How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Referral Sales

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Did you know that there is an 88% increase in the purchase intent of consumers when a brand is promoted by an influencer?

So if you want a great way to boost your referral program and drive tons of referral sales, look no further than influencer marketing.

But before you start reaching out to social media personalities, let’s examine the case influencer marketing, and why you need to use it.

Influencer marketing means collaborating with popular personalities (usually bloggers, YouTubers, popular Twitter users, celebrities, podcasters, niche Instagram accounts, etc.) to promote your business.

So how can you use influencer marketing to drive referral sales? And why should you? Let’s answer the why first.

Why Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Referral Sales?

Influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy that can help you increase website traffic and referral sales.

An influencer is a person who has a large number of followers online. They are loved and trusted by their audience, which is why influencers have the power to influence people’s decisions.

When an influencer recommends something, their audience is more likely to purchase that particular product or service.

Have you heard of the Oprah and Ellen effect? Many big brands run after Oprah and Ellen to get them to promote their products. And the most obvious reason? Oprah and Ellen have audiences all over the world.

They are followed and trusted by millions of people. And when they recommend a specific brand or product, traffic and sales increase dramatically.

Twitter conducted a study to understand people’s reaction to influencers’ tweets. And they found that 49% of people rely on influencers for their buying decisions. The same study found that 40% of people directly made a purchase after reading a tweet from an influencer.

This makes it clear why brands and marketers want to use influencer marketing. And the good news is that businesses are getting $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing. That’s a great ROI, isn’t it?

Now hear this—11% of the total world internet users are using ad blockers. This means that if you are using traditional ad platforms, chances are that most of your target audience will not be able to see your ads.

This is why influencer marketing is so powerful. Influencer marketing can help you make your ads visible to your intended audience, and do so without being too pushy.

The personal voices and styles of influencers turns every promotional campaign into an engaging and meaningful conversation with consumers.

So that's the why of influencer marketing, let’s take a look at how you can use influencer marketing to drive more referral sales.

How to Use Influencer Marketing for Referral Sales

1. Identify Influencers

Before you can increase traffic with influencer marketing, you need to identify the right influencers for your business. They should be people who like your brand and who can impact your target audience.

2. Partner with Influencers

Once you find the perfect influencers for your brand, reach out to them and enter into a mutually agreeable partnership. Communicate your goals and brand message clearly before getting started.

Share your marketing strategies with them and help them create content based on the goals of your campaign.

Don’t forget to keep track of their performance and measure how much referral traffic and sales were generated by them. Analyze their effectiveness at driving the desired referral sales, and reward them for their efforts.

3. Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign to Drive Your Referral Program

You need to launch a well-planned influencer marketing campaign to drive more referral sales. To make your life easier, you can use the following tools:

Tools You Need

  1. A Referral Marketing Platform – Use a referral marketing platform such as AdvocateHub, Viral Loops, Extole, etc. to keep track of your referral sales and reward influencers accordingly.
  2. Influencer and Blogger Outreach Software – To reach out to influencers and pitch your proposal, especially at scale, you will need influencer and blogger outreach software. This will help you find and connect with top influencers in your industry. There are many influencer marketing tools you can use—Grin is a good one :)

4. Incorporate Influencer Marketing into Your Referral Program

It is important to collaborate with the right influencers and share an offer that your target audience will love. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Ask Influencers to Share Your Referral Program

In addition to sharing your referral program on your website and social media networks, you can also ask influencers to share it. Tell them which platforms to use depending on where your target audience spends their time.

This can lead to a higher number of followers and referral sales coming through.

Make Influencers Part of Your Offer

Depending on your existing customers’ interests, give them a chance to meet the influencers they follow or idolize. This creates a lot of excitement among your audience, and may participate in your referral program for a chance to meet their favorite influencers.

They can even refer and tag their friends and family to your program.

5. Share Promo Codes

The easiest and most effective way to use influencer marketing to drive referral sales is by using promo codes.

Share discount codes or promotions with your influencers and ask them to share them on their networks. When influencers post their content with the promotional link and exclusive discount codes, it draws the attention of their followers and inspires them to visit the link.

Glossier, for example, provides their reps with a unique URL that they can each share with their followers. When their followers shop through this link, they get a discount of 20% on the products.

Share Promo Codes

6. Ask Influencers to Mention Your Brand

One of the most common methods of bringing in referral sales is by asking your influencers to mention your brand on their blogs and networks. This increases your brand value, and lends you their social trust, which can drive people to try your products.

When people see a brand being mentioned by an influencer, they feel the brand is authentic and worth a try. Also, brand mentions on popular influencer accounts and networks increase the recall value of your brand. People remember your brand more when an important person talks about it.

Take the brand mention of BY TERRY by Aimee Song, for example.

Aimee Song

7. Hold a Social Media Contest with a Branded Hashtag

You can also leverage your influencer partnership to encourage your audience to participate in a limited time contest. Use branded hashtags to get more referral traffic and sales.

Over to You

Do you have any tips to add about how to use influencer marketing to drive referral sales? Share your knowledge with us in the comments section below.


Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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