5 Tips for Influencer Marketing for eCommerce Brands

10th May 2019 Off By binary
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Influencers are an essential piece of modern marketing strategy.  There are many tricks to keep in mind when it comes to influencer marketing for eCommerce brands.

1. Tracking Influencer Performance

Marketing is ineffective without having the ability to see hard metrics from your initiatives. Tracking influencers are especially challenging. This is because they promote across so many different social networks and channels.  

One of the best ways to do this is by utilizing clickless promo codes. These codes track any purchase coming through promo codes and then credit that partner with driving that the purchase. This is essential especially for channels like Instagram that don’t allow you partners to insert links into their content.

For tracking influencers, you’ll want a platform that provides you with the ability to manage these relationships and provides in-depth reporting on their performance. One of the influencer tracking platforms is Everflow. Sam Darawish, Everflow’s Co-Founder, shared some tips. “The first step to Influencer Marketing is having an effective way to track their ability to drive traffic and performance through your brand through either: link or promo code tracking. Once you have access to that reporting, you can start making more strategic and fun decisions.”

He added an example. “You can look through your analytics by the city to see which cities are driving the best performance from each influencer. You can then send those influencers a special promo code for each of their best performing cities, which will make those followers feel special and seen.”

2.  Tracking Clicks Through Postbacks

The traditional way to track performance from influencers is by tracking through the clicks from their links.  This is still effective. But, recent changes by Apple have made the traditional click-based tracking method, cookie tracking, no longer effective. Safari no longer allows third-party cookie tracking. And, the newest beta update ITP 2.1 will further restrict the cooking tracking method to track a user for 7 days maximum.

Modern tracking platforms provide a better solution for tracking your influencer’s clicks – Postbacks.  With Postback tracking, whenever a user clicks on their links, it assigns a click ID to that user. If your backend system sees a purchase with that click ID, it knows to automatically send that data back to your platform through a postback. This will then match that ID to the influencers that generated that click.  The method doesn’t require cookie tracking at all. That way, it isn’t affected by Apple’s ITP changes or situations where the user clears their cookies and tracking is lost.

3. Adding Gamification to Promotions

Influencers want to keep increasing their followings and prove the significance of their influence.  Consider marketing tactics like creating a leaderboard where influencers are driving the most likes and traffic to your site. You can also do regular shoutouts in your messaging to your best influencers.  This helps them both build a following and adds gamification in the challenge against other influencers. Also, it reinforces their influential value.

This was one of the strategies that inadvertently accelerated the growth of Twitter.  Companies like the now-defunct Favstar (whose reporting method was cut off by Twitter) created leaderboards of the most globally popular tweets.  At its peak, Favstar had 50 million monthly users. This proves there a constant desire and interest for this validation and celebration.

4. Influencers Need Reporting and Validation

One of the ways you can lose your influencers motivation quickly is to have them promote your brand heavily but have no idea if their efforts had any effect. It’s essential you both track your influencers efforts. Also, give them access to that reporting so that they can see how much traffic and purchase they’ve driven for you.  

A good tracking platform can also provide analytics and insights to focus your influencer marketing to both the best influencers but also the best locations for driving more purchases.  Sam Darawish added, “The hardest part of starting up the influencer channel is that there is no initial data around whether it will be successful or not. Most of the influencer and partner tracking platforms require high starting costs, which does not work with the advertiser’s needs when launching a new channel. We made it a core part of Everflow to start with low transparent pricing that only increases with the success of our clients, and that better reflects our client’s risks around starting a new partner channel ”

5. Growing Your Influencer Channel

There are many ways to grow your influencer channel.  Always start with your own networks. Often the best influencers are existing customers that are passionate about your brand and excited to promote it.  Another good source is your industry partners. They are in the same industry and will potentially be able to connect you with terrific influencers specific to your target market.

Relevant industry events are another great way to find specific influencers that can promote your brand.  They also are trying to build their own reputations, so they are likely to be found there.

Finally, working with influencer agencies is a great way to jumpstart your influence marketing.  They specialize in building lasting relationships with influencers. They can quickly bring them on to your campaign. Influencers reach other influencers. Even a small increase in your early influencers can lead to a massive acceleration of your influencer campaigns.

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