In the e-commerce world, we all know that getting ahead (and staying ahead!) of the competition is the key to success. Over the years, we’ve seen several marketing techniques enter the frame including social media marketing. Now we have a new e-commerce marketing strategy that doesn't seem to be going away: influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Before we launch into the reasons why influencer marketing should be part of your marketing strategy in 2019, we should first explain the basics. Even if you've never heard the term before, influencer marketing isn't a new idea. For many years, the largest brands have been paying celebrities and well-known figures to endorse their products. The premise today is still the same, but the ‘influencer’ in question has changed.
Rather than sports stars and actors, e-commerce brands are using YouTube personalities, bloggers, vloggers, and any individual, couple, or family that has a presence online. When compared with traditional celebrity endorsement strategies, there are at least some differences. Rather than merely being paid to advertise a product/service, the relationship is more of a collaboration.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Why include influencer marketing in your strategy alongside social media marketing and other e-commerce marketing techniques?
Proven Results - First and foremost, this is now a tried and tested strategy. According to Nielsen, the consumer insight specialist, 90% of people trust recommendations from the personalities they choose to follow. As well as reading customer reviews and searching the web, many consumers are now purchasing products based on the recommendations of influencers.
Elsewhere, Twitter released a report back in 2016 that suggested 40% of Twitter users had purchased a product after seeing a recommendation on the platform. In the three years since then, the role of influencers has only increased.
Fits into a Strategy - Secondly, we said this form of marketing could work alongside social media marketing, but they can also work together. In addition to getting a mention on an influencer’s YouTube channel or blog, most influencers now have at least one social media channel, so it's easy to get people talking about your products/services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various other platforms.
With some influencer marketing campaigns, brands have been able to launch a unique ‘hashtag' that has taken the world by storm. On social media, prospective customers love to communicate with influencers, and you can get your name into this conversation with the right strategy.
Targeted Audience - Next, it's scarce to find such a concentrated audience in one location. With most forms of marketing, you’re spending money with the knowledge that a certain percentage of the audience won’t have any interest in the brand or product. With influencer marketing, you can choose an influencer that operates within your niche, and this is pivotal in the e-commerce market.
Let's say you create home-made tea towels and sell them online; you can get in touch with a tea towel blogger and work on a few projects together. For example, they might write tea towel reviews or talk about home-made gift brands that they enjoy. Whether a video on YouTube or a blog dedicated to your products, this can work wonders because you know that every member of their audience is taking time from their day to hear about tea towels; this isn't something you can guarantee with other marketing tools.
Natural Development - to pick up on a point we made earlier, influencer marketing isn't a new idea, so you're not relying on consumers doing anything different to what they've been doing for generations. Before the internet, it would be TV; before TV, it was radio; before radio, it was newspapers and magazines. These days, it just so happens that people spend lots of time online. Therefore, this is your chance to nudge them in the right direction.
SEO Improvements - Finally, how can we talk about influencer marketing and social media marketing without mentioning SEO? If authority figures are now linking to your e-commerce page from YouTube, social media, and their own websites, these inbound links will add value in terms of Google’s rankings. Over time, you should start to climb in the rankings, and this leads to organic traffic through search engines.
We don't think influencer marketing is something you can ignore any longer. If you need to get people to your online store, and you need to get people talking about your brand in a positive light this year. Influencer marketing can achieve those goals (while also boosting SEO, fitting in with your other strategies, and reaching out to a niche market).
If you decide to go ahead with this form of marketing, make sure you track results to see what works and what doesn’t. With the right influencer, there’s no reason why you can’t grow your brand this year! Should you need assistance with influencer marketing, SEO, or marketing strategy, we at BuzzShark are always available to help.