From radio spots and print ads to TV commercials, companies have been using ‘famous faces’ to help market their products for decades.
So as social media continues to grow, celebrities aren’t the only ones with influence. It could be mom-blogger sharing her favorite fashion finds. Or an interior designer sharing her best decor tips.
Now everyone has an audience. And if that audience is filled with your target customer, you have a great opportunity to grow your online boutique.
So should you use influencer marketing to grow your online boutique? ABSOLUTELY!
In this post, we’ll cover what it is, why it works and how you can get started.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Influencer marketing is a way to get the word out about your business by working with someone who already has an engaged audience. It gives you direct access to new followers, customers, and eventually, lifelong fans.
As an online boutique owner, you’re always on the hunt for someone else to buy from you. Influencer marketing puts your products front and center for new eyes to discover what you have to offer.
Whether they create original content, distribute branded content or collaborate in other ways, influencers are an important part of your marketing strategy.
So influencers already have what every online brand wants: trust. Their experiences and opinions go a long way as consumers consider what to purchase.
In fact, 84% of consumers trust peer recommendations over brand advertising according to a recent Nielsen poll. And over 70% of shoppers go to social media first before buying products. So you need to curate an engaging presence on social media too.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT INFLUENCER
It’s important to understand how social media and marketing works. Unfortunately, you can’t take everything at face value. People are able to buy likes, followers, and comments to create the appearance of engagement. Your job is to make sure your working with an influencer that actually has influence.
So do your research!
The first thing you want to understand is who your target customer is.
That will let you know where she hangs out so that you actually have a chance of getting your products in front of her.
Once you decide on the platform to focus on, then you can look for the right person.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE USING INFLUENCER MARKETING
You want to get a sense of two things before you reach out to an influencer: consistency and engagement. If they’re using the platform often, that means they’re motivated to grow. Then you want the engagement to match. A great place to start is in their comments section.
When you find an influencer you think you want to work with, look at the promotions they’ve done with other brands in the past. Does it get significantly fewer likes and comments than their normal post? That might mean the audience they have isn’t necessarily primed to buy.
I always recommend making a list of influencers that seem like a good fit. And then having a system to reach out and track who responds.
Now it’s important to have a budget because working with an influencer isn’t free. It will either cost you product (and shipping costs), cash or a mix of both. That means you should go into it knowing that you’ll have to spend money in some way to see results.
That’s true of every marketing tactic you use. But I find that more often than not, the reminder is necessary.
HOW TO CONTACT AN INFLUENCER TO WORK WITH
It’s like any professional relationship: people like to do business with those they know, like and trust. So it helps to get familiar with them first. That might mean sharing their content or leaving a comment. You want to establish some rapport first. And then
Approach influencers strategically and with respect for the work they’ve done to build an audience. Remember, their image and personality on social is a business for them.
Next, the right offer can have a major influence on how they respond to a partnership.
Different types of influencers respond to different incentives. Some maybe interested in some clothes, while others may want to collaborate on a collection. Use what the influencer has done in the past to gauge what they may want to participate in for the future.
And once you’ve gotten a response, you want to be able to track the progress and success of the campaign you’re working on together.
That ensures everyone is happy with the results and opens up the door to work together again (or for you to find another influencer to work with).