What Type of Influencer Will Perform Best for Your E-Commerce Brand
Influencer marketing has quickly gone from a nice-to-have add-on to a necessary component in any business’s digital marketing plan. It is projected to be worth $15 billion by the end of this year alone and it’s time for e-commerce brands to maximize on this. If your customer is on social media (let’s be real, whose isn’t?), then you need to be utilizing social media influencers to engage, create awareness and boost sales that no other method can.
We have already gone through the different pricing strategies and followerships to keep in mind when looking for the right social media influencer for your e-commerce business. Today, we’ll dive deeper into the different types of influencers and what marketing campaigns they offer so you can use the right one in your e-commerce marketing plan.
Why Influencer Marketing Should be a Crucial Component of your E-Commerce Marketing Plan
Social commerce is thriving. If you are planning to sell products online and have a social media presence, then influencer marketing is the natural next step. It provides you with the social proof you need, engages with an audience that listens to them, and helps increase your own following.
The digital transformation that has taken place in recent years, especially at such an accelerated rate, has not only enhanced retail offering online but also made it a more competitive space.
Types of Influencers
While there are a number of factors that determine what makes an influencer and what kind of influencer they are, some popular types of social media influencers include:
From Kim Kardashian to Cristiano Ronaldo, the list of celebrity influencers is endless. It will all depend on your budget, how much reach you intend to get, and who you’d like your brand to be associated with as well.
Celebrity influencers tend to live their life in front of the camera. They provide the audience with a more glamorous side to things that they can aspire to. It is important to keep in mind the amount of risk you are taking when partnering with a celebrity. Their fame, massive reach, and influential voice have the potential to make your brand go viral, and sometimes this can get complicated.
Kim Kardashian recently partnered with plant-based meat producer, Beyond Meat, and both social media accounts posted a video depicting her endorsement. The catch? Kardashian was not actually shown biting into a Beyond Meat product, and there were no visible bite marks on any of the food. Critics, fans, and trolls soon picked up on this and within a few hours, the collaboration became a joke.
More than a week later, Beyond Meat responded with a video showing behind-the-scenes footage of Kardashian eating the products. But, the damage was already done.
The takeaway: Never underestimate your social media audience. They have eyes on everything and will hold you accountable for your actions and words. And this is especially true for celebrity influencers. You want to create meaningful partnerships that fulfill your brand’s goals and enrich the celebrity’s core message as well.
Be patient and open-minded if you want to work with a celebrity influencer. When done right, your e-commerce brand will quickly get the results you’re after.
These influencers are experts in their field, and most often, became social media influencers purely by chance. Social media is so accessible, that many times we forget that our lawyers, teachers, and doctors use it as well. When they use it to post authoritative content based on their expertise and knowledge, they are able to influence a large portion of the population.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare workers and doctors across the world used social media to fight misinformation. The used the platforms to spread knowledge, and offer support to people everywhere. Today we see videos of medical practitioners doing TikTok dances, going viral through hashtags, and conducting informative live sessions across social media. And the audience loves it.
With over 13M social media followers, Dr. Mike Varshavski, also known as a ‘social media doctor’, is a writer, physician, and philanthropist. From sports brands to cereal bars, skincare to fruits, experts like Dr. Mike do not shy away from endorsing products they want their audience to believe in and associate with their authority.
The takeaway: As an e-commerce brand if you want to partner with a social media influencer who is an expert or authority figure in their field, choose one that resonates with your values and who is most likely to use your product authentically. A certified fitness guru might be a great match for your new line of activewear, but not so much your town’s local bus service – especially if they live nowhere near your town. Authority-based influencers can showcase your USPs to a highly targeted audience that no other voice can.
It might seem like almost everyone on social media today is some sort of activist. Gen-Z social media users, especially, are more inclined to post content related to social justice, climate change, and other global issues that they want to raise awareness about. From #BlackLivesMatter to #LoveIsLove, social activist influencers are able to tap into a niche market of followers by building a common passion around a particular topic and encouraging their audience to engage with relevant content.
Young consumers are calling out brands for ‘woke-washing’. If you want to partner with a social media activist, you need to be authentic and smart about it. When American footballer Colin Kaepernick took a stand against police brutality, the incident was met with mixed reactions. Nike capitalized on the generational divide by partnering with Kaepernick, thereby appealing to their younger consumers and letting go of older consumers who found it offensive.
Sustainable fashion and lifestyle blogger Jenny Ong is vocal about being an ‘Earth Activist’. Her content revolves around her sustainable lifestyle and she has partnered with cleaning brands, ethical fashion labels, and skincare products.
The takeaway: If you’re looking to partner with an activist influencer, make sure that you’re doing it to inspire. That is the best way to ensure that your target audience engages with the content, shares it, and adds authentic value to your campaign.
Capitalism and consumerism have become more democratized than ever before. Partnering with an influencer that shares your core values is key to achieving success with social media activism. Focus on the need and urgency of your product, rather than its ‘good-to-have’ features to find the right marketing angle for you.
Did you know that your own employees could potentially be some of your greatest social media influencers? They are your own resource. They have insider intel about your products and services, and are usually the most authentic voice of the brand. Sharing employee stories on your platform is a great way to build trust. Take it one step further by engaging and encouraging them to post branded content on their pages too.
Roxanne Chinoy, Strategic Partner Manager at Instagram uses her page to talk about new features and products and boasts an engaging following of over 74 thousand people. Google’s Head of Product Inclusion, Annie Jean-Baptiste provides followers with an inside look at her life, her work, and passions. She also regularly gives a shout-out to smaller businesses she endorses.
The takeaway: Guide your employees, and provide them with templates and materials with plenty of options so that posting branded content for you is made seamless and straightforward. Hosting a summer retreat? Provide branded swag, set up a photo booth, and have a specific hashtag to encourage social media posts. Enlist certain employees to publish thought leadership posts across their channels and leverage them for your brand as well.
Insider influencers can be the ideal source of content and engagement. And, they can help boost your company culture and employee morale as well.
Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Now that you know the different types of influencers you can enlist, here are two content ideas that they can use to help with your e-commerce marketing efforts.
- Giveaways, freebies, gifts
Everyone loves a free gift. Most of the time it is quite easy to gain engagement on social media by encouraging posts, comments, and likes as a competition.
- Unboxing videos & tutorials
These are the perfect way to give your product some real-life authenticity. The audience will be able to appreciate your packaging, see how the item can be used, and learn how to use it as well.
With social media, there are no limits on creativity. But, it’s important that you sit with your chosen influencer to plan exactly how you want your brand showcased. Ask them for ideas and share a clear brief of your expectations with them. Influencer marketing is a collaborative business and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Ready to Launch Your Own Influencer Initiatives?
While this guide outlines the different types of influencers and their campaigns, you need expert guidance to ensure that it will succeed for your e-commerce brand. Influencer marketing and social media make it easier for businesses to engage directly with their customers, raise brand awareness, and boost conversions rapidly and cost-effectively. Identifying your end goal is key.
Keep track of what is working and what needs to be improved. Influencer marketing is not a solution to all your marketing woes. It is an investment in a long-term and lucrative partnership that benefits both parties. Whether you want to strengthen your existing influencer marketing plan (via whitelisting, for example) or kick-start a brand new one, reach out to us and we’ll make sure you get the recognition you deserve.
About the author: Joanne has lived in five countries and is always on the hunt for a new city to explore. After a Masters in English Literature from the University of Leeds, she landed an internship at Google that ignited her passion for all things digital. She has 10 years of experience in content writing, reads 2 books a week, and loves ‘90s pop culture.