INDUSTRY GUIDE TO INFLUENCER MARKETING: E-COMMERCE
Got your campaign mapped out? Great! Now you’re ready to set out on the quest to find influencers. Just remember to keep that roadmap handy and refer to it when in doubt.
If you’re a multinational e-commerce business, we suggest working with many nano or micro influencers around the world, rather than just a couple of mega influencers. By doing so, you will be able to reach various markets across all corners of the globe. And if you’re a small startup e-commerce, these same influencers can give you the best bang for your buck.
When you’re ready to search for influencers to work with, it’s important to go back to your campaign definition where you will have outlined the type of influencers to suit your needs, depending on your goals and target audience.
Essentially, there are two main methods of finding influencers for any brand. We’ll touch briefly on both, but refer to Finding the Right Influencers of our larger guide if you want more in-depth info.
Start by searching for influencers that are already fans of your business. By having your social media presence at high-quality standards, you are more likely to have influencers following your accounts. Sift through your followers to identify any profiles that could be a good match. The idea here is that, if they’re already a fan or customer, the partnership will be more desirable.
Another way to do this would be to check out your brand mentions and the posts that your account has been tagged in. Again, you could find someone that is a big fan of your brand. You could also find some really interesting content here, and it’s a great way to see the quality of the posts you are being tagged in.
Maybe we’re biased, but we think using an influencer marketing platform like Heepsy, is the most effective way to find influencers for your e-commerce. Heepsy’s search filters can help you find whatever type of influencer you want. Morevoer, you can search for specific influencers by their handle, or use keywords to find more niche influencers.
The key thing to remember here is that just because you are searching for influencers of a certain demographic, it does not mean that their followers will also be within this range. This is where the analysis of an influencer’s audience becomes crucial.
Let’s say your e-commerce currently operates in the UK and has just opened in Spain. So, you search for an influencer in Spain to help you reach the market there. However, when analyzing their profile you see that their followers are mainly based in Latin America, where you do not yet operate. Thankfully, you still have time to change directions and find another influencer who better suits your needs.
We’re sure by now you will have realized that follower count is not the be-all and end-all. You should also look at engagement rates. This shows the level of interaction between an influencer and their followers. You want to search for influencers with a great engagement rate, as this suggests that their followers are genuinely interested in their content, creating meaningful impressions on posts.
Next up, you’ll want to analyze their audience metrics. As we mentioned above, if their primary audience is located somewhere that your e-commerce brand has not launched yet, then it will be a total waste to target this audience. You want to ensure that you are working with influencers that have an audience clearly aligned to your brand’s. Ensure that the audience is:
Further, take a look at their branded content to see if the influencer has worked with other e-commerce brands. If so, you can see how that content performed and get a better understanding of how their content may go over for your brand.
Unfortunately, due to the amount of social media users and the size of the influencer industry, we have been unable to avoid the rise of fake influencers. However, there’s a few ways that we can easily spot these, as well as some not so obvious features that you should keep in mind.
Look at an influencer’s follower growth rate. Healthy follower growth should look like a steady increase over time, without sudden spikes.
However, a common strategy that influencers use when working with e-commerce brands is competitions and giveaways that require a follow. Influencers or brands will post with a caption that states the rules to enter the competition, usually being to follow the brand’s page and interact with the post.
UK-based e-commerce brand Goose & Gander, promoting a giveaway that requires a follow, like, share and review.
Giveaways could result in sudden spikes in followers, but for a genuine reason. So, if you see this, don’t automatically assume the worst. Check for any giveaway posts that could be the reason for it. If there is no clear reason, then it could indicate that followers have been bought.
Look out for any unusual behaviour from likes and comments. With Heepsy, you can view the comments to likes ratio, with a score for an overall consensus. Fake influencers will often purchase likes but not comments, or vice versa. Heepsy will place an influencer on a scale against the average likes/comments ratio for influencers of this size.
On Instagram take a look at each post and compare likes and comments. Are there a high number of likes compared to the number of comments? Do these numbers vary noticeably between posts? Again, keep in mind that some giveaways will request that followers like the post to enter.
One of the great things about analyzing profiles with Heepsy is the audience authenticity metrics. The AI can determine suspicious behaviour and can give an overall percentage of suspected real and suspicious followers. Remember, this is not set-in stone. Every profile will have a small percentage of suspicious followers, but you want to look out for those with a high percentage.
Organization is essential for acing your campaign. You could be working with a lot of influencers or just a few, but put a system in place to make sure you are keeping on top of them.
You could do this manually, by working on Excel. Your spreadsheet can contain however much information you like, such as Instagram username, location, follower count, etc. You can compare influencer profiles and determine those that you would like to reach out to. Remember, not everyone you contact will be available or even respond, so make sure to double the number of influencers you reach out to.
The most effective way for staying organized is working with Lists on Heepsy. You can create customized lists for managing various campaigns at one time. When viewing an influencer profile, just tap ‘add to list’, and proceed from there. By doing so, you can compare influencers at a glance, looking at overall quality score, engagement rates, promotional cost, etc. Heepsy allows you to download these lists too, and you can add contact details and personalised information.
For example, your e-commerce brand may have opted for using influencer-specific discount codes as an influencer incentive. You could add notes to your lists to remind everyone on your team what those codes are. Was it JOHNO40, or JOHN040? With Lists you won’t forget.