When 50+ Instagram Influencers post a picture of the same dress all at the same time, what is the result? The result is the dress instantly sold out. This is a true story. When a Lord & Taylor dress was featured by several Instagram influencers, it immediately sold out. That’s how powerful influencer marketing is.
So if you are not yet using it for your Shopify store, you should. If not, you are missing out on the opportunity to get your products in front of the people that can buy it. Here’s the thing. 92% of customers trust the recommendations of other people. And they don’t even have to know them personally. As long as they see the product and they perceive it to be good, that is usually enough for them to buy it.
This is the reason why 65% of brands are now running influencer campaigns. Companies are now seeing its value. According to a study by eMarketer, brands are now earning as much as $6 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. That is a really high ROI. For paid marketing methods like Facebook marketing or Adwords, it is often enough to just go over the breakeven mark. But for influencer marketing, the result is often 6x of what you would invest.
What is an Influencer Marketing?
Now that you see the value of Influencer marketing, you may wonder what it really is. If I am going to describe it in simple terms, it is the process of leveraging the power of influencers in social media websites (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube) by asking to promote a particular product or service.
Once you try it, you’ll find that it is really powerful. The secret is behind the engagement of their followers. For influencers, the number of followers is more than just its quantity. These people usually look at what the influencer is doing and buys what he or she buys. This is the reason why they are called ‘influencers’. They ‘influence’ their audience to act. With this, they can be seen as powerful marketing agents for your products or online store.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is popular because of its power. Back in the day, promotion is limited to website submissions and other SEO methods. The competition was in how a website can get ranked and get traffic. But today, people are looking for more than the first listing they see in the search engine results. Instead, they are looking for quality. What does the word ‘quality’ include? It includes trust. People tend to buy from websites that they can trust and this is where influencers play a major role.
You see, influencers spend most of their time building their follower count and increasing their influence. They do this by constantly creating content and satisfying the needs of their ‘viewers’ or audience. But they don’t do this blindly. They don’t do this by simply publishing content. Instead, they do it by gaining the trust of their followers. By sharing who they are with the world, they are able to get the trust of their followers. This is the trust that you are paying for when you do influencer marketing.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is one of the top ecommerce softwares online. Its demand is higher than all the other brands that provide the same service. The demand has grown tremendously since 2014 and it continued to grow ever since. Today, Shopify has become the brand that people often think about when they talk about ecommerce websites. It is the software that is used by the majority of e-commerce websites online.
With it, you don’t need to go through the trouble of hiring a web developer or programmer just have your ecommerce website up. In the old days, you will need to have some designing or coding knowledge just to put up an ecommerce website. Ecommerce software like Shopify simplifies the process. Instead of asking you to edit codes, it will give you a WordPress-like platform that will allow you to tweak several aspects of your online store in a single click.
Creating a website in Shopify is easy. You can do it in 5 simple steps.
1. Sign up for a new account
First, you need an account to use Shopify. Shopify gives you a 30-day free trial along with your free account. After that, you will need to pay a monthly fee based on your desired number of users and desired settings. The price is $13 for 2 users. This includes an unlimited number of products and file storage. The next package is $54. This includes 5 users along with unlimited products and file storage. Aside from that, it also allows the use of the following features: gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery. Now if you want something extra like third-party calculated shipping rates or an advanced report builder so that you can manage multiple clients, you will need to go the Advanced Shopify route that costs $107.
2. Choose a premade website design template
Once you sign up in Shopify, you will immediately have access to a database of templates. But these templates are not fixed. There is also a module system that is quite similar to WordPress. In this system, you are able to not only tweak the colors of your template, you can also alter its elements. What makes Shopify the best ecommerce software out there is its selection of themes. Once you have tried other ecommerce softwares, you’ll know that Shopify has a wide variety of templates. The best part is that you can use some of them for free.
3. Tweak your website settings
One of the reasons why Shopify is the top choice of online sellers is the interface. It has a WordPress-like interface that has a vertical menu on the left side that gives you access to different parts of the website. From products and website design to the settings and your blog, everything is covered in the Shopify interface. With this, you’ll have full customization power in your website.
Learning the interface is easy. You just need to fiddle with the categories as you would do to a mobile phone. And if that is too much for you, there are some documentations and training that can help you use it.
4. Add your products
Since Shopify’s interface is easy to work with, it is also easy to add new products. With this, you can just add a product name, description, image and price and you already have a product that is ready for selling.
5. Promote your website
Now an online store will not be successful unless you promote it. This is where influencer marketing comes in. With it, you can have influential people promoting your store for you.
How to do Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can be done in 5 simple steps.
STEP 1: Define Your Target Audience
Every niche has its own set of influencers. So you cannot just go out there and promote to any influencer. You should choose the ones that are relevant to your niche.
But you can only do this if you know your target audience. This is the audience that will respond more to your promotions. Take the Lord & Taylor dress for instance. Its target market are women that are probably in their teenage years to the late twenties that are interested in fashion.
This process is the same with defining your target market’s persona. It is about defining the person that you plan on targeting along with their characteristics. This may include their demographic characteristics, buying habits, like and dislikes and others. The process is simple. It only requires you to create an image of your target person. This will act as a placeholder for the person that you are planning to target and will guide you to the most relevant influencers in your niche.
STEP 2: Choose Your Influencers
From an image of your target market, you’ll now have an idea of what they like and don’t like. This will lead you to the type of followers that they will follow. So if your target persona is a stylish woman who loves to go places and need a constant stash of party wear, you’ll need to find influencers that evoke this persona or some celebrity influencers who are living the dream life. This is just an example. Influencers can be a simple instagram page about toys or it can be a lifestyle page of a celebrity.
From here, you should list the influencers that you plan to connect with. I like to list them in an Excel file. In here, I would list the name of the influencer, the link to their website, their email and the links to all of their social accounts. This allows me to connect with them once i am ready to launch the campaign.
STEP 3: Connect With Your Influencers
Influencer marketing cannot be done without the power of connection. This can be a simple email or a private message via Facebook messenger. And if it is harder to connect to a particular influencer, commenting on their content may serve as a first point of contact. The key is to make that connection.
Now, the first part of the connection should not ask for a link. This is a common error among new online business owners. They usually view influencer marketing as a way to get backlinks from influencers. But that is not the case. Think of an influencer as water. You need to warm them up first before you can get them to do anything for you.
STEP 4: Ask Them to Try Your Products
Here’s the thing. Most influencers will not act on your email. Most of them will just ignore it and forget about you. Why do they do that? It is not because they are a snob. It is because they are simply too busy creating content for their followers to bother to connect to their followers one by one.
But there’s a workaround to this. You can get their attention instantly by asking them to try your products. This is a method of influencer review and it is where you ask the influencer to try your products and recommend it to their followers if they like it.
The result is often a positive one if you have an interesting product. Influencers are often looking for new products to try and they are always open to new and interesting products that are relevant to their niche.
STEP 5: Build a Relationship with Influencers
More than sending products, you should focus on building a relationship with the influencer. It is about sharing some content in the particular niche just because you have something that can contribute immense value to other people. It is about being a niche and helping your audience. It is not about connections or money. It is a friendship that is built through time.
Influencer Marketing Best Practices
So if you have just created a new online store and is ready to promote it, don’t make the mistake of sending your website to multiple influencers hoping that they will give you a backlink. Influencer marketing simply doesn’t work this way.
Remember, influencer marketing is about building a relationship. It is not forced and it is not built on asking favors. Instead, it is built in a relationship of give and take. It is a relationship that supports the other without asking anything in return. That’s how it works.
So if you want to do influencer marketing the right way, don’t email influencers as if they are robots. Talk to them. Praise their work if you liked it. They are real people so treat them the right way.
Influencer Marketing Software
Now, there are many ways to do influencer marketing. One way is to do some referral marketing. For this, there are software solutions that you can use. What this does is it allows your audience to promote your website for you. With this, your audience becomes the influencer that promotes your website to other people.
There are also other software solutions that looks at how much a certain piece of content is being shared. One of these is BuzzSumo. It allows you to search for a particular topic and instantly see its shares.
Influencer marketing is a really powerful method for promoting your Shopify store. I cannot say that it is easy. It requires dedication after all. But even if it takes time and effort, it is still the best marketing method online and ignoring it will really lose you some sales. You should also look into shopify referral software’s to make tracking easier on your end.