In today’s digital age, where many marketing strategies have been raised, influencer marketing is still one of the most powerful tools for small businesses to effectively reach their target audience.
By partnering with influential individuals who have a dedicated following, businesses can boost brand awareness, build trust and credibility, dive deeper into their target audience, drive sales, and enjoy various other benefits.
In this blog post, we will explore the potential of influencer marketing in the realm of eCommerce and discuss strategies for small businesses to implement it successfully.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that involves collaborating with influential individuals to promote products or services. To dive deeper, we define influential individuals as someone who has:
- Authority, knowledge, position, or relationship that can affect purchasing behaviors and decisions of their audience.
- A loyal fan base in a specific niche, where they interact with them actively. The fan community size depends on the size of their niche.
In the realm of eCommerce, influencer marketing has emerged as a game-changer for businesses. With the rise of online shopping and the increasing dominance of online connections, influencers have become trusted sources of information and inspiration for consumers. They have the ability to create authentic and relatable content, showcasing products in a way that resonates with their followers.
This marketing approach is especially important with small businesses that have not had a strong reputation yet, since it empowers consumers to think, try, and purchase products or services with less influence from brand reputation.
Eventually, influencer marketing helps bridge the gap between brands and potential customers, then driving traffic to online stores and boosting conversions.
In recent years, influencer marketing has experienced a significant surge in popularity and importance. It is projected to reach a value of nearly $70 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 32.5% during the forecasted period. This can be attributed to two main factors:
- Influencer marketing provides an alternative approach that feels more organic and less intrusive to consumers.
- People are more likely to trust recommendations from individuals they perceive as peers or experts rather than traditional advertisements.
You already know the general force of influencer marketing is reshaping how businesses connect with their target audience and promote their products or services. Now, let’s explore the benefits of influencer marketing for eCommerce businesses in detail.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing For ECommerce
Boost brand awareness
Brand awareness is crucial for small eCommerce businesses as it helps establish their presence, differentiate them from competitors, and build a loyal customer base. In the vast and crowded online marketplace, where consumers have numerous options, standing out and capturing their attention is essential. According to a study by Nielsen, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. This means that strong brand awareness creates recognition, familiarity, and trust, making it more likely for potential customers to choose a small eCommerce business over competitors.
The right influencer marketing strategy will boost brand awareness for small eCommerce businesses effectively. By partnering with influencers, businesses gain access to their engaged and relevant audience, allowing them to showcase their brand, products, and unique selling points. Influencers have established trust and credibility with their followers, and their endorsement of a brand can positively impact brand perception and awareness.
A successful example of influencer marketing for brand awareness is the partnership between Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, and various beauty influencers. Glossier collaborated with influencers who were already fans of the brand's products and had a strong online presence within the beauty community. These influencers shared their genuine experiences with Glossier's products, creating buzz and excitement among their followers. Through this strategic collaboration, Glossier significantly increased brand awareness and became a cult-favorite brand, known for its minimalist aesthetic and skincare products.
Improve trust and credibility
Other benefits of influencer marketing are building trust and increasing credibility, which is particularly essential for small businesses that may not have established a well-known brand reputation. In the digital realm, where consumers cannot physically interact with products or the business directly, trust becomes a crucial factor in their purchasing decisions, which is confirmed by 80% of respondents in a survey about customer trust. When customers trust a brand, they are more likely to make purchases, become repeat buyers, and recommend the brand to others. Trust and credibility foster long-term relationships with customers and contribute to the sustainable growth of small ecCommerce businesses.
By collaborating with influencers, businesses can tap into theirthe established trust and authenticity that influencers have with their audience. Influencers are seen as relatable and trustworthy individuals, and their endorsement of a brand or product carries weight and influence over their followers. This endorsement helps bridge the gap between the business and the customer, generating trust and encouraging potential buyers to purchase.
There is a strong partnership between the small sustainable fashion brand Eco Threads and micro-influencers on Instagram. These micro-influencers, who have a moderate but highly engaging number of followers, share aesthetically pleasing photos of themselves wearing the clothes, attached with CTAs and sometimes personalized discount codes for their followers. The collaboration created a buzz around the brand, with influencers expressing their love for the clothes and highlighting their style towards sustainability. Then, Eco Threads taps into the trust and credibility that influencers have built with their audience. This, in turn, led to an increase in brand trust, credibility, and ultimately, sales for the small eCommerce business.
Dive deeper into the target audience
Diving deeper into the target audience means targeting a more specific audience, which is crucial for small businesses with limited resources. This is one of the most-mentioned benefits of influencer marketing for eCommerce. By diving deeper into the target audience, businesses can focus their marketing efforts and resources on the people who are most likely to be interested in their products or services. This targeted approach allows for more efficient and effective marketing, maximizing the chances of reaching and engaging potential customers and driving conversions.
From the very early days of GymShark, they have dived deeply into their audience by partnering with influencers who specialized in different fitness disciplines such as weightlifting, yoga, or CrossFit. These influencers created workout videos, shared fitness tips, and featured Gymshark apparel as part of their content to promote them to a highly engaged and relevant audience. This targeted influencer marketing strategy is one of the most important factors that contribute to the brand's success nowadays.
Even more benefits
There are many other benefits of influencer marketing for eCommerce such as: increasing the brand’s social following, boosting SEO ranking, enhancing the omnichannel experience, etc.
Increase Brand's Social Following
Influencer marketing can significantly increase a brand's social following by leveraging the influencers' existing fan base, given that 31% of the audience of influencers will follow the brand’s social presence. When influencers endorse a brand or product, their followers are more likely to engage with the brand's social media accounts, resulting in a growth in followers and an expanded reach. This increased social following leads to a larger audience for future marketing efforts and the potential for increased brand visibility and engagement.
Boost SEO Ranking
According to Statista’s research, 19% of brands stated that influencer marketing helps increase social media traffic, while 9% confirmed that they receive more website traffic. Therefore, it is definitely that influencer marketing positively impacts a brand's SEO ranking by generating valuable backlinks and increasing online mentions and brand visibility. When influencers share content that includes links to the brand's website or blog, it improves the brand's online presence and credibility. Additionally, influencer-generated content and user engagement can contribute to improved search engine rankings, driving organic traffic to the brand's website and boosting overall SEO performance.
Enhance Omnichannel Experience
Omnichannel campaigns can increase customer engagement rate by nearly 4 times in comparison with single-channel campaigns, which should receive attention from brands. Influencer marketing can enhance the omnichannel experience for customers by providing cohesive and consistent brand messaging across various channels. By collaborating with influencers who have a presence on different platforms such as social media, blogs, and YouTube, brands can create a seamless and integrated brand experience. Customers can discover the brand through influencers, engage with the brand's website or social media channels, and make purchases, resulting in a cohesive omnichannel journey that strengthens brand loyalty and engagemen
In short, the benefits of influencer marketing range from boosting brand power to achieving better sales performance. Therefore, it helps to grow eCommerce businesses of any size. But here is the question, how can your business practice influencer marketing to achieve those benefits?
Keep reading to learn about effective strategies for successful influencer marketing.
Strategies for Successful Influencer Marketing for ECommerce
Consider budget first
An influencer marketing strategy is crucial for small businesses as these businesses often have limited financial resources. By considering the budget first, small businesses can ensure that their influencer marketing efforts are cost-effective and aligned with their financial capabilities. It helps them avoid overspending and make the most of their available resources, maximizing the return on investment and driving sustainable growth.
Small eCommerce businesses can practice this strategy by following these actions:
Set a Realistic Budget: Determine the amount of money that can be allocated specifically for influencer marketing. Consider the overall marketing budget and assess what portion can be dedicated to influencer collaborations.
Need some references? Take a look at the image below to see variations on how much brands spend on influencer marketing.
Research Influencer Pricing: Explore different influencers in the relevant niche and compare their pricing. Look for influencers whose rates align with the available budget.
By considering the budget as a priority, small eCommerce businesses can implement influencer marketing strategies that are within their financial means. This approach allows them to maximize their resources, build brand awareness, and drive conversions while maintaining financial sustainability.
Prepare an excellent online store
Before implementing any influencer marketing strategy, you should ensure that your business has an excellent online store to be promoted. This strategy is crucial for small businesses as their online store serves as the digital face of their brand. A well-designed and user-friendly online store enhances the customer experience, builds trust, and boosts credibility. It creates a professional impression, showcases products effectively, and encourages visitors to make purchases.
The synergy between an excellent online store and powerful influencer marketing reach can help small eCommerce businesses boost conversions and customer satisfaction. A highlighted tip here is to use high-converting themes like Minimog on the Shopify platform that can significantly enhance the online store's performance and aesthetics, helping small businesses make a strong impression in their niche markets.
To create an excellent online store, small businesses could follow these tips:
Choose a Reliable Ecommerce Platform: Select an eCommerce platform offering robust features, scalability, and customization options. Shopify is a popular choice for small businesses due to its user-friendly interface and extensive app ecosystem.
Optimize Store Design: Create a visually appealing and intuitive design that aligns with the brand's identity. Use high-quality product images, clear navigation, and compelling product descriptions to engage visitors and encourage conversions.
Ensure Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping, small businesses must prioritize mobile responsiveness. Optimize the online store's design and functionality to provide a seamless experience across devices.
Streamline Checkout Process: Simplify the checkout process to minimize cart abandonment. Offer guest checkout options, multiple payment gateways, and clear calls-to-action to make the purchasing process easy and frictionless for customers.
Utilize Minimog Shopify Theme: Consider using Minimog, a highly regarded Shopify theme, to create a high-performing and aesthetically pleasing online store. Minimog offers various pre-designed layouts and customization options, allowing small businesses to create a visually stunning online store that caters to different niche markets.
Utilize social media
Social media is where the power of influencer marketing can reach its full bloom. Therefore, businesses should develop them well as a foundation for influencer marketing activities. Moreover, social media platforms offer a cost-effective and wide-reaching way to connect with their target audience.
Social media allows small businesses to build brand awareness, engage with customers, and drive website traffic. It provides a platform for showcasing products, sharing valuable content, and fostering relationships with customers. By utilizing social media, small businesses can level the playing field, compete with larger competitors, establish a strong online presence, and be ready to earn the benefits from influencer marketing effectively.
With a strategic approach, social media can be a powerful tool for small businesses to thrive in the competitive eCommerce landscape, which they should apply several actions including:
Choose Relevant Social Media Channels: Identify the social media platforms where the target audience is most active. Focus on platforms that align with the business's niche and industry, such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok.
Let’s see a list of the most popular social networks worldwide. Which platforms do you think your eCommerce business fits well?
Develop a Content Strategy: Create a content plan that aligns with the brand's voice and values. Generate engaging and informative content, including product photos, videos, tutorials, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Consistently post valuable content to keep followers engaged and build a loyal community.
Engage with Followers: Actively engage with followers by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Encourage user-generated content and foster a sense of community by running contests, featuring customer stories, and sharing user-generated content on the business's social media channels.
Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with relevant influencers to amplify brand reach and engagement on social media. Collaborate with influencers to create sponsored content, host giveaways, or run influencer takeover campaigns. Influencers can help small businesses tap into their existing follower base and generate buzz around products or promotions.
Build genuine relationships
Relationship is a key factor in any influencer marketing strategy. Going beyond one-off collaboration is necessary when dealing with influencers. By cultivating long-term relationships based on trust and mutual understanding, small businesses can harness the full potential of influencer marketing. Genuine partnerships allow for more authentic and impactful content creation, stronger brand advocacy, and extended reach to the influencer's audience. It helps small businesses foster loyalty, credibility, and sustainable growth in the competitive eCommerce landscape.
Building genuine relationships is not easy. It requires lots of effort from both parties. From the perspective of small eCommerce businesses, there are a few things that can do to establish a successful relationship:
Engage in Meaningful Communication: Reach out to influencers with personalized messages that express a genuine interest in collaborating. Demonstrate knowledge of their work and explain how the partnership can benefit both parties. Establish open lines of communication for ongoing collaboration.
Provide Value to Influencers: Offer influencers something beyond financial compensation, such as exclusive access to new products, early releases, or unique experiences. Show appreciation for their contribution and involve them in shaping the brand's narrative and product development process when possible.
Nurture Relationships: Maintain regular contact with influencers beyond campaign collaborations. Engage with their content, comment on their posts, and share their work to demonstrate support and foster a genuine connection. Consider opportunities for cross-promotion and co-creation of content.
Measure and Share Success: Regularly track and measure the impact of influencer collaborations. Share the positive outcomes and results with influencers to reinforce the value they bring to the brand. Celebrate successes together and acknowledge the influencer's role in achieving them.
In conclusion, influencer marketing has the potential to propel small eCommerce businesses to new heights. By harnessing the power of influencers, implementing effective strategies, and nurturing genuine relationships, small businesses can increase brand awareness, boost credibility, deepen audience engagement, drive sales, and enjoy the many benefits that come with it. Embracing influencer marketing strategy as part of their business direction can open doors to exciting opportunities and help small eCommerce businesses thrive in the competitive digital landscape.