Successful influencer marketing can go beyond creating brand awareness to effectively increase sales. E-commerce brands can leverage the significant role played by social media channels and influencer content in the journey to online purchases. 8 out of 10 consumers have gone on to buy an item after seeing it recommended by an influencer. Instagram is leading the way as the channel with the most potential for conversions as the app is helping 80% of users to decide on buying a product or service.
Why can influencer marketing be a boost for sales?
Traditional ads on websites and social media are having less impact on millennial internet users. In contrast, influencers establish themselves as relatable and credible trendsetters within their niche. They use a casual and conversational tone and share personal anecdotes through their social media channels making them highly relatable to their followers. With carefully curated visuals, relevant hashtags, and authentic brand collaborations visible in their social media feed, they build a unique personal brand identified with a certain industry. By bringing engaging valuable content to their audience in the form of candid product reviews, ‘how to’ videos, and ‘best of’ lists, influencers consolidate their credibility in a certain field and can make a positive difference to a brand’s bottom line.
Through influencer marketing, brands can reach the powerful combination of a well-targeted and engaged audience with their product. Working with influencers is an opportunity to reach an audience that reflects your target customer demographic. When choosing which influencers to work with it’s important to look at who is following them and if they are likely to buy your product. Influencer followers is not just a numbers game. In order for collaborations to be effective in maximizing sales, analyze information such as the average age of their followers, where they live, and what gender they are. Does this match your target customer persona? Not only can you reach your brand’s customer demographic in terms of age and location, but you can also find potential customers who are actively interested in the industry by finding creators that are influential within your industry niche.
People following their favorite influencers on social media are also likely to engage with their content over content produced by brand accounts. On average Instagram, influencers have an engagement rate of 3.83% compared to Instagram brand accounts with an average of 1.60% engagement rate. This means that influencers’ followers are more likely to be liking, commenting, and sharing influencer created content talking about your products than alternative social media marketing posts. In order for your influencer collaboration to be reaching audiences who are more likely to visit your website or make a purchase, aim for influencers with between 15k – 50k followers as although the audience is smaller, influencers in this category have a higher engagement rate and are masters at creating specialized content for their specific audience interests.
Top techniques for maximizing e-commerce sales with influencers
- Authentic collaborations with influencers
- Influencer product giveaways
- Affiliate links
- Harnessing the power of video
- Instagram stories
Authentic collaborations with influencers
Influencer marketing maximizes e-commerce sales through social proof, which in this case is influencers encouraging certain purchase behavior by featuring products and brands as part of a coveted lifestyle they portray on social media. The role influencers can play in driving sales is most powerful when influencer and brand collaborations are authentic, when influencers are genuine champions of a product and there is a creative partnership with brands and not purely a transactional one. With this in mind, the best network to explore for influencer collaborations is your customer base.
Long-standing customers are buying anything from saucepans to stationery, their weekly grocery shop, or next season’s casual jacket from online brands they trust and return to again and again. Now imagine you can easily identify your most influential customers and engage them in an influencer marketing campaign for a brand they already know and love? How about that for authenticity? It’s now possible to integrate Upfluence’s Live Capture feature with your eCommerce website to collect data shared by your customers about their social reach to help you identify and reach out to your next generation of brand ambassadors.
Influencer product giveaways
Whilst it might seem counterproductive to do giveaways and contests as part of a sales drive, it is a tried and tested method of influencer marketing and a way to generate interest in the brand from a new audience. Most contests of this type might include asking followers to follow a brand account or sign up to a newsletter, all ways for the brand to continue sharing product-related content with potential customers. A giveaway can act as a teaser that when coupled with influencer product reviews or informative content about the brand has the potential to lead to more direct sales.
Building an influencer marketing campaign around the use of affiliate links is a performance-based model geared towards driving sales. With this technique, an influencer would promote a product across their channels and share a specific URL (an affiliate link) earning a commission for each sale. Working with influencers for affiliate marketing is particularly effective as their targeted and engaged audiences are likely to be interested in product promotions in their area of interest. Those following young, stylish, female influencers who share content about fashion and jewelry trends will be interested in purchasing these products when the influencer shares a collaboration with a brand such as OMEGA for example, because it correlates directly with their interest in luxury accessories.
Harnessing the power of video for sales
72% of customers prefer learning about a product or service through video, proving it to be a format that can be effectively leveraged by brands in their influencer marketing campaigns by creating short product reviews or ‘how to’ videos as a way to maximize sales. It is also important when looking to use video as part of an influencer marketing campaign to work with influencers on social media channels optimized for video sharing such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. On Instagram, video is particularly relevant as 75% of users take action after viewing branded video content, including clicking through to purchase.
A final technique to consider for influencer marketing with the aim of maximizing e-commerce sales is using Instagram stories for the simple reason that the ‘swipe up’ function allows users to click through directly to your e-commerce site. The Instagram platform is not optimized for sharing clickable links within the feed so using Instagram stories is an important feature to exploit. It is however reserved for accounts that are verified or that have 10k or more followers. Whilst this might not be the case for your brand’s Instagram account, working with influencers who will promote your e-commerce site to their 10k+ followers via Instagram stories is a way to overcome this.
The aspect of sharing short snippets of video in real-time that last for only 24 hours can be utilized as a way to showcase products as part of the influencer’s daily life or routine rather than a classic ad. 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. Alongside the additional interactive feature options such as polls, Q&A, and embedding hashtags, Instagram Stories proves to be an unmissable technique for maximizing sales.
If you’re looking for a tool that can support you in carrying out an influencer marketing campaign in order to boost your e-commerce sales then Upfluence is the software for you. We’ve recently launched a new feature called Live Capture, designed specifically for eCommerce brands to build a network of influencers based on customers visiting the site. Upfluence software can be used at every step of the campaign from identifying influencers to outreach, building a relationship, content creation, payment, and monitoring. Get in touch to find out more!