Are you looking to enhance your ecommerce brand’s social media presence? Finding it difficult to create content that strikes a chord with your customers? This is where influencer marketing comes in.
If you want to better connect with new and existing customers, these social media sensations can provide powerful benefits that turn scrolls into sales!
Join us as we explore exactly what influencer marketing is and how can it benefit your brand.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is essentially the 21st century version of celebrity endorsement. Capitalising on a celebrity to promote your business is by no means a new marketing tactic – think Calvin Klein and Justin Bieber, Kevin Bacon and EE or Michael Jordan and Nike trainers.
However, the digital age and the rise of social media has re-established what a celebrity is, with influencers taking centre stage across our social feeds. A once expensive and out-of-reach marketing strategy has been redefined.
Today, your ecommerce brand can use these social media celebrities (or influencers) to promote your products to the masses, for a fraction of the price of traditional celebrity endorsements.
Let’s rewind a bit. How do you define an influencer? Put simply, an influencer is usually a regular person who has an above-average impact in their field. They are someone who has amassed a following on one, or multiple, social media platforms. While some have millions of followers, others have as little as 1000.
An influencer has leverage over purchase decisions because they create effective content in a specific category (enough to be considered an expert) and engage closely with their following. The great thing about influencers is that they usually create content in line with their interests and this is what their followers keep coming back for. Your business can tap into this existing interest to reach a targeted audience who are sure to love your products!
How does influencer marketing benefit your ecommerce business?
Key terms explained, let’s dive into some of the key benefits of influencer marketing.
#1 Boosts brand awareness
It goes without saying that having a popular influencer posting about your product or brand to a dedicated audience of thousands or millions of people will increase awareness of your brand. Influencers actively engage with their audience and spark conversations about the brands they partner with, creating a buzz across social media.
Word of mouth is still by far one of the most effective marketing tools, with 92% of consumers reporting that they’re more likely to buy something recommended to them by somebody they trust, over traditional advertising! Influencer marketing taps into this strategy, which in today’s hyper-connected world can be highly effective.
#2 Builds trust with your audience
Using influencer marketing is not only beneficial for boosting brand awareness, it also greatly increases trust in your business, which is crucial for online selling.
Word of mouth succeeds when the recommendation comes from a trusted source, often where there is an already-established relationship. An influencer provides this on a wider scale. Essentially, the influencer brokers your relationship with their audience and encourages the same level of trust in your business. In other words, having an influencer promote your product or store increases the chance that you’ll gain the trust of their audience.
What’s more, with influencer marketing, you can build trust in your brand lightning fast, right from the get-go. With some more traditional marketing strategies, it takes years to carefully nurture customer relationships and gradually instil confidence in your brand!
You might be wondering why we trust influencers and their recommendations so much. In fact, a joint study by Annalect and Twitter found that people instil the same level of trust in influencers as they do their closest friends! Well, a good influencer is perceived to be authentic and honest, and often, users follow a specific influencer because they hold the same values, likes and dislikes. This gives the effect that an influencer has their followers’ best interests at heart, the result of which is impervious trust in any recommendations the influencer might make.
This doesn’t come without time and effort, though. These influencers have cultivated a community of followers who crave their influence, which can give your brand positive exposure from a trusted voice.
By choosing the right influencer, you can tap into their already-established community and broadcast your brand or product to an audience positively predisposed to it.
#3 Enables reach of niche audience groups
An influencer’s community is built around a shared interest. Users follow them for the type of content they post about. This means that the majority of an influencer’s audience are interested in their niche, which can be a highly profitable benefit of using influencer marketing for your brand.
Put simply, a niche is a specialised segment of the market for a particular product or service. It follows, therefore, that niche influencers will usually have a smaller following. Although at first this may seem counterintuitive, a smaller community is often more tight-knit. As a result, a niche influencer can make closer, more direct connections with their audience. Well-performing influencers with a clearly defined niche have higher engagement and interaction from followers, generating more return on investment (ROI) than traditional marketing techniques.
A key factor to take note of here is making sure the influencer you choose is in-keeping with your brand ethos. This can actually make or break the success of your campaign. To ensure you can effectively gain the trust of an influencer’s loyal following, you can’t just choose an influencer within your industry niche. Instead, it’s important that your brand values are shared by the influencer themself. If not, you risk the partnership seeming inauthentic, which can have an adverse effect and make your company seem untrustworthy.
#4 Improves SEO
An article about the benefits of influencer marketing wouldn’t be complete without a mention of SEO.
Partnering with influencers can improve the quality of your link profile by generating natural backlinks. Influencers are actually one of the best kept secrets for gaining these sorts of inbound links to your site. Through an influencer, your content is targeted within a distinct niche and is presented to the consumer as something of value, rather than a direct link.
These are powerful backlinks in the eyes of Google, as influencers usually have their own high-authority sites, with plenty of quality content and a big online audience. The result? A boost in rankings!
Even more so, well placed brand-influencer partnerships can garner media attention which will further link back to your site.
Overall, the extensive reach of influencers gives your brand more visibility and increases site visitors, again translating to higher search engine rankings.
#5 Provides easily-traceable engagement
Last but not least, one of the most popular benefits of influencer marketing is the ability to easily track performance in relation to your campaign’s goals and objectives.
Social media platforms provide all users with a review of their metrics in terms of reach, engagement and demographics. This can relate to their account as a whole, or to individual posts, providing a useful tool for tracking the success of the posts you sponsor.
Alternatively, you can provide your influencer with their own unique link to promote, or provide a customisable promo code. This means you can measure traffic, engagement and conversions. You can measurably see, through views, clicks, likes, shares and mentions, the amount of engagement with your promotion, which can help to determine the success of the campaign overall.
Let’s wrap up
As you can see, influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools for driving social traffic to your site and increasing awareness of your brand.
The real rewards come from a sustained relationship with an influencer, as this only seeks to increase the credibility and authenticity of your partnership, making your campaigns more effective on the whole.
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