Influencer Marketing Guide 2022 – Increase Ecommerce Sales

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Updated:

06/23/2022

Influencer Marketing - The Ultimate Guide

Your Influencer Marketing Guide For Launching Products and Brand Growth

What is Influencer Marketing?  

Influencer marketing is when a brand collaborates with a social media figure who uses the influence and trust from their audience to promote the brands' products through endorsements or recommendations

For potential customers, social media influencers carry a bit of authority and are a valuable source of information. They learn which products work the best, which are cool, and which products they should invest in and purchase.

Recent metrics, studies, and trends show that people are turning towards influencers that they trust more often to get recommendations and even advice because the cancel culture has left them questioning the reliability of previously trusted news sources.

Running a successful influencer marketing campaign isn't easy. There are much easier things to do in life. However, if you're up for the challenge, social media influencers' ultimate benefit can most certainly result in a substantial return on investment and a good fit naturally.

Whether you are launching a business or just a new product, an influencer partnership can be a huge boost out of the gate. Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Snapchat, and TikTok Influencers drive warm, implied trust traffic. You are appealing to an audience that relies on their opinion and will react to something that they recommend.

The Real Value Of An Influencer Partnership

Influencer marketing done right accomplishes:

  • Trust and Authority:  92% of people trust recommendations  from individuals (even from people they don’t know) over brands.
  • Qualified High-Quality Leads: In a Tomoson poll, 51% of marketers believe they get better customers from influencer marketing and sponsored content.
  • It increases ROI: A Burst Media study, analyzed by eMarketer, revealed that brands saw metrics increase with an average ROI of $6.85 for every dollar invested in successful influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Proven Effectiveness: May 2015 study found that 84% of global marketers expected to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the coming years, and 81% of those who had already done so reported they were happy with the results.

Sellers are taught to target potential buyers one person at a time with a higher cost of acquisition. Alternatively, targeting an influencer your audience worships is an easy way to get your brand in front of large groups for a fraction of the cost and effort.

Targeting influencers your audience worships and marketing to their audience is far more effective and cheaper than PPC!

Wouldn't you like to have additional methods of targeting potential buyers? Especially something less expensive than PPC yet more effective? That is a realistic potential of getting influencer marketing right.

Targeting influencers that your audience worships, and marketing to their audience is far more effective and cheaper than PPC! #influencermarketing #ecomoptimizer #amazonfbatips

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Even if your competitors' audience is not yours, there is nothing to say they won't be interested in your product. They just may not know who you are yet. Competitive research to reveal the influencers that your audience follows can be very rewarding. Discovering what hashtags your competitors use is an excellent FREE method of getting your content and message in front of their audience!

When you are looking at potential influencers, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Are they relevant?
  • Do their followers respond to the content shared?
  • Are they truly engaging with their followers?
  • Are their followers your ideal buyers and relevant to your personas?
  • How can they help you convert more people into followers and purchases? 
  • What will they do to help you move people onto your subscriber's list and into your sales funnel?
  • How will this be mutually beneficial for both of you?

Take advantage of influencer marketing to build your brand and rank new products. Sellers are taught the best way to launch new products is with rebates and high PPC. These are all strategies that can work but have a high cost of acquisition.

Not all influencers use Instagram.  Some use TikTok. Marketing agencies report that it is the second most popular platform for using influencers.   Some influencers have very popular websites/blogs and make their recommendations there. Others are YouTube influencers. A celebrity influencer that endorses your product can have a huge impact on sales. Do your research and due diligence to find the influencers that can benefit your brand the most.

Ideally, an influencer that also has a blog and a multi-platform presence is preferred.  It adds the ability for them to add additional value through article creation, cross-posting, and backlinks.  

Many people find influencers for Instagram, purchase a one-and-done shout-out, and get terrible results.  That is not how you want to work with influencers.  It is important that you find content creators that can help grow your brand.  Keep reading; we will come back to this further along in the article.

Social Media Influencers And Celebrity Endorsements To Launch Products

It's should not be a surprise that using a celebrity influencer and social media influencers are great for launching new products, but not all of them are created equal. The most effective product influencers have strong followings that are hyper-engaged with their content. They post regularly to inspire followers to take an action or to make a purchase. 

Finding the perfect influencer for your brand is like dating; it takes time, effort, and research to find someone who is right for your brand.

Pre-marketing, the marketing of your product before launching, is a marketing tactic largely ignored by sellers but could easily enable a seller to launch to a group of enthusiastic potential customers instead of a group of freebie seekers that couldn't care less what product they get as long as it is free.

Depending on the number of competitors, we suggest launching with 10 to 20 social media influencers. A shout-out every 2 to 3 days during the first month can drive considerable traffic. Potential customers do not need reviews to purchase because of the influencer referral.

Influencers and not rebates have been a substantial part of our launch strategy for the better part of a decade in one form or another.


How Many Influencers Do I Need For A Successful Launch?

Pitch three to four times the amount of influencers that you want to ultimately end up with. If you want 20 influencers for a launch campaign. This means your list needs to start with 60 to 80 influencers on it. This can be a long, drawn-out process, but it doesn't have to be. 

Finding the right influencers, developing the influencer relationship, and maintaining them moving forward can be similar to dating in many ways. Expect some rejection and be prepared to possibly compromise on certain expectations to accommodate their currently scheduled projects.

Ultimately, your goal is to have more responses and a good-sized potential influencer list to work with, than you need. That gives you the advantage of picking the best responses and not having to take them all because you are desperately trying to get enough or meet a deadline. A best-case scenario is one where you develop a small army of micro and macro influencers over time that are available to you and easy to get something going with.

Understand that this is relationship building. It is an ongoing relationship, preferably, which will enable you to get the best value and benefit. A smaller, high-quality 5k audience with high engagement can be more effective than a giant 100k audience with low engagement. Plus their audience will continue to grow.

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Identify Your Buyer Personas

To find the correct influencers and avoid fake influencers, you need to have a firm grip on your ideal buyers.    Whom are you trying to reach?   You need to know a lot about your target market before identifying which influencers are the best.    A Buyer Persona is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer.

Who is your ideal buyer?  Most sellers get this completely wrong.  Your ideal buyer is the fanatic.  If you sell a workout supplement, your ideal buyer is not the inconsistent casual weightlifter.  

Your ideal buyer is the person that is hardcore focused on their health and weightlifting.  You want a guy or gal that is in the gym daily for hours.  They will use more products, but more importantly, they will tell everyone about it.

We have an extensive Buyer Persona Workshop available if you need help figuring out exactly who they are. It is worth the effort, and it will help you tremendously because when you can identify your ideal buyers, marketing and messaging become much easier and more successful.  Anyone familiar with our methods knows that Buyer Personas are foundational to your success from our point of view.

Finding The Right Social Media Influencers

There are many ways to go about building an influencer list. It may take utilizing multiple methods to get the right-sized list to begin with. Estimate that you need to start with 3 to 4 times the final number of influencers you want to use because some will not respond to your outreach.

We have detailed the entire process including automating most of the work in a separate article In this article we go in-depth as we walk you through finding the perfect influencers, ambassadors, and advocates for your brand.  

You can do this in-house, outsource it to a VA, run the entire process through platforms, or a combination of them to scale and maximize the potential.

Instagram Influencers

Influencer Marketing can be more successful on the right channels.

The process of finding the actual influencers can be broken down into a simple step method.

  1. 1
    Hashtag List - Develop a list of relevant hashtags used for your topic, competitors, related but non-competing competitors, and known influencers
  2. 2
    Instagram - Use instagram to discover any hashtags and influencers that you might have missed in step 1.
  3. 3
    Social Monitoring - Set up social listening tools to monitor the phrases and influencers revealed in the previous steps to scale and increase potential influencers to include ambassadors, advocates, previous buyers, and potential celebrities.
  4. 4
    Refine & Review List - Review each name on your list to eliminate the ones that will not work.  This entails looking at their profiles. engagement, posts and followers.  Narrow your list down to ensure you are working with people that can benefit your brand and whose followers are your target market. 
  5. 5
    Interact  & Get  Noticed - Get your brand noticed and on the radar of the influences you are targeting.   If any bad influencers made it past step 4, you will catch them here.  Your goal in this step is awareness.  You want them to at least be aware of your brand so when you reach out to them they are familiar with you and know that collaborating will be a good fit.
  6. 6
    Email Outreach - Reach out to each of the potential influencers on your list to establish the conversation about brand collaboration. 

Are you shaking your head right now thinking about how much time and work that is?   I completely understand.  We have different tools and, of course, we have the favorites that we use - best influencer tools and platforms.    We provide you with tools to accomplish this in-house, outsourced, or 100% platform-based.  

Social Influencer Marketing Best Practices

The problem with Influencers is that as they become more “famous,” they become more removed from the average customer, less trusted, and your customers start questioning the influencer’s endorsements.  Instead, a smarter marketing tactic is to focus on nano and micro-influencers. They have between 1k and 75k followers. They are smaller influencers, newer to the game, but have more skin in the game.  

Therefore, they are more willing to work with you and make every effort to make your relationship successful.

Influencers with less than 1k followers can be effective because their followers are generally people they know.

amazon-influencers

In general, we have found that influencers with 76,000+ followers tend to have less engagement with their groups. They generally are after follower numbers resulting in lists that have not been cleaned of unresponsive people and often have their VA doing all the engagement. These are not the influencers that you want to be using. So avoid the influencers with a million followers.

Keep in mind that follower counts can be deceiving.  That is the primary metric—followers without engagement point towards an ineffective influencer and one to avoid.  Smaller influencers with high engagement should be preferred over bigger influencers with little engagement any day of the week.  However, you still need to look through the follower list.

Are they the type of followers for your brand?  Consider some of the women posting in the beauty niche.  Some of them are not concerned about beauty. They are more concerned with attracting attention.  This can be seen in their following and engagement because their followers are all men making comments about the woman.


Influencer Outreach - How Do I Contact Influencers?

Once you begin contacting influencers, your goals change to selling them your pitch. Messages need to stand apart, be very clear and straightforward. Make sure your messages are professional, friendly, and specific. It should include the following:

  • Introduce your brand and summarize your vision and USP
  • Complement them on their content, and mention something specific that you saw that made you think they would be a good fit for your brand.
  • Please specify the product that you want them to promote and how they fit into your strategy
  • Specify the types of content you are looking to have posted, such as photos, videos, Instagram stories, etc.
  • Specify the time frame you are looking to run the promotion and understand that they may be busy, so do not wait until the last minute.
  • Try not to get too wordy, boring, or tied up in talking about things that don't matter. Be professional and respect their time.
  • Don't use much slang, but don't come across like a lawyer either.
  • They should have a clear understanding of what you are looking for. By the time they finish reading your email.

If you are successful with your due diligence and choose the right influencers to start with, recruiting them should not be that difficult. The amount of time involved depends on how many influencers you reach out to.

The Email Template

The email below is a great example of an outreach email that you can use to reach out to influencers!

Instagram Influencer Email Template

Subject line: {{firstName}} + {{YourCompany}} = Collaboration?

Hi {{firstName}},

I am {{YourName}}, the {{JobTitle}} of {{YourCompany}}.

We are huge fans of the content that you post on your Instagram account. We especially liked {{Something specific from their feed}}.  It is aligned with our products and the messaging that we are putting out to our audience.  

We are a company that produces [what you do and how it is related to him/her].

We think that we could be a super fit for collaboration [write why do you think that and benefits he/she and his/her audience has from it]. We have some ideas, and we would also like to hear from you to get a perfect solution for both sides.

So, if you are interested in helping us market our products/services via your network to reach out to our target audience, let us know when you’re free for a meeting.

Please get back to us if you are interested

Make it a great day!

{Your Name}

You've done all this work. You sent out all these messages; now comes the time for the real effort of proper communication and negotiation. At this stage, you will be getting responses, and they will have plenty of questions. Answer their questions clearly and in-depth. Describe what the business relationship between the two of you will look like.

What To Expect

Setting proper expectations of yourself and for them will be key to the success of your influencer marketing campaign. Before responding to them, you should have clearly defined your goals. Explain those goals and how the influencer fits in. Also explain what they could expect from you in terms of assets, support, and assistance.

In this second message, we will ask the influencers what kind of conversion rates they have seen in the past. Human nature indicates that a good majority of them will exaggerate. Some will use that number as their justification and support of their demand for monetary compensation.

Expect them to respond with rates, their schedule, and any existing influencer relationships they have that may conflict or interfere with working with you. If they don't mention any conflicts of interest, be sure to ask if there are any.

A mistake that we see often is failing to ask the influencer upfront what type of content they would be creating for a product like yours.   How do they see themselves helping your brand?

Target Audience

Hit your objective by choosing the right target audience

 What would be their thoughts on the best approach with their audience?  If the only answer they have is discounts and freebies, they failed the test, move on.  Ask about the type and demographics of their followers to ensure it aligns with your buyer personas also.


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Sending Reminders

Expect to keep in communication with them open because this is the point where you will need to send them reminders possibly, and your approach will greatly affect the ongoing relationship.

Remember bloggers and influencers are human and often juggle several relationships. Don't be surprised if they occasionally fail to meet their obligations to post on time, make mistakes with hashtags, keywords, calls to action, or the messaging you requested.   To build these relationships, you'll need the time to be more hands-on with them.  Ask that you are allowed to see their first few posts before it is posted until you are comfortable working together.   You'll need to refine your approach over time, as you learn new ways to work with them, what works and what doesn't in your niche.

  • Give them the benefit of the doubt with your reminders and inquire from a caring position. Make sure that something unexpected didn't come up.
  • Do not send them an inflammatory, demanding email.
  • This is a perfect template for reminder emails.
  • We are looking forward to your posts and seeing the content about the products. We noticed nothing had been posted yet, so I thought I'd check-in for an update on when you'll be posting per our agreement. Let me know if you need anything from me. Thank you.
  • In addition to the posting time, it is important to check the first post and verify that everything in the agreement has been covered; buzzwords, hashtags, FTC disclosures, are expected
  • If everything looks good. Make sure to like the posts and comment. This validates your approval for the influencer and shows engagement to the community.
  • Have your email preset as a draft, so it is reusable and ready. That will shorten the amount of time that things like this take.

Some Influencers Will Still Ghost You

Investing the right time and effort into finding the best influencers will affect your campaign's time, investment, and ROI. Expect to be ghosted by an influencer or two. The more effort you put into the relationship, and the more excited they are about doing it, greatly reduces the chance of being ghosted.


Shipping The Product To Them

Remember, we mentioned expecting to ship each influencer two products. You need to leave enough time to receive these products before your campaign starts. This means you will need to have a way to ship them either from your  3PL, Amazon, or your warehouse. All shipping expenses are yours. I'd spend the extra couple bucks for insurance as well to cover your butt.

Once influencers have received the products, it is time for them to get to work. I find it interesting to see how they interact and respond to the products via their emails and their content. It is important here that you keep the relationship professional because it is right here where things that can go wrong begin. Influencers are human, and they make mistakes. However, you have a signed contract, and they have a job to do.

Create a calendar complete with the dates and times of all the posts, and it is on you to check and follow up that the posts are occurring. Expect them to miss the occasional deadline for posting but doing so regularly is unacceptable.

Instagram story takeovers typically involve a person temporarily “taking over” your account, and are often used to showcase new products or services.   For example, brands will usually invite a content creator or influencer to take over their Instagram Stories for the day.  This is a great tactic to use once an influencer has proven their worth, and you continue working with them.


What Should Be Included in An Influencer Marketing Contract?

Be sure that your contract includes the items listed below:

  • The specific product they are promoting.
  • The number of posts they will be making
  • The type of content and posts they will be creating
  • The specific hashtags and buzzwords they will be using
  • The specific days and times the post will be made.
  • When and if the posts need to be preapproved and how much time before posting, this needs to be done.
  • FTC the disclosures (see this explanation of what is required by the FTC)
  • Content copyright ownership.
  • Influencer compensation

Be sure that all of your communication is documented via email. Draft up an airtight contract, complete with all the items that you have negotiated.   Here is a sample Influencer Contract(free template) that you can fill out and use from Influencer Marketing Hub.  Please read through it entirely and make any changes.  We are not lawyers and are not providing legal advice.  Please consult your lawyer for advice.

We recommend also sending them your brand's social media policy(free template) which are your content rules that they must follow. Send them a brand style guide(free template) also, this includes the logo, fonts, and colors specs congruent with your brand.  It helps when you have the brand style guide, social media policy, and contract outline set up in advance.

The brand style guide is something you should set up for your business anyway and provide it to all graphics creators, and ad creators.  You have links to templates for all three of them right here, so what is keeping you from starting?


How Do I Pay Influencers?

As the campaign comes to a close, you are expected to compensate them if direct compensation is part of the agreement.   Your agreement should indicate whether they directed people to their affiliate link or the link that you provided. Either way, there needs to be accountability and tracking to get an idea of how many sales you got from the relationship.

If you agreed to boost the commission amount they receive, based on their conversions, now is the time to verify documentation & pay them.   We suggest paying them via PayPal. PayPal is convenient for your business because payment goes directly to them, and it is easy to deal with the accounting.

Another payment method that some influencers like are gift cards.   Suppose this is the one-time payment that you choose.   It needs to be discussed and documented in the original contract, and the type of gift cards need to be designated at that time.


How Do We Measure Influencer Marketing?

We suggest setting up influencer tracking in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets with one tab per influencer. Use this to track each deliverable ensuring they met their obligation and to track sales and payment.   We also suggest that you assign one person to handle tracking and payment to keep it consistent and less confusing.  Alternately, we have a list of the best influencer marketing tools that you can use to find the tracking platform that works best for your purposes.

If the influencer did a great job for you, keep the relationship moving forward. Thank them, let them know about their contributions, make them feel that their contribution had positive effects and is appreciated. Doing so makes them feel good and keeps the relationship going.

If you are happy with what they've done, consider giving them more work. You can come up with other types of posts or initiatives that can benefit both of you. This would be a great time to negotiate Instagram profile or story takeovers, collaborating on an article or showcasing how they have used and benefited from the product.

The ultimate goal is to keep your successful relationship moving forward and even take them to the brand ambassador level, which is a win-win for you both.


Outsourcing

How exhausting was reading all that? Does the prospect of doing that amount of work make you think it's not worth the effort? Believe me that it's worth every bit of effort. Not only will you see immediate sales from it, but you'll also have that many more people aware of who your brand is.

For some, managing social media campaigns and influencers is too much work and they choose to outsource to an influencer agency.  These can be effective, but expensive.  We have found that often these companies are very niche-specific and have their core group of influencers that they always work with.  

Brand Awareness

One of the goals of influencer marketing needs to be brand awareness. The more people who know about you, your products, and how it helps them, the better the chances they will buy from you now or in the future.

The most effective way to gauge your brand awareness campaigns and brand-building would be to watch how many branded searches you receive.

A lot of the effort required for a successful influencer campaign can be delegated to a VA. They can do the majority of the initial research, send out the initial messages you have created for them to use, and narrow down the amount of effort you need to put in by eliminating your communication with people who will not work out.

As always, any VA's success begins with how well you train them and set expectations for them. You need to set up the entire process and write emails, and you need to do the important negotiation communication. Besides that, the VA can handle most of this.

PRO TIP:  Is a new seller with a lot of reviews making maintaining your ranking difficult or would you just like to create a larger moat around your search result positioning?  Would your typical response be a higher PPC spend?  Save your money.  Use your influencers to take care of that at a fraction of the cost!  An easy solution is to fire up some influencers that you work with and push some converting off-Amazon traffic to your listing.  It doesn't take as many sales from off-site traffic to affect ranking vs PPC.

One of the big biggest benefits of influencer marketing is brand building. It creates another moment in time for a potential buyer to interact with your business. Creating those interactions and touchpoints should be one of the primary goals. The more potential buyers know about your business ahead of time and trust your business, the more stable and long-term your conversions and future become.


A smaller, high-quality 5k audience with high engagement can be more effective than a giant 100k audience with low or no engagement. #influencermarketing #ecomoptimizer #onlinesellingtips

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What Are The Most Effective Influencer Posting Strategies For Ecommerce?

Many brands hate using Instagram influencers because the half-life of an Instagram post is very short.   Listed below are multiple ideas for different kinds of content for the different platforms. Instagram isn't the only place that you want to utilize the efforts of influencers and celebrity endorsers. Ideally, any social media influencer that you utilize will have additional places to use their influencer content. Maybe they are also a blogger too.
Whether you are using a TikTok influencer, Snapchat, Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, or any of the other social sites, there are many ways to leverage their authority with their followers.  Finding the right influencer for a brand partnership can benefit your business in many ways.  Even local influencers can benefit your Ecommerce brand enabling you to target your specific audience where they might congregate the most.
Be sure that you are not just hiring influencers to hire influencers and that your particular audience actually uses the platform that they might post on. In addition to the Instagram methods listed below, we are also adding ways to cross-post and utilize Influencers on other social media platforms.  
Be sure that all contracts include the following statement:  You irrevocably grant to us a worldwide, perpetual license to use, reproduce, disclose, publish and distribute your Photos, for any purpose without restriction.  
Video & IGTV - Until recently, you could only post a 1-minute videos on Instagram.  IGTV allows us to post videos up to 1-hour long.  I don't suggest that you go that long at all, but there is a lot that can be done with it.  The 1-minute videos have always performed well.  The longer format can be used to promote more in-depth rich content like your latest products, video reviews, how-to vids, non-typical benefits or ways to use the product, and more...
Live Links - Bio links and hashtags are live and clickable.   Let them guide their followers and those interested in your brand directly to your landing page.  Adding a link as a caption to an image is a perfect method when you want to inform people about: sales, contests, restocking, new collections, special offers, etc...  Simply have them add a link to your website, Facebook account, or any other web address that you want them to visit. It’s a simple yet effective call-to-action that will help engage their audience.  
Hashtags - They can use clickable hashtags to turn their followers into brand advocates.   By creating a special branded hashtag and sharing it with their followers, they are adding to a base of posts revolving around your products.    Anyone who clicks the hashtag will be taken to a separate post with all the images using the same hashtag.  In addition, by ensuring that influencers use the same hashtag, you are securing that they spread the word about your brand and help expand your reach.  
Give each influencer a slightly different branded hashtag to use to enable tracking of their efforts.  Hashtag Marketing is a very powerful FREE method of growing your brand and getting your content in front of a wider audience that should not be ignored.
Instagram & Pin Stories - Instagram Stories and Pinterest Story Pins are great vehicles for growth and are getting preferred status on both platforms.  The main difference between the two is on Pinterest the story lives within a Pin and does not disappear after 1 hour.  
Tagging Products - When your user finds something they like on your page that they are interested in, they can create a shortcut to it. It’s faster than clicking a link in the caption. You can tag a product on the picture itself and enable your clients an instant connection to the product from the image. All they need to do is click the tag, and it takes them directly to your e-commerce website where they can purchase it.  This is perfect because it’s simple, quick, leads to more purchases, and is available on images and stories within both Instagram and Pinterest.
Swiping Up - This is an Instagram stories feature available to posters with more than 10k followers.  It enables instant redirection to your desired landing page which can be to something very specific.  For example, when you feature a product in your story, your goal is to evoke interest and sell the product.
Unboxing Videos - Made famous on YouTube, unboxing videos can be very effective.  Especially when the creator has a large following.  It is worth considering having one made for every product.  I had an unboxing video created in 2008 by a 14 yr old named Marques Brownlee, and it still drives traffic to this day.   He stuck it out on YouTube and calls his channel MKDHD now with 13.9 million followers.  His newest video is 7 hours old with a million views already.  
My understanding is they average 8k per million views from ad revenue.  These are great social proof and if you can get them to let you repost the video to IGTV, Pinterest, and your website, even better.    I'm sure he does not come cheap these days.  Don't create the unboxing yourself or have some unknown person do it, use some sort of influencer.
Tweets - As many as 49% of people on Twitter rely on recommendations from influencers on Twitter.  Are your users on Twitter?  Before you say no, at least check to see if your competitors are on Twitter and have a following.  I'd bet that not only are they on Twitter but if you search their hashtags, you will find they use Twitter influencers also.
Pinterest Pins - The half-life of a Pinterest Pin of 3.5 months.  That means it can be effective for you for around 7 months, although I've seen pins come in style and drive traffic much longer than that.   For that reason alone it is worth reposting anything that you can from other channels as pins.   Be sure to SEO your Pins, so they are seen.    Check out our FREE Pinterest Traffic Domination Workshop.
Pinterest Video - Video on Pinterest along with Pinterest stories get preferential treatment on the platform and enjoy much higher levels of engagement. When posting on any platform, the first objective is to get their attention and get someone to stop scrolling.  Pinterest is loaded with still images and many of them are of not the best quality or presentation.  Anything moving such as a video immediately catches your eye increasing engagement by default.  Find what works for others and recreate their magic but for your own users.   Pinterest Marketing can be a solid source of traffic and sales. 
Facebook - What would an article about this topic be if we left out Facebook?  Like it or not, Facebook has changed the way we communicate and socialize with others.  Sharing content on FB is important if your audience congregates on the site.  It won't have the best distribution to followers because of how the FB algorithm works, however, posts stay in your feed indefinitely.  Don't just create ads.  Create posts and boost them as ads.  If you have multiple pages or profiles, share the posts across your different pages.  

How Can I Maximize The Potential Of The Influencer Posts?

Now that you have all of these posts, how can you get the most out of them

Cross-Posting Products and Platforms - It is very important that you cross-post and cross-promote your different initiatives across platforms.   Just as people are marketplace loyal, many are social media platform loyal as well.  They may be on different social platforms, but many times, focus most of their time on one or two.   Therefore, you should cross-promote your posts and shared posts across platforms to reach an even greater number of people.
A tactic that we often use is to create specific fan pages for the different product categories that a brand may have. If you sell baseball gear, but also sell football gear, having separate fan pages under the same brand name can boost your Google SEO because it will get you listed in the search results for both subjects.   So under your main business page of Bob's Sporting Gear, you would have a Fan Page for Bob's Baseball Gear and a Fan Page for Bob's Football Gear.
The methods mentioned above are 2 of the many strategies available.    Get a list of strategies that you can print out and refer to often to ensure that you are making the most of working with influencers.   25+ Influencer Marketing Strategies is our list of all of the different ways that you can utilize your influencers and their posts to maximize the potential of collaborating together

Should You Use Amazon Live For Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

Amazon Live gets its own separate mention here, and not because it is effective.  It gets its' own separate mention because it is so easily misunderstood, resulting in a disconnect between influencers and sellers.    Neither party understands the role that the other plays, expectations or objectives of the other.  This is not Amazon's first attempt at creating a live platform.  The first attempt was a failure and so far this is not looking much different.  Most of the blame falls directly on Amazon as well.
Amazon sellers, in general, do not understand marketing and are not seeking brand awareness marketing campaigns.  Amazon sellers are expecting to see an immediate sales boost from the shout-outs and do not consider future sales being attributed to the shout-outs.  Partially because they do not understand how it works, and partially because they do nothing to build their awareness or trust.   They are an Amazon-only brand, have no presence off of Amazon, and cannot or will not interact with potential buyers on social media.  
Many Amazon Live influencers approach the presentation of products as a brand-building exercise and use it to justify charging 5k for one or two mentions. They do not understand how the mind of a smaller seller works and frequently do not care.  The only thing they are focused on is the cash and they act like sellers should be grateful that they are available to them.     They seem to think that sellers are rolling in the dough and do not understand that most smaller sellers have much tighter margins.

Set Realistic Expectations For Amazon Live

Would I suggest entering into a 5k Amazon Live agreement?  I'd be lying if I didn't say I've inked 100k influencer marketing deals in the past, but not on Amazon Live and these were for ongoing projects featuring extensive representation and were done by very large brands with deep pockets and large budgets. For most sellers, a 5k influencer deal is just not in the influencer marketing budget. It is excessive unless it is a deal involving multiple shout-outs and other involvement from the influencer.  
But for the majority of sellers, they should take the contract price, for example, $1000. and figure out how many PPC sales they would get for $1000.  That should be their measuring stick.  Can they get close to or more sales and exposure for their $1000 with an influencer?  If the answer is yes, then agreeing to that price makes sense.  
Future and brand awareness benefits from the shout-outs and involvement with the influencers rely on a seller's additional efforts to interact with potential buyers off of Amazon.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Influencer marketing is a key strategy that we use to launch. We will use several methods at once.  Smart marketers utilize multiple strategies at once to amplify their success and ensure any problem with one method doesn't kill the launch.  Traffic and sales are obvious benefits of influencer marketing.  What are some additional benefits?

Reviews

As has already been mentioned, we do not do full-price rebates.  Influencer traffic is warm traffic, implied trust traffic, because they trust the recommendation of the influencer.   These buyers are primed to purchase your product.  

They don't see your competitor's listings, nor do they need reviews to purchase, making them a great method.

Email List Building

We will generally use a mix of Amazon influencers and non-Amazon influencers to send people via affiliate links and separately via specific URLs. We do not inconvenience our customers to convenience ourselves, so we do not use 'search find buy'.

It may be a popular method and not be against TOS yet, but SFB is rude and nothing more than ranking manipulation.

Advertising Campaign

We also send everybody through a landing page 1st. There would be a landing page with an opt-in form.  Here we give them something that adds value to the purchase in exchange for their email.  List building should be a primary objective of every campaign that you run.  When you are building your list using social media prior to the Amazon visit, you are not violating Amazon TOS.  Email marketing should be approx. 30% of your sales and is not that hard to do, you just need to do it.

An example of incorporating list building into your influencer marketing could be something like this.   You sell a jacket.  Your influencer posts some content about the jacket which sends them to a landing page.  The influencer pitches a short fashion guide that you give the user in exchange for their email that contains several different images and ways of incorporating the jacket into your outfit for the night demonstrating how it can be utilized for social, casual, and even formal business occasions.

You can provide a link directly to the product on the opt-in page for those not wanting to opt-in and can provide it again on the thank you page for those that do.  You are collaborating with the influencer on the process enabling you to build sales and your email list.

Buyers Are Platform Loyal

We presell them on the product and provide purchase links at the bottom of the presell. Suppose the client sells on multiple platforms. We will offer more than just Amazon as a purchase link, and we will position it as 'Now Available On These Fine Sites' or something like the image below.   Including the Amazon logo, the store logo on Shopify, the Etsy link, or wherever else they sell.  Our results indicate that Ecommerce is becoming more and more borderless as time goes on.

Don't Waste Traffic - Offer Multiple Payment Options

In this example, this client doesn't have a website and sells directly using a PayPal Buy Now button and fulfilling via a 3rd party warehouse.   Depending on where the client sells we never provide more than four payment options.

Plus, we learned that buyers are very platform loyal. Offering multiple payment options enables the buyer to purchase wherever they are most comfortable. However, in terms of influencers, that can make tracking difficult. Your links need to have specific UTM codes to track metrics.

Suppose we are using an Amazon influencers affiliate account.  We use their affiliate link on the actual landing page. Be sure that you have your Facebook Pixel and Google Pixel on the landing page and pixel the different actions on the page. This way, you will be able to retarget people who bounce, create look-a-like audiences, custom audiences of purchasers, and bounces who opted in but did not purchase.

Retargeting campaigns, traditionally, always exponentially increase the conversion and engagement rates. You can add UTM tracking codes to power your retargeting campaigns as well.

What Works Best Using Influencer Marketing In 2022?

You've done all of this research and work finding social media Influencers, how exactly will they use their social influence to help your brand?  What are they going to do?  Are there new platforms that they may use? We get these questions often, and they are good questions that must be clarified and in writing before you start working with the influencer.   What exactly will they do for you? What is the typical engagement rate?

As part of choosing the right influencers, ask them what type of content their audience responds to the best.  Good, experienced Influencers will want to create the content themselves.    We prefer that, but it must be approved and in line with your brand messaging.   This is always the best place to start.  One advantage of working with nano and micro-influencers is that they are more open to trying creative things and are looking for new ideas and experiences themselves.

Examples Of Different Types Of Partnerships and Collaborations

The strategies you employ with an influencer are really only limited by your imagination.   Listed below are just some of the strategies that we have used over the years.

  • Sponsored blog posts
  • Video content
  • Idea Pins
  • Amazon Post content.
  • Thought leadership
  • Account takeover
  • Promote your past content.
  • Cross-post
  • User-generated content
  • Brand ambassadors
  • Media coverage
  • Face of the brand

Do you want  25+ Advanced Influencer Marketing Strategies that work very well right now?  Plus get a handy Influencer Marketing Strategy Checklist that you can use to make sure you get the most out of your social media influencer partnerships.

Pay For Performance

Our typical marketing strategy with Amazon influencers follows a pay-for-performance model.   They use their affiliate account and get paid commission on every sale.  The better influencers know their value.   When we initially talk to a possible influencer we ask them what the average sales and follower increase past collaborations have produced.  They should know.  This is what you are paying for.  We will set goals based on the numbers they quote if we think it is reasonable.

If they state the avg. sales is around 3000 units, we will tell them if they do more than 2700 units or 90% of their estimated amount, then we will double their commission amount.  We have even tripled it before in certain cases for exceptional performance.  

If we give them any money upfront, we try to limit it to their production costs for the content.   This doesn't always work well with macro or mega-influencers because they expect a lot of money upfront.   Do the math.  If someone quotes you 20k upfront plus commission, how many units do they need to sell for you to be able to absorb the cost-plus commission and still make money yourself?    Is it realistic?

Once an influencer has proven themselves having completed a successful campaign for us, giving them additional money upfront can be considered.  But in the majority of situations, they must prove themselves first. 

Be prepared to give every influencer that you work with two free products.   We specifically mention raffling one off because it can give their earnings a serious bump.    Often, influencers can sell raffle tickets to enter contests to win a product or hold a mini-auction and give it to the highest bidder. The smart influencers realize that they may sell far more raffle tickets than the product is worth.  

For example, we gave an off-road Jeep club a set of exhaust headers to raffle to their group. As the manufacturer, my clients' cost is very low. The headers themselves retail for close to $300. The Jeep club raised over $2500 just from the raffle ticket sales. Add that to the commissions they made for recommending the product to their 40,000 members.    They did very well.    It was certainly a win-win.   You will find that you need to educate the influencer about the value of doing a raffle.

Gamification

Ideally, you want to build a list of influencers that you have ongoing relationships.  Consider them as your small army of marketers.  Do you like the sound of that?   You are probably thinking to yourself that I said to stick with influencers with smaller follower amounts.  Just how much can an influencer actually do for you?    The answer is a lot more than you think.

Running one-and-done influencer marketing campaigns are a waste of time.  Go into it with a long-term, ongoing plan.

Consider turning it into a game with earnable points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.  Each post they create, review, video, engagement event, the sharing of old posts, and more gain them so many points.    We like to set this up for new influencers with the prize being cash plus an ongoing contract worth $$.  This can work very well.

This method produces more branded searches, lowers your cost of acquisition, and decreases the chances of losing the sale to some unknown marketplace seller running PPC.  This produces warm, implied-trust traffic.  It also automates several functions of the campaign which can involve a lot of work.  Plus, you end up with a pool of potential influencers to choose from in addition to the contest winner.    Theoretically, this group of influencers can become your marketing plan driving sales both on and off of the marketplaces.  Check out a detailed breakdown of the gamification methods we are suggesting

Conclusion: Influencer Marketing Should Be A Part of Your Marketing Plan

You should have a clear understanding of the value that influencer marketing can bring to your business. 

The ability to borrow their influence over their audience in the form of an implied trust recommendation can drive large amounts of traffic.  Add that they will purchase without the need for existing reviews, are easier to get a review from post-sale, Amazon rewards off-site converting traffic better than PPC, I'm amazed this isn't a standard launching method.

One thing to consider is that Influencers come from all walks of life.  Some items have a much broader appeal in the market and the type of influencer you choose would vary quite a bit. If you sell car parts, your choice of influencers is limited compared to someone selling general merchandise that anyone might use.

You must consider the influencer, their followers, and the way in which they might present your brand.  Some would suggest that someone like Charles Manson was an influencer in his own way, but really, who would pick him to represent and speak for their brand?

At the end of the day, it all reflects back on you, your brand, and your company.   I'm very careful about whom I allow to speak for or represent my company, and you should also! The bottom line is that using the most effective and best influencer marketing strategies will be very valuable for any business.  It can be the fastest path you have to a focused audience that trusts you based on the recommendation of someone they trust.

I've laid out many different ways to partner with influencers.  I hope that you see the value that can be gained by building strong relationships with influencers.  Dollar for dollar it is a very effective method of acquiring leads, followers, engagement, and sales.  Imagine launching a new product with a small army of influencers primed and ready!  Content, reviews, shout-outs, videos, all coordinated, set, and ready because you made the effort to find influencers.

The exposure potential can be massive.  This can all be put into play while your product is in production so your launch will coincide with a massive pr push.  Yes, I know what you are thinking, so much work.   It seems so overwhelming, doesn't it?   I'd be lying if I said it was a walk in the park the first time around.  It can be a lot to set up, but nothing you cannot get done.  Hire a VA for some of the minimum wage stuff and get it done.  Use our list of the best influencer marketing tools and platforms to set yourself up to succeed

It can be the difference between an incredibly profitable launch or the same old rebates and a PPC launch that leaves you wondering if you have enough capital to place a second order.   It seems like a no-brainer, easy answer to me, but I understand every circumstance is different.  Do what is right for your business!  Whatever you do, don't half-ass it.   What's next?   Read the next article in the series Find Influencers, Brand Advocates And Brand Ambassadors   Click the link to continue reading.

About the author 

Joe Reichsfeld

Joe Reichsfeld is an E-commerce Coach and Consultant who has been helping entrepreneurs succeed online since 1999. Before E-commerce, Joe spent almost 20 years managing and consulting in the food and beverage industry. His background, plus years of experience working with thousands of sellers, gives him a unique perspective and approach that has helped many clients. Joe currently works with solopreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. He helps his clients create strong brands—using organic and paid methods—that have proven to deliver sustainable sales, traffic, and long-term growth. His strategies help clients dominate their niches and reach a larger target audience while diversifying across markets and borders. Book a 1 on 1 coaching call with Joe today and find out how he can help your business grow!

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14 lessons

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The half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes, a Facebook post is 90 minutes, and a Pinterest pin is 3.5 months . Pinterest is the number 1 source of FREE Ecommerce traffic since 2018 and users spend over 35% more than any other Social Media referral. As an effective visual, planning, search engine, how will you use to benefit your business?

Content Marketing is a strategy centered on producing and circulating high-value, relevant, content to a specific audience. Follow the process we have used to create communities resulting in 7 and 8 figure sales using organic traffic from evergreen content.

5 lessons

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A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research and data about real people. Understanding your audience and their motivations is key to your success. Simplify your efforts when you understand your personas. Go through our workshop to nail this down quick!

7 lessons

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Amazon states that 72% of shoppers search on Amazon before making a purchase. This creates a significant misunderstanding. Shoppers research their issues on Google, Social Media and Forums first to understand the problem and find solutions. Get in front of potential buyers long befote they get to Amazon with Google Ads.

8 lessons

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Imagine creating a product, the effort, and expenses occurring only in the beginning. All future sales occurring with minimal effort, and zero inventory utilizing a Print on Demand format. Using KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, to produce books and content can create ongoing passive income like this

3 lessons

Easy

Hashtags are a FREE, simple way to get your message and content in front of your audience and potential followers who are interested in your specific topics. They work extremely well for targeting influencers audiences, competitors, and borrowing the efforts of other creators to help distribute your message.

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“Using Joe’s techniques, I was able to engage my target audience in a way like never before to create social proof for my product, gain reviews, and build traction in my niche. With Joe’s methods, I was truly able to add value to my product like no other seller in the market.”

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