Are you trying to think of a new marketing strategy that can get your brand out there and noticed by more people? Maybe this is the case. Or perhaps you have already tried influencer marketing and are interested in commencing a new campaign. As one of the most current methods of advertising, you’ve come to the right place to establish how to set up an influencer campaign for your e-commerce.
With our lives rapidly moving more and more online, as an e-commerce brand, it’s definitely worth taking advantage of marketing through influencers on social media.
Why influencer marketing?
In the digital age that we live in today, whether an e-commerce business or not, influencer marketing is a strategy that can reap incredible results. In fact, as many as 90% of marketers say that influencer marketing has been an effective form of marketing.
By finding ambassadors that can represent your brand on social media, you can reach a much larger, yet potentially more relevant audience. Not only can you increase brand visibility with influencers, but you can reduce marketing spend as this can be a low-cost advertising alternative.
So, without further ado, let’s establish how you will get started with an influencer campaign.
As with any new campaign or strategy, the first thing you need to do is to sit down and set out a plan. From an outsider’s perspective, it can be easy to assume that influencer marketing is a fairly simple strategy, requiring little time or effort.
But, what makes the best campaigns stand out from those that are unsuccessful, is the planning that has been put into them. Consider the following elements within your initial planning process:
Define your goals
You’ll want to strategically plan your campaign by asking some simple questions. Start by considering why you are commencing an influencer campaign. What do you want to achieve through influencer marketing?
By defining your key objectives from the beginning, you can start to outline some key performance indicators (KPIs). These can be tracked along the way to measure the success of your campaign.
Some common aims from brands partaking in influencer campaigns would be to increase brand awareness, grow social media followings, and increase content creation, to name a few.
The next step is to establish your target audience. Who do you want this campaign to reach? Your brand may attract a wide variety of audiences, but it’s important to understand who this exact campaign is to be directed at.
Are you releasing a new line or product that would spark interest from a clear group of consumers? It’s important to create a buyer persona, taking into consideration the characteristics of your target audience like age, gender, location, and interests.
Budget is a big thing when it comes to influencer marketing, as you can spend as much or as little as you like. It’s all about the impact that you make. However, your budget will help to determine the type of campaign and size of influencer that you can work with.
So, how much do you intend to spend on this campaign? Make sure to not forget about hidden costs like shipping, handling agency fees, etc.
The final stage of defining your plan would be to consider timings. Do you have a specific timeline to adhere to? This will also impact your influencer search, as many will have their schedules booked up far in advance.
Think about whether your product is to be released in line with a special holiday or event, maybe a festivity or a season. Brands will often want to work on a campaign alongside a particular sale or promotion too.
By defining your timeline and these other key elements of your campaign, it’s going to really help with the next step of influencer discovery.
When it comes to your influencer search, there are a few ways that you can go about doing this. Again, this is dependent on factors previously defined, like your budget and timeline. Also, you should consider whether Instagram influencers or YouTube influencers are best for your campaign. Don’t forget, there are influencers across all different social media platforms.
The three methods to choose from would be:
· searching yourself, directly through social media
· using an influencer marketing platform
· working with an agency
Of course, there are pros and cons to each. And without going into too much detail, let’s quickly touch on this.
Conducting the influencer search manually can be time-consuming. However, for those brands with a small budget and that are only intending on hiring one or two influencers, this could be a perfectly reasonable method.
On the other hand, you could try using an influencer marketing platform to search for influencers. These platforms offer several types of subscriptions, often with a free option, so they are typically affordable to a variety of budgets.
From the discoveries you learned during your planning process, you can input these and let the platform do the rest. Platforms like Heepsy have dedicated search filters that allow you to choose the qualities to search by, with AI-driven data to provide profile insights to be analysed.
The third option of working with an agency can be totally out of the question for some. Although agencies create some of the greatest campaigns, they are generally expensive and only of interest to those with a large budget. Agencies will conduct all of the work, from start to finish, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your needs.
Tracking your campaign and measuring results
Whether you’re new to this or not, you’ll be eager to find out how to establish whether the campaign was successful, right? Well, in influencer marketing, success is relative. Remember those objectives that we talked about?
Sure, your sales may have boosted, so the campaign brought success to your business. But, if your main objective was to increase brand awareness in a new location – was this reached? This is why your goals will need to have clear ways of measuring them.
In order to track the success of the campaign, I’d recommend working with a tool like Google Analytics. This is probably the most popular tool out there, especially amongst e-commerce brands.
If the campaign appears to be running well, then remember to check in with your influencers and let them know of their great work. Equally, if there are issues, you’ll want to communicate this clearly too.
When the campaign is over and it’s time to collect all of your data to establish success, you’ll first need to determine the total investment that you put into the campaign. This is absolutely everything that you spent money on, not forgetting about things like shipping!
Then, you should look at data on:
· sales and revenue
· web traffic
· new social media followers
· influencer discount codes used
When looking at these, your success will be determined based on whether they met your initial goals and also outweighed the original investment that you put into the campaign.
Influencer incentive and discount codes
Unfortunately, we can’t cover everything about an influencer campaign in one article. However, as an e-commerce brand, it’s important that we go over influencer incentive.
A popular technique is to use trackable discount codes that are personalized to every individual influencer working on your campaign. These are so popular for the many benefits that can be gained to the consumer, influencer, and you!
For the consumer, a discount is always going to be attractive. Also, they are eager to use these codes when they see them, though worry that they may not be available at a later date.
For the influencer, they will typically work on a commission-based incentive, where they earn per person that uses their link. This usually encourages influencers to create even better quality content.
For your brand, these links are not only attracting more traffic to your website but increasing sales volumes too. You’re also benefiting from the increased content creation, and quality of it too.
When it comes to campaign analysis, trackable links are the perfect source. You can identify where your website traffic is coming from, pinpointing which influencers are bringing the most. These links will require UTM’s to be set up, which is much more simple than it sounds, don’t worry! You can then access data to analyse their success through Google Analytics, or another similar tool.
Make sure to keep your codes short and concise. They should be personalized to influencers, for example, EMILY20.
As social media continues to boom and online shopping becomes increasingly more readily available, the benefits of influencer marketing to e-commerce brands are undeniable. No matter your business size, type, or budget, it’s a strategy worth investing in.
As long as a thorough planning process is conducted and you find the right influencers for your brand, then you are guaranteed success with your goals!
For more information about how to conduct an influencer marketing campaign, or for some help getting started, then head over to Heepsy! This influencer marketing platform will help you to find influencers and ace your first campaign!
Author: Olivia Adie
Bio: Olivia works on the Marketing team at Heepsy, an influencer marketing platform that helps you to find influencers for your campaigns.