Using Influencer Marketing to Boost Your Traffic and Sales

Article by Anastasia Stefanuk - 03 Jul 2020 - 4 minute read

Starting an eCommerce business is exciting - you get to share new products with others, make money, and, eventually, scale up to become one of the industry leaders in your field. However, the start of your journey of a nascent company founder is often rough and challenging.

The growth of social media created a new powerful way for business owners to promote their products - influencer marketing. In this post, we will take a closer look at this promotion strategy from a technology consultant perspective and share influencer marketing trends you can use immediately to improve brand awareness.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is huge right now. According to research, 80% of marketers used influencer endorsement at least once in 2017.

influencer marketing

By definition, influencer marketing comprises all activities where business owners pay social media influencers to use their following for promoting the product or transmitting the company’s message to the product’s prospective buyers.

Confusing this type of marketing with celebrity endorsement is a common misconception among business owners. The good news is, unlike celebrity-backed campaigns, influencer marketing ones aren’t that expensive. As a matter of fact, influencers aren’t famous to masses - rather, they are an authority figure for a narrower group.

To help you differentiate between celebrities and influencers, we have outlined the differences below.

Celebrity

Influencer

A person, famous to the masses. Most commonly, celebrities work in the entertainment industry - music, film, art, sports, etc. 

A person who has the power to influence the buying decisions of a group of followers (that is typically much narrower).

Is promoted using traditional media - TV, radio. 

Engages with the audience via social media

Rarely contact with fans directly, have a distant persona. 

Enter in direct contact with fans via live streams, answering comments, and other communication means. 

Have a dispersed, worldwide following, comprised of people of all ages, incomes, occupations. 

Have a relatively homogenous fan base, most followers are of the same location, age group, and occupation. 

Use agencies and producers to sort through ad offers 

Often have direct contact with advertisers. 

How to Become an Influencer?

Billions of people use social media to share personal stories, photos and transmit meaningful messages to friends and family. Naturally, not every Facebook or Instagram user is an influencer. Let’s figure out how an average social media profile owner becomes an influencer.

  • Branching out. To be a successful influencer, you need to choose a niche that people will associate you with. Most influencers state their “positioning on social media loud and clear: “Home workout fitness trainer”, “Lifestyle blogger”, “Artist and photographer”, etc.

  • Knowing the audience. Influencers take special effort to understand what’s relevant to people they want to retain or attract to the social media profile. They research competitor accounts for post inspiration and use influencer marketing analytics tools to gauge people's interests, find out which demographic is more lucrative for targeting.
  • Building a content strategy. Influencers rarely post on the whim even if they make it seem so. The truth is, most influencers have an editorial calendar - they rotate different topics and types of content to stay relevant to all followers. 
  • Collaborating with other influencers. To establish the reputation of industry leaders, aspiring influencers have to collaborate with others.

 

3 Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Business Owners

Other than improving brand awareness and getting more exposure for your social media accounts, influencer marketing impacts small businesses positively in many ways. Let’s take a look at the most promising (though often overlooked) benefits of influencer marketing.

1. Building trust

If your brand is endorsed by an authority in the niche, prospective clients will be more tolerant and willing to trust you (in fact, according to a study, 33% of shoppers trust influencer posts more than anything else when making a buying decision).

2. High virality potential

Social media is a lucrative space for advertising because, unlike with most promotion tactics, a business owner doesn’t have to pay for every interaction a user has with an ad. The power of organic reach on Facebook is a powerful force - thus, if an influencer creates a viral post about your product, you will get an extremely high return on investment compared to the initial influencer marketing salary the company had to pay and generate a ton of buzz around the company.

3. Fights banner blindness

According to statistics, when it comes to targeted or PPC ads, most people no longer pay attention to what the banners say. However, most of us are still eagerly following those we admire on social media and wouldn’t ignore their posts.

Thanks to influencer marketing, advertisers can make sure the ad post doesn’t enter a website visitor’s blind zone. As most endorsement posts are neutral and written in an appealing way, people will treat these as content coming directly from an influencer, not as ads.

5 Ways to Build a Stellar Influencer Marketing Strategy

Now that you understand how powerful influencer marketing is in introducing you to new audiences, let’s take a look at the most rewarding strategies managers of both small- and large-scale companies can implement with little-to-no effort.

  • Offer an influencer a promo-code or discount coupon for the product that he can share with the audience. 
  • To get prospective clients a better understanding of the product, pay for a sponsored post on the influencer’s blog (that will help your search engine rankings out as well). 
  • Offer an influencer the role of a brand ambassador for the company. This way, you will build a strong link between that person’s identity and your product.

 influencer marketing

  • Start a challenge. These types of posts have a high virality potential - come up with a creative challenge, ask an influencer to complete it, and share the experience via social media.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing hasn’t been around for long - however, it already has a massive following. Unlike traditional advertising methods, sponsored posts aren’t off-putting to audiences and help business owners generate more buzz around new products or offers.

To make the most out of influencer marketing, be ready to share something with the audience for free. Promoting a giveaway or a discount coupon is a good way to attract a wide chunk of the influencer’s audience and get a dedicated following for the brand.

Anastasia Stefanuk
About Anastasia Stefanuk

Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and Information Technology enthusiast. She works as a Content Manager at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated development teams around the globe. Anastasia keeps abreast of the latest news in all areas of technology, Agile project management, and software product growth hacking, at the same time sharing her experience online to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date.

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