Have you ever thought about what makes you buy a product in a split of a second?
Is it a high end TV commercial, out of the box billboard, or a recommendation from someone you know?
After that, second place is reserved for user reviews.
Big part of younger generations place all their faith into user reviews.
Millennials believe that user reviews are more valid when making a decision about purchasing online, than family and friend recommendations.
Commercial noise and abundance of ads that are flashing in front of our eyes daily, have achieved that pretty much everyone has developed a strategy to go blind when facing another product that’s “the best” and will “solve all of our problems”.
People have become rather sceptical, and they prefer researching brand on their own, than take into account what was already said about their products.
That’s why now is the perfect time to ask yourselves what does that mean for your online store and what should you do as a store owner?
In a nutshell – it means that you have to get introduced with online marketing and one mighty word – influence.
Digital influence and eCommerce
“Word of mouth” marketing was always known as one of the most powerful marketing tactics.
Before, it was rather limited to close family and friends.
In a digital era we now live in, it has surpassed close friends, it seems long time ago.
Now, our circles are much wider and can often spread all the way to different corners of the world.
In those circles that we can now recognise, there’s always a significant number of people and one or more individuals that differ.
They are the ones whose opinions are valued, wanted and looked upon.
They are better known as influencers.
Their influence is reflected in their ability to direct someone’s opinions and decisions.
This influence becomes rather important when it comes to online stores and eCommerce in general, since it can direct decisions to purchase.
Buyer, overwhelmed from all over the place, can remain completely immune to traditional marketing approaches.
Influence marketing represents connecting your brand or product with individuals with influence and for one reason only – they are the ones that can have more subtle approach to reach your target group and make them engage in certain action.
In this case – purchase.
Also, if done properly, collaboration with influence internet users can give your marketing campaign certain tone that you couldn’t find before, and also raise brand awareness.
When you’re into selling online, it is crucial to determine who are internet influencers surrounding you.
It is highly important since the whole interaction and communication is done online.
Your visitors will not be able to see or touch your product, so they will rely on other’s recommendations and experiences.
That way, bloggers can become your top sellers, review on a popular YouTube video can have bigger impact than a TV commercial, and only one Instagram account can be your most notable catalog.
Influencers are active on social media and have unique ability to inspire others to take some action.
Leading influencers have wide knowledge on the field they’re active in, and are able to communicate with their audience and share that knowledge.
Long gone the days when influencers were celebrities, TV stars and hosts, actors and singers.
Today, significant influence can come from places you could never imagine decade ago.
It can be a reliable critique, but also fashionista, blogger or a girl next door.
Number of followers is the most common and the first thing we notice when we start thinking about influencers.
It’s simple, large audience that one influencer has in circles can easily correspond to your target market.
And passing a message has never been easier.
But as always, it’s not all about quantity.
Influencer has to be recognised by the quality of the audience he has accumulated over time.
Number of followers doesn’t have to be sky high necessarily.
If they are committed, engaged and prone to sharing influencer’s content, numbers are not important at all.
Expertise is also crucial.
It means confidence and it’s essential when it comes to eCommerce.
Support from an influencer that is well known by being deeply into the topic, whatever the topic is, can easily remove all potential doubts that your buyers might have related to your products, and help you increase your sales.
Searching for an ideal collaboration or individual has to begin with research.
You should engage into being active on social media, you should explore popular hashtags and use Google Alerts.
That way you will have insights into who’s doing what in your area of interest.
Connect before you commit
It’s important to know that every influencer is different.
In order to find a proper partner for your online store, you should have a feeling about the person – it’s not enough to just connect, it’s important to know who does he have in his circles, what are his audience’s expectations, will the content that you want to promote work well with what influencer is generally posting on his profile or blog.
Your choice for this kind of collaboration will also be affected by your current needs.
Is it what you want to achieve higher number of tweets?
Have you planned any sort of visual campaign?
If so, you might need someone that is influenced on Pinterest or Instagram, as opposed to Twitter.
Make sure you spend some time determining what would be most useful for your brand and use that information to narrow done the number of channels you might use.
Once you discover who could be a perfect fit for you, you should introduce yourself, get into more detail about your audience, your goals and wishes.
After that, you might initiate conversation about the ways the collaboration would evolve.
And is that even possible?
You should devote part of that conversation to compensation.
Big number of influential internet users perceives influence as a full time job, so it’s never a bad idea to mention finances and your budget for this kind of marketing strategy. Compensation does not mean necessarily that you will pay for this kind of collaboration.
It can also mean that you will give influencer products, discounts or collaboration on other more lucrative projects.
What is important, is that the goal is to create an alliance that will bring good to both sides involved.
Have in mind that buyers rely on other’s opinions and impressions.
You can easily gain competitive advantage and earn your buyer’s trust if you decide to market your internet store in a more subtle way, by giving to influencers their creative freedom.