Influencer marketing campaigns are an extremely versatile and effective marketing tool. In the right hands, they can bring tons of benefits for your business.
Now, there are many ways to measure the success of an influencer campaign. From an increase in followers on social media, to the amount of fresh web traffic it directs to your site.
But perhaps the most important metric of all is your conversion rate. That’s the percentage of website visitors who successfully completed a purchase.
Today we will be discussing a few helpful practices to boost your ecommerce conversion rate through your influencer partners. While influencers are just one of several options you could consider to drive more sales, they tend to drive the best results.
6 Ways to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate
In a recent survey by Collective Bias, about 60% of consumers consult social media for information and reviews before making a purchase.
Let’s take a look at six advanced techniques you can incorporate into your future influencer campaigns to help drive 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 drive significant sales traffic 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 discount codes for influencers to share with their audiences can give you the best chance of converting new customers.
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.
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.
Do you have any strategies that worked for you that you think we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments down below, we’d love to hear your ideas!
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies 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.