The way people shop online is shifting. Advertisements are not as effective as they used to be due to a number of reasons, one of which is that there is a lot of noise among and around them. As an alternative, brands started working with social influencers who endorse their products with strategic content. More than 50% of Internet users say they follow some sort of celebrity or influencer account on social media. As a means of social proof, consumers trust the opinions of others they hold in high regard which is why social influencers hold a lot of power when it comes to persuading people to purchase products online. 

When your goal is to increase website sales through the use of a social influencer, the most critical step is to partner with the perfect influencer who aligns with your brand, which we discussed in Part II of this series. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to leverage social media influencers to help increase online sales through different types of influencer collaboration tactics. 

Sponsored/Promoted Posts

A sponsored or promoted post is when an influencer gets paid to create content for your brand in their own voice and post it on their social profile. This type of paid promotion can be utilized effectively around product launches or big announcements. Using multiple influencers to push your product can create a buzz and keep your brand top-of-mind. 

There are different ways influencers can talk about your products. Depending on your industry, here are some content examples that are commonly used to promote products:

Recipes: Obviously great for food and cooking productsSince consumers will need your product to follow the recipe, it’s a perfect way to get people excited to try the recipe, especially if it looks delicious, too. 

Tutorials: A lot of beauty brands and gadget-focused items are showcased through product tutorials which demonstrate how they are used and the cool features they include. Whether it’s the ultra pigmentation of a new eyeshadow palette or the improved camera lens of the hottest new phone, tutorials can be valuable and they have a long shelf life. 

Gifting Products to Influencers: This is a great way to save money on influencer marketing. If you have a new product that people haven’t tried yet, a good way to spread the word is by gifting products to influencers in exchange for them posting about the product. 

Shoutouts: Shoutouts are a great way to grow your followers and get more eyes on your brand. While having an influencer simply tag your brand can get you some attention, getting a shoutout about a specific product with a link to your storefront can be golden. 

Account Takeovers: This tactic is considered guest content. You invite an influencer to take over your social account for the day and post content. If you’re skeptical about giving the influencer full control over your account, you can ask them to send a few photos and content that you can post on their behalf. 

Don’t be afraid to give influencers a bit of creative freedom when generating content. They know their audience best and know what works and what doesn’t.

Having an influencer who aligns closely with your brand is great, but keep in mind there are other types of influencers who can give your brand a fresh new perspective. Sometimes working with an influencer who is popular in the design, video, and editing world can be a great way to creatively showcase your products. 

Product Reviews

When you’re shopping for a new blender, do you purchase the first one you see online? Or, do you ask your friends what kind of blender they have? You’re likely going to ask someone you know and then do some research on your own. It’s interesting how one negative review can spoil something for you, but that just shows how much impact reviews have on the online shopping process. 

One of the most common influencer strategies is having them post reviews about your products. Reviews can vary in format, but video reviews seem to have more impact because they include walkthroughs of the entire product, from the packaging to using the product and sharing the results. 

Positive reviews help your products get credibility, especially if an influencer is vouching for you. The reason why reviews are so effective is that people want to know whether or not they’re going to get value out of a potential transaction. That’s why you’ll start to see more brands follow the “try before you buy” approach, like Amazon Wardrobe for example. A great way to leverage social influencer reviews is by repurposing the content on your product pages, more specifically for video reviews that show how to use the product. 

Affiliate Codes & Product Collaboration

A more enticing approach for social influencers is through affiliate marketing. This is when brands give influencers their own promo codes and link to share with their audience. It’s a great way to track direct sales from influencer content and get additional customers on your site that are interested in your product. Through this method, influencers typically get a commission of the sales that can be attributed to them. 

Beauty and fashion brands are also known to collaborate with influencers and have them create their own product line as consultants, creative directors, or advisors. These types of collaborations also come with brand exposure through PR. An example of this would be Kanye West’s Yeezy shoes with Adidas. Consumers will get excited about getting their hands on a line like this that can only be found in your store. This creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity, which drives sales.

Contests & Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a win-win scenario because you can host them on social media, but you can reach an additional audience by hosting them through a social media influencer. The key is to make sure it’s easy to enter. Typically, people are required to like your page, comment on the post, and tag a few friends, which, again, expands your reach because you’re now tapping into the friends of the audience who are already following that influencer. All it takes is giving away a few products!

Conclusion

The great thing about working with social media influencers is the ability to reach the masses. You automatically have access to thousands of people by collaborating with an influencer who can help raise brand or product awareness within their community. 

Remember to choose a strategy that makes sense for your business and marketing goals. Make sure you keep track of influencer campaign effectiveness and track any affiliate links for sales. With the right influencer and campaign strategy, you can definitely boost your online sales through the power of social influence. 

Here at New Target, we work hard to ensure we’re helping you maximize your e-commerce sales. Whether you need a new online storefront, content creation, digital strategy, paid campaigns, or a liaison to help bridge the gap between your brand and a social influencer, we have the tools and the people to make it happen. To learn how we can help, fill out our project form to get started.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.