Ecommerce businesses have it tough. Despite having top-notch products, optimized websites, and hefty marketing budgets, 9 out of 10 eCommerce startups fail within 120 days of their inception.
I don’t want to sound negative, but eCommerce businesses need a miracle to survive in the intensely competitive online world.
But before you lose all hope and shut your shop, let me introduce you to a rare brand of marketers who can give your online store a new lease of life - micro-influencers.
Let me explain what I mean.
Micro-influencers have between 1K-10K followers on social media and have immense sway and engagement among their followers. When they collaborate with brands, they can help boost the brand’s website traffic, sales, credibility, and industry authority.
And, don’t be fooled by their humble followership. Research proves that 63% of consumers trust their word more than those of celebrity influencers or advertisers. As people grow warier of traditional advertising, influencers are turning out to be more effective (not to mention, affordable) marketing partners for eCommerce brands.
That means your eCommerce business can not only survive the cut-throat competition but also enter the big leagues by piggy-backing on the popularity of micro-influencers. Let’s learn how.
Whenever I’m asked for marketing tips for eCommerce businesses, influencer marketing is my top pick. That’s because influencers can benefit eCommerce brands in many ways.
While you may be tempted to partner with celebrity influencers, small-time influencers can be a better bet.
Micro-influencers (with Also, you can’t ignore the risks of hiring fake influencers—the ones who inflate their communities to land better deals. If you fall prey to them, your reputation can take a nosedive, and your investment can go down the drain.
However, finding the right micro-influencer is easier said than done. There are a hundred parameters to be inspected.
Influencer marketing agencies like Americanoize can help simplify your influencer search. These agencies have verified influencer databases and can also help you with influencer management.
Alternatively, you can leverage analytics tools such as trendHERO to dive deep into the influencer's audience. Using it, you can see their audience demographics and interests. This can not only help you vet out if the influencer is genuine but can also make it easier to find influencers who are the most relevant for your brand.
Micro-influencers have the power to sway public opinion about brands. An Experticity survey found that 82% of people are “very likely” to act on influencer recommendations. Better still, micro-influencers are more direct in their recommendations, often urging their fans and followers to “try or buy” the products they review.
The reason why people trust micro-influencers so much is because these marketers put their money where their mouth is. They almost always promote brands and products they believe in or personally use. This way, they can write authentic reviews in a raw, organic style. Such reviews are convincing and often end up driving sales in a big way.
Want an example?
Swedish watch brand, Daniel Wellington, grew from a startup to a mega-brand by leveraging influencer marketing. They partnered with multiple micro-influencers to grow their social media presence. To give these influencers a taste of their products, they sent them watch samples to sport and custom discount coupons to promote (see image below).
Image via Instagram
The key to making this tactic work is to select the right micro-influencers for your brand. Their audience demographics, industry, and personal values should match yours.
Remember, pairing up with mismatched influencers will just drain your funds and damage your brand reputation. To eliminate that risk, you can hire influencer agencies. We not only help with influencer discovery but also with relationship management and negotiation. In short, you can entrust your entire influencer campaign to us, just sit back, and watch your ROI grow.
Would you like to generate passive income from your micro-influencers?
Then, simply convert your influencers into affiliates and reward them for each conversion they drive. Your influencers will work extra-hard to promote your brand since their own income is tied to your revenue. Plus, you won’t need to hire a separate sales team since your influencers will double up as sales reps.
The best part?
Micro-influencers are super-effective salespeople. They have 22.2x more “buying conversations” than high-tier influencers, according to the Experticity survey cited earlier.
If this tactic sounds good to you, then launch a formal affiliate program.
Reach out to relevant influencers and encourage them to sign up for your program. Once you onboard them, generate custom UTM links for them to share with their audiences. Track the links closely to identify influencer-led conversions. From there, you can calculate the commission payable to each influencer.
If all of this sounds complicated (it can be if you have multiple influencers working per campaign), you can use affiliate marketing tools to automate these steps. This way, you can focus on productive tasks instead of wasting precious time monitoring influencer performance.
People buy from people. That’s why brands that post images of people using their products earn 7x more sales than those that use paid advertising to drive sales. But sourcing user-generated content can be a pain, unless your micro-influencer does it for you.
Micro-influencers are more connected to end users than brands are. They engage with their audiences ardently to foster trust and credibility. When they ask their fans and followers to share their personal pictures, there’s a good chance that their requests will be met.
Often, influencers host picture contests to collect UGC from their followers. You can use their stash of images (the most appealing UGC format, according to 52% of people) as customer testimonials on your website to attract new customers. Just don’t forget to credit the right people and get permission from the original posters before reposting their content.
There’s one more way to get your hands on some first-hand UGC.
Your influencer can take over your account and engage with your followers. This will help nurture trust and credibility. Once that happens, your followers should readily share pictures of themselves using your products/services. You can make it a no-brainer by offering incentives in exchange, like discounts or freebies.
If your influencers have sharp writing skills, you can get them to write guest posts on reputable sites. This way, you can widen your audience base, attract targeted traffic, and earn quality backlinks to your website.
Ensure that you pitch to websites with good domain authorities, established readership, and matching audience demographics. Look at the number of social shares and comments that their posts garner on average.
One last thing...
Carefully go through your influencers’ content before handing over your brand reputation to them. One poorly-written post can cost you tons of lost opportunities. Always remember, one misstep in the digital world can put you miles behind your competitors.
There, you have it - four great ways to leverage micro-influencers for your eCommerce business. If you ask me, you should implement all of these strategies together. That way, you can grow your online presence, sales, and authority, all at once. Just remember to vet your influencers thoroughly before entrusting them with your brand’s future.
Do you face any challenges with influencer marketing? Feel free to share them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help you with expert tips and hacks.
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