Growing online sales is a process encompassing various steps. You should work on the website, improve the eCommerce UX, leverage social media, send timely and personalized emails, etc.
In today’s marketing world, there are so many different tactics you can choose, but where do you start?
If you want to upgrade marketing campaigns, why not employ influencers to promote goods and direct their audience to your business?
Influential people used to consist only of celebrities, athletes, and politicians, and it was almost impossible to join this list. However, social media has revolutionized this approach. Now everyone can be an influencer. It only takes a smartphone, the Internet, and creativity.
People can easily share valuable and engaging content, grow their follower base, and attract readers with similar interests. Once the number of followers reaches a certain level, they can start earning money from their blogs.
What are the ways to monetize this activity? For example, by partnering with brands to promote their goods and services, an influencer can charge money each time they recommend a product. That’s how influencer marketing comes into play.
Businesses search for public figures, pitch their products to advertise, and encourage them to test the goods and talk about them publicly.
The best thing is that you don’t have to reach out to superstars to benefit from influencer marketing. You can work with micro-influencers who may have few followers, but those followers are often super-engaged so you can see a better return on investment (ROI).
Whom should you choose to benefit from this type of marketing? How does influencer marketing increase sales? Read this article to learn about influencers, discover possible collaboration patterns, and find inspirational examples.
Table of Contents
How Do You Define Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of promoting brands on social media. It may be an independent tool or a means to boost other marketing campaigns.
According to the global Statista survey, 38% of marketing agencies and brands allocate 10-20% of their budget to influencer marketing. 11% of respondents invest more than 40% of their budget in this type of marketing.
Influencer marketing refers to opinion leaders, individuals, and organizations with considerable awareness or social impact in their field. They should include products or services in their content or find other ways to promote a business.
They advertise the company and drive brand messages to the target audience of both the company and themselves.
Thus, influencer marketing entails expanding the reach. Advertising across social media platforms enables your company to improve brand awareness and generate new leads.
Insider Intelligence estimates that influencer marketing spending in the United States will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. It will grow next year and creep up to 5 billion.
Who Is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is the driver of the followers’ purchasing decisions. Bloggers leverage their established authority and reputation while remaining close friends with their readers. Such a connection is more beneficial than a paid endorsement or advertisement. Thus, marketing a product or brand becomes much more manageable.
True opinion leaders don’t just aim to reach the maximum number of followers. They constantly launch campaigns to increase their engagement and loyalty.
That’s why such an active audience listens carefully to influencers’ advice and wants to copy their style, taking into account tags and mentions of their preferred brands.
Influencers use their online platforms to partner with brands. The key thing is keeping things genuine. So choose people who will test the products and say what they think of them, not pay them to leave favorable feedback on the unused stuff. It is sincerity that nurtures people’s trust.
Another crucial factor when choosing an influencer is to look into the engagement metrics on social media rather than the number of followers. The first reason is that figures may lie. There are ways to bump up the number of followers quickly. These people will be unlikely to stay for long or respond to messages.
Engaged followers mean much more for your business. So you should look at the influencers’ number of likes, comments, shares, and other indicators.
Second, even though these may be valid numbers, a greater audience may be scattered across the globe. Ads on these pages will boost brand awareness but cost too much for a small and local brand.
So if you wish to attract more customers and amplify sales rather than views, look at local opinion leaders with fewer followers. In this case, the ROI will be higher than working with influencers with an audience of 500,000 to millions of people.
Five Ways to Increase Sales with the Help of Influencers
1. Organizing Contests and Giveaways to Raise Brand Awareness
The first step towards increasing sales is attracting new clients. And influencers can help you with that as they have numerous followers willing to follow their advice.
One of the easiest solutions to leverage influencer marketing is to launch a giveaway or contest on your and the influencer’s accounts.
Why are giveaways so popular? First, it’s a mutually beneficial collaboration with an influencer. They can boost their social media engagement, likes, shares, and comments, while your business gets additional exposure.
Second, who doesn’t like a gift with a touch of competition? If followers can get a product without paying, they will likely enroll in the contest.
The crucial aspect of giveaways is to make simple rules for participants. For example, influencers may ask followers to like a post, share it in Stories, and tag friends in the comments, on both your account and theirs.
Below is a vivid example of a contest launched by Naomi Solobot, a musician with 17 thousand followers, and the Little Dresses store.
2. Publishing Sponsored Content to Promote the Company
Sponsored posts are among the most widespread types of content influencers can create in partnership with brands. It’s as simple as paying a person to promote your company or products.
Brands typically reach out to public figures to launch a paid ad on the influencer’s account. It resembles a mix of conventional and cutting-edge marketing strategies, doesn’t it?
A celebrity endorses a company, enumerating the benefits of its products or services. Shared on the influencer’s social media pages, the content frequently includes a call to action, encouraging followers to make a purchase. The content will depend on the chosen channel, but the most typical product promotion types are photos, videos, or blog posts.
Before publication, the influencer receives a campaign brief from the company. It typically contains specific needs, guidelines, and instructions.
But the main thing is to give influencers the freedom to choose the preferred tone of voice, wording, style, and other aspects that make them stand out from the others. After all, they’ve already built authority among followers, so they know how to increase engagement.
Check out one of Amanda Frederickson’s posts below. She’s a restaurant owner and cookbook author with over 100 thousand followers on Instagram.
This post is a paid partnership between the public figure and Wallaby Yogurt. What does it provide? Amanda shares a recipe in the post description and tags the brand.
3. Offering Discounts or Creating Affiliate Programs
Similar to publishing sponsored content, you can launch an affiliate program or assign a unique discount code to the influencer.
An affiliate program is a process of promoting a company and sharing a link to it. When someone uses this link to access the website and buy something, a public figure receives a commission from this purchase.
Note that the number of conversions highly depends on the website’s performance. If people land on a user-friendly, mobile-optimized, and rapid online store, they will likely stay and buy.
That’s why you may want to look under the hood of the website or even convert it into a cutting-edge solution like a progressive web application.
Many renowned brands like Alibaba, Lancôme, and Tally Weijl consider this step beneficial for their businesses. Luckily, there are various solutions to get the native-like experience faster. They include PWA Studio or other themes.
The amount of the influencer’s reward may depend on the agreement. The primary benefit of such a program is the additional motivation for opinion leaders to encourage sales.
They don’t get a fixed fee for the post. But the profit may come for a prolonged period and increase as more people click the link.
Discounts are similar to affiliate links. The more people use the influencer’s specific code to purchase, the more public figures get.
Deals can also encourage consumers to order goods due to the ability to save money. They can appear at the turning moment to motivate someone to visit the store and buy.
Affiliate links and discount codes may be unique to a specific influencer. They help the company measure the campaign performance, such as ROI, traffic, and conversions.
Do you need some examples? That’s what you can find on Hegson Rapozo’s Instagram page. The athlete provides a code for 10% off the next order at the Transparent Labs online store. Besides, the link has a UTM tag to specify that visitors come from the influencer’s link.
4. Taking Over the Brand’s Account for Some Time
Social media takeovers are the practice of entrusting your account credentials to influencers. They control your feed and stories for some time. For example, they may show behind the scenes or a day in their lives once a week to increase user engagement.
Note that it may take extra trust as the person becomes your company’s face on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. That’s why such people should resonate with businesses.
Brands employ influencers to advertise events via social media takeovers, which include interactive features, namely:
- question-and-answer sessions;
- posting selfies, among others.
Look at the collaborative work of the clothing brand Eddie Bauer and athlete Kayla Lockhart. She presents the best fishing spots, sharing valuable tips with the store’s followers.
5. Converting Influencers into Loyal Customers
Consider extending the collaboration with influencers and making them brand ambassadors. Long-term relationships may cover social media posts, outdoor ads, events, etc.
A striking example of the brand’s work with the ambassador is the collaboration between George Clooney and Omega watches. It’s more than a work contract, I would say. It’s brand loyalty on a personal level.
George Clooney rarely appears in public wearing watches other than Omega. As an ambassador for the Omega brand, he goes beyond his responsibilities, never wears other brands, and includes its products in his films.
Being an influencer is now a job with numerous perks and a high income compared to what it originally was. People shoot videos, take photos, talk about their favorite goods, and get dividends.
Influencer marketing expands possibilities to raise brand awareness, attract new customers, and increase sales. You don’t even have to overspend on the ad to ensure its effectiveness in resonating with prospects.
A case in point is local public figures with fewer subscribers. They can successfully create a buzz around the store even before opening it in a city. Such bloggers may charge less but bring more clients than influencers with international popularity.
We’ve looked at the main features of influencer marketing. Consider influencers’ relevance to your business, the number of followers, and the level of engagement.
Determine the means of gratification. Be it free samples, discounts, or money, honesty is vital. Once you’ve prepared the ground, choose the way of promoting your company, such as:
- reviewing products;
- generating unique content;
- offering discounts to boost sales, etc.
You’ll soon notice the benefits and make influencer marketing an indispensable part of your campaigns.