two-week Black Friday campaign on Instagram to drive awareness and sales. For this campaign, Trestique educated influencers working with them on their products and listened to their feedback on which items they liked and most wanted to promote. That knowledge was next shared during each creator’s IG Live events. This short campaign generated:
- 300% increase in influencer link clicks
- 268% increase in revenue from its previous campaign
Image source: Grin.co
PERSIL: FAMILY INFLUENCERS
In 2018, as a part of the #DirtIsGood campaign, Persil involved family influencers from Spain, Portugal, Greece, Finland, and France. The influencers were simply asked to post updates of their outdoor activities with their families accompanied by the hashtag #dirtisgood in different languages. One of the goals was to drive the social conversation on cleanliness. The results? 17 influencers generated 92,554 engagements and achieved a true reach of over 1 million users.
Image source: Persil
AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS: FASHION INFLUENCERS
This American fashion brand decided to use influencers and their own customers to increase sales in their online store. Every newsletter subscriber has been invited to participate in the campaign. The idea was simple. Participants had to:
- Create branded content on Instagram that contains American Eagle products in the photo.
- Amplify it in the social feeds (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest)
- Submit product photos that get displayed on the AE website product pages to increase purchase conversions and submit surveys to enhance market research and customer segmentation
The results were impressive; American Eagle Outfitters increased the e-commerce conversion rates by over 30%!
Image source: info.mavrck.co
Is influencer marketing a good choice? Dozens of successful campaigns prove that to be true. However, there are a few things to consider before you take the plunge. Pay attention to all the elements we discussed in this post, and you’re on the straight course to running your first successful influencer marketing campaign.
And if you’re looking for ways to drive more traffic and sales to your online store, see our solutions for the e-commerce sector and give web and mobile push a try! If you want to know more, our team is at your service.