The Ultimate Guide To eCommerce Influencer Marketing
Wouldn't it be nice to have your brand in front of thousands of people to see online?
Apparently, it doesn't happen in the perfect universe.
BUT... it can happen to YOU and YOUR BUSINESS.
And it's through influencer marketing!
Yep, you can put your brand in front of thousands of people's screens with the right influencer marketing strategy.
Now, I know you're now curious.
So, you need to finish this guide because you'll learn...
- The rules in influencer advertisements
- How to set your campaign goals
- How to find the right influencers for your campaign
- How to reach out to these influencers
- How to manage and work with these influencers
- How to measure the results and optimize
There's also a very helpful bonus tip waiting for you at the end of this guide, so make sure not to skip anything!
And you've probably thought of incorporating influencer marketing into your strategies, so you know what it means.
But if this is the first time you heard about it, let me tell you...
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a part of digital marketing.
It's a social media marketing tactic where you'll work with social media influencers who have a certain number of followers.
These people will then promote, create content, or post about your product on their social media accounts.
Some social media platform examples are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
There are also some influencers that promote other businesses on their websites if they are getting many traffic.
And now, I'll show you...
What Are The Benefits Of Influencer Marketing?
1. Increase Your Brand Awareness
Awareness is an important stage for your business before you can transform your potential customers into the conversion stage.
And that's how social media influencers can help you.
They increase your brand awareness by posting about your products.
Of course, if they have thousands of followers who aren't aware of your brand, they'll find out about you when they see the influencer's post.
So, influencer marketing will be an effective strategy if you want to boost your brand awareness! 😉
The best part is that you're not just increasing your brand awareness. Because you can also...
2. Reach Relevant People
Through influencer marketing, you can reach relevant people who might be interested in your products.
Social media influencers are famous for specific niches. For example, you're a fashion eCommerce brand that promotes sustainability.
The influencers have a huge following of people who love fashion.
So, when they promote your products, prospective customers who are interested in fashion can see and be aware of your brand.
Their content wouldn't merely reach random people.
And because of that, you can...
3. Strengthen Your eCommerce Brand's Trust
These social media experts are considered "experts" in their fields.
If they use certain products, their customers will usually trust their recommendations.
That will also affect how they perceive your eCommerce brand.
Once they see that an influencer uses your products, they know they can trust your products.
And because of that, it'll be easier to...
4. Increase Your Sales
Since the influencer trusts your brand, their followers can easily trust you, too.
This will now make it easier for you to convert them into sales!
That's one of your biggest goals, right?
And with influencer marketing, you can achieve it! Because they can also...
5. Enhance Your Social Proof
As I mentioned, some people consider influencers as "experts."
It's because they are passionate with their niche.
So, influencers posting about your brand can be a form of social proof.
And social proof is helpful for achieving your business goals.
You can use them on your website and marketing materials to entice prospective customers into buying from your eCommerce store!
These benefits are amazing... but if you're still hesitant, here are some...
Influencer Statistics You Need To Know
Numbers don't lie, so let's see how effective influencer marketing is through these statistics!
- The influencer marketing industry is presumed to grow to 16.4 billion dollars in 2022.
- Social media and blogs influence 60% of consumers while shopping at retail stores.
- 57% of fashion and beauty companies implement an influencer marketing strategy.
If these statistics fascinate you, let's get down to business!
Step 1: Understand The Rules
Laws can be hair-raising to business owners.
But before creating your influencer marketing strategy, it's important to understand the rules first.
This is because the Federal Trade Commission or FTC is looking to tighten advertising guidelines to combat fake reviews.
And according to the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, they're updating the guidelines to repress misleading marketing and fake reviews.
This also includes protecting children who are targeted by false advertisements.
And add to that, Samuel Levine also mentioned that influencers hiding that they were paid to post can deceive people into paying more money and can hurt honest businesses.
Here are some reasons why you need to learn these rules.
First, understanding the rules can help you...
1. Comply With Them Appropriately
You might think your business is doing something "harmless," but you might be breaking some laws.
Remember, you need to learn the rules and regulations first before you can comply with them.
This way, you can also...
2. Avoid Troubles
Understanding the rules can save you from trouble.
This will also save you some time and avoid being in sticky situations in the future.
It's because there are now rules and regulations set by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission to avoid "deceptive business practices" to protect consumers, which we will talk about later.
By learning and complying with these, you can...
3. Protect Your Brand Reputation
Who wants to purchase from an eCommerce brand with a history of "deceptive advertisements" and "misleading claims," right?
Of course, you need to comply with these rules to protect your brand image.
This will also help you establish a trustworthy eCommerce brand.
I'm sure you're now wondering... what are these rules you need to comply with in influencer marketing?
Let's talk about some of them...
5 Federal Trade Commission Disclosure Guidelines In Social Media Influencer Marketing
There are different sets of FTC guides in advertising and marketing. But here, we're focusing on influencer marketing.
This will not only protect your brand but the influencers you're collaborating with as well.
Before we hop into these rules, you need to note that you should communicate this with your influencers.
It's essential that the two of you know, understand, and implement these rules.
So, here are a few social media influencer marketing guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission.
1. Disclose Paid Sponsorships
When working with influencers, you should remind them to disclose paid sponsorships.
In a statement by former Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra, he says it's an illegal payola if companies are paying influencers to fake their reviews and not disclose their financial ties.
This will help potential customers from falling into false claims.
Using the social media tools where you must disclose the sponsorship is okay.
But it's not yet "good enough," so make sure to disclose it even more. The tool is just a support.
If your influencers don't disclose your sponsorship, they would think that the reviews or endorsements are genuine when they're not.
So, to disclose the sponsorship, they need to...
2. Use Uncomplicated Language
The exact words from the guidelines are "simple and clear."
Don't use abbreviated words or slang as much as possible, such as "spon" or "sp." Or open-ended terms like "thanks," "collaboration," or "ambassador" that prospective customers might misunderstand.
Say it's a paid ad, advertisement, sponsored, or sponsorship.
Again, be wary of the language you're using. The disclosure must be in the same language as your endorsement.
This will make it easier for your audience to understand, especially for non-English speakers.
It's also important to take note that you should...
3. Place The Disclosure Properly
Don't hide it or place it somewhere not easily noticeable!
According to the FTC guidelines, the disclosure must be placed appropriately so the audience can see it with no problem.
For example, you and your influencer agreed to use stories to endorse your products. It would be best if you clarified to them that they should place it where people can see it easily.
The guidelines say that influencers should "superimpose" it.
Another thing is when they're advertising through videos, they should disclose it in the video itself. Not just in the description.
And "Livestream" is a thing now on the internet, like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok Live.
They need to repeat that the products are sponsored. So, if they're promoting a product through live videos... Just in case some viewers missed it.
These guidelines should be clear with your influencers because you are an advertiser.
You need to protect your business and ensure the people representing your brand comply with these guidelines.
And that's not all...
4. Don't Talk About Products They Haven't Tried
You can't pay your influencers to talk about products they haven't even tried yet.
That's a no-no! And the social media influencer disclosure guidelines also say this.
The purpose of these guidelines is to fight "deceptive marketing."
So, influencers talking about products they haven't even tried yet is against the FTC guide.
This last one is also related to this...
5. Don't Make Claims With No Proof
When influencers promote your products, they will talk highly about your brand.
And that's part of their job. They need to encourage their customers to purchase from you.
But they can't make up claims that you can't prove.
For example, they can't say your products can cure a disease if they're not even medically tested, or there's no clinical trial and case study to back up their claims.
Again, the guidelines are to prevent deceptive marketing. This might put your business in jeopardy if this happens.
I know these guidelines look frightening.
But don't worry!
Because you can totally be proactive and avoid being in difficult situations!
3 Tips To Make Sure Your Brand And Influencers Are Complying With These Guidelines
In this matter, you can consult a legal expert or your legal team to assure you're following the FTC guidelines and other marketing or advertising laws in your country.
That's the best route to take if you're hesitant!
These are just simple and easy ways to help you start ensuring that you're FTC compliant.
First, you can...
1. Check The Captions Or Scripts Of Your Influencers
Before they post, you can communicate with your influencers and ask to see their captions or scripts.
If you think there is a need for some changes, you can inform them.
This will help you ensure that they are following the guidelines.
This is also your job as an advertiser... to make sure the message is clear and aligned with your goals.
The next thing you can do is...
2. Check The Authenticity Of Their Account
By this, it means you need to see if they're using fake followers or engagements.
Sometimes, influencers with a massive amount of followers are perceived to be "authority." I mean... they wouldn't get thousands of followers if they're not trusted, right?
It could also be the other way around. Because there are mega-influencers with low engagements.
So, you need to check why they get low engagements when they have a lot of followers.
You also need to check if the comments are genuine, and if the people leaving the comments are not bots.
Making sure their account has authentic followers is one way to avoid misleading the target customers.
3. Make Sure They Understand The Guidelines
The influencers are your partners.
So, it's not only you who need to understand and take these proactive measures.
Your influencers should be aware of them, too.
They need to understand that not following these can have a negative impact on your brand and their career as influencers.
That's why you should communicate these guidelines with them and agree to follow them when running your campaigns.
Since you already understand the rules and you also know what to do to avoid breaking them, we can now...
Step 2: Set Your Campaign Goals
To make an efficient influencer marketing plan, you need to set your goals.
You can't make one if you don't know what you're trying to achieve.
The campaign will have no direction and you wouldn't be able to measure its success.
But before that, you need to...
Identify Your Target Audience
I'm sure you've heard about this before... a lot of times, maybe.
But to ensure that your campaigns are customer-focused and will land into the right target audience, first, you have to identify who they are.
1. Revisit Your Customer Base
If you're already an established eCommerce brand, it's time to revisit your customer base.
These are your existing customers, so they're still your target audience.
But if you do this, you'll have more clarity on who your target customers are for your upcoming campaigns.
You can analyze their profiles and purchasing behaviors to create a more cost-effective influencer marketing strategy.
You also need to...
2. Consider Your Products
Your existing customers may have purchased a variety of your products, but what if you're launching a new one with the help of influencers?
For example, you are running a beauty eCommerce brand. Your products usually focused on products for oily-skinned people.
But now, you are launching new products for dry skin.
You need to identify your audience who might be facing this problem. Then you can find an influencer that can help you find these people who have dry skin problems.
Oh, here's another way...
3. Analyze Your Competitors
You've probably heard of this multiple times, too.
In every digital marketing strategy, it's important to analyze your competitors.
And to identify your target audience, you can check on your competitors! 👀
You can go to their platforms and see who is supporting their campaigns. This is a great way to have an idea of who exactly you're targeting.
Once you identified your target audience for your campaign, here are some...
5 Influencer Marketing Goals For Your Campaigns
This is the exciting part... goal-setting!
Influencer marketing can help you achieve a lot of goals, but if you have no idea which goals to set...
Let's start with five!
1. Reach New Audience
You may have existing customers and followers... but you still have a lot of people to reach.
And through influencer marketing, reaching new audiences will be more attainable.
That's why reaching new audiences should be one of your influencer marketing campaign goals.
There are still thousands of people who can be your customers who aren't aware of your brand yet.
Another goal you can set is to...
2. Generate Leads
Before you can convert them into sales, lead generation is also an important process.
Leads include basic information about a prospect that they choose to share with you.
When you get leads, you can take advantage of them to get closer to your potential customers.
And with the help of the right influencers, you can generate more leads for your business!
That makes it easier for you to...
3. Increase Conversions
Converting these prospects into actual customers is one of the reasons you're strategizing for your influencer marketing campaigns.
This will also expand your business and give you more budget to pull off superb campaigns in the future!
So, this should be one of your goals because you need to sustain your business.
The next influencer marketing goal is...
4. Boost Online Presence
When social media influencers promote your products and tag you, more people can be aware of your brand.
And if you have a well-planned social media strategy for your eCommerce brand, you can attract more followers and engagements.
Because having a strong online presence is beneficial for your business in making your brand look more reliable.
So, you need to choose an influencer that can help you with this.
But these aren't the only goals you can set, because you can also...
5. Strengthen Brand Reputation
This is actually a great goal to set for your campaign.
You need to establish a fantastic brand image and reputation in the digital world.
That's why you need to find the right influencers to collaborate with.
Setting this as a goal can make you be more meticulous in finding the right one.
They will be representing your brand, so you have to make sure that they also have a good reputation. But we will talk about it later!
For now, you need to set your KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.
What Are The KPIs You Need To Track?
During the goal-setting phase, it's vital to note the KPIs you need to measure the success of your campaigns.
We'll deep dive into that in a few. But first, here are some basic KPIs you need to consider to make sure you can create a smooth-smailing influencer marketing campaign.
This accounts for how many people your brand or influencer reached through their post.
You can set a specific number here to make the goal more measurable.
This is how many times people have seen your post. It can be from repeating social media users.
Again, you can set your ideal numbers here to see by the end of the campaign if you reached it. Just make sure it's realistic and attainable!
Likes and comments count, too!
This is how many people have interacted with your or the influencers' post.
You also need to measure this to know how many people engaged with your brand.
4. Website Or Referral Traffic
This is to know how many people took action from the influencer's social media...
If they linked to your website, you can see how many people visited your site from their account.
Remember to set a number so you know if you're achieving your goals!
To measure the effectiveness of your influencers, conversion or product sales should be part of your KPIs.
This is one of the most important KPIs because you can really see how effective they are in promoting your products.
So, make sure to include these in your KPIs!
To achieve these, you need to...
Step 3: Find The Right Influencers For Your Campaigns
Once you know what you want to achieve, it'll be easier to find a way to achieve it.
And that includes finding the right influencers that will help you reach your KPIs and other campaign goals.
First, let's see...
Who Are The Influencers?
There are different types of influencers you can work with.
You can choose the ones that suit your goals and of course, your budget.
Before we talk about the number of followers, let's identify these influencers first. I will give you six examples.
1. Bloggers or Vloggers
Bloggers are website owners who are publishing "blogs" for their users. It can be personal or educational, depending on the niche of the blogger.
While vloggers are sharing content in the form of video. Usually, their main platform is YouTube.
Just like bloggers, vloggers also have their own niche.
When you're planning to collaborate with a blogger or vlogger, you need to pick them based on their niche. It can be:
- Online diary
Here's an example of a lifestyle blogger:
Wit & Delight is a lifestyle blog sharing food recipes, interior designs, fashion, horoscope, etc. Probably anything that encapsulates the interests of their audience or readers.
While here's an example of a vlogger.
Zach Choi is a food and ASMR vlogger. There's a term called "mukbang," where a person broadcasts themselves eating.
You can see that these two examples have specific niches that can reach the right people who are interested in the content they're producing.
The next type of influencer is...
2. Instagram Influencers
The name says it all... Instagram influencers are people who have a following on Instagram.
And just like bloggers and vloggers, most of them have their niches as well... like beauty, fashion, and everything I mentioned above.
An example of an Instagram influencer is...
Camila Coelho is also a blogger, Youtuber, entrepreneur, and more. But she's one of the most influential people on Instagram because of her massive following and credentials in the beauty and fashion sector.
Well, the number of followers speaks for itself!
Another influencer type is...
3. Writers or Journalists
Yep, writers or journalists can be your influencers, too!
They are from reputable publications or digital platforms that can help you achieve your campaign goals.
Remember, press mentions or articles about your business from reputable companies are social proof, too! You need to take advantage of them.
For example, if a famous journalist from a lifestyle magazine posts about your products on their social media, you can be more discoverable by potential customers who aren't aware of your brand yet.
Also, they are trusted when it comes to their niche because they're writers.
That's not all!
4. Business Owners or Thought-Leaders
These are inspiring, successful people who have followers that want to achieve the same thing.
A lot of people follow them because they want to learn from these thought-leaders.
An example of a thought-leader is Gary Vee.
He's a thought-leader in the business and marketing industry. He also posts about ways to achieve one's goals and motivating videos.
If you're targeting customers who are career-oriented or aspiring business owners, thought-leaders and well-known business owners might be the perfect influencer for you.
We're down to our last two!
Celebrities can also be your influencers. But if you have the means, they can be your brand ambassadors, too.
They are high-value when it comes to promoting products because of their massive number of followers and the power to increase your sales.
Jennie is a member of a famous Korean girl group BLACKPINK.
She is an ambassador for prestigious brands as well as collaborates and endorses well-known brands, like Calvin Klein, Adidas, Gentle Monster, Hera Beauty, and Chanel.
In fact, all of the products from Gentle Monster's collaboration with Jennie are sold out!
This just proves the purchasing influence of celebrities!
6. TikTok Influencers
TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps these days.
And a lot of content creators are joining the platform, too.
That's why brands are also investing in TikTok marketing and influencers to reach their target market.
An example of a popular TikTok influencer is Addison Rae.
She has 87.8 million followers and 5.7 billion likes on her TikTok account...
And that's pretty huge! Imagine getting your brand in front of 87.8 million TikTok users' fresh eyes? 🤭
Speaking of millions of followers...
Let's get to the numbers because there are different influencer categories through numbers!
Types Of Influencers In Numbers
There are still more people who can be an influencer, and you can identify them by numbers or the number of followers they have.
So, what are they?
- Mega-Influencers. These influencers have more than one million followers on their social media.
- Macro-Influencers. They have 100,000 up to 1 million followers on their platforms.
- Micro-Influencers. These influencers have 10,000 to 100,000 followers on their social media.
- Nano-Influencers. They have 1,000 to 10,000 followers.
You can collaborate with influencers of any size based on Step 2: your goals.
And this leads us to...
What To Look For In An Influencer?
You can't just choose the most random influencer because they have a lot of followers or suit your budget.
That might not work.
You need to set your standards when it comes to influencers, so you can find the right ones who can help you.
The first thing you need to consider is...
1. Influencer Platform
If you don't consider this, your money and effort might go to waste.
When finding the right influencer, you need to consider the platforms they're using as well as the content they're producing.
Are they aligned with your goals?
For example... your goal is to show more people how to style your "infinity dress."
Of course, you need to partner up with fashion influencers. They can be Instagram or TikTok influencers in the fashion industry or bloggers.
But first, do you want them to show how through videos or blogs? If through videos, maybe you can look for a fashion TikTok influencer or Youtuber.
Or, if your budget isn't that much, you can reach out to an Instagram influencer to post photos on their feed or story.
You can work with any influencer in your industry... as long as you can achieve your goal, which is to show potential customers how your product works.
Another example of a goal is boosting your SEO ranking.
If you want to rank higher on search engines, it might be best to collaborate with bloggers who have a lot of website traffic and followers.
If you do, they can link to your eCommerce website when promoting your products.
The more links you have, the more traffic you'll get. And that will also help you boost your site's credibility.
You see, you always need to put your goals in mind when strategizing your campaign.
You can't work with an influencer that doesn't have the perfect audience or platform that suits your business.
Or else, your campaign may not succeed.
The next thing you need to consider is...
2. Engagement Rate
Do you still remember our sample KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?
Engagements are a big factor, too.
This determines the willingness of their audience to interact with their post and their potential to take your desired action.
That's why you need to check the engagement rate of the influencers you're planning to work with.
Who knows? They might have 100,000 followers but they only receive around 1,000 likes and comments per post.
But what is a good engagement rate, anyway?
Less than 1% means it's a low engagement rate. While having between 1% and 3.5% is average. A 3.5% but not exceeding 6% engagement rate is considered high. And above 6% is very high.
Checking their engagement rate can also help you avoid influencers with fake followers. Always remember the FTC guidelines!
And last but not least...
As a business owner, it's your job to protect your brand reputation.
That's how you can keep a smooth-sailing business untainted by any negativity.
And you can avoid this by partnering with an influencer who has a good reputation online.
The cancel culture anywhere is strong. A lot of personalities get called out whenever they offend a religion, culture, ethnicity, or support a law that "oppresses" others.
And brands aren't safe with all these boycotting calls if people don't agree with your actions and decisions.
So, you need to be careful with whom you collaborate.
That influencer must align with your brand's mission, vision, and purpose.
Now that you're ready to find the right influencers for you, you're probably asking...
How To Find Influencers?
There are many ways to find them, but let's talk about three!
The first one is through...
1. Social Media
Most of them are social media influencers, so of course... here's where you can find them.
You can start by using hashtags.
As you can see, there are potential fashion influencers for your eCommerce brand when I searched for the hashtag #fashioninfluencers.
Just make sure that you're using the right hashtag keywords!
You can also search for them on YouTube.
If you're an eCommerce brand specializing in food and you want to collaborate with food vloggers, you can start by searching "food review" on YouTube and see the vloggers who are doing this.
These two are not limited to Instagram and YouTube. You can use hashtags and relevant keywords on other social media sites, like Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Another way to find influencers is by using...
Google is another search engine tool you need to take advantage of.
And again, you need to use the right keywords to find the influencers you're looking for.
You can use it to find bloggers or read articles with lists of popular influencers for your niche.
As they say... "if you can't find it... Google it!"
But are you tired of doing everything manually?
If you want to manage your influencers and campaigns efficiently, you can also invest in...
3. Influencer Marketing Platforms
Influencers are also looking for brands to collaborate with.
Yep, you're not the only one looking for them!
So, some of them are on influencer marketing platforms to find a brand they can work with.
Using these can help you manage your influencer database and find the influencers you need for your eCommerce brand.
After choosing the right influencers for your marketing campaign, the next thing you need to do is...
Step 4: Reach Out To These Influencers
This part is very important because if you don't do it right, it might compromise the deal.
And this is why your influencer outreach strategy must be superb!
How To Write An Email They Can't Resist?
To write an email they can't help but notice, that you need to...
1. Get Straight To The Point
This is not just applicable to writing emails, but every time you write content anywhere.
Nobody wants to read a 1,000-word email that is full of waffles.
Getting straight to the point can save time and their attention can focus on the most important things in the email.
If you want to collaborate with them, tell them or take advantage of the subject part of the email.
Tell them exactly the purpose of your email, and don't forget to...
2. Include The Most Important Details
To help speed up their decision process whether or not they'd want to collaborate with you, it's best to include the most important details in your emails.
- Campaign brief. You need to explain the details of your influencer campaign. What's the purpose? When is this launching? This is to let them decide if your campaigns and goals align with their preferences.
- Benefits. Are you going to pay them money? Give them a referral link? Or send some of your products? This will help set the influencer's expectations.
- Output. What do you expect them to do? Make sure to state if you need photos, videos, stories, etc. Also, which are the platforms you need them to promote your products to?
- Budget. Influencers have different rates. It depends on how well their social media accounts are performing. And again, this will help manage their expectations.
- Deadline. Setting a deadline will also help your business. If your campaign is following a certain timeline, you need to tell them when do you need their replies and content to make sure everything runs smoothly.
By including these details in your email, the influencers decide easily because they have everything they need to know.
But aside from this, you can also...
3. Make It Relatable
When writing an influencer outreach email, you can make it relatable by acknowledging a situation they're also experiencing.
This doesn't mean you'll imply they have a personal problem or something similar to that.
You have to make them relate to your email and show how you can solve it or make it better.
The point here is you have to make them nod when reading your emails, even if not literally. 😉
These are some examples.
You can talk about the weather.
"It's been raining the past few days..." and you can proceed by how your products can make it better.
For example, you can say that to make their day brighter, you want to send them a product that will make them feel cozy at home.
Or, you can also say something relatable within your niche that they'll understand.
For example, they're influencers advocating for self-care.
You can say "We know how important self-care is, especially in times like this..." then present your campaign brief and how you want to help other people through your products.
Then you can include the details of your proposal.
Just think of it as an "ice breaker" or "small talk" to set the tone and style of your email.
But another option you have is to...
4. Personalize The Email
Influencers can easily spot if the email is copy-pasted and probably sent to dozens of others.
But personalizing the email is more than just talking about the weather or anything under the sun.
This is to show them you know what they're up to and how much you're fond of their works.
You can complement their recent posts and tell them exactly what you loved about them.
Or, to make it more personalized... you can say how much you loved one of the products or food they ate in one of their videos or images.
This is one way to establish a more genuine connection and conversation instead of a generic one.
5. Be Polite In Your Emails
Your email should express how much you want to work with them.
But don't be too pushy!
Being polite includes using pleasant words to persuade them.
You can also use polite English words and phrases, like "Could you..." "Please" "Thank you!" or "Can you spare me a minute?"
And oh, don't forget to address them properly! Make sure you're using their right names.
To help you more, here are some...
Influencer Outreach Templates
These should guide you into making your own emails. After all, it's you who knows your business from the inside out.
Email Template #1: Sending Products
Dear [INFLUENCER'S NAME],
We are [COMPANY BRIEF].
We have been looking at your social media accounts and this particular post sparked our interest in working with you. We loved [TELL THE EXACT CONTENT AND WHAT YOU LIKED ABOUT IT]. We know you'll be the perfect [TYPE OF INFLUENCER] for our campaign [CAMPAIGN TITLE].
This campaign [STATE THE PURPOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN].
So, we'd like to send you some of our products and share them with your followers via [PLATFORM].
Please let me know what you think and looking forward to hearing from you on or before [DEADLINE].
To save your and the influencer's time, you can ask them where they want you to send the products in the initial email to shorten the series of email exchanges.
Email Template #2: Paid Campaigns
Dear [INFLUENCER'S NAME],
We are [COMPANY PROFILE].
As we were looking for the perfect influencers to work with us, we came across your profile and saw that [EXPLAIN WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THEM].
With that, we would like to work with you on [PROJECT OR CAMPAIGN NAME]. This campaign is [CAMPAIGN BRIEF].
Here are more details about this project.
[STATE THE BUDGET, WHAT YOU'LL BE NEEDING FROM THEM, AND THE DEADLINE.]
If this works for you, please let me know.
Since this involves monetary compensation, it's best to include your budget but still let them know you are open for negotiation in case your proposal doesn't work for them.
Email Template #3: Giveaway or Contests
Dear [INFLUENCER'S NAME],
We are [COMPANY PROFILE] and we are looking for someone who can help us [CAMPAIGN GOAL].
Our products aim to reach people who [DESCRIBE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE] and after exploring your social media platforms, we figured you have the best audience that will find value in our products.
With that remark, we would like to collaborate with you through a giveaway for your followers.
For this collaboration, [STATE THE IMPORTANT DETAILS AND WHAT YOU NEED FROM THEM].
Our target date for this giveaway is [DATE] but before that, we will send you sample products to your preferred address.
We are looking forward to working with you!
You also need to imply why you think they're the perfect person for this campaign. You can say that you know how important a matter is to them, so you know they're a great choice.
These are just examples of influencer outreach templates because working with influencers is not limited to these three.
Let's talk more about them!
Step 5: Work With These Influencers In Different Ways
There are different ways to work with influencers, but before we hop on them...
Let's talk about the things you need to consider.
- Campaign. What is the campaign about?
- Goals. What are the goals of this campaign and what does it require to achieve them?
- Budget. How much are you willing to spend on influencer marketing?
- KPIs. What are the Key Performance Indicators?
- Location. Where is your business based and what are the places you cater to?
- Expected output. What are you expecting from these influencers that will benefit your brand?
Every campaign has its own purpose. So, how you work with the influencers can either make or break your whole campaign.
That's why you need to consider these things to make sure you can achieve your goals.
So, what are some ways to work with them?
10 Ways To Work With Influencers
One way to work with them is through...
1. Product Sponsorships
As the name implies, you're going to sponsor the influencers with your products.
You're giving your products for free in exchange for their free advertisement, depending on the distribution channel and the type of content.
And sometimes, brands or advertisers still need to pay the influencers for product placement or sponsorships on their platforms.
Also, there are times when the point of product sponsorships is to support an influencer with their endeavors.
For example, you can sponsor an influencer with clothes if they're attending an event.
Or, you can send them food on their birthdays or events. It really depends on what you agreed upon.
Let's see an example.
Stephanie Soo is a popular Youtuber in the United States.
She mentioned this app in the first part of her video and made sure to have a disclaimer that it's sponsored and that she doesn't take any commission.
She utilized the paid promotion tool of Youtube, too.
One of the purposes of product sponsorships is to feature your products and let people know your brand exists.
Again, it's up to you and the influencer if promoting your products on their platform is entirely free.
But remember Step 1: Understand The Rules.
The influencers need to disclose the sponsorship so your target audience will have an idea if they really paid for your products voluntarily or not. Just like what Stephanie did in hers.
Another way to work with them is through...
2. Paid Partnership
In paid partnerships, the influencer is directly stating that the product is an ad.
Sometimes, they're also using the "Paid Partnership" or "Paid Promotion" labels on social media platforms.
This way, your target audience, and their followers would know that you paid them to advertise their products.
Here's an example:
You can see in this post that this is a paid partnership with Polo Ralph Lauren as well as an #ad hashtag.
And Chriselle Lim, the influencer, is encouraging her followers to download the app. She talked about a few interesting features of the app.
That's probably one of the goals for this campaign.
So, if you have the budget to pay influencers to promote your products or services, go for it!
Or, you can also try...
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is probably not new to you.
But if yes, let me explain further.
Affiliate marketing means you are paying an influencer a commission every time someone purchases from your eCommerce store using their referral links or codes.
This is a great way to work with influencers because sometimes, you don't need to pay them upfront.
This would still depend on your agreement, but affiliate marketing is performance-based.
So, you only have to pay them the agreed commission rate.
Again, the influencer must disclose that they earn commission through their links or codes.
Just like what The Stripe is doing on their blog/website!
Giant eCommerce players have their affiliate programs, like Amazon. This allows bloggers or any influencers to link their favorite Amazon products and earn a commission.
They make sure to have a proper disclosure to let their readers know about the commissions.
Want another option?
4. Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors usually have long-term relationships with influencers or celebrities.
These are influencers who can promote your brand across their social media channels. Just like affiliate marketing, they also get their own codes or link.
But here's what makes them more special...
They get extra perks and they're not just a one-and-done deal.
It's not a simple linking or posting of products. They are representing and are part of your company.
This is an example of ambassador program for Pura Vida.
Here are the perks of joining their ambassador program. There are rewards, community channels, access to exclusive content and VIP giveaways, cash commission, and sneak peeks.
Under the perks, they also stated how to join the program.
So, if you want to have ambassadors, too... you need to streamline your process and define the perks.
If you're not yet ready to invest in ambassador programs, you can also have...
Giveaways can be a great way to reach your target audience by partnering with the right influencer.
This will help increase your brand awareness because you are tapping on the right people who haven't heard of your brand yet.
This is a fashion website that sells luxury products. So, they partnered with an influencer that specializes in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.
Why? Because her audience would take an interest in their company because they're into these things, too, just like her.
But giveaways can be a little knotty and you need to be meticulous with your mechanics.
You need to get something in return, so your resources won't go to waste.
First, you need to revisit your goals. Is it to gain followers? If yes, make sure to include it in your mechanics.
Next, make sure that the influencer is also benefitting from it. You can ask the participants to follow both you and the influencer.
And lastly, pay attention to other practical details of the giveaway... like the location, who are eligible to join, when is the deadline, how you will contact, and how are you choosing the winner.
If this doesn't work for you, you can also try...
6. Social Media Takeover
A social media takeover means influencers are taking over your social media accounts. It can be through stories or live.
There are different ways to pull this off.
You can ask an influencer to take over during events or shoots, or you can ask them to create content for you and post them on your stories to make it seem like they're the ones using your account.
Here's an example...
Sephora asked an NYC-based influencer and part of the Sephora squad, Anna Page, to talk about her favorite products under $25.
You can buy these products from Sephora.
So, this can still count as a social media takeover because the influencer talked about Sephora products using the official Instagram account.
The purpose of a takeover is to showcase your products or current happenings through the perspective of an influencer.
And again, make sure to find the right influencers so you can bring in the right audience to your page!
The next way is through...
7. Product Reviews
The purpose of this is for the influencers to review your products. Not just promote it like in other types of paid advertisements.
You need to send your products to trusted influencers within their niche.
It can be an educational vlogger because it can highlight the product features.
This video from Youtuber Mrwhosetheboss is sponsored by Casetify. He's a tech reviewer and created a drop test video to showcase how extraordinary the protection is.
And again, the Youtuber had a disclosure that it's sponsored by Casetify but the reviews are his own thoughts.
You see, product reviews can be your social proof, especially if it comes from well-known and credible people.
So, here's another way to work with influencers...
8. Send PR Package
Sending a PR package doesn't guarantee social media exposure.
Some really big influencers want every product promotion to be paid, especially if they make thousands of dollars from it.
But don't worry!
There are still a lot of influencers who create content to show the PR packages they get! It can be an unboxing video, or a photo of your products with a "thank you" caption on their stories.
It varies because every influencer is different.
But sending influencers PR packages is also one way to increase your brand awareness. Who knows, right?
Maybe their followers aren't aware of your eCommerce brand yet.
This is an example from TikTok.
Kate Bartlett unboxes the PR packages she got for the week to share with her followers!
9. Co-Branded Products
Co-branded products mean you're naming the products after an influencer or any public figure.
This is also an amazing way to work with influencers or celebrities because their fans can help increase your sales. And again, make your eCommerce brand known.
But here's the thing...
This might cause you a sum because you're literally coming up with a new product and naming it after them, which is a different deal.
Here's an example of a product named after celebrities.
Have you ever tried the BTS meal? It was a limited edition McDonald's meal named after a famous Korean boy band, BTS.
This meal increased McDonald's sale by up to 41% in the second quarter of 2021!
That's how co-branding can help you increase your sales as long as you do it with the right people.
Before we talk about a few campaign examples, let me discuss...
3 Important Things To Have When Working With Influencers
These are the things you need to have in hand to ensure a smooth working experience in your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Well-Written Contracts
Your contracts need to state what are the outputs you need and what are the compensation for their posts.
You can state in your contract:
- The number of posts
- Which platforms do you need them to promote your products on
- Where you'll use their content (paid ads, Instagram feed, TikTok, etc.)
- What type of content (carousel, TikTok video, long-form, etc.)
- The compensation
- How long will the partnerships be (if applicable)
If this is a big campaign and you're planning to collaborate with mega influencers, contracts are a must especially if you're thinking of long-term partnerships.
But sometimes, a well-written agreement is enough if it's a one-and-done deal.
Still, make sure to include the ones I've mentioned above to avoid misunderstandings.
Another thing you need to have is an...
2. Influencer Database
An influencer database will allow you to save influencers' basic details and refer to them once you need someone to work with.
This will save you some time in the future if you're finding the right influencers for your campaigns.
Also, you can keep your influencers' data here, too. So it will be easier for you to find out if you want to collaborate with them again.
And last but not least...
3. Campaign Tracker
A campaign tracker allows you to monitor the progress of your influencer marketing campaign.
You need to update your campaign tracker constantly to help you stay on top of your game.
You can also check which influencers have already posted and note the number of engagements they're receiving.
This is an excellent way to overview and organize the progress of your campaign. Also, to ensure its success.
Now that you know how to work with influencers and the things you should have...
Let's talk about these two successful influencer marketing campaigns by Dunkin' and Glossier before we hop on to our last step.
2 Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns
1. Dunkin' x Charli D'Amelio
Charli D'Amelio is a famous TikTok personality with over 140 million followers.
Dunkin' worked with Charli to release a drink called "The Charli" and "The Charli Cold Foam" drinks. These are Charli's personal go-to coffee orders.
The result of this collaboration?
"The Charli" drink sold hundreds of thousands in the first five days. Not only that, but there was also a 20% increase for all other cold brews of Dunkin'!
Oh, and another thing... there was a 57% increase in Dunkin's application downloads after the release of her signature drink!
What do you think are the factors that contributed to this success?
✅ The Number Of Followers
Charli has more than a hundred million followers. Even if only less than 1% of her followers buy her signature drink, that still accounts for hundreds of thousands of customers.
✅ Right Targeting
TikTok has a lot of Gen Z and millennials users. Charli is also appealing to more of these viewers because of her fun videos. If Dunkin' is targeting the same people for this campaign, Charli was the perfect influencer for it.
✅ Social Media Presence
Charli always grabs the chance to feature the drink in her videos. Whether she's getting ready for the day or traveling, she makes sure to have Dunkin' with her.
And that's an excellent way to display the products.
Charli is a mega influencer, but the next brand decides to take a different route...
Glossier is a famous makeup and skincare brand.
They also have a successful influencer marketing strategy... and you'll know more about it later.
But the results of their strategy?
Well... it's reported that 70% of Glossier's online sales and website traffic are from referrals.
Now, let's analyze their platform and what contributed to their success.
Glossier didn't focus on mega influencers who can give them an immediate result. Instead, they worked with micro-influencers, who are their fans, to talk about their products.
They built a community who are willing to spread the word for them.
Referrals from micro influencers are more trusted and credible. They also have an engaged following as compared to some macro-influencers.
✅ User-Generated Content
Since they have a lot of fans posting about their products and how they use them, Glossier makes sure to acknowledge the works of their customers by posting them on their accounts.
These examples prove that your influencer marketing campaign can be successful as long as you're strategic about every detail.
And remember that you can still improve your strategy over time.
That's why you need to...
Step 6: Measure The Results
After implementing your influencer marketing campaigns, it's important to measure their results of them.
This will also help you identify which areas need improvement in your next one.
So, here are some questions you need to answer while analyzing your campaigns.
- Who are the influencers that helped you achieve your goals?
- Which platforms helped you achieve your KPIs?
- What are the KPIs you reached?
- What are the KPIs you didn't reach?
- What are the factors from your campaign that contributed to its success/failure?
You can find the answers to these through Google Analytics, your social media insights, and you can also ask for the influencer's social media or website insights.
Once you answer these influencer marketing metrics, it will be easier to improve and re-strategize your next campaigns!
But before we end this guide, you need to learn...
BONUS: Step 7
How To Maintain Great Influencer Relationships
These influencers are valuable to your business.
That's why you need to have a good relationship with them.
And you can achieve this if you...
1. Give Them Creative Freedom During The Campaigns
Influencers are content creators. Controlling their output wouldn't be a great way to establish a long-lasting relationship with them.
To accomplish a splendid output, you need to give them the creative freedom to go in the direction they want.
This doesn't mean that your branding or creative vision will go to waste.
It just means you need to communicate with them properly to ensure that you're meeting in the middle.
Effective communication will help both parties achieve the best results and have a terrific working relationship during the process.
Think that's all?
2. Remember Their Special Days
You can ask for their birthdays on your influencer database.
Or, you can also keep track of their social media accounts to know what they are currently up to.
Then, you can send them a PR package or any simple gift of your choice.
This is a way of making them feel important and a part of your business.
Also, it can help strengthen the relationship you have with them because of your thoughtfulness.
The next way is to...
3. Always Ask For Their Permission
Nobody wants to see their works appear on a platform without their permission.
So, to establish a good working relationship with them, you need to have a clear and concise agreement or contract.
For example, if the two of you agreed to only post on Instagram, you can't just redistribute their content on all your existing platforms and websites.
You need to ask their permission to avoid being in an awkward position with them.
To cultivate a long-lasting connection with influencers, you also need to...
4. Interact With Them Regularly
This simply means don't ignore them.
If they're posting on their social media, don't forget to like or leave a simple comment under their posts.
Don't act as if you already forgot about them after your project.
You can still form a connection with these influencers by interacting with them as much as you can.
And the last one is...
5. Reward Their Works Fair And Square
Some outputs require more compensation.
And to let the influencers know how great it is to work with your brand, you should reward their work fairly.
This doesn't mean you'll have to go over your budget. You need to find the right strategy and deliverables that suit you and the influencers.
Want to learn more about building relationships with influencers? You can watch this video by Debutify.
This video also covers more topics about influencer marketing, such as subtle vs. obvious ads, the truths of a storyteller, growing and maintaining a following, and more.
Ready To Kick Off Your Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Well, you should be!
Because you learned how to...
- Understand the rules
- Set your campaign goals
- Find the right influencers for your campaigns
- Conduct an influencer outreach
- Measure the results
- Maintain a great working relationship with influencers
But what if I tell you that to help you achieve your goals, you also need to have an efficient website?
Because for sure, the influencers would want to work with an eCommerce business that look sleek... just like them!
And to make your target customers purchase from you and experience a magnificent, smooth online shopping experience, you need to have a well-functioning eCommerce website.
Yep, you do!
And Debutify is the answer!
It's an eCommerce theme that will make your eCommerce website look more engaging and easy to navigate.
The best part is...
It also has 50+ Add-Ons that will improve your AOV, profits, and conversions!
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