Influencer marketing works in e-commerce, and according to most business gurus, it’s here to stay. Not only is this method of marketing highly effective at captivating potential customers with their full attention, but it’s also a roaring success when it comes to conversions. In the end, influencer marketing works how you orient your target audience and current product lines, to your supply chain design and sourcing practices. Naturally, utilizing this strategy to its full effect will also positively influence your company’s bottom line — by a lot.
Still, if you’re not familiar with this practice, you’re not alone. Millions of businesses have yet to take full advantage of the many benefits that influencer marketing can offer. If you’re interested in getting started, we’ve outlined all the basics you need to know up ahead.
First, though, let’s dive a bit deeper into what influencer marketing actually entails.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a specific marketing practice. It entails delivering your brand’s message to a wider audience through the use of social media “influencers.” An influencer is someone with a large social media following who represents their lifestyle and interests online via pictures, videos, and posts. In turn, they influence the lifestyles and buying practices of their followers.
How to Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing
Here’s an example of how influencer marketing can boost your sales:
Let’s say you own a lipstick company. Normally, you market your lipsticks to older women: those in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s. But you’ve decided to create a new line of products targeted at younger women: those in their teens and 20s.
With this shift, you’re wondering how you can get your brand noticed among this new audience. The best answer? Reach out to influencers on social media. Young people, especially, follow influencers religiously. If you can sign a contract with a young influencer who has a large following of women in their teens and 20s, you can easily boost your sales in just a few days.
You’ll pay the influence you connect with, and in turn, they’ll post at least once that they love using your products. All of their followers will see this, and the sales will start rolling in.
Why Influencer Marketing Works
Influencer marketing works because social media have taken over the entire landscape of advertising. The amount of time that average Americans spend watching television ads has gone drastically down over the past decade. On the other hand, the amount of time that average Americans spend online (and specifically on social media) has gone up, up, up.
If all eyes are on the Internet, as a marketer, this means that you need to be there with your ads at the ready.
But where exactly do you put your ads? And in what format?
You can certainly buy ad space and sponsored listings on Google, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, and all over the Internet, and these investments can lead to a decent number of conversions.
However, most users tend to scroll quickly past anything they perceive to be an ad. Likewise, many people use ad blockers so they never even see them in the first place.
Influencers, on the other hand, have a captive audience. Many followers watch influencers’ stories religiously and see and read or watch every single post they make. The top influencers’ followers are totally engrossed in what they’re doing, saying, eating, watching, reading, using, and recommending.
This means that if you can get these influencers to use and recommend your product, you’re in with that influencer’s followers big-time. It’s an absolutely excellent way to take the “word of mouth” marketing strategy to the next level.
Tips When You’re on a Budget
It’s easy to see that influencer marketing is highly-effective. However, it’s also fairly expensive. Fortunately, if you’re on a limited budget, you do have some options:
Use the right compensation model.
There are several ways to pay an influencer. First, you can pay them per click (they get paid every time one of their followers goes from their ad post to your site). Next, you can pay them per post. You can also pay them per engagement, which means basing your pay on how much buzz they stir up (shares, likes, and comments). Pick the model that works best for you.
As is always the case when hiring someone for a job, the bigger and more popular the person is, the more they’re going to charge. As a result, if you’re trying to save money, you’ll want to go with an influencer who may not have quite as much clout and fame as the most popular influencers, but who still has a large number of followers. These individuals are often called micro-influencers.
The truth is, influencer marketing is a universally efficacious strategy. Whether you’re just starting out in business or have been at it for years, it’s the golden ticket to a great ROI and radically boosted sales. Try it and see how it can take your business to the next level.