Influencers have become a powerful new way to advertise. Think about it. Whenever you want to buy a new phone, do you visit Samsung and Apple’s website or do you check out online reviews and YouTube vlogs?
When you decide to buy shoes, clothes, or makeup, do you have an impulse to buy after you visited the product page or was it after you saw a picture of an influencer posting a picture of the product online?
A study commissioned by Snap Inc. with Sparkler, found that 31% of people chose influencers and celebrities influencing their purchasing decisions. The bottom line is: influencers are influential. People follow influencers who have the same interests as them and love the same products that they love.
So how do you use influencers to boost your ecommerce sales? You can ask influencers to create content featuring your product. Better yet, ask them to post product reviews. But how do you find the right influencers and launch a successful influencer campaign? Below, I’ve outlined the steps you need to know to help you craft an effective influencer marketing campaign that can help you boost your ecommerce conversions.
To start an influencer marketing campaign, the first thing that you need to do is find the right influencer.
Look at Popular Influencers in Your Niche
The perfect influencer should be popular in your niche. If you’re a beauty brand, then find a pool of influencers interested in makeup. If you are a fashion brand, then find an influencer that reflects your brand’s style.
Here are some questions you’ll need to consider to identify your ideal influencer:
The answers to these questions will help narrow down your search.
Search For Top Influencers That Rank High in Keywords in Your Niche
Let’s say you have software that helps improve online stores. One thing you can do is reach out to influencers who rank high in the keywords that you want to target. For example, start a Google search with the keywords “how to start an online store.” In the search results, you can find thought leaders in your niche.
You can also find potential influencers by using brand-related keywords to search on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. For example, let’s suppose you’re selling paleo bars in your online store. You can search “paleo bars” on YouTube and find influencers who are already interested in your products. Just make sure they’re not working with your competition.
Find Influencers Who Are Already Brand Advocates
If you’ve found an influencer who already loves your brand, then you’ve hit the jackpot. They already know and understand your brand. So, chances are, it’s easier to work with them. For example, to promote the iPhone X, Apple invited iJustine to the keynote event. This was a pretty good move considering that she has many Apple reviews on her YouTube channel. Find influencers who already love your brand. You can search for reviews or user-generated content about your product across social media. You can even find popular posts on Twitter and Facebook.
Compare Influencers Based on Metrics
Once you’ve come up with a short list of influencers, you can narrow down your search by using metrics. Look at follower count, domain authority, average comments, and retweets.
How many followers does each influencer have? What’s the average number of comments or likes they receive on YouTube or Instagram? If they post a YouTube video featuring your product, can you estimate the number of views based on their subscribers? If they post a picture of your product on Instagram, how many people will see it? The answers to these questions will help narrow down a list of potential influencers.
Now that you have a list of influencers, the next thing you need to do is reach out and talk to them. Here’s how you can jumpstart a great working relationship.
Introduce Influencers to Your Brands and Products
The first thing that you need to do is introduce influencers to your brand. Even if they already know your brand, share your own point of view and brand your values. Highlight what makes your brand unique and talk about your competition and how you differentiate yourself in the market. If you want influencers to introduce a new line of products, then highlight the “big benefit” of using these products.
Give Them the Details of Your Campaign
Will influencers play a role in your next marketing campaign? If so, make sure they know what you want. Do you want a product review? Will they vlog about an event? Will they post photos on Instagram? Be sure to iron out the details from the beginning to prevent future misunderstandings. A good tip is to let influencers use their creative freedom. If they’re making a video, then discuss the creative direction of the project. But don’t hover over them or stifle their creativity.
Tarte Cosmetics’ #TrippinWithTarte campaign is one example of a successful, yet simple campaign. The brand flew famous beauty gurus to the coast of Australia. For several days, these influencers posted pictures and vlogs of their activities like enjoying the shores, hiking, and playing at the beach.
Here’s Tammy Hembrow‘s vlog of her recent trip to Hayman Islands with Tarte Cosmetics. The video garnered 1.4 million views on YouTube. The influencers in Tarte’s campaign had more than 6.5 million followers. So, as you can imagine, it got a lot of online attention. This is why it’s important to choose influencers who already match your brand’s personality and creative style. This way, you’re confident that their content will perfectly reflect your brand.
Provide Fair Compensation
Most brands compensate influencers by providing free products. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you want to build long-term relationships, then provide them with monetary compensation.
After all, it’s not easy to create videos or reviews. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes – and influencers play a role in getting you more conversions. So it’s only fair that you give them fair pay. Dummies.com published their research on the average estimated earnings of vloggers. They looked at the rates based on their number of followers on YouTube:
These rates aren’t ‘set in stone’. You can always negotiate with influencers regarding monetary compensation, although these statistics provide a good idea of the ideal pay for influencers.
One of the most popular influencer marketing tactics are product reviews. A study from Tubular Insights, found that 64 percent of consumers made a purchase after watching branded social video content. Another study from Google, reported that 26 percent of consumers get shopping inspiration on YouTube. In addition, 64 percent of consumer electronics shoppers rely on YouTube reviews to make their purchasing decisions.
This isn’t surprising. When consumers buy a product, they rely on the feedback of past users. They scour Amazon reviews and social media comment sections to determine whether they’re getting their money’s worth. So, chances are, getting influencers to review your products is a good way to establish credibility. Here’s an example:
EE partnered with The Tech Chap to promote their preorder of the Samsung S9. The video titled “48 Hours with the Galaxy S9 Plus” garnered more than 100,000 reviews.
Tired of product reviews? No worries! There are a ton of influencers who can create entertaining content that features your brand. One example is Zach King. He has 20.9 million followers because of his cleverly edited videos. His work has been featured in high profile campaigns for brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, Pixar, and Crayola. For example, his collaboration with Oreo features him shrinking while the cookie becomes giant-sized.
It’s a short video, but it gained 9 million views on Instagram. This shows the power of influencer marketing campaigns. You can collaborate with creatives who have a huge following and benefit from their creative vision of your brand or product.
Leverage Social Proof by Displaying Influencer-Created Content on Product Pages
The content created by influencers shouldn’t just stay on social media.
You can post user-generated content on your own product pages to build social proof. This will encourage consumers to stay on your landing page to check out what top influencers have to say about your product. In fact, Olapic found that 49 percent of consumers were more likely to purchase a product if it was endorsed by a real person. Similarly, 56 percent of consumers were more likely to purchase a product if they saw a photo posted by another consumer.
Memebox’s product pages are an example of influencer marketing done right. The brand posts influencer-created YouTube videos featuring their product alongside its details and “Buy Online” call to action (CTA). In the image below, the product page for the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask has a YouTube review from Heather Pickles below it.
are one of the surefire ways you can get consumers to trust your brand. The reason is that people trust the influencers they follow. They are more likely to believe their take on your product or service rather than what your brand has to stay. After all, if an influencer they like uses your products, then they’ll probably like it too, right?
Huda Beauty understands the power of testimonials. This is why the testimonials for their #FauxFilter Foundation are videos of influencers using their product.
These product testimonials aren’t just nice words. The influencers show viewers exactly how they use the #FauxFilter Foundation. As the videos progress, viewers see the before and after transformations. Plus, they use a conversational tone to connect with consumers.
Another effective strategy is to offer discount codes through your influencers. Ask influencers to feature your products in their blogs or videos, and give them a discount code they can share with their followers. This strategy is usually used by retail and fashion brands.
For example, Meredith Foster posted a “Back to School Clothing Haul” featuring products from Boohoo. In the description, she posted “Get 50% off with my Promo Code! MEREDITHFOSTER50” with links to the pages of each product in the video.
It’s a simple strategy. But it’s a win-win scenario for both you and your influencers. Your influencer’s network will enjoy the video, click the link on the description, and check out your store. And, with a promo code, influencers feel that they’re giving something back to their followers who supported them.
Over to You
A good influencer marketing strategy can lead to a ton of sales when done right. But it’s not that easy to pull off. You need to find the right influencer who embodies your brand’s voice and personality. You also have to ensure that their creative style will work well with your brand once they start creating content.
After you’ve chosen a few influencers, you also have to build relationships with them. Make sure that they understand what makes your brand unique and the benefit of using your product. Discuss the details of your campaign to avoid future misunderstandings. Don’t forget to pay them properly.
Creating content is not a walk in the park. Once you’ve chosen the right influencers, it’s time to start your campaign. You can place influencer-created content on your product pages or use them as testimonials.
You can also ask influencers to review your products and promote a discount code to their followers. Are you ready to start your influencer marketing campaign? Who are the influencers you want to work with? What’s the campaign you want to start?
About the Author
Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote: a company that helps ecommerce brands engage their site visitors with targeted on-site messages.
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.