More than $255 million is spent by brands on influencer marketing every month in the US. A survey conducted by Tomoson found that influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer acquisition channel, surpassing organic search, paid search and email marketing. Jorge Zuñiga Blanco, a successful business owner and marketing expert from Costa Rica, explains why influencer marketing can help businesses grow.
The Tomoson study revealed that influencer marketing returns were as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent. The most significant advantage of using influencers for a brand is the ripple effect they can have. Influencers follow each other: if one promotes a particular product, others can help spread your message even further. In fact, 88% of influencers talk to their friends about the brands that sponsor them.
Working with influencers shouldn’t be a matter of “should I?” but rather a question of “how can I?” Fortunately, there are some simple steps that brands can follow to work effectively with influencers online.
Before looking for influencers, be clear about the audience you’re targeting. How old are they? What websites do you visit? What is your educational level? If you’re not already collecting this information, send surveys to your current customers to gain insights into the demographics and behavior of your target audience.
Consider directly asking your customers what social networks they are active on and what kind of content they share and want to read or view. Knowing your target audience will help you create the right message and ensure the most effective influence.
After determining the audience, you need to make sure you know what to tell them. States Zuñiga, “As an eCommerce company, fine-tune your brand message and identify who you are, the company’s mission, and what makes you different from the competition. Knowing what your business is about will also make potential influencers excited about working with you.”
The next critical step is to decide which platform you want to use. If you’re a visual brand, consider Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. “If you want to share non-visual content,” adds Zuñiga, “such as value-added articles and pieces, try posting on LinkedIn. First, determine which networks and apps are popular with your target audience. Then, consider what your campaign goal will be. Do you want more followers? Want to increase brand awareness? Are you looking to generate traffic and sales online?”
Once you’ve identified the platform, it’s time to find the influencers. While choosing a celebrity can be appealing, look at your social followers and identify people who are already talking about your brand and have an engaged audience. These users are typically more active online than the average person and post, share, retweet, and, like other posts, more frequently.
Once you have influencers in mind, make sure they’re aligned with your brand identity. The goal is to find an influencing factor that can authentically deliver your message to your wide network of followers. The more authentic the message, the more likely users are to convert.
Your eCommerce marketing strategy should always include authentic and in-depth content that sets it apart from your competition. Having an influencer won’t do you any good if you don’t deliver content that goes with your audience.
Find out what message you want to convey creatively, what story you want to tell, and what benefits your audience should reap from seeing the influencer with your brand. Working with influencers is not about getting them to make a purchase directly, but about a way to build trust and loyalty with your audience.
The statistics to track with your influencer marketing campaign will depend on the goals and objectives of your business. While many measure new followers or engagements, others value site traffic and sales. Some metrics to consider include scope and views, likes, follows, feedback and similar readily-available information.
Influencer marketing can produce great results for eCommerce brands when done creatively and correctly. It can help you tell your story, get in front of a wider audience and increase sales.
Simply paying someone with 100,000 followers to share your post on Instagram won’t bring you instant success, however. Implementing these tips and tricks can help you create a more natural social interaction with your target audience, which in turn, can help you achieve your eCommerce marketing goals.