The world of shopping has changed drastically over the years. Why pay to rent a space, decorate, stock, staff, and run a store when it can easily be done from the comfort of your own home? It is an obvious choice for someone starting out but once the store is “made” the REAL work begins.
How do you get these awesome products you picked in front of an audience who will be willing to buy without ever seeing the product in person or before knowing they actually need it?!
You could try to spend a lot of money on ads, pretty packaging, offer sales…or you could pay an influencer to promote your product that you know rocks.
Let’s talk about what exactly that means.
When I say influencer I am not talking about a major celebrity. Let’s be honest, it would cost more money than you could even bring in to afford a high profile celebrity to endorse your products. In a dream world we could all have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson promote our line of shoes, but let’s be realistic.
An influencer is a different type of celebrity. They are a voice and a credible source on social media, and the best part, they are regular people but they know their stuff. You aren’t paying someone who barely knows anything about shoes or makeup to go out there and read a script word for word. An influencer genuinely knows what to look for in a product and that is what makes their audience trust them.
Another benefit of working with an influencer is, typically, they are all in specialized niches. There are influencers in niches like beauty, food, family lifestyle, travel, and entertainment to name a few. They live and breathe social media and share most aspects of their lives with their followers, so having your product in their hand is where you want to be.
This is an amazing technique to get your products on customers wishlists, in their carts, then into their hands. If I haven’t convinced you already that it is the smart way to go, let this sink in, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or typical celebrity endorsement. That’s right, 92%.
So, maybe The Rock isn’t such a dream spokesman after all?
Now that I have convinced you that an influencer is the actual dream spokesperson, how do we go about the process? I happen to know just how if you follow these steps.
Let’s use an example I came up with along with these three steps. Just bear with me here as I paint a picture, I am not Bob Ross, but I hope you can follow along without the happy little trees.
First, know your audience.
After researching products for your e-commerce store you decide you want to sell the latest version of an oversized half blanket/ half pajamas garment that goes by a silly name. Let’s call it a Snuggler (again, not an artist).
By now you hopefully have an idea of who your target market is. If not, that is a whole new blog post in itself, but here are some helpful hints.
Think about who your ideal market and all the details. Think about their age, if they are male or female, what they do in their free time, what books they read, what keeps them up at night, and what their family is like. When you come up with all the details, name the ideal client and get comfortable with them, because now everything is about them and not about your product. In order to know all of this, you must research, research, research!
This brings us to Gail. She is a 40-year-old mother of three who enjoys wine, binge watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix, scrolling Pinterest, and staying up late to get some alone time from her hectic life and chasing after an active family. She is a Snuggler dream customer.
Find your influencer.
Now that you understand who your customer base is, let’s find an influencer who speaks to Gail on a deep level. Take your research to the next level and find who is speaking to your target audience on your selected platform and reach out! Get that connection started with your matching influencer.
Influencers can be found by really simple research. Go on to your platform of choice and research similar products, and see who shows up. Check all the hashtags of your dream customers favorite things and see who shows up.
Once you find some influencers who match your ideal customer base, find their e-mail and send a friendly note about your opportunity. In this scenario, just be prepared, you may need to shell out some cash to get your products in front of an influencer’s audience.
When researching, it is important to be careful to not select influencers who ONLY post products. These are not genuine and your product may just get lost in the sea of sponsored posts. It is smart to be picky with who you want to represent you and your product.
You got the influencer, now the message.
After waiting for a reply from the influencer, (a fun mom blogger who loves to cuddle up and read or watch tv, hello match made in heaven!) you get an ecstatic yes from them, and ship your Snuggler off to them, but the exchange does not end there.
Do you really want an influencer going out into the world, taking a quick picture of your Snuggler while they are cuddled in front of a fire with a pumpkin spice coffee, and captioning it “Check it out”, then leaving it at that? The answer is NO.
Give them a rundown of how awesome your product is, what features you want to be highlighted, and what makes is special. This gives them all the necessary details but room to be creative because they know how to really talk to their audience. Whether it is through an Instagram story, post, or even Snapchat, the creative content will get all eyes on your product.
An additional point to mention here is making sure that their message is clear and organic. The last thing you want is to be connected to an influencer who is deceptive and tries to hide the fact they are being given products (and sometimes money) to promote a product.
Transparency is key when gaining trust and it is important to make sure they follow similar expectations you have for your own business.
The waiting game.
This is the fun part. The influencer has praised your pj/blanket combo on Instagram and gushes over how soft it is and the fact it has pockets, so she goes extra bananas over it. The influencer drops your promo code to mention her name when checking out for an added discount.
This is a huge win because your product is being fangirled over by someone who has more clout in purchase influencing than most celebrities endorsements.
Now is the time to wait for the orders to come flowing in because let’s be honest, you did your research, you targeted your market smartly through influencer marketing, and you set the influencer up for success with all the right information. Pat yourself on the back because you just used influencer marketing to promote your e-commerce store.