You’ve heard about it. Maybe you’re telling yourself that this is the year you’ll really make it work for you. Maybe you’re still not sure exactly what it is or why your business needs it. Influencer marketing is more than just a social media trend – it’s a real driver of interest, profits, and customer loyalty in the online marketing world. And, if you want to build up your brand or business, you should be using influencer marketing. If you run a Shopify store, Influencer marketing can be a power addition to your marketing mix.
While relatively new compared to some forms of advertising, influencer marketing is already a well-known and effective way to grow an audience and is used by more and more companies, locally and globally, from established brands to smaller retailers. Starting your first influencer campaign or making your current campaigns better can have great results.
How does influencer marketing work?
Influencer marketing gets products right in front of an interested audience and then encourages that audience to take action. This type of marketing is all about creating a connection – between an influencer and their audience, and between that audience and you. Here’s how it works: you’re selling something. What do you want? That’s easy, more sales. So, to get more sales, you need more customers. Or you need more repeat customers. Or you need your customers to take notice of other products in your line. Or all of the above. Here’s where you can start to get strategic.
Digital advertising has brought demographics, data, and consumer profiles to the table like never before, and influencer marketing is an extension of that. With the help of an online marketing agency, you can get a good idea of your ideal consumer – and how and where to reach more like them. You can use campaigns that are tailored to their interests and preferences, and speak their language to them via creative, customized advertising content, including:
- Photo ads
- Story ads
- Carousel ads
- Blog posts
And customers want that connection. It keeps them interested and makes them happy. Time and again, happy customers prove to be loyal. We’ve all got a favorite brand of shampoo, breakfast cereal, bottled water, sneaker, car, you name it. But how did we find it? When did we first come across it? For today’s audience, it’s likely that they found – and continue to find — many of their favorite things online. With more than 70% of Americans using at least one form of social media regularly, and with every consumer age group across social media, according to Pew Research Center, influencer marketing allows for connection with any desired audience like never before.
Influencers help with that. Each influencer has a group of followers who look to them for recommendations, tips, ideas, etc. A home design influencer may sway the tastes of their followers and suddenly a good number of them decide to re-tile their backsplash and try a new color of paint on the walls. Now, if that influencer partners with the company that makes the paint and recommends their brand, her audience is more likely to try out that brand for their homes as well. An advertising opportunity was created and acted upon. Influencer marketing is like word-of-mouth advertising, a recommendation from a friend, and a good review all in one post.
Where to find influencers
Influencers operate on social media, but where should you be looking for them? This is where an influencer marketing agency really comes in handy. There are tons of influencers out there. Tons. Reaching out to a bunch of them at random may not get many replies, and scrolling through countless feeds can take up precious time. And if you’re focusing on other aspects of building and running your business, it’s not really the best use of your time and effort. But an experienced influencer marketing agency comes with a network of successful influencers and can match you up with more of them.
Why the finding the right influencers matters
Each influencer who promotes your products and nudges their followers toward your sales and promotions is a reflection of your business. Bringing the best influencers onboard for your campaigns is so important. But which influencers are the ones that will be best for you?
The number of followers matters, but so does the specific audience makeup of each influencer, as does the influencer’s engagement rate, and their particular industry or niche, their ‘style,’ and the likelihood that they’ll connect with the consumers you’re after. When it comes to followers, more isn’t always better. While bringing macro-influencers with a huge audience can be beneficial in some cases, some influencers may be misrepresenting their popularity and have a good number of bots among their followers. And while some influencers are famous, for every celebrity or reality-show veteran making money as influencers, there are many, many other lesser-known but well-performing influencers across every market, niche, and community. Most influencers are not famous, but do have a dedicated audience that watch their every post.
Influencer marketing has evolved to include micro influencers and nano influencers, who have fewer followers but may have greater audience engagement, greater influence within a niche or particular area, and can allow for more personalized and direct advertising. An influencer who has a large following but proves to have a lower-than-average conversion rate may not bring in the returns you’re hoping for. An influencer who has a small following but a higher-than-average conversion rate may send a good number of click and purchases to your website.
And even a great conversion rate won’t matter if the influencer in question doesn’t reach your ideal audience. For example, let’s say you come across an influencer who makes cooking vlogs. Every organic company he partners with sees an increase in sales. Every vegan product he recommends sees an influx of orders. His conversion rate is an astounding 8%. The only problem? You sell leather shoes. There’s probably not a lot of overlap between his audience and yours. Finding the right sort of influencers who can speak directly to your target audience can take some work, but a team of well-chosen influencers can help you keep your audience engaged, returning, and growing.
Wading through the sea of influencers out there and determining how they’ll perform and if they’ll be the best fit for your campaign can be made a lot simpler with the help of an influencer marketing agency. It comes down to finding the right fit with each and every influencer, and finding the best influencers is easier after you’ve found the right influencer marketing management agency. Influencer marketing is a great idea for Shopify brands and stores of all sizes.
The platform makes all the difference
All social media sites are not the same. Just like brands, everyone has their favorite. And each site provides a different experience and a different sort of advertising opportunity. For example, we all know how popular makeup tutorials got to be on YouTube. There’s a perfect example of the right format for the content – in this case, a tutorial video that’s uploaded to a video-sharing site. Makeup demos and reviews just wouldn’t have the same impact if done as tweets. But Twitter can be a great place to link to that video. Instagram may seem like the epicenter of influencer marketing – and campaigns with photo ads and story ads can perform well there – but only if it’s reaching the right audience. Every type of influencer ad has its place, and every social media site has its use. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and vlogs, they all can be leveraged depending on the brand and the goals of a campaign.
The right content
Once you find the right influencers for your business, what do you want them to say? This is the other component of influencer marketing: campaign content. Will you be providing them with all of the necessary content? Will they be creating any of their own? Will they be gifted a product and give an off-the-cuff review, will they be given images to post, will they be posting promo codes? Influencers don’t generally come up with all of their own promotional content, but this can vary greatly depending on the company, the influencer, and the aims of the campaign. Some level of collaboration with influencers and marketing teams may take place (for example, the influencer is given content by your team but they take their own photos), but your campaign and advertising goals will be influencing the influencers’ posts. A good marketing manager will check in with influencers and provide them with creative and engaging content to share with their followers.
What to post and when to post is ultimately up to the campaign and the marketing manager. But there’s more to influencer campaigns than that. Managing influencers means maintaining a clear line of communication and a good working relationship with each influencer. It means tailoring content to the influencer and their audience. It means keeping influencers motivated and engaged themselves, while monitoring how well they’re performing. And it means keeping everything organized, on schedule, and running smoothly.
How — and why — to customize your influencer campaigns
Brand management. It should always be a consideration in every online marketing move you make – from your choice of influencers to your promotions, offers, and the actual words in your content. Why? Just one bad choice can hurt your online reputation and tarnish the image of your brand. Great content, however, will only be an asset.
If your influencer is supposed to be an expert in their field, and their content is full of misspellings and wrong information, or poorly written, it will hurt their credibility and, by extension, yours. If an influencer’s overall aesthetic and other posts don’t align with your brand’s image, an audience will be confused and may disregard the ads. If every promotional post seems inauthentic and phoned-in, audiences can and will sense it. If an underperforming ad or campaign isn’t addressed and re-tooled as necessary, it’s wasting time and potential. But influencer content that reflects the authentic voice of each influencer, that’s in line with your company’s image and message, and that is fun, entertaining and creative is a win-win for you and your influencers (and the audience.) Influencer created content is great to use in brands own ad campaigns, it’s perfect for Shopify store owners.
Your business is unique, your products are unique, and your goals are your own. Your influencer marketing efforts should be too. Customized influencer marketing strategies and content are in keeping with your vision for your business, the individual voice an influencer can bring to your ad campaigns and audiences they’ve built up organically.
Translate audience engagement to growth
The significant growth of influencer marketing – and the increasing ad spend that’s being dedicated to it — signals not only that this direct and engaging type of advertising works, but that it’s here to stay. More marketing dollars are being spent on influencer marketing each year. These ad campaigns present the opportunity to connect directly with a specific audience. If you haven’t already gotten in on influencer marketing, start now. Creative and engaging ad campaigns and digital content and customized online marketing strategies are what we do at Experience Advertising. We will work with you and your team to develop, implement, and manage the best influencer marketing campaigns for your business.
If your website or social media presence needs a revamp, we can help you get started with that too. By making your website more user-friendly and easily navigable on mobile devices, you can better capitalize on influencer-driven traffic. Improving your social media presence and keeping cohesive, engaging, brand-focused content on the most popular social platforms can help more customers connect with you. If you need to give your online PR and SEO content a boost, we can help you there. Finding quality digital press releases, and search-engine-optimized articles and blog posts can help build up your brand, and help more customers find you online.
As a full-service digital marketing agency, Experience Advertising, Inc. will work to help your business grow through online advertising that works. We are experts in marketing Shopify websites. We create individualized, ROI-focused online advertising strategies for our clients. Let us know how we can help you improve your online presence this year. Create the best influencer marketing campaigns for your business or brand with Experience Advertising. Give us a call today at 954-662-8010.