The eCommerce world is very profitable and is expected to reach $4.48 trillion by 2021. However, it’s also a competitive world that’s run by eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart. This means that it’s difficult for small eCommerce stores to establish themselves amongst competitors.
That’s why startup eCommerce businesses are looking for ways to get their store and products noticed online, and they’ve found a perfect solution – micro-influencers. The biggest reason why eCommerce stores are turning to micro-influencers is that they perform at least 90% of successful influencer marketing.
So, who exactly are these influencers and how can they help your eCommerce business?
Who are micro-influencers?
Influencer marketing has been on the rise for years now and marketers have been using trendsetters with large social media followings to try and reach their target audiences. There are multiple different types of influencers and near the bottom of the influencer chain, we have micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are individuals who are considered experts in their niche and have an audience of between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers.
While these people have smaller audiences, they are able to connect to their followers on a much deeper level and generate more engagement. Because of this, they can have more hands-on interaction and form stronger connections.
Additionally, since they have such a small audience, their followers consider themselves to be the influencer’s peers more so than their fans. Micro-influencers are more accessible, which makes it easy for consumers to see themselves using the products they recommend and advertise.
Since 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, it’s easy to see how micro-influencers can be beneficial for any business. It’s much easier to sell an item to your target audience when they see it recommended by someone they admire but can still relate to.
Benefits of working with micro-influencers
To truly understand the benefits of working with micro-influencers, you also need to understand the relationship between influencer marketing and social selling.
So, why exactly should you choose a micro-influencer to promote your eCommerce brand? There are three main reasons.
Higher engagement and conversion rates
As already mentioned, micro-influencers can generate much more engagement from their small audience than a celebrity or someone with a larger following. They can interact more frequently and respond to almost all questions and comments.
When you pay a micro-influencer to promote your brand, they won’t just place an ad on their Instagram or Facebook page. Instead, they will genuinely interact with their followers and talk about your products, which will not only help your brand get noticed but also bring you higher conversion rates.
They’re much more affordable
Since you’re not a huge brand, you can’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a celebrity influencer who will post just one advertisement of your products. It’s best to go with micro-influencers because they are much more affordable.
Even if you have a slightly larger budget, it would be smarter to work with multiple micro-influencers than just one person who has millions of followers.
They specify in niche markets
You can find micro-influencers in almost every niche imaginable, and each of these influencers has their area of expertise. Unlike online celebrities who are followed by people who have different interests and values, micro-influencers attract a particular kind of following.
That’s why it would be much smarter to advertise with a micro-influencer who is followed by your target audience. Even though celebrities have much larger followings, you don’t know how many of those followers would actually be interested in your brand.
7 ways your eCommerce business can leverage micro-influencers
Now that we’ve established who micro-influencers are and how much influence they have over their small but loyal audience, let’s talk about how you can leverage them.
Even if you have amazing products, consumers will be skeptical about their quality because they can’t see the product in person. To solve this issue and gain the trust of your consumers, you need to get social proof by partnering with micro-influencers.
Once you find a micro-influencer whose following consists of your target audience, ask them to do an honest review of one of your products. Send them a free item or sample of this product in exchange for a review on their social media platforms.
Ask the micro-influencer you partner with to use a special branded hashtag that will be instantly recognizable and to encourage their followers to use the same hashtag. The best way to get people to start using your branded hashtag is to offer a special incentive.
For instance, you can run a contest where people can win a free product from you if they share a picture from the micro-influencer’s profile and use that hashtag. This will encourage their followers to visit your website and increase your conversion rates.
A branded hashtag is incredibly eye-catching and also results in user-generated content. For example, people will show off they wear the same watch as their favorite influencer in a special post that also has your hashtag..
Guest-blog on their website
If your micro-influencer runs their own blog, you can use it to attract more people to your website and raise brand awareness for your company. Write guest blog posts on their website where you will talk about your products and include links that will lead readers to relevant articles on your website.
This has two benefits. The first is that you will improve brand recognition and establish yourself as an expert when people read more about your company and products. The second benefit is in case your influencer’s website has a high domain authority and many visitors, it will significantly improve SEO for your website.
Offer discount codes
A great way for an influencer to incentivize their followers to purchase your products is to offer them a special and exclusive discount code. This is an effective method to increase your conversion rates, while the influencer has a chance to give something special to their followers.
Influencer content as social proof
As we already mentioned, partnering with micro-influencers generates social proof. While you should also use other kinds of social proof on your website such as customer ratings and reviews, social proof made with influencer content has much more strength.
A positive review from an influencer means much more to your customers than a review on your website from a person they’ve never met. Additionally, once people see your product in use on the influencer’s social media pages, they will be assured of its quality.
Talk to the influencer you partnered with to make an agreement about what kind of social proof they are willing to provide. Video reviews or tutorials are the most engaging types of content, but pictures will do the job as well. Different types of content also have different prices, so make sure to discuss your budget.
Make use of Instagram Stories
Most influencer marketing is conducted on Instagram, as it offers many ways for businesses to show off their products. One of those ways is via Instagram Stories, which are currently one of the pivotal tools in any brand-influencer collaboration.
Influencers love to use their Instagram Stories to promote brands because it offers them a lot of flexibility.
They can post:
- A combination of videos and photos
- Interactive posts such as polls that allow them to engage with their audience
- Posts that users only need to swipe up on and it will lead them to your eCommerce store
One of the best features Instagram offers for eCommerce stores is their special Shopping tags. Your influencer can add one of these tags to their Stories or any other post where they promote your merchandise to make it instantly shoppable.
Talk with them about promoting your store
Micro-influences can promote more than just your products. They can also promote your store by sharing links to your website. When they post a picture or video of your product, ask them to include a link that leads directly to the product page of that item on your eCommerce store.
This strategy works best for influencers who use blogs and YouTube as platforms to connect with their audiences, as Instagram already has Shopping tags.
To make it more appealing for your influencer to add these links to their content, create affiliate links. This way, the influencer earns a percentage from every sale you make after someone uses their link. This is an even bigger motivator for influencers to convince their followers to shop at your store.
One of the best ways to boost your conversion rates and bring in new customers is by leveraging the power of micro-influencers. They can be a great asset to your marketing strategy and potentially bring in more business than most other marketing methods.
Just remember to give them creative freedom to choose how they want to advertise your product and compensate them fairly and generously. As long as you keep that in mind, you will be able to have a long and mutually-beneficial professional relationship with your micro-influencer.
Don’t wait any longer. Forget about old fashioned marketing techniques and step into the world of influencer marketing.