What is influencer marketing and how can it help your ecommerce business?

Stemming from the rise of social media, influencer marketing has grown enormously in recent years. The influencers in question are those individuals on social media platforms with a high following, i.e. celebrities or social media stars such as bloggers. Influencers get their name because they influence the behaviour of their audiences by making certain recommendations and giving their reviews on different products and services. As the audiences’ trust what each influencer is saying, this has become a really powerful tool that many brands have adopted in their online marketing campaigns.

Influencer marketing works particularly well for ecommerce businesses because it’s an online marketing technique than can send thousands of people directly to an ecommerce website, and should the brand choose the right influencer, those people may just be the exact demographic the brand is looking for.

The way it works:

There are typically two types of influencer marketing: paid and unpaid content, and the one chosen will usually depend on the type of promotion needed and the scale of the campaign.

1. Paid Content

This is where social influencers are sent products to wear/use/demonstrate in a sponsored (paid) post on their social media accounts. In these instances, influencers are paid anything from a couple of hundred, to several thousand pounds, depending on the number of followers and therefore reach they have.

With paid content, the influencers agree to posting in exchange for a fee and therefore you are guaranteed coverage for your brand. In some cases, the social influencers can add links to their social media accounts and you can direct their audiences directly to your ecommerce site.

2. Unpaid Content

This is where social influencers are gifted products or invited to events for free but they are not required to post anything (although they usually do). This method is less certain to get coverage than paid content, but is usually more cost effective for the brand. That said, many brands are hosting events that are getting more and more extreme and luxurious to get the coverage they are after, which can’t come cheap.

If you are new to influencer marketing, we would suggest you start small and research the best types of influencers for your brand. You’d be surprised at how many niche audiences there are and you can get creative with your ideas to maximise your results.

Hosting events is a nice way to build brand awareness and to start that relationship with the social influencers, but if you are looking for something slightly more cost effective at first, you could try sending out a couple of products to some key influencers and see where that takes you.