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August 12, 2022

How To Boost Ecommerce Sales With Influencers

How To Boost Ecommerce Sales With Influencers

Influencer marketing is an effective method to boost ecommerce sales compared to traditional ads. Social media influencers have taken the time to build a personal brand across their platforms and have huge audiences seeing their content daily. They have loyal followers and are an excellent marketing tool for promoting your ecommerce business. 

Influencer marketing is a lucrative form of social media marketing involving working with influencers to promote your products. It continues to rise in popularity, and working with influencers has plenty of benefits. You can use small or mega influencers with massive followings to promote your products to a dedicated target audience. 

This article will discuss everything you need to know about setting up a successful influencer campaign and creating an influencer marketing strategy. We'll look at all the benefits of using influencers to promote products at your online store and take you through a step-by-step guide on finding influencers and using them to promote your brand. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a new marketing strategy that involves collaborating with influencers who have a following on social media to promote products. It works well because people can relate better to influencers and trust their recommendations since they are not a faceless brand. 

The influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. It's a lucrative form of marketing. Brands will work with people and develop influencer campaigns across various social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Every platform has pros and cons and its own form of content. 

Micro-influencers are people who have a following of fewer than 100,000 people, whereas mega-influencers have more than a million followers. More recently, brands have been using micro-influencers more often than mega-influencers. In 2019, they opted to use those with smaller followings ten times more than people with massive follower lists. 

It makes sense because micro-influencers are cheaper to work with, so a company can spread the budget across several influencers instead of dropping a more considerable amount on one person. 

Does Influencer Marketing Work to Boost Ecommerce Sales?

The average return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing is $5.78 for every dollar spent. That means you can use influencer campaigns to drive sales at your online store. Instagram alone has a billion active monthly users, and Tiktok has similar figures. Online brands have successfully used influencer marketing to boost their sales. In a survey, 89% of marketers said the ROI for influencer marketing is higher than other forms of marketing. 

Influencers are essentially relatable celebrities. People follow them to learn about their lives and will emulate them as much as they can. They are trendsetters. So it's no surprise that influencer marketing is so successful. 

You can use influencer marketing to boost the sales at your ecommerce business. 

How Much Does Influencer Marketing Cost?

There are a lot of factors that will affect the expense of your influencer campaign. Every influencer has their own price point, which can vary depending on what kind of content you're looking for. The primary considerations that influence the cost are: 

  • Content Number: The number of posts you are looking for will affect the price. The higher the number, the more expensive it will be. 
  • Type of Content: Social media platforms offer various types of content. It could be a picture and caption, a short or long video. Video content is more expensive than pictures. 
  • Audience: Smaller influencers are cheaper than mega influencers and more popular to use now as they tend to have a specific target audience. 
  • Duration: Every influencer campaign has a start and end date. The longer it goes on, the greater the cost. 
  • Production Costs: Depending on what product you're pushing, production costs may be associated with it. The influencer doesn't want to be out of pocket. 
  • Industry: Different industries carry different expenses. 

Averagely, depending on follower lists, you'd be looking at this cost per post: 

  • Nano-Influencer: These are people with around 1000-10,000 followers. You'd expect to pay about $10-$100 for each post. 
  • Micro-Influencer: They have 10,000-100,000 followers and will cost an average of $100-$500 per post. 
  • Mid-Influencer: With 100,000-500,000 followers, you'll be set back roughly $500-$5000 per post, depending on the content. 
  • Macro-Influencer: They have around 500,000-1 million followers and cost about $5000-$10,000 per post
  • Mega-Influencer: These massive social media stars have over 1 million followers and are the most expensive, charging $10,000 or more for every post. 

Boost Ecommerce Sales with an Influencer Marketing Campaign Strategy

There are various ways to use influencers to boost sales for your ecommerce store. Setting up an influencer marketing campaign is a valuable marketing method that will get you more followers on social media, increase your engagement, and sell products simultaneously. 

We've outlined the critical steps in setting up a successful influencer marketing campaign, so you can apply it to your own business and start making the necessary steps in social media marketing. 

Research Influencers and Platform

Take your time before setting up an influencer marketing campaign to find the perfect influencer for your brand. Everyone has their own following, and each person's audience will be different. Go through potential influencer's pages and content to see if they have relevant posts for your brand. 

You should also decide what type of content you want on each platform. TikTok is best for short videos, and YouTube is an excellent platform for how-to videos, unboxing content, and longer product reviews. Instagram is the best place to advertise products with sponsored posts and ads. 

Plan ahead, so that before you even contact any influencers, you know exactly what you want. 

Set Your Budget

Before contacting anyone, you should set a budget for your social media campaigns. Consider how much people will charge per post and get a greater idea of how much it will cost. You should have an overall marketing budget, so deciding how much to allocate towards influencer marketing is essential. 

The longer the campaign, and the more social media platforms you work across, the more expensive it will be. It would be best if you also considered your potential influencers' follower counts; the greater the following, the more they will charge. Use the costs discussed previously in the article as a rough guide. 

Set Goals and Message 

Every successful influencer marketing campaign needs goals and key performance indicators. It could be a primary business goal like selling more products and reaching a particular sales number or a secondary business goal like getting a wider reach and more followers on social media platforms. But before starting, you should outline what success looks like. 

Set simple goals like 'Get 1000 more followers on Instagram' or 'Sell $10,000 worth of products using the exclusive promo code'. You can share this with the influencer you end up working with, and they might offer recommendations for getting there. They know their own brand and followers better than anyone, so they'll understand what message will work best. 

Contact Influencers

Once you've ironed out all the fine details, it's time to actually contact influencers. Some manage themselves, whereas agencies manage others. They usually will have an email address in their bio or website for you to contact. 

Getting the perfect influencer for your ecommerce brand is a crucial element of your advertising strategy. You can reach out and explain your terms and campaign and offer a price. You may have to negotiate with them regarding price. There is no point in using an influencer whose following is entirely irrelevant to your ecommerce store. 

Once you've found the ideal influencer, you can send them a free gift to get them on board. Get to know them, what they like and dislike, and make it clear you've done your research. Butter them up, and try and make your brand stand out.  

Depending on their following, they might get a lot of companies contacting them for marketing purposes. You will generally want to have a long-term collaboration with this person, especially if they are going to be a brand ambassador. First impressions count and will contribute to your ongoing relationship. 

Continue to Review Strategy

Don't underestimate the importance of regular check-ins to see how your social media campaign is doing. If you're spending a lot of money on it, you'll want to ensure it's a success. Since you'll have outlined the goals before starting the campaign, you could have checkpoints along the way to ensure the campaign is running smoothly and a success. 

In some cases, you might be working with an influencer, and it's clear that the partnership isn't working. It could be that their discount code isn't actually encouraging anyone to make a purchase, or their following isn't suitable for your brand. If this happens, you'll want to end the partnership quickly and find someone else who is more appropriate. It's nothing against the influencer, but it's an essential part of the business. 

Review and make changes as you go if needed. 

Types of Influencer Marketing Content

There are various forms of influencer marketing that you can use to sell your products. Each one comes with its own set of benefits, and a good influencer marketing campaign will incorporate various content across multiple social media platforms. 

We've gone into detail regarding the most popular forms of marketing with a social media influencer. Still, there are also ways you can use your social media for marketing your company. You can use your social media for contests, events, and social media takeovers. Ecommerce brands often host giveaways, giving people a chance to win something if they follow your page and like and share the post. That gives you a greater following and a broader reach with high engagement on social media. 

Product Reviews

Product views are an excellent marketing tool to build trust in your products. Using an influencer to do a product review as part of your social media campaign allows your customers to get a greater insight into the fine details of your product and promotes your product to a large audience. 

Encourage influencers to do a video when contacting them to do product reviews. People respond much better to videos reviewing a product instead of a picture with a detailed caption. In general, video content is more engaging. 

You can also include testimonials on your website or have an option for customers to review your products on the product pages. This can be a double-edged sword, as you will also give people the opportunity to write negative public reviews as well as positive ones. You'll essentially have your customers doing part of your marketing for you by using product reviews. 

Discount Codes

Another way to market your products via influencer marketing is to give an influencer an exclusive discount code they can promote to their followers. They'll share this in their stories or posts or even in their bio. A promo code also creates a sense of urgency with followers if they're only available for a limited time, making them an excellent option to boost sales. 

Exclusive discount codes are a popular choice for clothing and apparel companies, and it's an excellent way to track precisely the return on investment for each influencer you're working with. You can measure and track sales for each code.

Sponsored Videos/Pictures

When influencers collaborate with a brand, one of the most common forms of influencer marketing is in high-quality sponsored posts. This could be an Instagram post, or it could be sponsored blog posts advertising the product, or even a video by YouTube influencers. 

Brands sponsor the influencer to promote the content on their social media platforms, providing guidelines and expectations. They can become brand advocates, or a brand ambassador, doing multiple sponsored posts advertising different products or services. 

A popular sponsored Instagram post or video is an unboxing post, where someone films themselves opening your product when it's sent to them. It's an excellent way to show off the wrapping and initial reaction to the product. 

Sponsored posts usually come with a hefty price tag per post and often also involve providing the influencers with free products. 

Social Media Takeovers

A social media takeover is when you choose an influencer to take over your social media handles for a defined period of time, like a day or a week. It's an excellent way for them to advertise your social media profiles and increase the engagement rate. Lots of brands do this to promote themselves to a target audience, so it's vital to pick the right influencer with a relevant following to your brand. 

A fashion brand would choose someone famous for outfits, whereas a literary agency might pick someone who is a well-known author, writer, or book influencer. There can be influencers for every subject, so do your research to find the correct one. 

Benefits of Using Influencer Marketing

There are plenty of advantages to implementing an influencer marketing strategy. It's no secret that using influencers is a successful marketing tool for brands. 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencers, and for reaching the younger generations like Gen Z and Millenials, influencer marketing is the perfect tool. When you're working with a social media influencer, you'll want to be adding value to their posts, too, so the benefits work both ways. 

Let's examine all the ways influencer marketing can help your ecommerce store. 

Increase Brand Awareness

Social media is a helpful tool for showing off your brand's personality and letting customers know your brand values. Using your own social media profiles to tell your story is a valuable way to get customers interested in the brand behind the products. 

More and more, people care about a company's background and consider ethics and morals when making purchases. So when you're selling online, you need to talk about your brand story and background. 

Reach Your Target Audience

Having a following on social media is a perfect opportunity for marketing your products. Every single subscriber and follower is someone who could buy your products, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should blow your budget on a mega-influencer. With every influencer you work with, you have to consider if their followers are potential customers? 

Smaller influencers often have more concentrated audiences specifically interested in a particular area, whereas a big influencer with millions of followers has a more diluted brand. Doing your research to get the right influencer with relevant followers is vital. 

Increase Social Media Reach and Engagement

As an ecommerce brand, a crucial part of your business is cultivating your own social media following across multiple platforms. Big companies can afford their own marketing department to do this for them. But if you're an ecommerce business owner, sometimes, you have to be a one-person band. 

Using influencer marketing as a tool to increase your reach on social media will make more people aware of your brand, and the more followers you have, the easier organic marketing with scheduled posts will be. A secondary marketing campaign goal should continuously be increasing engagement, getting more followers, etc. 

There are ways you can do this on your own page, like hosting contests, events, and giveaways. You can announce sales and do countdowns to create a buzz around your products or do countdowns to new product launches. 

Influencers should always use relevant hashtags with their sponsored posts and tag your page to direct followers there. They can also @ you in their story posts so their followers will find you.

Build Trust with Customer Base

As we mentioned before, it's more important than ever to build brand loyalty and generate trust with your customer base. Social media influencers are trendsetters, and often if they advocate for a product or brand, their followers will listen to them. 

An ideal influencer will only want to be a brand advocate for something they genuinely believe in to preserve their authenticity. But it means that if they're recommending your products, then chances are their followers will listen. 

Product reviews and long-term collaborations are critical for building trust with your customer base. Everyone is nervous when buying something from a new company, as you don't know what to expect. Will the quality be what they said? How long will shipping take? 

Having options for customers to share their experiences or seeing a video from a trusted influencer can be the final step in encouraging someone to make a purchase. 

Higher Sales

Of course, influencer marketing will lead to higher sales. Sometimes all it takes is sponsored Instagram posts to boost sales and drive followers to your website. There's a reason we see so many sponsored posts online with the '#ad' because they're successful. Influencers can market anything as part of their lifestyle, whether it's a subscription box, a type of drink, or a tooth whitening kit. 

When you're running a campaign, track sales across your website and work out what the return on investment is. It'll help you when budgeting for the next campaign and allow you to measure the success of your current one. 

Suitable for Most Businesses

We mentioned before that it doesn't matter what the niche is. There is usually an influencer for it. Since the invention of social media, we've seen influencers pop up on various subjects. The most popular are fashion influencers, who can collaborate with a fashion brand. 

But there are all sorts. You can get book influencers who review books and promote reading. You can even find health-related influencers specializing in different subjects like skincare. Beauty influencers are another popular choice, reviewing certain make-up products and creating make-up looks. Costume designers, farmers, and anyone can be influencers in their chosen niche. 

That means it's also suitable for most businesses to work with influencers because no matter what you're selling online, chances are there's an influencer with a dedicated following to market towards. 

Build Long-Term Partnerships

One-shot marketing campaigns have their place, but long-term partnerships and collaborations offer deeper strategies. If you're working with a perfect influencer, you'll want that partnership to span multiple campaigns. You could turn that person into a long-term brand ambassador or create trusted brand advocates. Plus, if an influencer keeps working with you, it contributes to customer trust. 

Your brand can use the influencer as the face of your company, and they'll be able to offer greater insight and have a more significant stake in your social media campaign. 

Opportunity to Go Viral

Going viral is every online company's dream. When you go viral, that means millions of people are exposed to your product, which can completely change the future of a brand. There have been many viral moments on the internet, and the opportunity is always there. TikTok makes it incredibly easy for brands to go viral, but other viral sensations have seen a company's popularity skyrocket. 

In 2015 a dress became a viral hit because of an optical illusion that meant some people saw it as gold and white, and others as blue and black. It was by Roman Originals, and they initially planned to sell 200 versions of the dress. They went through 3,000 in 10 days. It was called #DressGate, and many other companies jumped on the bandwagon. 

Viral marketing goes all the way back to 1996, and using influencers gives you a greater chance of getting the golden ticket of marketing and going viral. 

Helps with Content Development

Influencers are experts on social media, so if you're worried your content well is running dry, you can ask them for help. They've already proven they know what's popular and what performs by reaching the following they have, so they'll be expertly placed to give you new content ideas. 

If you're working with an influencer long-term, they'll understand all the ins and outs of your brand and be able to provide solid advice for future content to improve the visibility of your brand. 

Conclusion

An influencer marketing strategy can lead to plenty of sales for your online business when you do it right. You can use different forms of content as part of your influencer campaigns, like discount codes, videos, pictures, and product reviews, to generate interest in your products. Using the top tips in this article, you should be able to create a successful influencer marketing campaign. 

Getting the relevant influencers for your brand is crucial, so you should research to ensure the influencer's target audience is suitable for you. When creating your marketing strategy, you should set out goals and a budget in advance and continue reviewing it as you go. It's a learning experience, and it's okay to make some mistakes. 

Long-term collaborations are the best and great tools for brand awareness, customer trust, and brand loyalty. Once you're using influencer marketing successfully, you can develop multiple campaigns and work with many influencers to create engaging content. You'll also have the opportunity to increase your social media reach and generate buzz around your products. 

Good luck!

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