How to Use Influencer Marketing to Skyrocket Your E-commerce Business

Influencer marketing can be a game changer for e-commerce brands of all shapes and sizes, however it’s an especially potent tool for small business owners and those just starting out. Going a step beyond traditional advertising, influencer marketing leverages the unique connection social media stars have with their audiences, amplifying your message and adding a layer of trust. In today’s digital landscape, where trust and authenticity reign supreme, the personal touch influencers provide is invaluable. Whether it’s with the guidance of a digital marketing agency or your own marketing endeavours, incorporating influencer marketing can significantly elevate your brand’s visibility and appeal, often with a very affordable price tag.

What is an Influencer?

Influencers are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise in their niche. Thanks to this trust, influencers are able to affect the purchasing decisions of their audience through their presence on social media. While there are influencers with massive followings, this guide focuses on nano and micro influencers, those with 1,000 to 4,999 followers, and 5,000 to 20,000 followers respectively, as they typically foster a highly engaged, niche community and offer a more cost-effective option for small and new e-commerce businesses.

The Power of Influencer Marketing

Now we’re all clued up on what influencers are, let’s take a look at some stats which show just how valuable influencer marketing can be for your business;

36% of brands report that content from influencers outperforms their own branded material, with 30% finding it equally effective. (Shopify, 2023)

35% of marketers say that smaller content creators are more trusted by their audiences (Hubspot, 2023)

Nano influencers make up 65% of all influencers on Instagram – offering a vast pool for you to tap into! (Shopify, 2023)

Gen-Z  (16 – 24 year olds) are particularly influenced by social media, with 85% stating it sways their purchasing decisions. (Shopify, 2023)

Businesses are making $5.78 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2023)

Influencer Marketing

How to Find and Choose the Perfect Influencer

Finding and choosing the right person is vital to any influencer marketing campaign. To begin, focus on finding influencers whose values and audience align closely with your brand. Remember, it’s not just about the number of followers; engagement – likes, comments, shares – is a much more significant metric. A micro influencer with high engagement can often be more influential than a celebrity with a vast but less engaged audience, especially if you occupy a niche industry.

Influencers live and breathe social media, so it makes sense to start your search there. Use specific hashtags relevant to your niche to discover influencers who are already talking about products or services similar to yours.

Make sure to pay attention to the content style and quality of potential influencers, their presentation and tone should complement your brand’s values. It’s also good to review their past collaborations to gauge how they integrate promotional content into their regular posts. Remember, authenticity is key!

How Much Do Influencers Cost?

When it comes to nano and micro-influencers, the investment can be surprisingly manageable. Nano influencers may charge anywhere from £100 to £250, while you may have to stretch to £600 for micro influencers. Remember, these costs are often negotiable and can vary based on the influencer’s reach and your specific campaign requirements.

A cost-effective alternative is a product-for-post arrangement. In such collaborations, you provide the influencer with free products in exchange for coverage. This approach not only saves on upfront costs but also allows influencers to experience and genuinely endorse your product, enhancing the authenticity of their promotion.

When negotiating with influencers, remember to be clear about expectations. Discuss the scope of work, including the number of posts and any specific messaging guidelines. At the same time, be open to their creative input – after all, they know their audience best!

Case Study

If you want a real-world example of how effective influencer marketing can be, we recently saw great success marketing a client’s Christmas lights exhibition, seeing increased ticket sales and brand awareness, without a huge price tag.

To do it, we turned to nano and micro-influencers, inviting them to an exclusive pre-opening event. Although these influencers had smaller followings, their audiences were highly engaged and active in our client’s area. We provided them with free access, without any explicit expectation of promotion.

The results were fantastic. Many influencers took to social media straight away, sharing their genuine experiences at the event, crafting content we could re-share and organically bringing a buzz about the event to a wide audience.

As an e-commerce brand, you may not have an event to invite your influencers to, but you do have some incredible products you can send out free-of-charge. This might seem like a bit of a hit, but consider it as an investment. Once you’ve found the perfect influencers, try getting in touch to see if they’d be happy to receive a free-product, the key here is to not ask for anything in return. Have faith that your products will speak for themselves and you’ll be amazed at how many influencers will create positive content with your product all by themselves.

Wrapping Up

You should know by now that influencer marketing is a transformative tool for small e-commerce brands. If you haven’t got started yet, then use this guide as a jumping off point and don’t be afraid to start sending out some messages. Remember to set goals and expectations, have a budget in mind, and find the perfect relevant influencers to help you tap into dedicated and niche audiences. If it all sounds a little daunting or if you’d like some guidance, get in touch with a social media marketing agency near you!