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Influencer Marketing in E-commerce Strategy


Influencer marketing is not a new concept in advertising. Before the rise of the internet, celebrities and sportspersons endorsed brands through traditional advertising mediums (TV, news, magazines). Social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, on the internet now allow influencers to directly connect with the core audience. Additionally, the platforms have given opportunities to other people, also known as micro-influencers. Today, 9 out of 10 brands utilize influencer marketing to reach their target consumers and the ROI on using influencer marketing has proven to be more effective, generating $18 for $1 spent. With 7.9 million retailers vying for online consumers, influencer marketing has become a core part of digital marketing strategy.

Who or what are Influencers?

It’s not possible for upcoming brands to partner with A-list celebrity influencers such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kim Kardashian, or Kylie Jenner because their endorsements are expensive. Micro-influencers are people who spend time engaging with followers and building a circle of trust and credibility by letting followers into their real lives, offering open transparency. The best micro-influencers do not build a base by sharing only endorsements but by truly connecting with them through common interests. Effectively when retailers use influencers to reach out to their target consumers, they are using a tribal marketing strategy.

Micro-influencers may not have a large base like celebrity influencers, however, their base of followers is more specific or highly concentrated, which allows brands to tap into stronger connections. Among the top 30 influencers on Instagram are Amanda Cerny, known for her Vines and comedy sketches, and Zach King, known for his video editing magic skills, who each have now more than 20 million followers. Cerny and King engaged with their followers early on with their content creating a platform that brands want to tap into to reach a potential consumer base. Micro-influencers are modern-day celebrities and an example of brands growing through influencer strategy is Daniel Wellington, a luxury watch brand that grew to $180 million in just 5 years.

How to implement a successful Influencer marketing strategy ?

1.Define goals for your product and marketing strategy: Depending on the stage of the product life cycle, an online retailer needs to define the goals for the influencer marketing strategy. Some types of goals are building brand awareness, generating leads or attracting a new target market to proceed to the next steps.

2.Research your audience: Social media consumption differs across demographics of online consumers. E-commerce sellers need to identify the social media channels that their target audience utilize and the influencers they follow. This can be done by looking into the online habits of selective shoppers. According to an Influencer Marketing Hub survey, 79% of the respondents consider Instagram the most important tool in influencer marketing campaigns, followed by Facebook (46%) and Youtube (36%).

3.Choose your Influencers: The next step is to identify influencers that are relevant to your brand, how much they engage with their audience and the past sponsorships the influencers have worked with. By observing the influencers on how they promote brands and the responses from their followers, online retailers can choose influencers that align with their brand or product values.

4.Define your collaboration with Influencers: In order to execute a successful influencer marketing strategy, online retailers need to flesh out the details with influencers transparently and work on authentic messaging. The seller needs to decide on tactics such as visual and/or video content, storytelling, hashtags, promo codes and contests. Sellers can also feature influencers in advertisements on traditional advertising mediums.

The ROI of influencer marketing campaigns is primarily tracked by the number of redirections to the e-commerce platform from the influencers. Other metrics to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns are likes, follows clicks, votes, user comments, and tracking hashtags.

Pursuing an influencer marketing strategy is certainly compelling given that more than 90% of consumers trust influencers more than celebrities. However, simply paying influencers with the highest number of followers will not necessarily lead to a higher ROI for online retailers. The success of influencer marketing strategies has been largely due to unique and creative campaigns and strong partnerships with the right influencers. Just look out for what is going viral!


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