In today’s digital world, e-commerce brands are constantly searching for new ways to drive revenue and engage their customers.
Insert influencer marketing!
Social media influencer marketing has grown substantially since it started gaining prominence over a decade ago. Last year, the influencer market in the U.S. was valued at a record $16.4 billion, with global values projected to reach nearly $70 billion by 2029. (Source: Data Bridge Market Research) Today, there are more influencers than ever, with bigger audiences and higher-quality content. As a result, many online retailers are recognizing the benefits of using influencers to reach both new and targeted audiences.
Right now, over half of the world’s entire population uses social media. Every day, potential shoppers turn to influencers as valuable sources of information. Through the influencer's platform, their audience can discover new products, learn which ones perform best, and purchase them directly. With one in four marketers currently partnering with influencers, it’s clear that social media creators are already becoming a vital part of e-commerce marketing. But with a challenging economic year ahead of us, many retailers may still be contemplating investing their marketing dollars into this growing industry.
If you’re questioning whether influencers will be an asset or just make an ass out of your business, keep reading! We’ve got the top five reasons (and a few others) why every e-commerce store should incorporate influencer marketing into this year's e-commerce strategy.
Why should every e-commerce business use influencers?
1. They improve brand awareness.
Right now there are at least 12 million online retailers in the world. That’s a huge number of competitors to stand out from. Even if you can grab shoppers’ attention, you also have to keep it if you want to drive conversions. Luckily, most social media influencers have massive followings, which means they can notably increase awareness about your e-commerce store.
Influencers can generate a wide range of content to create buzz around your brand, including:
- Unboxing new products from your store
- Providing reviews about your products
- Showcasing how one of your products is used
- Offering promotional giveaways or offers to their followers
- Creating hype around a new service, product, or collection
- Informing their audience about any upcoming sales your store may be having
By featuring these types of posts on their pages, influencers are not only spreading the message about your store but also compelling their followers to shop there. Remember, influencers are highly trusted by their audience, so when they share about your online store, they’re sending the message that your brand is also trustworthy. Additionally, influencers can provide valuable feedback to help you better understand what your customers want, so you can improve your services.
Tip: Re-share influencer posts on your own social channels, and add any product reviews and recommendations on your website product pages to further credibility.
2. Their customers are genuinely interested.
Influencers have the ability to engage with consumers in a way that e-commerce brands simply cannot. Customers are genuinely more interested in them than in e-commerce brands because they trust their opinion more than a retailer’s. Furthermore, the content influencers create resonates with their audiences, which can help keep them engaged longer. Part of this is because their followers engage with them as real people who can provide an honest perspective. This enables them to connect on an emotional level that many online retailers are unable to achieve.
Another reason influencers are so successful is that they create a more personal connection with their followers. This allows them to provide insight into products and services in a way that is both trustworthy and informative. They also tend to interact with their audience more often by responding to comments or hosting live videos that invite their followers to ask questions.
By creating a direct relationship between your e-commerce brand and your target market, influencers are able to help build trust quickly while providing a deeper level of engagement. This can translate to higher conversion rates for your online store.
3. They reach niche audiences.
Influencers can help e-commerce retailers reach their target demographic by creating content that resonates with their followers. The key is to partner with the right ones.
When assessing influencers, take a look at their followers and content to get a better sense of who they are and who they’re reaching. Most influencers focus on a specific niche. For example, followers of travel influencers are always looking for recommendations on new places to visit, stay, and see. If an influencer has a large following but their content and audience don’t align with your brand, move on. Stick with creators who can reach out to highly targeted groups of potential customers who already show an interest in the types of products or services your e-commerce store is selling.
By tapping into an influencer’s audience, you’ll be able to increase visibility among potential customers you may have not reached otherwise. That’s because influencers are experts at creating content that draws attention from their followers and keeps them engaged. This could include creating posts featuring your store’s products, talking about your brand in their stories, or offering special offers exclusively for their followers.
This type of marketing strategy has proven to be as effective or better than traditional advertising because it feels more authentic. In fact, when compared to digital banner ads, influencer marketing has an 11x higher ROI. And when compared to branded content, influencer-generated content receives an average of 8x more engagement—making it a clear winner in the eyes of social media followers. (Mediakix)
Tip: When reviewing influencers, make sure to read post comments to get a better idea of who their audience is and how they feel. If there are a lot of negative remarks, you probably won’t want to partner up with them.
4. They establish social proof for your brand.
Influencers are one of the most effective ways to demonstrate compelling social proof. One of the primary reasons many influencers are so successful is because of their ability to develop powerful relationships with their audiences. As a result, their followers value their content and recommendations.
If an influencer is promoting a specific health product, for example, their followers are more likely to buy that product because they trust their opinion. If you’re wondering how much pull influencers really have, check this out: 80% of consumers have completed a purchase after seeing an influencer endorse it on social media.
Why are they so convincing? Shoppers get to see how real people are using and enjoying a brand’s products. Content that constructively communicates a retailer’s products will inevitably help increase that retailer’s reputation. Whether an influencer endorses your products through sponsored posts, social stories, or product reviews, they’re instantly creating a sense of authenticity around your brand. This leads to credibility, which leads to trust. And the more trust potential customers feel toward your online store, the greater chance of long-term loyalty.
Tip: To up your social proof game even more, consider including collaborative content such as guest blog posts or giveaways. Not only would this establish even greater trust with your e-commerce brand, but it will likely result in more new customers—which means more sales, too.
5. They increase sales.
Influencer marketing is a great way of generating traffic and revenue for an e-commerce business. How so? For starters, they have the ability to drive customers directly to your online store through their posts and stories. Sure, you can do this too, but you might not have the same level of influence and persuasion or be able to reach a wider audience, therefore limiting how much traffic comes to your site. In fact, research has shown that 8 out of 10 consumers have purchased something after seeing it recommended by an influencer. (Social Shepherd).
Another way influencers can boost sales is by helping reduce cart abandonment. Nearly 70% of online carts are ditched, equating to $18 billion in lost revenue each year. Fortunately, influencers can help reduce that number significantly by helping increase the number of shoppers that complete their checkout process. For example, an influencer could post a story about a product they purchased from your store, describing how much they enjoy it, and then offering their followers a chance to buy it too, using an exclusive discount.
Influencers can also create personalized recommendations for specific items based on past purchases or interests, which helps shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for easily, and subsequently increases the chances of them making a purchase. Other ways they can help generate more sales include posting sponsored ads on their channels, hosting giveaways, or creating content featuring products with direct links to your e-commerce website.
The benefits don’t stop here.
There are so many compelling reasons to use influencers that we couldn’t stop at just five. Check out these other incentives for why influencer marketing should be included in your e-commerce strategy.
It can increase your own social following.
When you work with influencers who can persuade their followers to trust your brand (and ultimately, buy from you), chances are, they may start following you too.
It enhances the omnichannel experience.
Promoting influencer content across all of your platforms, such as your website, social media, and paid advertising allows your customers to engage with your brand no matter where they are.
It saves you time and money.
Working with influencers is not only more flexible but less costly than some traditional advertising options, as influencers typically own most of the content and asset creation. You can also use the content created by influencer partners later on for future promotions.
It helps you track customer information.
Whenever an influencer uses a personalized discount code or link, you’ll be able to track how many website visitors, purchases, and new customers you acquired from that partnership.
They can help after cookies go away.
Once third-party cookies disappear, you’ll have less access to valuable tracking data. However, when you work with influencers, you’ll be able to use their followers to know who you’re reaching.
They can help boost your SEO ranking.
If you partner with influencers who provide links to your e-commerce website, it can increase your authority score and help push you to a higher spot on search result pages.
They help you avoid ad blockers.
Thanks to third-party cookies, more people are beginning to use ad blockers to protect their data. Most people don’t like ads, preferring to tune into their favorite creators instead to see what they’re promoting. Add in privacy concerns, and it only makes sense to opt to get the word out via influencers.
Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. And with the world of e-commerce continuing to grow exponentially, finding ways to keep your online store top-of-mind is essential. By leveraging the right influencers, you’ll be able to increase brand awareness, boost sales, and grow customer loyalty—all of which are essential for long-term success in today's competitive digital landscape.
Want more ways to engage shoppers?
Granify provides you with the ability to identify opportunities to deliver personalized messaging based on real-time insights. The result is happier customers, higher conversions, and valuable data to take your influencer marketing to the next level
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