You will likely purchase something if one of your trusted friends suggests it to you as an excellent solution to an issue you are experiencing. That is precisely what influencer marketing is but on a larger scale.
Influencers that tell about your business to their followers have a far better possibility of converting an audience to your customers since the said followers respect the influencer and relate to the need created through the marketing campaign.
The recent pandemic and its repercussions of staying and working from home increased the time people spend online. This accelerated the growth of influencer marketing in 2020 and 2021, and business collaborations between eCommerce store owners and influencers significantly increased.
According to Shopify's influencer marketing report, businesses make $5.20 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing. So if you own an online store for products like custom t-shirts, hoodies, blankets, or other types of merchandise, products, or services, influencer marketing can be great for you! It is a tried-and-true strategy for boosting your brand's social media presence.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all method for implementing this strategy, almost any business can profit from the surge of influencers. However, it would be best if you had proper forethought and planning. This article will guide you through creating an effective influencer marketing strategy and reaping benefits from the growth of influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing
Influencers are content creators with a loyal following on social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. Influencers often have a brand presence that fits within a particular niche. They collaborate with relevant companies and promote their products or services to their audience.
Businesses that employed influencers on social media saw great returns on investment (ROI) in 2021, and this positive trend keeps growing.
Influencers are a valuable asset to anyone who wishes to grow or kickstart their eCommerce business because of their position of prominence in their particular specialty and their ability to influence consumers' purchasing choices. Influencer marketing lets marketers reach important Millennials and Gen Z groups, of which many are very open to learning about specific products through social media.
Influencer marketing predictions show that this type of marketing could make over $15 billion in 2022. More than 75% of marketing professionals plan to invest money into marketing through influencers.
Influencer marketing or collaborating with influencers who have an audience that matches the niche of your products or services can provide a great chance for you to get in front of a significant number of prospective customers. Additionally, businesses can benefit from influencer marketing to:
- Raise brand awareness and increase reach
- Establish brand values that resonate with your consumers
- Build a relationship of trust and credibility
- Drive decisions to make purchases
- Increase sales and boost revenue
- Unlock Social Platforms' Endless Sharing Potential
- Boost ROI and SEO
How to Develop Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand the potential of growth through influencer marketing, let's find out how to use social media influencers to your advantage with a strategy.
Define Your Goals
Create concrete targets you can reflect on and measure, and consider how your influencer marketing campaign will fit into your overall strategy for social media marketing.
There are many goals for which businesses opt for influencer marketing. The most common purpose is connecting with a broader audience since thousands or even millions of people on social media connect with influencers.
The top most common goals one can achieve with influencer marketing are raising brand awareness, driving sales, building long-term brand equity, driving purchase decisions, etc.
Determine Who is Your Target Audience
Before you sponsor influencers to endorse your products, you must know your audience. Pen down the type of people you wish to target with these influencers.
Your strategy and influencer match will vary depending on whether you're trying to reach more people or target a different audience set. Knowing this will assist you in identifying the traits you want in influencers who promote your products.
A good point to start with is to look at your existing audience. Especially if you practice multi-channel selling, the audience segments might differ for each platform, so varying marketing approaches will need to be taken for each.
Research Relevant Influencers
Once you know who you want to reach, start compiling a list of influencers. Use the following criteria to filter through various options and choose social media influencers that match your needs.
- Reach: The number of followers an influencer has determines their reach. However, it is not always essential to have a large following. A small audience could still be helpful if it sufficiently supports your objectives and matches your niche.
- Relevant content: A relevant influencer promotes material pertinent to your company and sector. Their audience must be compatible with your target demographic.
- Engagement: As mentioned before, having an enormous number of followers is not always necessary. Engagement triumphs the number. Niche influencers may attract a devoted, active following.
Reach Out to the Influencers Individually
The time it takes to compose a customized message for each influencer could feel too much; however, it will demonstrate your seriousness about the possible alliance. When reaching out to an influencer, start slow. Go through their content, like, and comment when necessary to show interest before messaging.
The extra effort you put into strengthening your relationship with a potential partner will make it easier to get a deal. When you draft a message to these content creators, include the following:
- Detailed information about your brand
- Objectives you wish to accomplish
- Benefits and pay you will offer
Actively Collaborate With Each Influencer
When working with influencers, make sure to communicate effectively about your requirements for the content. Giving specific instructions about what you're searching for is an intelligent approach. However, don't count on being able to control the whole campaign.
An influencer gains their status after putting great effort into growing their loyal following and won't agree to a contract that renders their brand image unreliable. Let them do their own thing that brought them success to get the most out of the partnership.
Influencer Collaboration Ideas
Finding influencers with the right audience for your product might not be easy. But when you've done that, you need to plan the kind of campaign you want to launch in partnership.
Here are four collaboration ideas that have an incredible marketing impact.
A sponsored post is where an influencer promotes your company in return for payment. These partnerships work well for one-off transactions, creating social proof, and creating influencer content.
You can engage in a consistent, ongoing partnership where the influencer often shares information about your business on social media in different forms, such as Instagram posts, reels, videos, and stories. Alternatively, you could pay them once for promoting your business in a one-time post.
You constantly see these posts when an influencer posts a video or a post with an ad hashtag (#ad) or puts a paid partnership header by tagging the business. The number of sponsored posts on Instagram has increased from 1.26 million in 2016 to 6.12 million in 2020, and it keeps growing up to this day.
In giveaways, an influencer requests the audience to take a particular action in exchange for winning free merchandise from your business. This strategy works well when operating a high-touch influencer marketing campaign, requiring specific consumer behaviors and increasing engagement.
Their post offers information about the contest, including the actions to enter the game, the date of declaring the winner, and what they will get.
Depending on your objectives, influencers can prompt various activities, such as
- Signing up for emails
- Directing their followers to your business page
- Liking and following your social media pages
- Tagging other users in the post to increase reach
Content collaboration or partnership is when you post on influencers' social media in return for merchandise and promote your company. You can communicate directly with influencers' followers and discuss your brand on your terms.
But getting a guest post or being invited to be a guest on an influencer's social media platform or blog may require a lot of time and effort. You need to pitch your idea and offer it to the influencer individually.
This approach works best when you wish to speak on behalf of your company, have the time to produce original content, and want to get high-quality backlinks to your business.
Product reviews are great for smaller budgets, obtaining product evaluations, and establishing the foundation for lifelong connections. With this concept, brands usually send influencers a gift (i.e., a sample of your product to try out and test). In exchange, the brands receive a review on their social media from these influencers.
This kind of partnership, where the emphasis is on giving rather than asking, is a wonderful approach to getting your influencer connections off to an excellent start.
Product reviews make your collaboration with the influencer seem more genuine. The influencer review sounds more accurate, as the audience knows that the influencer does not receive compensation to sing your product's praises.
Popular examples of this type of influencer marketing content are clothing try-on hauls, how-to product usage tutorials, and unboxing videos.
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular for businesses, especially in the eCommerce industry, due to the rapid growth of social media and word-of-mouth advertising.
Influencers provide an excellent opportunity to boost revenue through consistently posting engaging material and offering limitless sharing possibilities from their followers. They attract new consumers, increase brand awareness, and increase conversions around your products.
You can take your social media marketing initiatives to the next stage by picking the right influencers and creating a well-planned-out influencer marketing strategy. The main thing is to stay aware of its potential and collaborate with relevant content creators on an efficient digital marketing plan, influencer marketing will pay for itself and more.