influencer marketing for ecommerce

5 Influencer Marketing Ideas for Your E-commerce Store

Influencer marketing is a strategy worth trying for e-commerce stores.

With tough competition and a global market, brands are seeking new ways to turn hesitant shoppers into loyal customers. That’s why store owners are investing heavily in influencer marketing.

“Significantly, the success of influencer marketing has occurred not just because of the value it’s shown as a marketing tactic. In fact, research has shown influencer marketing’s effectiveness at meeting a myriad of goals,” states Entrepreneur contributor Kamiu Lee.

There’s more than one way to achieve your business goals with influencer marketing. Here are five tactics to get you started today.

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1. Sponsored Ads

Advertising gets a bad reputation. Consumers usually associate ads as something horrible that companies insist they see.

Rightfully so, considering most ads consist of mind-numbing content. They may convey a subpar product or misinterpret how the consumer relates to the brand. So when consumers think of advertising, they run the opposite direction.

However, you can change consumers’ feelings with influencer marketing. Your audience wants to hear from people they trust and respect in the industry. Influencers bridge the gap between boring ad and amazing content that includes your product.

Nespresso collaborates with Food Feels to show off their coffee machine. This gorgeous picture gives fans an inside look at the product experience. Followers express their love in the comments.

sponsored instagram ad for ecommerce product

There’s a major lesson to learn in sponsored ads. Instead of focusing on your brand and product, gear the conversation toward the customer. It’s one of the most effective ways to gain someone’s attention.

Moreover, ads don’t have to operate in the traditional channels, like television or radio. You can join forces with an influencer and promote your ad online.

Do sponsor ads differently. That’s how you will spark consumer interest.


2. Affiliate Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t always about brand awareness. You want your strategic actions to actually produce sales for your business.

By combining influencer and affiliate marketing, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship with an influencer. The individual can earn cash for every sale they drive to your store.

This partnership ensures you’re not throwing money at a partnership without a measurable goal. Plus, the influencer can rack up more money than a normal contract.

“Custom affiliate links can be generated using an influencer platform, while marketers can choose to add commission to collaborations…[C]ompanies can benefit from the awareness and personal messaging of a pure influencer marketing campaign, while at the same time being able to track the direct revenue that comes with affiliate marketing campaigns,” writes Nicole Michaelis, chief marketing officer at Referanza.

For affiliate marketing to work well, state your expectations up front with influencers. Lay out the process and highlight the commissions for each sale.

Understand that not all influencers will accept your agreement. And that’s okay. Take the time to search for individuals that fit your marketing scheme along with your values.

Affiliate marketing is an effective tool to get business results. Coupled with influencer marketing, you’ll see your bottom line increase. Learn about HostGator’s affiliate marketing program.


3. Influencer Takeovers

Social media has opened the doors for brands to communicate with customers. It’s a channel dedicated to interaction and where influence thrives.

If a consumer has an issue, they can contact your team in a couple of clicks. If you want to highlight your latest product, you can promote it in your feed instantly.

Now, when you add influencers to the mix, you engage in an opportunity to expand your reach and visibility. Social media becomes more than just a broadcast channel; it turns into an engagement channel.

An influencer takeover involves handing your social media controls to an expert in the field who will engage with your audience. The goal is for the individual to add new content and take your fans on a different journey.

In the example below, Brian Fanzo, millennial keynote speaker and change evangelist, did an Instagram takeover on Buffer’s account. He shared advice about social media and community building.

Instagram takeover example for ecommerce b2b brand buffer

For the best results, use your most active social channel for the influencer takeover. That way, you’re connecting with consumers where they enjoy communicating.

You’ll also want to lean on the influencer on what content to produce. Influencers know what they are doing. Try not to stifle their creativity because you can’t fully see the vision.

So, start scouting individuals for your next influencer takeover. Your followers will like the exciting content.


4. In-Person Events

As an e-commerce store, it’s easy to think everything great is happening online. You get stuck in promoting only on the Internet.

Well, there’s a whole world full of consumers engaging with brands offline. From pop-up stores to conferences to VIP catered gatherings, you have the power to attract more consumers.

Use in-person events to invite influencers to share in the experience. With exclusive access, they can bring their following to the event via social media.

“If your event is a food festival, the main social media influencers will probably be on Instagram, posting dramatic pics of sushi and cocktails. If you host a business conference, the biggest names might be on LinkedIn, sharing articles on best practices and business trends,” says Christy Huggins, social media manager at Eventbrite.

The first step is to create an event related to your brand and audience. Don’t try to host a hip-hop music session if it doesn’t match your consumers’ interests.

Next, select influencers who thrive in front and behind the camera. You want someone who can bring the event to life with live commentary on Snapchat or beautiful photos on Instagram.

If you need to hire an event planner, do it. Then, add your influencer to kick it up a notch.


5. Giveaways

Consumers like to participate in chances to win free products. It’s our human nature to want surprises.

Remember when Oprah gave away all those cars? It brought smiles to the recipients and everyone who tuned in to watch the show.

Giveaways are like small packages of hope wrapped up in our favorite products. Sure, your most loyal customers will buy the product regardless. But it’s always cool to think you may win the free item.

Influencers can help you spread the joy of giveaways. You can either tell them to promote on their websites and social channels, or you may even associate their well-known name with the giveaway.

Check out this example from Milk Makeup. The brand partnered with YouTube star and celebrity makeup artist Jkissa to giveaway $600 worth of products.

influencer giveaway on instagram for ecommerce store

In the customer experience, giveaways fall underneath fun ways to connect with buyers. Also, it’s a chance to push product awareness to the forefront.

You’ll want to add your signature product to the giveaway—the one item that all your customers love. Then, you can shower the giveaway with new products or lesser-known items. This strategy lets you highlight other products in your store.

What will make your giveaway stand out? Talk with your team to get ideas that will thrill your audience.


Start Leveraging Influence

Influencer marketing plays an integral role in e-commerce stores. Take advantage of it to expose your products to the right audience.

Experiment with sponsored ads to leverage an influencer’s following. Host a takeover giving an influencer full access to your social channels. Also, you can use giveaways to grab consumers’ attention.

Market with influence to grow your e-commerce store.

Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.