• Sebastian Wulff

Influencer Marketing for E-commerce Brands: The Definitive Guide

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Online businesses understand the effectiveness of influencer marketing and want to leverage it. Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2021 Benchmark Report revealed that 90% of companies believe influencer marketing is a useful tool for increasing brand awareness and sales.

How can your ecommerce business execute a successful influencer marketing campaign? Let’s find out!

Key takeaways:

  • E-commerce brands measure the ROI of influencer marketing in terms of increased sales and customer loyalty.

  • Before contracting influencers to promote your brand, you should first establish your business goals, identify your target audience, and select your social media platform(s) of choice.

  • When selecting the right influencers, make sure that their followers match your target audience and that their content aligns with your brand’s values and style.

Why Invest in Influencer Marketing?

Businesses value the return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing to the point that 62% planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2021.

Why are so much brands doubling down on influencer marketing? Because it works.

One notable example is Mariee Revere, CEO of MoonXCosmetics. Mariee started her company in 2017 as a local business but was forced to switch to an ecommerce model during the pandemic. She launched a website in May 2020, and her products sold out within 30 minutes, generating more than $1,000,000 in sales in just eight minutes.

How did she accomplish that? She worked with influencer Jayda Cheaves to market her skincare products.

6 Steps to Leverage Influencer Marketing for E-commerce Brands

With the benefits of influencer marketing for ecommerce brands established, let’s review six steps to create a winning campaign.

1. Establish Your Goals

In order to properly measure the success of your influencer marketing efforts, you must start by outlining your goals. Here are some potential KPIs:

  • Increased visits to your e-commerce website

  • New followers to your brand’s social media accounts

  • Greater brand awareness and purchase intent

  • Increased sales or average order value (AOV)

  • Higher customer loyalty and engagement

2. Understand Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience will help you produce content that resonates with your ideal customer. It will also aid you in choosing the appropriate influencers to represent your brand.

To determine who your audience is, build a customer persona. A customer persona (or buyer persona) is a fictional person that is representative of your target audience. To create such a persona, answer these questions:

  • What is his or her name? (Yes, you can name them.)

  • How old is this person?

  • What’s his or her gender?

  • What’s his or her profession?

  • What’s his or her annual income?

  • What’s his or her level of education?

  • What is his or her marital status? Does he or she have children?

  • What are his or her hobbies and interests?

  • What problem does your business fix for them?

The following video outlines additional points to consider when identifying your target audience.

3. Select the Right Social Platform(s)

Knowing your business goals and target audience makes selecting the best social platforms to reach that ideal customer much easier. The following table can help give you an idea of which platform(s) to choose (not a complete nor definitive list):

Table view to select the right social platform based on your goals and target audience.

4. Find the Right Influencer

Now that you've selected the right social platform(s) for your campaign, it’s time to identify the perfect influencers. A great place to start is by searching for influencers among your existing customer base. Finding someone currently using your product will make their endorsement that much more special and authentic.

Whether selecting an influencer from your customer base, using an influencer discovery tool, or searching natively on social platforms (the hashtag #sponsored is an excellent place to start), ask these questions before reaching out:

  • Can I picture this influencer representing my brand?

  • Is the influencer’s content aligned with my brand’s values, tone, and style?

  • Is their audience my target audience?

  • Is working with this influencer within my price range?

  • Can I confirm that the influencer's followers are real?

  • What kind of brands has he or she worked with previously?

Don’t hesitate to use a micro-influencer (an influencer with 10,000 - 50,000 followers). Some micro-influencers can have higher engagement rates and often charge more reasonable rates than their more popular counterparts.

5. Outline Your Collaboration Terms

Now that you have your ideal influencer in mind (or at least several options), it’s time to reach out and secure a partnership. You can send a short email or direct message to the influencer's social account outlining your brand information, request, and payment options.

The best influencer outreach is always sincere and highly personalized. Here’s an example for inspiration:

An example of an influencer outreach template
Source: https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-email-templates/

You can compensate influencers for sponsored content in a variety of ways, including free product, special discounts, and, of course, direct payment. Make sure to offer fair compensation based on the work required from the influencer during the campaign.

6. Develop the Campaign

The final stage is to develop the campaign itself. We recommend encouraging your influencers to create video content whenever possible because 78% percent of marketers say video has directly helped them increase sales. Viewers are also 2x more likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content.

An influencer can review your product or make a how-to video, but don’t limit your options to one or two formats. When creating video content, allow your influencer partners as much freedom and creativity as possible. They may surprise you with the result, and it's often the best way to create something that the audience will find engaging and entertaining. After all, the influencer’s brand is his or her personality -- that’s how he or she amassed such a large following in the first place.

Another useful strategy is to offer the influencer’s followers a discount on your product. The influencer can add a custom discount code to the post description, and followers can apply the coupon at checkout on your e-commerce site.

If possible, ask the influencer to include a direct link to your website or other digital storefront in the post. It saves potential customers an extra step if they're interested in buying your product.

You Can Have a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign with Paladin

Paladin's influencer marketing software is designed to help e-commerce brands run more effective influencer marketing campaigns. From helping your team identify the right influencers to tracking campaign performance in real time, the Paladin platform can help you save time and optimize the success of your influencer marketing initiatives.

Schedule a free demo to see how Paladin can help supercharge your influencer marketing efforts!