Consumers today don’t rely on traditional advertising or celebrity endorsements. Instead, they have their own trusted sources that they look to for recommendations.
Most of the time, these sources are social peers and influencers that they trust.
Influencers impact the buying decisions of their followers. That’s why influencer marketing has become a crucial part of the marketing mix.
If leveraged effectively, influencers can help you improve your ecommerce conversion rate significantly. The right influencers can help you attract more people and get them to engage with and trust your brand and products.
Influencers can not only help you increase brand awareness and engagement, but also help you boost your ecommerce sales.
Global ecommerce revenue is expected to reach $4.48 trillion by 2021. This means the ecommerce industry is booming and so is the competition.
If you don’t want your business to get lost in the crowd, you need to constantly come up with new strategies to improve your ecommerce conversion rate.
Though improving ecommerce conversions is not easy, here are a few techniques you can incorporate into your influencer marketing campaigns to drive more sales.
1. Select Your Influencers Carefully
The first and most important step in any influencer marketing campaign is selecting the right influencers to work with. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when selecting influencers.
Most notable influencers focus on a particular field of interest. While you may find influencers who regularly address more than one niche or industry, such examples are rare.
This focus on a single field of interest is by design. Focusing their content on a specific niche is one of the techniques they use to grow their audiences.
The focus of each influencer enables marketers to target their influencer campaigns with even greater accuracy. This results in higher engagement and an improved ecommerce conversion rate.
Content Format and Platform
Another factor to consider when selecting influencers is the social media platforms they use and the type of content they create.
When you’re trying to make a sale, you do whatever you can to present a buyer with a compelling value proposition. And when planning a campaign, the content and platforms should showcase your product in the best possible manner.
For example, a video showcasing the abilities of a GoPro is far more effective than a long-form article. Conversely, if you’re a publisher launching a new book, video content may not be an effective way to promote it.
In marketing, it’s all too common for bigger to be considered better. There is obvious value in partnering with the most prominent influencers whose audience can range into the tens of millions.
But, what’s less obvious is that small influencers can be a more effective option given the right circumstances.
“Micro-influencer” is a term commonly used to describe influencers with more than 1,000 but fewer than 100,000 followers. Despite a relatively modest audience size, micro-influencers can still help you improve your ecommerce conversion rate due to their loyal and highly engaged fan base.
Micro-influencers also charge significantly lower rates than influencers with large followings. This can make them a good choice if you’re on a tight budget or running a lean, cost-effective campaign.
Typically, most businesses start out by partnering with smaller influencers and then expanding to larger influencers as the company grows. This enables influencer campaigns to steadily connect with new audiences as the previously engaged markets begin to reach their saturation point.
Ideally, a long-term campaign will engage with a number of influencers of varying audience sizes. They rely on the larger ones to expand reach, while still engaging with smaller influencers to drive sales cost-effectively.
2. Carefully Time Your Brand and Product Integrations
Influencers hosting sponsored product demonstrations and tutorials are extremely effective at boosting ecommerce conversion rates.
But with 94% of marketers finding influencer marketing to be effective, that’s not exactly new information. There are, however, steps you can take to help influencer brand integrations go even better.
The key is to develop a content calendar that introduces influencer audiences to your product or service over time. Starting with pre-release teasers followed by coverage of the actual launch and finally, product reviews and tutorials.
In a saturated media environment, audience fatigue must be factored into the decision making process. A single sponsored video at launch is unlikely to influence any viewer who was not already engaged, at least partially.
Having a clear timetable for your campaign can help build and maintain interest, both before and well into a product’s launch. This will translate into better brand recall at launch and ultimately, more sales.
3. Run Exclusive Discounts and Promos
Everyone loves freebies, and influencers’ audiences are no exception. Providing custom discount codes to your influencers can help them get their followers to buy your product. This will help you improve your ecommerce conversion rate significantly and you can also track the performance of each of your influencers.
This is especially true when potential buyers have just had your product demonstrated or endorsed by an influencer they trust. Combining that with the chance for additional savings using a discount makes for a highly compelling value proposition.
We Love Eyes, for example, provided a unique discount code to influencer Natalie Kay, who shared the code with her followers.
Additionally, providing unique offer codes for influencers lets you track which were most successful at improving your ecommerce conversion rate. This is important to track for reasons that we will discuss in the next point.
4. Cross-Promote Successful Tactics and Content with Your Influencers
As you’d expect, not all influencers are going to perform equally. While giving them creative freedom is vital, it’s also important that they provide value to your business.
If a particular influencer’s content is performing especially well, it may be worth exploring what they are doing differently. By sharing best practices you’ve identified among your influencers, you may be able to boost the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
It should be noted that not all insights will be applicable to all types of content or demographics. A sudden change in tone and presentation can cause an influencer’s audience to react negatively.
Also, be sure to share and promote the best performing content from your influencers across your own social media platforms. This is a useful way to strengthen your relationships with your influencers and also encourage direct interactions with your brand.
5. Invite Them to Cover Your Events
If you have an upcoming major event such a product launch, inviting influencers to attend can be extremely beneficial.
Partnering with influencers can help build interest in the event and increase anticipation for the product you’re launching. This is especially useful for smaller companies when introducing products into crowded marketplaces where the competition is high.
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Using influencers as a channel to deliver information to customers can help drive conversions when your product becomes available for purchase. This can prove to be an effective strategy to improve your ecommerce conversion rate.
As an added bonus, influencers covering your events will help establish and grow your brand recognition in the marketplace. This potential to help drive future sales makes event coverage highly useful as a solution for long-term brand building.
6. Remind Your Influencers to Add Disclaimers
While this tip won’t directly boost your conversion rates, it’s still a crucial part of running a successful campaign.
Most U.S. based influencers these days will add disclaimers for sponsored posts or videos without prompting from you. However, there are still some influencers who either don’t add disclaimers or don’t provide one that conforms to current FTC standards.
This is especially important if your U.S. business sells products that are endorsed by non-American influencers. They may not be aware of what constitutes clearly displayed and unambiguous disclosure.
The FTC has become more rigorous in their enforcement of advertising standards in the online space. So it’s important to ensure that any influencer campaign that your brand or business is associated with are fully compliant.
These are our top recommendations to make the most of your influencer partnerships to improve your ecommerce conversion rates. With these techniques implemented in your upcoming influencer campaigns, you’ll be able to maximize your return on investment.
Have you leveraged influencer collaborations to improve your ecommerce conversion rate? Please share your experience working with influencers with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear your stories!
Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.