Influencer marketing in e-commerce: this is how you do it

21.04.2020

Influencer marketing is one of the current trend topics in e-commerce. We will give you step-by-step instructions about how to market successfully using influencers.
For a few years now, influencer marketing has been the big on-trend topic when it comes to online marketing. Just like with other forms of online marketing such as search engine marketing, your target group can be addressed much more precisely and effectively than with classic media such as daily newspapers or television. At the same time, customers can click on links and be taken directly to the online offer. This naturally makes influencer marketing relevant for e-commerce in particular. This is why we are explaining how to find the right influencers for your e-commerce campaign.

Step 01: Selecting the right platform

Every platform has various qualities which make them suitable for various purposes. This is mainly a question of which target group you want to address.

The established platforms
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
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
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, influencer marketing was still a real insider tip. This is where influencers were booked very easily and affordably, also frequently only for the net cost price. Even if these times are now past, you can still advertise very effectively if you can get a little creative.
For this, in the second step you should consider the best way that an influencer could present your products.
An option for online retailers is to use testimonials from a crowd of well-known influencers. However, this can also be pretty expensive too.
Instead, influencers can also act as content creators. 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.
Co-creation is also interesting for e-commerce.
A key advantage of co-creation is the direct access to the target group. The communication between the influencer and their community provides direct feedback and an open exchange. After all, the influencer understands their community the most and knows the best ways to interact with them and design products. This is why you should allow the content creator a certain amount of freedom.
Many influencers are now parts of networks who take care of the marketing and contact with advertising partners. But it’s not at all necessary to find the right influencer via these influencer networks.

Step 03: Choosing the right influencer using the Influencer Marketing Cloud

When selecting the right influencer to be a brand ambassador, you should scrutinise and analyse the official figures with a critical eye. The Influencer Marketing Cloud tool from Influencer DB can help you with this. It shows you important statistics about the real relevant and active target group.
For example, 80 % of influencer Pamela Reif’s followers are male. This means that it makes little sense for her to market a lipstick.
Worst case
At the same time, the Influencer Marketing Cloud will help you to identify and avoid black sheep. Because followers can be bought as well. The tool recognises this by the vast number of followers who come and go.
E-commerce retailers should also look at the other partnerships an influencer has already entered into. For example, it makes little sense for a watch manufacturer to advertise with an Instagram influencer who has already created advertising for three other watch brands in the last month. This makes it seem inauthentic.

To summarise

Influencer marketing has hit the mainstream. This is why online retailers should first consider which platform their own target group is using. Then, the role of the influencer is crucial. It’s worth giving your influencer the freedom to incorporate the product into their communication with their followers in the most authentic way possible. In the last step, it’s worth finding the right influencer. This is where an analysis tool such as the Influencer Marketing Cloud can help you.
This presentation by Marius Jansen about Influencer Marketing (German) will teach you how you can still shape the payment to be affordable in times of big hype and the right way to establish cooperation. It will also give you an impression of what trends he expects for the future of influencer marketing. Marius Jansen is the managing partner of Social Match, the agency for modern marketing based in Münster and Cologne.

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