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5 Steps for Influencer Marketing in Ecommerce

Isaac Hayward
Isaac Hayward
HK Digital Co-Founder
4th November 2022

As ecommerce businesses continue to grow and evolve, so too does the need for effective influencer marketing in ecommerce. This article provides tips on how to go about developing an influencer marketing strategy for your ecommerce business. After reading this article, you'll be able to identify the key steps you need to take in order to create a successful influencer marketing program.

What is Influencer Marketing in Ecommerce?

Influencer marketing is a technique used to market products or services to people who have influence over a specific demographic. These people are often called “influencers” because of the influence they have over their followers.

In influencer marketing, companies work with influencers to promote their products or services. The influencers usually receive a commission for promoting the product or service. They also may receive a discount on the product or service if they recommend it to their followers. Or be paid a lump sum for their services.

There are two main types of influencer marketing: paid advertising and sponsored content. Paid advertising involves paying an influencer to promote a product or service. Sponsored content involves giving an influencer free access to promote a product or service on their own platform.

Where do I Find Influencers?

One of the most important steps in influencer marketing is finding the right influencers. There are a number of platforms where you can find influencers, including social media platforms, online directories, and search engines.

The best way to find influencers is to use a platform like Hootsuite. This tool allows you to track the social media accounts of your chosen influencers and see which posts are getting the most engagement. You can then contact these influencers and ask them to promote your product or service.

Alternatively, you can also scour through Social Media platforms to find the influencers you are looking for. 

Instagram Influencers

Using Instagram for your influencer marketing in ecommerce is by far the best way to reach influencers. There are reportedly well over 500K influencers on the platform itself, so you will have plenty of options to choose from. The issues you are going to run into are of course related to the costs, and the fact that a large number of these influencers will be represented by agents or agencies, making it a costly experience.

The advantages of Instagram for your influencer search are:

✅ Huge variety of influencers to choose from - so you can find ones that fit your brand.

✅ You can use a variety of content - including: posts, square and vertical videos (stories) and branded content. 

✅ It is easier to track the performance of your campaigns with dedicated analytics tools. 

The disadvantages are:

❌ The price is higher than on other platforms.

❌ Lots of influencers with fake or inflated follower counts. 

TikTok Influencers

The definition of a TikTok influencer is just like that of an influencer on other social media platforms. On TikTok, they usually have a charismatic personality and a channel they use to produce content that their target audience finds engaging. They are often considered to be master of selling, and TikTok has mastered the art of creating viral trends that take brand ROI to a new level that cannot be compared with any other platform.

The advantages of TikTok for your influencer search are:

✅ Significantly higher engagement rates than you will find on Instagram.

✅ Option to use Branded videos, in-feed video ads, and even hashtags to stand out. 

The disadvantages are:

❌ Finding an influencer in your niche if it is incredibly specific will be difficult.

❌ Difficult channel to get a good grip on your own creative. 

Pinterest Influencers

While Pinterest may not be the first platform you think of when looking for influencer marketing in ecommerce, this could be a massively missed opportunity. Research by Hubspot suggests that 66% of users on Pinterest make a purchase after they have interacted with a brand's Pins on the platform. For more on advertising on Pinterest, you can read our article on 5 reasons as to why it is a good place to advertise

But overall, Pinterest can be a massive boost to your influence marketing strategy. When you are looking for influencers on Pinterest keep in mind their follower count can be found on their profile. As you can see from the example below:

The advantages of Pinterest for your influencer marketing in ecommerce are:

✅ The super limited costs - a lot cheaper than TikTok or Instagram. 

✅ Content is eternal and does not disappear after 24 hours. 

✅ Pinterest has a strong built-in search engine. 

The disadvantages are:

❌ Finding an influencer to work with is difficult and time-consuming.

❌ Analytics are difficult to grasp as content is often grouped. 

The Difference Between Celebrity, Macro, Micro and Nano Influencers

Influencer marketing is a way to reach a large audience with your product or service by recruiting smaller-scale advocates. There are four main types of influencers: celebrity, macro, micro, and nano influencers. 

Celebrity influencers are people who have a high level of name recognition. They are usually celebrities or TV personalities who have a lot of followers on social media. Celebrity influencers can promote your product or service to their large following in a short amount of time, which can help to spread the word about your product or service. But the engagement rates here will be most likely low, and the price for it quite extensive. 

Macro influencers are the more traditional influencers people think of. They will usually have a follower count of at least 100,000 and cap out around 500,000. They can promote your product or service to their followers in a way that is more formal than celebrity influencers. Macro influencers often work for big businesses or governments. They can help to increase awareness of your product or service among their followers, which can lead to more sales. But it does come with it's own hefty price tag, not as high as with Celebrities but still quite expensive.  

Micro-influencers are small-scale advocates who have a significant impact on their followers. Look for accounts with a follower count of 10,000 to 50,000 followers. They are usually people who are passionate about a particular topic and have grown their brand organically. The reason that they are so effective is that they come with their own unique style which is a lot more authentic, they can either be a great fit for your brand or not at all - but they can not go out and promote everyone's products. 

Nano influencers are the newest type of Influencer. Emerging recently these are accounts that can have up to 10k followers but usually have a lot less. Consider this to be your regular friends who are suddenly being paid to promote a product, in a way, we can argue that Nano influencers are similar to what you would gain from obtaining User Generated Content. The main issue here is that if you run a successful campaign with them, they will likely outgrow your needs. 

How to Tell if the Influencers Fits my Brand?

When looking to find influencers to promote your product or brand, it's important to first determine if they are a good fit. To do this, you'll need to ask a few key questions.

First, you'll want to make sure that the influencer is passionate about the subject matter. If they are not interested in the product or brand, they will likely not be able to create content that is helpful or interesting. Additionally, make sure that the influencer is relevant to your audience. Not all influencers are created equal – some may have more authority than others. It's important to select an influencer with the right level of influence so that their content is effective. The smaller an influencer is (nano vs celebrity) the more relevant the content can be to their audience, which will result in increased sales and engagement for your campaign. 

Once you've determined if the influencer is a good fit for your brand, it's time to start preparing their content. You'll need to provide them with information about your product or brand, as well as instructions on how to create quality content. You should also provide feedback on their previous posts so that they can improve their technique. 

I suggest that you prepare a series of examples that you can share with your influencers so that they know what you are looking for. But do not be too strict, there is no point in sharing your strict brand guidelines as it will defeat the purpose of using the influencer in the first place. 

Overall, it's important to take the time necessary to find the right influencers for your brand. By following these steps, you'll be sure that your content is both helpful and interesting.

Setting up an Influencer Campaign

In order to successfully market your product or service using influencer marketing, you first need to set up an influencer campaign. There are a few key steps that you need to take in order to get started.

  1. Verify the integrity of your influencers; make sure that you get more insights into their profile engagement rates, and their actual follower counts. Do not just blindly trust what you can see on their profile.
  2. Align your target audience with the influencer's target audience; make sure that the people your influencers are reaching is roughly the same as the one you are looking for. 
  3. Draft contracts/agreements with your influencer; look, it is a modern world. But to ensure the interests of your business and that of the influencer you should hammer out an agreement to agree on all the terms and conditions.
  4. Produce the creative assets; make sure your influencer creates the content you asked of them, and get them to share this content with you directly so that you can use it for future purposes (this is also why an agreement is important).
  5. Measure the results; to ensure the effectiveness of your campaigns, make sure you use unique links (either affiliate or tracking) to understand how much traffic is coming from which influencer. 

After you have conducted all of the above you may still have questions for influencer marketing in ecommerce - such as what mistakes to avoid. I have rounded out this article with just that. 

Mistakes you Should Avoid

  1. Make sure your influencer marketing efforts are based on sound research.
    2. Make sure that you are targeting the right influencers.
    3. Make sure your influencers are properly compensated for their time and effort.
    4. Follow the guidelines of the social media platform you are using to promote your influencer marketing campaign.
    5. Monitor your influencer marketing campaign regularly to make sure it is successful.

Summary

With more than $8 billion in 2019, influencer marketing is now a staggering $15 billion industry and set to continue its success in the near future as Business Insider reported on this growth. Influencer marketing in ecommerce whether you like it or not is there to stay, and if you have not used it yet I hope that today's article provided you with the information you need to launch your first campaign.

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