Influencer Marketing for E-commerce: A Step-by-Step Strategy
Rachel Baumann on August 07, 2023
As an e-commerce business owner, you've already acted on the fact that the retail landscape is no longer what it once was. As brick-and-mortar stores gradually give way to digital platforms, traditional marketing methods follow suit as they are superseded by innovative digital strategies.
One such strategy that has proven its mettle is influencer marketing.
Or, in many cases, micro-influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing, for the uninitiated, is a form of social media marketing where brands partner with influential people to promote their products or services.
These influencers have a strong follower base and can sway their audience's purchasing decisions through their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
Now, you might be wondering, "How does this fit into my e-commerce business?"
In the digital age, consumers tend to trust recommendations from people they admire or relate to.
It's like word-of-mouth marketing but amplified. Influencer marketing leverages this trust, making it a powerful tool for increasing brand visibility, driving website traffic, and boosting sales.
But how do you go about it?
You've got products to manage, orders to fulfill, and customers to satisfy, leaving you little time to navigate the complex world of influencer marketing. That's where we come in.
This guide is your handy guide to influencer marketing, tailored specifically for e-commerce businesses. We'll walk you through the entire process step-by-step, making it as simple as possible.
Let's dive right in!
Understanding the Basics of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing isn't rocket science.
It involves partnering with individuals (influencers) who have a robust online presence and can affect their followers' purchasing decisions. These influencers can be classified into three main categories:
- Micro (1k-40k followers)
- Macro (40k-1M followers)
- Mega influencers (1M+ followers).
While Mega influencers might seem the most attractive, Micro and Macro influencers often boast higher engagement rates and more authentic connections with their followers, which is why they're well worth focusing your business's attention on.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Influencer Marketing for eCommerce Businesses
Let's jump right into the flow of this and explore the actual process behind using an influencer marketing strategy, discovering how it can help your eCommerce business grow.
Step 1: Setting Clear Goals for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Before diving headfirst into the influencer marketing world, establish clear, measurable goals.
What do you want to achieve through your influencer program?
Increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost sales, or something else?
Knowing your goals will guide your influencer marketing program and help measure success later on.
If you want to increase your reach, opting for an influencer with a larger following will help get you in front of more people. If you want more sales, you'll want an influencer with high engagement rates, and so on.
Step 2: Identifying the Right Influencers for Your Brand
Identifying the right influencers for your brand is crucial.
Look for influencers whose audience aligns with your target market and who share content relevant to your products. Assess their engagement rates and content quality. Tools like AcornLinks can significantly ease this process, offering a platform to find and connect with potential influencers.
Step 3: Reaching Out to Influencers
Once you've identified potential influencers, it's time to reach out.
Craft a compelling pitch that highlights the mutual benefits of a partnership. Be clear about your campaign goals and expectations, but also give them the creative freedom they need to keep their content authentic.
Remember, working with an influencer is a two-way partnership and isn't like working with traditional companies. They are people and want a personal approach. They want to connect with your business on a human level, not so much for financial gain.
They want to build and sustain their brand and will only choose to work with businesses that can elevate them in such a way. Therefore, you need to present yourself in a way that matches these expectations.
That said, you will need to reward and compensate your influencers fairly for their work. Whether that’s through paying them, offering in-store credit, or through other bonuses is up to you.
Step 4: Collaborating on Content Creation
Once you've agreed on a partnership, the expectations of what posts are being created, how many, and the agreement of the terms (such as your expectations for the CTA and so on), it's time to get to work.
Content is king in influencer marketing, and you must collaborate with your chosen influencers to create content that aligns with your brand's image and values yet stays true to the influencer's unique style.
This balance is critical for resonating with the influencer's audience.
You'll want to give them access to resources to help them produce such content. Remember, the more views and engagement the content gets, the more beneficial such content will be for your brand.
Step 5: Tracking and Measuring Success
When the content starts going out and your campaign goes live, tracking its performance is crucial. This means checking in with the engagement and reach of the content and seeing what kind of return you're getting.
Are people clicking through to your products and pages? Are you achieving the goals you set for yourself in Step 1?
Key metrics to consider include engagement rate, click-through rate, promo code usage, and conversions. AcornLinks offers comprehensive campaign monitoring and analytics, making measuring your ROI easy and adjusting your influencer marketing program as needed.
Step 6: Maintaining the Relationship
Influencer marketing is not a one-and-done deal. It's about building lasting relationships with influencers.
Engage with them regularly, provide constructive feedback, and consider long-term collaborations. This ongoing connection can lead to more authentic promotion of your brand and foster a sense of loyalty.
And there we have it.
By following this step-by-step process, you can create, build, and grow connections with influencer marketers and personal brands in your niche and really start to grow your business by connecting with the people who are interested in what your business has to offer.
Of course, while the process is simple, actually finding and setting up effective influencer strategies can be hard work.
Hard work that's made simple with Acorn Links.
Making Influencer Marketing Simple with Acorn Links
Managing an influencer marketing campaign should not add to your plate as an e-commerce owner. It's essential, but that doesn't mean it can't be plain sailing, which is precisely our ethos here at Acorn Links.
Acorn Links is an intuitive platform designed to automate and simplify your micro-influencer, ambassador, and influencer marketing programs.
Through our system, you can track and reward influencer-referred sales automatically, reducing upfront costs and uncertainty. You can reward influencers with store credit, or set up custom rewards for specific actions, giving you flexibility and control.
And this really is an all-in-one solution.
Every step of the process, from recruiting influencers and verifying their demographics to creating unique referral links that pay and reward influencers for their work, is simplified for them and you.
Acorn Links has already helped Shopify stores garner over 75 million Instagram impressions and $2M in direct influencer-referred sales. The platform offers direct contact with influencers, custom emails, data export capabilities, and protection against returns or refunds.
With its multi-language and currency capabilities, it's a versatile solution that makes the complex world of influencer marketing as simple as it can be.
Influencer marketing can be a game-changer for your e-commerce business.
But it isn't a magical solution that yields instant results. It requires careful planning, identifying the right influencers, crafting engaging content, and consistently monitoring results for improvements.
Whether you're looking to boost brand awareness, drive more website traffic, or increase sales, following this step-by-step guide will set you on the right path. Remember, it's all about learning, adjusting, and iterating.
Are you ready to leverage the power of influencer marketing for your e-commerce business?
Sign up for AcornLinks today to identify potential influencers, manage campaigns, and track your success!