Influencer Marketing for Ecommerce: A Virtual Pocket Guide

Influencers are professionals with a dedicated social media following. They are considered to be experts within the concerned niche.
If we look back, celebrities and a handful of dedicated bloggers were considered to be influencers. That’s not the case today.
There has been a huge rise in the number of social media influencers with the advent of digital marketing and the ease of consuming knowledge.
In simple words, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing. It uses product mentions and ads from influencers.
When a prospective customer comes across your product endorsed by a popular influencer, he or she will be more likely to take action or make the purchase. This is because “social proof” works as the best trigger to persuade and influence potential clients.
If you consider all the different industries, influencer marketing works pretty well for the ecommerce sector too.
Let me share some interesting facts about influencer marketing.
According to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2019, a marketer can expect an ROI of $18 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing campaigns.
Here’s a pie chart to reinforce the power of influencer marketing.
Have you seen brands collaborating with celebs and influencers on different social media channels?
It tempts you to make the purchase, right?
That’s what ecommerce influencer marketing is all about. It is about getting the approval of an influencer and making them evangelists for your products.
Let’s understand how influencer marketing helps ecommerce businesses.

Social Influencers: Why Your Ecommerce Business Needs It?

Powerful social media visibility is the key to growing an ecommerce business, given that the world is rapidly going digital.
Influencer marketing can help gain an online presence. It can leave a mark on the customers’ minds.
Take a look at these benefits that you would get by executing influencer marketing for your ecommerce store.

1. Influencer Marketing Enhances Your Brand Awareness

Without brand awareness, you would not be able to acquire new customers. Consumer psychology has drastically changed over time. If you want to reach your potential customers more effectively, influencer marketing can go a long way.
Online shoppers are getting extremely vigilant while making a purchase. They not only carry out detailed research but also check for customer reviews.
If you have influencers or trusted individuals promoting your products and appreciating them, there is a higher chance of getting conversions. It will make your brand look more credible and reliable.

2. Influencer Marketing Develops a Trustworthy Relationship with Your Customers

Trust is the number one factor that drives conversions.
There is a constant rise in the number of cybercrimes and frauds in the world of online marketing. So, your customers have become pretty apprehensive and paranoid while making a purchase online. This applies to popular and trusted websites as well.
Get an influencer to endorse your products. It will help you filter out the hesitation that a customer faces while purchasing anything online.
The customer will be relieved of any fear of getting betrayed. The reason is that they admire and trust the influencer advertising the product.

3. Influencer Marketing Boosts Your SEO

Of course, you might not have seen this coming. But influencer marketing gives a huge push to your ecommerce SEO.
It will improve your search engine rankings.
Here’s how.
Whenever an influencer recommends your products and links to your website, it will work as an authentic backlink for the search engines.
Eventually, you will see a better SEO ranking for your ecommerce store. You must choose the right influencers who have a high-authority website and are active on similar websites.

4. Influencer Marketing Creates a Positive Effect on Purchase Intent

Having an influencer recommending your products will convince the customers of a higher perceived value. This will, in turn, encourage the customers to make the purchase.
Purchase intent is directly proportional to:

  • Brand awareness
  • Perceived value
  • Customer loyalty
  • Influencer marketing

With ordinary marketing tactics, you will not be able to leave a profound impact on the customer’s purchase intent.
Let’s suppose an influencer is vouching for your products. It will tempt the user to purchase by building confidence in their mind.
According to studies, tweets from influencers combined with the posts from brands have increased purchase intent 5.2 times. Besides, 40% of people have revealed that they have purchased because of an influencer tweet.

5. Influencer Marketing Gets More Attention from the Prospective Customers

Ecommerce businesses using influencer marketing will be able to draw better attention from the customers. This is because a popular face is talking about the products.
In a traditional marketing setup, it will be more about your brand, claiming the usefulness of the products.
Influencer marketing is better because a real person will be making a claim.

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6. Influencer Marketing Is Relevant and Highly Focused

Pick an influencer whose niche matches the kind of products you are dealing with.
For example, suppose you are dealing with makeup items and fashion accessories. You can reach out to an established model to help you with your influencer marketing.
On the other hand, if you are selling sports goods, consider contacting a veteran sportsperson.
In case you find it too heavy on your pocket, you can approach a popular fitness blogger. It can work wonders for your business because it will help you communicate with a relevant audience. In turn, it will contribute to higher conversions.

7. Influencer Marketing Does Not Come off as Pushy

Ecommerce brands often work with celebrities and popular social media users.
For example, An Indian ecommerce store, Myntra, works with brand ambassadors like Bollywood celebrity Kiara Advani. Doing so helps you generate inbound customers without sounding too pushy or desperate.
Another aspect we must consider is the concept of “ad and banner blindness.” Customers are no longer receptive to website ads. And two-thirds of them resort to ad blockers on their devices. Therefore, influencer marketing is a highly recommended tactic for ecommerce stores.

8. Customer Acquisition Becomes Easier with Influencer Marketing

You can attract new customers faster with the help of influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing Hub has reported that influencer marketing is the fastest in acquiring customers online. 28% of marketers have expressed their agreement with this report.
One of the reasons for this is the fact that you can reach the right target audience. Of course, better SEO also plays a significant role in customer acquisition.

9. Influencer Marketing Is Light on the Pocket

Influencer marketing does not burn a hole in your pocket. Get in touch with micro-influencers who have around 1000 to 100000 followers on social media. (You can, of course, work with celebrities too if budget is not an issue for you.)
These micro-influencers have a smaller fan following, but the good part is that their audience is quite engaged and focused. That makes all the difference in driving your ecommerce business and taking it to the next level.
Businessofapps’ has reported that most micro-influencers charge no more than $500 for a sponsored post. That’s quite reasonable. You can even work with them in exchange for free products from your ecommerce store or as affiliate influencer marketing.

11. Ecommerce Influencer Marketing Can Work for Your Business, Irrespective of Its Size

As discussed in the previous point, you can make influencer marketing work for your business by collaborating with micro-influencers to have a small-scale ecommerce business.
In case you are a big name like Amazon, you can reach out to established celebrities without worrying about the expense it would entail. Just make sure you choose the right influencer according to your budget and objectives.

The 7-Step Process for Successful Ecommerce Marketing Using Influencers

Now that you know how ecommerce influencer marketing helps your business let’s dive deeper into the step-by-step process of implementing it.

Step 1. Determine Your Target Audience

At the outset, you must understand the different audience groups that you want to target. This is important because it will enable you to shortlist the best influencers who can help you out.
You must also understand their audience, preferences, and hashtags that they follow.
You will get a clear picture of the type of content the followers consume and the products they would be interested in.

Step 2. Define the Objectives of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Secondly, you must determine the goals of your ecommerce influencer marketing campaign.
Do you want to get more conversions for your ecommerce site?
Do you want to expand your business’s reach and build brand awareness to acquire new customers, or do you want to get more visibility?
Influencers can contribute to the conversions too, but you should determine the primary goals to drive the desired results.

Step 3. Zero down on the Social Platform That Will Be Most Beneficial for You

For the ecommerce industry, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are the most common social media platforms that can be used for influencer marketing.
Here’s a chart that sheds light on the most popular social media platforms in 2020.
Instagram even allows the influencers to tag the brand partner and show the tagline “Paid partnership with brand_name” on their stories and posts.
Here’s a screenshot to explain how it works on Instagram.

Step 4. Find the Most Suitable Influencer for Your Brand

After selecting the platform, you must select the influencer who will best choose your brand marketing efforts.
Pick the influencer who will be aligned with the personality of your brand. The voice of your influencer must be in line with the voice of your ecommerce store.
So, how should you look for such influencers? Here are few quick tips to help you out:
I. Take Help of Influencer Marketing Tools
Let me list down 15 influencer marketing tools to make things easy for you.

If you are looking for an influencer on Instagram, HypeAuditor is the best option for you. It will help you to find influencers and segment them according to the country or category.
You will get to know their:

  • current ranking
  • username
  • audience country
  • followers
  • authentic engagement estimation.

(We shall discuss these tools in detail.)
II. Check out Your Current Social Media Followers
According to your chosen platform, go through the list of followers and check out for followers who religiously mention you or tag you in their posts.
Such evangelists can work as micro-influencers for your brand. After all, micro-influencers are as valuable as the macro-influencers.
III. Search on Google
The simplest answer to anything is “Google it.” The same goes for influencer marketing.
Search for the top influencers on Google. It will populate the list for you. You can even make the search narrower by searching for “top influencers for ecommerce brands.”
IV. Participate in Influencer Meets
Networking is of paramount importance if you are planning to employ influencer marketing for your business.
For example, Instameets provides a wonderful scaffold if you are looking for local influencers.

Step 5. Don’t Shy Away from Trial and Error

Let your influencers be innovative and come up with out-of-the-box ideas to promote your brand. Give them an open playground to explore and experiment with.
Allow them to have their voice so that it does not look like forced marketing. It must not come off as a sales pitch.
Make sure your influencer marketing compels the users to take action by building trust and confidence.

Step 6. Engage with the Audience

Once the influencer marketing campaign is live, you must engage with the audience.

  • Like their comments or reply to them.
  • Thank them for engaging with your content and appreciating it.
  • If you have a loyal customer or micro-influencer engaging with the brand, follow them back. It would strengthen your relationship with them.

Step 7. Analyze the Performance of the Campaigns

Based on the goals you have set, you must analyze the performance of your campaigns. And monitor whether you have been able to meet the objective of the campaign.
For instance, suppose your goal is lead generation.
Then, you must track the number of new users and first-time buyers on your ecommerce store.
On the other hand, if you were looking forward to building social media visibility, you can check the posts’ engagement and impressions. See whether you could grab the eyeballs of people or make it go viral.

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Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

There are several types of influencer marketing campaigns. Make a prudent decision on which one will go best with your ecommerce store.
Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Organize Social Media Contests & Giveaways

Many brands establish their authority in the digital marketplace with contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways on social media.
It is a great way to attract new customers, retain the existing ones, and expand your reach to a larger audience.
Additionally, it will also encourage people to engage with your content and get more social media visibility.
You can collaborate with social media influencers and promote your contest. It will, in turn, help you build a large follower base and guarantee enthusiastic participation by the users.
More often than not, to take part in the contest, the user has to:

  • “like” the influencer’s post
  • comment on it with a relevant photo or hashtag, and
  • tag their friends

All these things add to the viewership of the content.
Alternatively, suppose you are holding the contest outside social media.
In that case, you can ask the users to:

  • follow the brand on the social media channels
  • like their page
  • submit their entries after signing up on their website

These entries can either be photos, videos, stories, or any other form of relevant content. You will be able to get new leads using this method.

2. Build a Long-Term Association with a Brand Ambassador

Do not have siloed posts with different influencers. You can have one or two brand ambassadors who will promote your brand for a year or so.
Have a contract signed so that you can count on them for your influencer marketing.
The advantages of this type of influencer marketing are:

  • If you share a strong rapport with the influencer, it will build trust with the customers or prospective clients.
  • It will portray you as a credible brand.
  • Having an influencer promote your brand, again and again, will help in brand recall.
  • You will not have to complain about people getting dormant and not engaging with your brand anymore.

3. Have an Influencer Take over Your Social Media Account

Instagram works the best if you want to take this route. You can assign restricted access to the. It will help the influencer take over your social media account for a day or two. Ask them to engage with your audience.
Your customers love interacting with “people” rather than “brands.” Tap on this psychology with the help of influencer marketing.
Generally, influencer marketing is about displaying the products from your ecommerce store on the influencer’s account. This tactic works differently as the influencer interacts with the audience from your account.
The only challenge with this trick is that you must share your password with the influencer. Ensure that the influencer you have chosen is trustworthy and has a contract signed to be on the safe side.

4. Get the Influencer to Review Your Products

Your prospective customers are more likely to trust a person’s review than the brand’s claim. You can send a product to the influencer as a gift and ask them to review it in return.
Many ecommerce influencers post videos in which they unbox a product and then review it.
Such videos instill a sense of trust in the prospect’s mind. The foundation of these reviews is that the influencer also uses the products from the ecommerce store. So, it encourages the prospects to make the purchase.

5. Affiliate Marketing Goes a Long Way for Ecommerce Websites

Investing in affiliate marketing allows you to promote your ecommerce products with several influencers at the same time. It is a low-budget marketing tactic that is suitable for all ecommerce brands, small and large.
For example, The largest ecommerce store Amazon has its affiliate marketing program.
You can invite influencers to join your affiliate marketing program. In return, they will earn a commission for every purchase it triggers.
More often than not, ecommerce brands share a discount coupon code with the influencers they can place in their marketing campaigns.
This is a win-win situation for the ecommerce store and the influencer as well.
This type of influencer marketing campaign’s beauty is that everyone can be a part of it (even if they are not influencers yet).

6. Launch a New Product with the Help of an Influencer Marketing Campaign

Suppose you are launching a new mobile phone on your ecommerce store. You can strategize a pre-release campaign to entice people to pre-order the product.
For such campaigns, you can reach out to an influencer to help you out with the promotions.
With the help of such campaigns, you will be able to pique the user’s curiosity and keep them hooked to the next updates.
Moreover, it will make the influencers feel special and strengthen your relationship with them. You can even share some offer codes to incentivize the people who engage with the influencer marketing campaign. It will brighten up the chance of conversions even more.

7 Useful Influencer Marketing Tools To Increase Your Ecommerce Brand Presence Online

As discussed previously, influencer marketing tools bridge the gap between the brands and the influencers. These tools go a long way in helping you find suitable influencers for your ecommerce brand.
These influencer marketing platforms will help you get in touch with the right people for marketing your ecommerce store.
These are just like Tinder and OkCupid help you find your soulmate for life.
Let’s take a look at Seven of the best influencer marketing tools for ecommerce. They will surely help you in ramping up your marketing strategy.

1. Upfluence

Upfluence is the smartest influencer marketing platform that gives you access to more than 4 million influencer profiles. You can sort the results based on more than 20 advanced search criteria.
If you are looking for organic influencers from the list of your website visitors and customers, Upfluence will help you out.
Furthermore, this tool comes with gathering social data of visitors browsing through your website and analyzing it. According to these insights, you can include them in your affiliate marketing programs.
Upfluence has an Influencer Relationship Management dashboard. Ecommerce brands can use it to optimize all their influencer marketing campaigns. They can also keep track of their collaborations. Here’s a sneak peek into the platform.

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2. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo allows you to collaborate with the most influential people and chalk out a high-converting marketing strategy.
Whether you are looking for trending content or top influencers, Buzzsumo will help you out.
Ecommerce brands that want to create engaging content for their blog can rely on Buzzsumo’s data. You will be able to get several new content ideas with the help of this tool. It will give you an insight into the topics your competitors write about. Based on this, you can have an interesting blog that is in line with the recent trends.

3. Alltop

To keep track of all the ecommerce industry news and updates, Alltop can be your one-stop solution. It will help you in making more prudent decisions for marketing.
Besides, Alltop also shows top ecommerce tweets and popular stories around ecommerce.
This tool’s primary objective is to provide the best news sources for diverse topics, including ecommerce. The feed is constantly updated to be aligned with the dynamic world.

4. Podbay.FM

Podbay.FM is one of the biggest directories for podcasts. You can search the topic of your choice, and it will populate all the relevant podcasts that match the search term.
Here’s a screenshot to explain to you how it works.
While this might not give you an exhaustive list of influencers like Upfluence, it will throw light on the trending topics. This information will let you shape your ecommerce marketing strategy.

5. AspireIQ

Forrester has named AspireIQ as a leader in influencer marketing platforms. This tool reinforces the fact that your customers can contribute to increasing awareness for your ecommerce business.
It allows you to harness the power of referral marketing, affiliate links, influencer promotions, and sponsored ad content.
Ecommerce brands like Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond use this tool for their influencer marketing efforts.
AspireIQ will help you to fill the gap between your customers and engagement.

6. HypeAuditor

HypeAuditor has a huge influencer database of over 11M+. You can analyze the influencer marketing campaigns carried out by your competitors. It allows you to carry out a demographic search with audience quality filters. Then, you can shortlist the influencers.
Once you have analyzed the influencers for their brand affinity and relevance, you can reach out to them and run the marketing campaign.
HypeAuditor will then give you a report about the track campaign results, account growth analysis, and engagement metrics. This platform is the best for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

7. Post for Rent

Post for Rent has a plethora of influencer marketing solutions. These are an influencer discovery tool, campaign management tools, and influencer and audience analytics. All these features come together to facilitate decision making for you.
Using this tool, you can get a customized plan that matches your requirements and preferences. You can scale it up later. The best part is that they offer full-time expert support and consultation to the customers.

4 Effective Influencer Marketing Campaigns on Ecommerce

1. Unboxing Video Example

ItsYeBoi has created a detailed video around the products he had ordered during the Amazon Shopping Haul.
He convincingly talks about every product one by one. First of all, he unboxes the item and then provides an honest review about it.
The tone of his voice is quite friendly and does not look like a sales pitch. It comes off as experience sharing rather than promoting the products.
In the video description, he has included all the affiliate links to the products. This video combines the tactic of unboxing videos and affiliate marketing pretty effectively.
If you click on the link and make the purchase, she will earn a commission.
Also, notice the 2.81M subscribers and more than 150 Million views on the videos. It reflects the popularity of such videos.

2. Paid Promotion with Instagram

Take a look at this paid promotion story by the Indian cricketer Virat Kohli.
Flipkart and Puma India have perfectly chosen him as the influencer to endorse 50% off on their footwear. The cricketer’s followers will match the target audience they are trying to cater to.
On swiping up to see more, the Instagram user will be redirected to their landing page, showing the huge range of their footwear on sale.

3. Organic Promotion on Instagram

Freya Farrington is an influencer from Manchester who has a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog. Everything Under £5 is an ecommerce store dealing with fashion accessories, footwear, and clothing.
Take a look at the creative copy she has written to promote the boots from the store. The photograph displays the product and will entice the readers to check out the product.
Farrington is an ideal influencer to pick for such products. Also, the geographical location is equally important when it comes to influencer marketing.
If you are an influencer in the US promoting products from a Chinese ecommerce store, it will hardly make any sense.

4. Product Reviews on Instagram Videos

An influencer reviewing your product will positively impact the customer’s mind and get them to purchase.
Instagram and YouTube are the most effective platforms for ecommerce influencer marketing. These examples are a testimony to this statement.

Wrapping Up

Your influencer marketing campaigns’ effectiveness heavily relies on:

  • The influencer you have chosen
  • The niche they belong to, and
  • The geographical location

Other than that, you must also consider the followers on their list. To sum it up, picking the right influencer means winning half the battle. The rest will be up to the copy and visual impact you can create. I hope you have found some great tips for your next influencer marketing campaign from this post.

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