A solid eCommerce influencer marketing strategy can help grow your customer base and increase sales. But how can you step up your strategy?
eCommerce Influencer Marketing Strategy 101
There are several ways to approach your brand’s eCommerce influencer marketing strategy. For many years, brands have largely been relying on a single approach. Brands often pay influencers with large followings for shoutouts. These shoutouts can include a positive YouTube review, Instagram post, or Story endorsing a product. Their audience sees then sees them.
Micro-influencers vs Macro-influences
Depending on the influencer and their number of followers, the price of collaborating with them on branded content can vary wildly. According to a 2016 survey from Bloglovin, 97% of micro-influencers charge less than $500 per branded Instagram post. However, this number varies according to the social network used for the posts. For Facebook posts, 90% of influencers charged less than $250. Blog content is generally more expensive. 96% of bloggers charge less than $1000 per branded blog post.
On the surface, it seems obvious that the more followers an influencer has, the more value they bring your eCommerce influencer marketing strategy. This is not always true. Macro-influencers often have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. They are often celebrities and international household names, who are complicated to get a hold of and work with and charge thousands or hundreds of thousands per post. Consumers may also often doubt their authenticity because it is well known that companies pay big money for positive reviews and ads from big influencers.
For example, Kim Kardashian, who has over 100 million followers, has been paid up to $500,000 per branded Instagram post.
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Why Focusing Only On Single Shout Outs Can Hurt Your eCommerce Influencer Marketing Strategy
What you really pay influencers for is access to their audience, followers, and subscribers. However, the problem with an eCommerce influencer marketing strategy that only involves single shout outs is that they usually follow these steps.
- You pay
- The post is created
- The post goes out
- A few days later everyone forgets it
- You have spent a lot of money and haven’t seen a return on it
So, what do you do instead? You can take the EHPlabs approach. They have an innovative way of handling their eCommerce influencer marketing strategy.
- Not paying a large amount for a one-time promotion
- Owning the influencer’s content
- Utilizing the content to grow your audience
- The ability to use the content in your marketing campaigns permanently
So, how do you do this for your brand?
Pay Influencers A Daily Rate
EHPlabs pays a team of sponsored athletes to promote their global health and fitness store year round. They are brand ambassadors that each have their own audiences across social media. For example, their brand ambassador Lauren Simpson has over a million Instagram followers.
Depending on your budget, goals, and products, this may not be necessary. However, you can definitely take inspiration from it. It may be very worth it to research influencers who will be an asset to your digital brand. When you know you want to work with them ask them for their daily rates. It is often easy to reach micro-influencers and even many macro-influencers. Lauren Simpson is one of the many who has their email address in their Instagram profile. This is the hopes that brands and others will contact them with opportunities and unique projects.
Often, it can be more cost effective to pay the daily rates of influencers than hire them for a single shoutout. As this is not incredibly common in the industry, many influencers only know how to price according to their audience size, but not according to hourly specifics. For some influencers, $1000 can buy you an entire day of filming or other branded content creation. You will own this content and be able to use as a part of your eCommerce influencer content strategy forever. When doing this, make sure to be clear about certain expectations from the beginning. These include:
- The day you want to work
- The content you want
- That you want to own and use the content
Produce Your Content Series
Many fitness brands and blogs showcase dramatic before and after photosets for impact. EHPlabs founder Izhar Basha takes a different, deeper approach. Rather than focusing simply on glimpses of before and after photos, Izhar and EHPlabs created an eight-part “Be Empowered” video series to show the fitness journies and lives of their ambassadors. This is a clever part of their eCommerce influencer marketing strategy. It helps customers connect with the brand ambassadors and brand as a whole on a more human level. Each video follows one of their athletes and ranges from four to seven minutes in length
The first in the video series focuses on brand ambassador Katya Elise Henry and it has been viewed over 100,000 times since it was posted in February 2017. The video traces her fitness journey, including both her struggles and successes. It has been effective because it utilizes the four persuasive storytelling tactics.
- A compelling message
- It paints the “hero” of the story in a sympathetic and altruistic light.
- It makes use of “damaging admission” by giving Katya relatable flaws and struggles. This makes her seem more authentic and trustworthy.
Produce your own content series which paints your brand and influencer in a compelling, human, and positive light. Find a format the works for you and make one video in a format. If it resonates with your audience and gets the right kind of attention, then make more. Don’t be afraid to try something new as part of your eCommerce influencer content strategy.
Organic Content Promotion
EHPlabs content series has several goals. These include brand awareness, spreading a positive fitness message, and product sales. They want viewers to become customers and for their products to aid customers on their own personal fitness journeys.
The first step that many people take to promote their own content is posting it on their own social media networks. Be sure that when you do this, you keep track of how successful it is. With their “Be Empowered” series, EHP labs had fairly low conversion rates through Facebook and Twitter Marketing, and conversion rates similar to email lists on Instagram. While social media marketing on your own accounts is a way to generate some views, it will not achieve the buzz that a strong eCommerce influencer content strategy can.
Influencer Content Promotion
One eCommerce influencer marketing strategy is to get people with more social media followers than you to post about your brand. This is where shoutouts come in. EHPlabs brand ambassador Katya Elise Henry has over 4 million Instagram followers. By getting her to do an Instagram shoutout to them including the video of her fitness journey, they got almost 90,000 views.
However, most of the engagement occurs on these posts shortly after they are posted. This is why it is important to have regularly scheduled content with influencers. EHPlabs does this with all of its brand ambassadors, like Katya Elise Henry and Max Philisaire, who do regular branded posts.
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The best mornings start with @ehplabs oxyshred ⚡️ a few key benefits of #oxyshred: no jitters or anxiety, boosts metabolism, burns fat, no heavy stimulants, mood enhancers, & much more. My favorite is kiwi strawberry 😻 go to www.ehplabs.com and use code KATYA10 to save 10%
Note that each of these posts contains a discount code to help inspire viewers to click and make purchases.
This allows you to gain long-term SEO traffic to your content which leverages the search volume of an influencer’s name to rank your own content for SEO.
Paid Content Promotion
Your eCommerce Influencer marketing strategy must involve multiple avenues and take the buying habits of customers on both desktop and mobile devices into account. Use these steps as a springboard for your own marketing campaigns.
- Advertise your video as an awareness campaign, starting on mobile devices
- Retarget people to your product who watch more than 50% of your video on desktop and tablet
You can even work with your influencer to create a bundle or product named after your influencer to help customers feel connected to and familiar with it.
Is Your eCommerce Influencer Strategy all it could be?
There are many approaches and strategies brands can take to working with influencers, but not all will achieve the highest possible returns. This is why it is important to have a targeted and clear eCommerce Influencer Strategy that raises brand awareness, gets conversions, and makes sales.
Do you think influencers are a marketing asset? Why or why not?