Over the past 2 decades, a remarkable phenomenon has occurred. The emergence and subsequent growth of social media. Our modern, digital, internet era is characterized by a communication boom, whereby the use of social media for personal and professional consumption is widespread. Due to its numerous benefits, the long arm of social media has permeated the e-commerce world, allowing businesses to parade their products in front of their customers as well as enable them to make online purchases. Although this is an exciting time to be alive as a salesforce commerce cloud developer, what does it mean for the entrepreneurs out there? Is social media marketing worth exploring? And if so, how viable is influencer marketing for e-commerce businesses?
In this article, we are going to answer all these questions. While at it, we are also going to reveal the best influencer marketing platforms as well as highlight examples of influencer marketing strategies that have worked for e-commerce businesses.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Basically, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that entails using product mentions and endorsements from influential people with a dedicated social following.
This form of marketing works more efficiently because, first, these influencers are deemed experts in their domain, and second, they have built trust with their following. As such, basing on their authority, knowledge, and position, an influencer’s recommendations can affect the purchasing decisions of their customers and that of other potential customers.
According to a recent report by Statista, the number of social media users today is 3.08 B, with the number expected to reach 3.43B by 2023. On the flip side, the number of online buyers will have grown from 1.66 billion in 2016, and it is expected to reach over 2.14 billion by 2021.
Without a doubt, these numbers show the wide use of social media and the growing number of online buyers, which is a massive opportunity for e-commerce businesses, especially when working with the right influencers. In fact, a report by Social Media Today shows that marketers see an 11X ROI in influencer marketing, compared to other forms of traditional marketing.
Why Do e-Commerce Businesses Need Influencer Marketing?
There are multiple benefits for e-commerce businesses to embrace influencer marketing, some of the most prominent ones include;
Boost Your Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is an important aspect for any e-commerce business. This is because most online shoppers tend to be very picky about the businesses they deal with and conduct extensive research before making a purchase. As such, having influential figures vouch for your products, not only help raise your brand awareness but also gives it authenticity.
Help Establish Trust-Based Relationship with Your Customers
As mentioned above, the backbone of any e-commerce is trust. The number of online scams parading false advertising has continued to grow, which have compelled online customers to become much more careful, even when purchasing on trusted sites.
Influencer marketing is seen as a more effective marketing strategy as it involves collaborating with prominent figures in your industry. The product mentions or endorsements from these influential figures help you instantly bypass trust issues that you’d normally face when selling your products directly.
Another reason why e-commerce businesses need influencer marketing campaigns is that it can have a remarkable positive effect on search engine rankings.
Influencers marketers are akin to web ‘royalty’. They have a massive following of ardent fans, produce good-quality content, and post it on their high-authority websites. This not only makes them trendsetters in their respective industries but also on the search engines.
So, once they recommend your products and leave your website’s link, it acts as a powerful backlink and augments your rankings in the search engines. Along with that, influencer marketing is largely immune to ad blockers, making your products readily available to customers.
Factors That Could Affect The Success Of Influencer Marketing
Despite the widespread adoption of influencer marketing, many brands continue to struggle in a number of areas. Whether the overall objective of your campaign is to build buzz, reach a new audience, or drive conversions, these three universal factors could affect the success of your campaign;
One of the biggest illusions in influencer marketing is using reach to gauge the quality of a particular influencer and the success of your campaign. Oftentimes, brands hire social media influencers using their follower count as the only parameter. The only problem with this strategy is that it really rarely delivers significant results because it doesn’t necessarily translate into direct engagements.
Rather than focusing on the follower or subscriber count of an influencer, marketers should instead assess the proper engagement metrics. Additionally, finding the right influences and working together to develop the content help align your marketing message with the influencer’s audience.
Limited Implementation Tools
When looking to undertake influencer marketing, it is important to have a centralized software solution to help execute and manage the campaigns better. Unfortunately, the limited number of such tools makes it almost impossible for e-commerce businesses to successfully implement influencer marketing.
With the help of a salesforce commerce cloud developer, you can build a customized solution to help you keep tabs with a wide range of activities, as well as track the progress of your campaign.
Wrong Platform Choice
There are many influencer marketing platforms, which makes it hard for e-commerce businesses to choose the one that’s right for their industry and products. As a result, they end up using less-effective platforms or those that their target audience isn’t using.
Along with Instagram, there are many other platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok, where influencers can help your business build a large following. The key lies in knowing the platform your audience uses and giving the influencer creative freedom to create content in their own unique style.
Successful Influencer Marketing Examples
With the help of salesforce commerce developers, some e-commerce businesses have already integrated influencer marketing strategies into their business models and seen a good ROI. Here are two examples to inspire you.
This online beauty products company has continued to actively use influencer marketing strategy with a unique twist. Unique in the sense that they don’t cooperate with influencers or celebrities but allow their regular customers to post photos on their official Instagram page wearing their products using a particular hashtag.
The company then re-shares these photos, and while at it, provide answers about their brand and products. As a result, the brand has managed to create a close-knit relationship with their regular customers. Unsurprisingly, 90% of the company’s earnings come from its online audience.
Bigelow Tea is easily one of the most recognized brands in the tea industry. In a bid to retain its customer base and market share, the company has adopted a dynamic marketing mix strategy by partnering with lifestyle bloggers to promote the health benefits of their Bigelow tea bags.
For instance, a lifestyle blogger named Ashley from Cherished Bliss collaborated with Bigelow by creating Bigelow’s Iced Tea with Lemonade Ice Cubes recipe, which ranked first in Google rankings. The post has been linked to thousands of other lifestyle blogs, consequently expanding Bigelow’s reach beyond Ashley’s audience.
The e-commerce landscape is shifting rapidly, and entrepreneurs that are not keen on keeping up are losing customers, their market shares, and wasting their marketing budgets. Luckily, businesses are quickly realizing the importance of influencer marketing in maintaining their competitive and comparative advantage.
With that said, the type of influencer you choose is important. As long as they have established a solid reputation and genuine clout, their follower count is relatively irrelevant.
What really matters is their ability to not only evoke favorable reactions among their followers but also their genius stroke in cultivating a rock-solid affinity towards your brand. Lastly, you need to have a reliable salesforce commerce cloud digital developer to help you build supplementally influencer marketing infrastructure to support your campaigns.
Only then will your influencer marketing strategy start to see results.