What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear content marketing?
You might think of the traditional 1,500-word blog post with custom graphics optimized for the perfect keywords.
While that may be one of the most popular forms of content marketing, what about social media posts, podcasts, or webinars? Technically, those are all forms of content marketing too.
And not to mention the overlap with influencer marketing. Are the lines blurry? Maybe. But we’re not talking about technicalities here.
The key to any type of marketing is to reach a wide audience with the right message and at the right time to generate leads and lock in the highest return on investment (ROI).
So what if your influencer and content marketing could work hand-in-hand to deliver the best results for your e-commerce business?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through one of the most powerful content marketing strategies to drive growth for your ecommerce business in 2023 and beyond.
Are you ready to learn more?
Let’s dive in.
The power of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is no longer a buzzword. English dictionaries officially added the term “influencer” in 2019.
Instagram and YouTube helped grow this relatively new marketing strategy. But TikTok helped solidify it in the marketing hall of fame.
Let’s look at some of the highest creators, according to Forbes. Charli D’Amelio, an 18-year-old TikTok influencer, amassed $17.5 million in earnings in 2021.
Her follower count? One hundred fifty million followers at the time of publication. That’s a lot of influence.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where brands partner with influencers — individuals with a strong following on social media or other platforms — to promote their products or services.
These influencers can range from micro-influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following to macro-influencers like Charli, who have a larger following but may have a lower engagement rate.
Influencer marketing is an incredibly effective marketing strategy to promote your e-commerce products.
Why? Influencers already have built-in trust and rapport with their followers.
Numerous studies back up this claim, with 61% of consumers trusting recommendations from influencers. That’s almost double the 38% who trust branded social media content that often tends to be biased.
As a result, when influencers promote your products, their followers trust these recommendations and will more likely purchase from your brand.
In other words, influencer marketing boosts your brand’s credibility and reduces friction in the buyer’s journey. Consumers quickly move from awareness to the decision stage in the blink of an eye.
How influencer marketing can help define a content marketing strategy
Now that we understand the power of influencer marketing, let’s explore how it can help define your content marketing strategy.
Learn more about your target audience
One of the biggest challenges of creating a content marketing strategy is identifying your target audience preferences.
You can scour high and low for high-volume, low-difficulty keywords until you’re blue in the face. But it’s a waste of time and resources if you don’t know the best way to deliver your content to your ideal customers.
Influencer marketing can help you hone in on who your audience is and what they like. How?
You can tap into their knowledge when you partner with an influencer that aligns with your target audience. And they know their audience like the back of their hands.
Sit back, watch, and learn. You’ve instantly unlocked secret intel into your ideal customers and how you can create future content that resonates with them.
Create relevant and engaging content
Once you’ve identified the ins and outs of your target audience, there are plenty of content formats available at your disposal.
But when you partner with influencers with a similar aesthetic or style to your brand, you can create authentic content that resonates with your audience.
Some of the best-performing content includes:
Social media posts
As we mentioned earlier, social media posts are among the most common types of content used in influencer marketing.
Your influencers can create sponsored posts on social media platforms, such as Instagram, showcasing your top products. These posts should be visually appealing and align with your brand values to capture the attention of your target audience.
Consider using specific graphic design templates already pre-approved by your brand to help get posts published on time.
The last thing you want is to create a bottleneck with the back-and-forth discussions between your team and influencers. Plus, the small details matter.
Influencers aren’t limited to social media stars. In fact, there are plenty of bloggers out there that drive hundreds of thousands of organic traffic to their websites every month.
And that’s a gold mine for affiliate links and sponsored content.
These niche blogs can write sponsored blog posts featuring your products or services and include links to your website.
This type of content can be particularly effective as it allows the influencer to go into more detail about the benefits of your products — often showing how they’re better than your competitors.
Why not tap into your customers to help build and add some pizzazz to your content marketing strategy?
Encourage your followers to create their own content featuring your products, such as photos or videos, and share them on social media. This content format helps create a sense of community around your brand and increase engagement with your target audience.
And as we mentioned earlier, people tend to trust others over a faceless brand. It helps you add content to your publishing calendar while building a community around your brand. It’s a win-win.
Amplify your content reach and engagement
Finally, influencer marketing can help amplify your content reach and engagement.
When influencers promote your products or services, their followers are more likely to engage with your brand and share your content. This snowball effect can increase brand awareness, traffic, and sales.
But make sure your customers are satisfied with the content your brand shares and is associated with. Especially with a “deinfluencing” trend spreading like wildfire, use CRM software to ensure your marketing campaigns get the best results.
Best practices for influencer marketing in e-commerce
Did you know that more than 50% of brands working with influencers are online stores?
But not all e-commerce influencer marketing campaigns are created equal. Some brands outperform others (more on that later).
Follow these best practices for implementing influencer marketing for your e-commerce business to stand above the rest.
Set goals and measure ROI
As with any marketing strategy, setting goals and measuring performance through return on investment (ROI) is necessary. Otherwise, how do you know what you want to accomplish and when you’ve accomplished it?
When you set clear goals — such as increasing brand awareness or driving sales — you establish a way to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. And you can make data-driven decisions moving forward.
If your YouTube video falls flat, but your blog posts drive 20 sales per day, it’s obvious where to focus your time and energy.
It’s also worth assessing each influencer’s performance and how they contributed to your campaign’s goals. And, of course, your definition of success depends on your specific goals and how they fit into your overall content marketing strategy.
For example, track the number of impressions, likes, or sales. Once you have that data, you can establish a baseline and determine which influencers provide the best ROI. Thankfully, you don’t have to track this manually.
You can use one of the best screenshot tools, like Plus, to easily track and analyze these metrics by taking snapshots of the data points. Sounds basic, right?
Well, it’s not an ordinary screenshot. The screenshot updates every hour, so you’ll always have real-time data to work with. And you can embed them directly into your existing tools like Notion and Slack.
It’s always a good idea to try out new influencers to see if they can outperform your average, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your influencer marketing approach. After all, as your audience changes, a new face helps present your business to new people.
Pick the right influencers for your brand
Think of picking an influencer like Cinderella’s glass slipper. You want it to be the perfect fit.
When it comes to picking the right influencer for your brand, you should choose someone who aligns with your brand values. And, of course, can effectively promote your products or services to their followers.
Take some time to consider these questions:
- What is the influencer’s niche or area of expertise? Does it align with your brand and target audience?
- What is the influencer’s engagement rate on their social media platforms, and how many followers do they have?
- Have they worked with brands in the past, and what were the outcomes of those campaigns?
- What is the influencer’s personality and tone on social media, and does it align with your brand’s values and tone?
- What is the influencer’s level of professionalism and authenticity? Do they come across as genuine and trustworthy?
If you’re running short on time to get your campaigns up and running, starting with nano or micro-influencers in your niche doesn’t hurt. They are the most budget-friendly and, surprisingly, have the highest engagement rates.
Put a contract in place
Contracts help keep both parties on the same page. Don’t overlook this step. It’s worth the added effort.
This contract should be clear and concise and include the following points:
- Deliverables: Be clear about what you expect the influencer to deliver, including the type of content, the platform(s), and the number of posts.
- Timeline: Establish a timeline for the campaign, including the start and end date and any important milestones or deadlines.
- Compensation: Clearly define the compensation, including payment terms, bonuses, and other incentives.
- Brand guidelines: Provide the influencer with clear guidelines on presenting your brand, including logos, hashtags, and brand messaging.
- Disclosure: Make sure the influencer discloses their partnership with your brand in all sponsored content in compliance with FTC guidelines.
- Exclusivity: Specify whether the influencer will be exclusive to your brand during the campaign or if they can work with other brands simultaneously.
- Termination Clause: Include a termination clause that outlines the circumstances under which either party can terminate the contract, such as breach of contract, non-performance, or any other significant issue.
3 examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns
Here are some examples of successful campaigns to help inspire the intersection of influencer and content marketing for your e-commerce businesses.
Glossier – Instagram
Glossier, a skincare and beauty brand, has built its entire content marketing strategy around influencer marketing.
It’s created an authentic and highly engaged community of followers on Instagram by partnering with micro-influencers and employing user-generated content.
Wayfair – Niche blogs
Wayfair, one of the largest online furniture and home goods retailers, uses niche blogs and affiliate marketing to generate revenue and grow its business.
By partnering with niche blogs specializing in home décor and furniture, Wayfair can reach highly targeted audiences interested in purchasing these products.
Plus, Wayfair doesn’t have to write the blog posts themselves.
Athletic Greens – YouTube
Athletic Greens, a health supplement brand, partnered with travel YouTube influencers focusing on healthy living and wellness while traveling.
These influencers promote Athletic Greens’ greens powder to stick to healthy habits on the go.
In this example, Kara and Nate share a link to purchase Athletic Greens with their 3.42 million subscribers. That’s a lot of eyes on the product.
Adding influencer marketing into your overall content marketing strategy can be a game-changer for your e-commerce business in 2023.
Numerous studies show the power influencers have over their followers. Plus, it helps pump out more content for your brand without increasing the burden on your in-house resources.
So why not give it a try? Start by identifying potential micro-influencers in your niche and reach out to start a relationship.
The results may surprise you. Your brand can become a household name overnight.