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Kickstarting an Influencer Engagement Strategy for your E-Commerce Business

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Kickstarting an Influencer Engagement Strategy for your E-Commerce Business

In the current era, nobody can deny the real power of influence. In such a competitive marketing generation, the creative customer acquisition tactics always work out. To reach out to the qualified customers, it’s important to influence them and it’s obviously not that simple. In this regard, you can bring an influencer into the game.

According to a research conducted by Twitter and Annalect, 2016, 49% of people rely more on a recommendation from influencers when making purchase decisions. So influencers can do magic for your brand, all you need is to implement it wisely.

Influencer Strategy – An Absolute Essential for an E-Commerce Business

Influencer engagement strategy proved to be a solid approach for B2C businesses. Such type of businesses mainly works upon trust. The more the user trusts your products, the longer terms sales you can expect. Even Google Trend is showing a constant increase in the influencer marketing strategy since the last 5 years.

Marketing your product without a proper influencer strategy won’t bring that much impact on your sales as compared to the word of mouth of an influencer. You can analyze the difference between the word of mouth marketing by a general consumer and an influencer from the below process chart.

Stone & Leigh, a furniture reseller, grew their followers by 280% just by adopting a right influencer engagement strategy. Additionally, they observed a substantial growth in their sales chart as well.

 

The 4 Step Process of an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

The facts and data provided are a clear indication of the need for the influencer strategy. Before kickstarting your first influencer strategy, do a thorough research and analysis over the below crucial points.

  • Identifying your Goals and Objectives

Knowing your basic goal and objective is a common practice applied in all the marketing techniques. Obviously, marketing is all about results and if you don’t exactly know your end result then your overall campaign is useless.

You should know why you are initiating your influencer engagement campaign. Influencer campaign can be based on the following objectives:

  • Boost your business branding
  • Organic stability
  • Attract the influencers’ followers towards your website
  • Business social branding
  • Customer acquisition

Let me share some statistics found on Digiday highlighting why businesses prefer influencer strategy.

  • Understanding the Influencer Hierarchy

Before targeting any influencer for your campaign, you should know the different levels of influencers first, so that you at least know who to target. I found an infographic on Launch Metrics showing an influencer engagement pyramid. Have a look:

Prosumers: They can help you in getting active online users and enforce them to share their feedback about your brand with their fan following.

Opinion Leaders: As they have more impact as compared to the Prosumers, they can help you in multiple ways. They can assist your brand in building a long lasting relationship with the other industry-specific experts. Additionally, they can also help you in acquiring higher visibility amongst their followers.

Celebrities: Everyone is much aware of this category of influencers and trust me its impact is beyond our imagination! Celebrity endorsements can bring a huge amount of potential customers for your brand. Well stabled brands are usually involved in such influencer engagement activity.

Start working on approaching the influencers that can help in meeting your objective. For the startups, targeting the Prosumers group is recommended. For those businesses who are at the progressing stage, Opinion Leaders are preferred and for the stabilized businesses, Celebrity targeting is the best option!

 

  • Identifying the Right Platform

Once you are done with the targeting process, it’s time to identify the right platform to achieve your desired goals. If you are looking for social branding and traffic acquisition, then Instagram is highly recommended for your online store. You can see in the example below that how Kim Kardashian has promoted a brand’s waist trainer on her Instagram.

If you are looking for an organic boost, then product reviews on different bloggers’ website is the best place to market. Let me quote my experience with this strategy applied for a women clothing boutique ‘Sophie and Trey’ who approached an influencer, who happens to be a fashion model as well; and how she spread the word on The Huffington Post and her Instagram. Now just imagine, if a product is being reviewed on such a huge platform, you are just directing the potential traffic of that platform and the potential followers of that influencer.

According to a statistic found on Skift, businesses have rated that targeting personal bloggers is the best tactic in influencer engagement strategy.

  • Getting them on Onboard

Let’s move towards bringing the influencers to the game. Below are some measures through which you can invite them for promoting your business.

  • One of the most commonly used technique to get them onboard is to incentivize them by offering free products of their choice. Ask them to review those products on their blogs and social media.
  • Another option is to follow the rule of reciprocity. According to which you have to offer your influencer a favor before asking for any. Offer them something that they are intensely looking for. As a result, they will definitely consider your brand promotion.
    Pro tip: Utilize your core skills and help them with it. 
  • Never go for a random influencer targeting. Find the exact niche specific influencers and approach them as they will show more interest as compared to the others.
  • While approaching your influencer, don’t make it seem like you’re desperate for their help. Instead, try to convince them in a more interesting manner. It should be based on mutual interest and focus more on their benefits so that they agree to help you out. 
  • Hire them on a paid contract, which is rarely being used in the industry, but yes some brands usually practice this.

Make sure that your campaign is aligned for the long term so that you can earn long term benefits. Additionally, the good point of this technique is that the businesses are utilizing it without any monetary investment. Can’t believe it, right? Have a look at these figures:

 

Let’s wrap it up

Influencer engagement strategy is proving to be the most profound marketing strategy that actually generates traffic and qualifies leads for businesses mainly in the B2C arena. Let me end it with a great example. The need of this strategy can be analyzed by the fact that people are running Celebrity Jackets and other accessories stores and they are earning like hell. So the phenomena behind it is that people follow influencers and they admire them a lot. In short, it can be defined as:

Influencer Marketing is all about converting an influencer’s word of mouth in to a consumer’s need. Their recommendations are so strong that can turn a buyer’s decision making phase so smooth.

 

Moosa Hemani
Moosa Hemani
Moosa Hemani owns SEtalks.com, an Inbound Marketing Agency that help clients grow their traffic and leads using all Inbound Marketing channels. 

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