Influencer marketing can benefit just about any type of business, and ecommerce is no different. What’s more, ecommerce businesses have more flexibility in terms of what they can offer to partner with potential influencers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how you can effectively use influencers to grow your ecommerce business.
How Influencer Marketing Helps Grow Your Ecommerce Business
You may have decided that it’s time to look into influencers to gain more brand recognition. By having the right type of influencers vouch for your brand, you can increase who searches for your product or services when the need arises.
Influencers tend to be people who inspire trust and even purchase decisions to those who follow them closely. You can use an influencer as a brand ambassador to vouch for your product or services. If their fans know that they like what you offer, they are more likely to become interested themselves.
Influencer marketing can work really well for Ecommerce stores because you can actually offer tangible goods to influencers. In many cases, you can even make an immediate ROI if you get a link back to your site.
Define who your ideal customer is
Before you dive into the search for your ideal influencer, consider gathering data about your ideal customer. The most effective way to do this may involve looking at your existing customer demographics.
You can do this right from your Google Analytics. Simply go into your traffic acquisition and filter your data. Some of the key points you want to gather include:
- Traffic source – what’s their favorite social media platform?
- Location – do you need to target people in certain locations?
- Age – are you looking for any particular age groups?
Answering questions like these will allow you to narrow down your search and focus on influencers that are more likely to have this persona so that you can be more successful with your influencer campaigns.
Note that if you do not have much data or have a newer business, you may need to gather external publicly available data in order to make your decisions until you can gather more extensive internal data. For example, social media data is critical to make better influencer marketing decisions.
Setting your influencer marketing budget
Setting your budget is critical as this can make or break your campaign. You will need to set aside cash, as well as some of your best selling products.
In some cases, you will be able to increase your budget if you manage to break even. For example, if someone on Facebook links to your product page and it sells right away – you’ll be making a profit immediately. If you paid this person $100 for the post and your profit is $20 per product sold, you only need to sell 5 to break even. Anything beyond that will be profit.
However, be aware that this is not always how it works as influencer marketing can also take time to show results. For example, if you use Instagram influencers, they might not be able to link to your website directly. In this case, you might need to wait to grow your following and get clicks to your site from your profile page.
How aggressive you can be with influencer marketing will depend on these and many other factors but your best bet is to aim to keep track of your ROI until you figure out your ideal spending limit.
Note that if you have a budget under $1,000/m, it may be more difficult to be successful with influencer marketing. For more on budget setting – Consider checking out either of these two articles:
Once you have an influencer marketing budget, you’ll be able to figure out the type of influencer you need.
Finding the right type of influencer for your business
Once you know your ideal audience and what your budget is, you need to start reaching out to potential influencers. For this, use the data you’ve collected – whether internal and/or external.
For influencer campaigns, your best bet is usually Social Media, which may include Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms. Next you want to narrow down your search based on the type of influencer you can reach (or actually afford).
For this you’ll need to look at the follower size of any potential influencers. Generally, the larger a follower base they have, the harder it will be to work with them. Your influencer budget will allow you to get an idea for who you can target.
Targeting people you can afford will allow you to be more successful. It will also reduce the time you spend as it can be very time consuming when not done correctly.
This is where you start looking into a number of different influencer categories or “follow size”.
Nano influencers can have up to 10,000 followers and micro influencers up to 50,000. There are also mega and macro influencers which can have from hundreds of thousands to millions of followers.
Unless you can afford to pay thousands of dollars for a simple post, stick to nano and micro influencers. To learn more about the various tiers of influencers, check out The 4 Tiers of Social Media Influencers (And Which One to Choose)
Reaching out to potential influencers
Ideally, you may need someone on your team who has plenty of time to socialize with potential influencers in order to make strong connections. Although it is perfectly fine to only approach influencers when you need them, it’s even better when you can actively connect with them and follow them outside a business transaction.
This is when a community manager can come in handy, which can be a full time inhouse employee or even a trustworthy virtual assistant. Just keep in mind the additional cost this would result in. In many cases if you have a more limited budget, you should aim to use your existing resources which probably means that you should do it yourself or .
Once you figure that out, you’ll want to start reaching out to any potential influencers you come across. When you know your budget, your audience, and the influencer size, it’ll make it much more likely that you will get a response. You just need to make sure to have your email collaboration pitch right so don’t be too generic and take the time to get to know them before you approach them.
Measuring the success of your influencer marketing campaigns
To make the most of your campaigns, you will want to track their effectiveness. This may include using UTM parameters, as well as looking at your analytics data at specific time frames.
Although it is more difficult measuring results that may not include specific campaign details which is the case with UTM parameters, influencer marketing can very well have a major impact over time which you will not immediately see. It can come in the form of increased brand awareness which you can track by measuring your branded searches on SERP, as well as direct traffic.
For ecommerce stores in particular, you can look at your social traffic channels. Specifically, you’ll want to look at those where the campaign runs to determine if there were any sales associated with them – or at least increased traffic. For this reason you should make sure you have ecommerce tracking enabled on your Analytics account.
Once you have the right influencer marketing strategy in place, it’ll get easier to continue optimizing and finding the right influencers to work with. It’ll also help reduce the time you spend on this task, allowing you to focus on other marketing initiatives.
Keep in mind that influencer marketing is an ongoing effort in order to see the benefits. Your audience may need multiple reminders that your business exists before they decide to make a purchase. That means keeping your old connections and making new ones.