Influencer marketing has been a big trend in online marketing for several years now. Similar to other online forms of advertising, such as search engine advertising, the target group can be addressed much more precisely and effectively than in classic media such as daily newspapers or television. At the same time, customers can be forwarded directly to online offers via links. This makes influencer marketing naturally relevant for e-commerce in particular. We will give you step-by-step instructions about how to market successfully using influencers and explain how to find the right influencers for your e-commerce campaign.
Step 01: Selecting the right platform
Each platform has different features that qualify you for different uses and increase your brand awareness. Here it is especially important which target group you want to address.
The established platforms – Instagram, Facebook & YouTube
When you think about modern influencer marketing, you usually think of the name of a platform:
Instagram. The platform has a few special features which mark it out from the others: first, the core target group tends to be quite young (16–35 years). The platform is also very visual. After all, this is where mainly photos, but also short videos, are shared. Instagram is also used almost exclusively on mobile devices. This makes it all the more important for retailers to ensure that their website or online shop is optimised for mobile devices. You can place ads here with the aid of Facebook Ad Manager.
Facebook is more relevant for an older target group (from 35 years). While young people primarily navigate Instagram, their parents are frequently browsing Facebook. Here, above all, you can market products relating to wellness and education.
YouTube is also very interesting as a visual search engine. Here, you can present and test a product very clearly.
The new platforms – TikTok & Snapchat
TikTok is a video portal for lip-syncing music videos and other short video clips. Similarly to Snapchat, you can reach a very young target group (14–20 years).
Snapchat is an instant-messaging app specialising in photos and videos, and also has a very young target group and simple and effective advertising formats.
The creative platforms – Blogs & Pinterest
Blogs are also a wonderful option for content or influencer marketing. Springlane is an especially impressive example. Here, the user is offered fantastic added value, on the one hand, in the form of information relating to the kitchen, such as recipes and cooking tutorials and, on the other hand, a large selection of products relating to the kitchen in the online shop.
Pinterest is being talked about by many as the next big thing. Just like Instagram, the platform is set up to be very visual. There are many links to content outside of the platform. This is why it’s essential to have a good point of contact, such as a blog. Online retailers also need a high level of commitment, as you need at least 15–20 pins per week to achieve organic success on Pinterest. But the effort can pay off. The half-life of the contributions can sometimes be several months. If you don’t want to use an organic content strategy, you can also secure traffic for your website using the existing paid advertising formats.
Step 02: The role of the influencer
A few years ago, influencers were still a real insider tip in a marketing campaign. Influencers could be booked very easily and cheaply, often at cost price. Even though these times are now over, with a little creativity it is still possible to advertise very effectively. In the second step, you should therefore think about how the influencer can best present your products.
One option for online retailers is to use widely known influencers as testimonials who make product recommendations or act as brand ambassadors and offer discount codes. However, this can sometimes be quite expensive.
Small “micro-influencers” with 5,000 to 25,000 followers are particularly well-suited to this. An interesting example of this was created by Deutsche Flugsicherung, the company in charge of air traffic control for Germany: here, keen plane spotters were willing content creators who were delighted to share their photos with this official account. Another example is the German Vodafone Instagram channel.
In influencer marketing for e-commerce, co-creation is also interesting, as direct access to the target group is a significant advantage. The influencer’s communication with his community enables direct feedback and an open exchange. Since influencers know their community best and know how best to interact with them, it makes sense to give influencers a certain amount of freedom in the design of their content. This also makes the content more credible.
Step 03: Choosing the right influencer
When selecting the right influencers as brand ambassadors, the official figures should be critically scrutinized and analyzed. Since not only the number of followers is interesting, the Influencer Marketing Cloud tool from Influencer DB can help to find the right influencers. It shows important statistics about the actual relevant and active target group. With a mainly male target group, such as influencer Pamela Reif, it obviously makes little sense to advertise a lipstick.
At the same time, the Influencer Marketing Cloud also helps to track down and avoid black sheep. Because followers can also be bought. The tool recognizes this by the fact that many followers join and leave again. The actual target group differs accordingly from the number of followers.
However, e-commerce retailers should also look at what other collaborations an influencer has already entered into to ensure credibility. For example, it makes little sense for a watch manufacturer to advertise with an Instagram influencer who has already advertised for three other different watch brands in the last month.