Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person(CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader(CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP®)
Join the elite group of sales professionals and leaders
Certified Master Sales Trainer (CMST®)
Advanced Sales Influence (ASI)
Take your influence and leadership to the next level.
Certified Professional Sales Associate (CPSA®)
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
Even though “influencer” is a new term associated with social media, brands have been using people of influence, a.k.a. celebrities, long before Instagram and even the Internet. Some brands, like Nike, even developed separate sub-brands that become iconic, standalone status symbols like Air Jordan apparel.
But, thanks to Internet influencers, you no longer have to partner with big-name celebrities to get your band promoted. Influencer marketing allows even smaller brands to reach their target audience directly. Influencer marketing can become one of the best and cost-effective ways to expand your reach, grow brand awareness, and trigger more sales.
This article will give your eCommerce business three strategies to ensure your influencer marketing efforts bring tangible results and help your store grow.
Finding the right influencer to partner with is the first step you need to take if you are interested in promoting your brand. While finding influencers isn’t difficult, identifying the right partner for your brand is a bit trickier.
Even though the number of followers and post engagement is important, the first thing you need to focus on is brand relevance. If possible, you want to partner with an influencer within the same niche.
For example, if your store sells fishing equipment, it would make sense to partner up with a famous local fisherman or an outdoors enthusiast. Even if they have 10x less followers compared to a major travel blogger, their audience will much more likely buy from you.
Only after you identify influencers with the right follower base, you should look into other metrics, such as:
If you have regular customers who are first to praise them in the comments, and they also happen to have a solid follower base and post frequently – these are perfect candidates to become your partners.
Even if their profile isn’t the biggest, the fact that they are willing to praise and promote your products even for free means a lot – they are true fans. All you need to do is send them your new products as soon as they arrive, and they are likely to promote them. Later, as your brand and profile grow, you can even offer them a sponsorship.
Looking at big brand campaigns will probably get you thinking about going straight for sponsored posts. However, smaller brands reaching out to micro-influencers usually lack the budget for this kind of marketing. Squarespace, Dollar Shave Club, Skillshare, and similar brands are already well-known and have millions of dollars to spend on big-time influencers and even celebrities. Playing that type of game from the get-go is very expensive and unwise.
Fortunately, (micro) influencer marketing opens several other opportunities, and you don’t have to rely only on sponsored posts to make it work for your brand, on the contrary.
We have already talked about contacting your existing loyal customers and turning them into influencers by sending them your new products. This is one form of “product seeding.” Whenever a company sends free products to individuals without asking for anything in return, we are talking about product seeding.
While you can’t count it will happen every single time, influencers who try and like your product are likely to share it afterwards. They are also aware of product seeding and know that it can result in partnerships.
Even though giving out your products for free without asking anything in return might seem too opportunistic, seeding is one of the cheapest forms of marketing. After all, you already own your products, if they are physical. And, if they are digital – even better!
Whenever you send your products, make sure to introduce your brand as well. This is a great way to build relationships with influencers. For instance, you can consider a specific business card design or a personalized note explaining the company behind a specific product. Don’t hesitate to share your values as this can also impact influencers’ impression of your product.
When choosing influencer partners for your eCommerce business, it is wise to find a person who often publishes content such as:
Even though videos are the most popular and most effective for this type of content, blogs still work and are usually much more affordable, so look to diversify across platforms.
Content of this type will demonstrate your products’ usefulness and compare them to others in your niche. This will mean consumers who may be looking at your competitors’ products might end up buying yours. But, beware – it also goes the other way around. 🙂
You should also diversify ways influencers can earn commissions from promoting your products. That way, you will prevent losing a potential partnership only because an influencer uses a specific type of promotion that you don’t have. Here are some popular options:
While getting a ton of likes on promoted posts is nice, that alone doesn’t mean much. Sure, it might raise brand awareness, but in influencer marketing, it’s imperative to stay zeroed in on ROI.
Fortunately, some forms of affiliate marketing, such as affiliate links and coupon codes, are very easy to track. You will get advanced stats that will tell you which partner got the most conversions and how many people were brought to your website via referral traffic.
If you use Shopify, its dashboard will give you most of the stats you need. Google Analytics is also a great option. You will see the source of traffic in detail and will be able to compare each of the partners, but also different types of posts to determine which is the most effective.
While likes and comments on the influencer’s post itself don’t mean much, it’s an entirely different story if people start following your brand, as you will be able to market to them directly. If they start subscribing to your newsletter, even better, as your email list is your own property.
Aside from affiliate links, promo code conversions and the number of followers and referral traffic, other important key performance indicators of influencer marketing are engagement on your own posts, but also brand mentions and the use of your hashtags.
Choosing who to partner with, diversifying your approach, and staying focused on results is a relatively simple recipe. But, even though it is simple in theory, once you start working on it, you will quickly realize it requires a good amount of work to materialize.
However, if you manage to apply strategies you just learned right, they will definitely bring results and help you harvest influencer marketing to its fullest, skyrocketing the number of sales your eCommerce business makes. The sooner you start doing it, the sooner it will start paying off, so start working on your influencer marketing campaign today.
About the author
Helga Zabalkanska is a CMO at Newoldstamp (500 Startups backed) and MySignature. She has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing with a data-driven approach. Helga is a startup enthusiast and SaaS lover.