Partnering with an influencer can be hugely effective step for your ecommerce venture. Piggybacking off the success of social stars can give your business the boost it needs to reach higher sales, increased brand awareness, and better engagement.
But beware! While an ecommerce/influencer partnership can be hugely beneficial, if you don’t do it right it can fall flat. To help you on the way to influencer campaign success, we’ve highlighted four of the most common mistakes brands can make — and how you can avoid them.
Focusing on followers over engagement
When you’re trawling the web to find your influencer, you can easily fall into the trap of being dazzled by follower counts and big numbers. The more followers an influencer has, the better they are, right?
Not necessarily. While a social influencer’s reach should certainly be considered, there are other important factors that you need to take into account too, for example authenticity or engagement. Do they respond to follower comments? Do conversations happen between fans and the influencer? Do their followers’ comments seem genuine, or do they tag their friends in them?
These questions can highlight whether there is an authentic relationship between the influencer and their fans. They can help identify a real connection, and in turn indicate whether a partnership will return real results. The fact of it is, high followers don’t necessarily deliver the kind of ROI that high engagement does. Influencers who regularly engage with their followers are considered more trustworthy. As a consequence, their endorsements carry more weight and credibility than those without such a relationship.
Vague goals means vague campaigns
Another common pitfall that many ecommerce brands fall prey to is setting vague or unclear goals at the start of a partnership.
Say, for example, you want your campaign to drive up sales for your summer collection. Your desired end result is a measurable increase in specific products in your store. But if you haven’t clearly and concisely set out with your chosen influencer the goal you want to achieve and the products you’re targeting, you run the risk of them creating overly general or irrelevant content.
To avoid this, start your influencer partnership with a clearly defined campaign strategy plan. Sit down with them and discuss:
- What your key performance indicators of your campaign will be, whether it’s increased web traffic, higher engagement, more sales, increased social awareness, and so on.
- Your expected ROI for those KPIs — these shouldn’t be followed religiously, but can serve as guidelines for measuring your campaign’s efficacy.
- How you want those goals achieved: if it’s sales, what specific products do you want to sell? If it’s brand awareness or engagement, what angle do you want them to aim for?
Once you’ve identified these things, work together to create a basic editorial calendar that works for both of you. Regularly touching base with your influencer for campaign updates will help keep your end goal at the forefront of your strategy.
Micromanaging your influencer
But remember, while it’s important that your influencer is working towards your goal, it’s also equally vital that they create the content in their own inimitable style.
Your influencers know their audience better than anyone, and they know how to speak to them too. They know what language works, what type of content resonates with them, how it should be delivered, and so on.
It takes two to tango, and an ecommerce/influencer partnership is a delicate dance. Yes, it’s important that you set out definitively what it is you want to achieve. But your influencer is responsible for creating and sharing that content in a way that will foster genuine engagement with their followers.
By all means, check the content before it’s shared — in fact, it’s recommended that you do. Ask questions and raise queries, but trust their judgment when it comes to stylistic points. They’re good at what they do for a reason!
Not measuring results to identify success
Whether it’s social media marketing, email campaigns, or paid ads, every marketing strategy should be measured to accurately determine their efficacy. And that’s equally true when it comes to an ecommerce/influencer partnership too.
What you’re measuring will depend on what goals you’re striving for in your campaign. These goals will have certain KPIs that can help you track your success. For example, if it’s higher sales you want, you’ll need to track conversion rates that are a direct result of your influencer’s content. Or if you’re after a bigger social following, measure engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments.
And this is easy to do too. There are several tools that you can use to help track your campaign KPIs, such as Traackr. However, if you’re an ecommerce store on a budget, you’ll want Google Analytics. This tool is free to use and lets you track a variety of store metrics, such as sales, web traffic, and more.
Google Analytics is also perfect for influencer campaigns thanks to its Campaign URL Builder. This tool lets you create Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM) parameters, specific URLs that track customer actions when clicked.
Create a UTM parameter for your influencer’s posts, and you can accurately measure the efficacy and progress of your campaign. Plus, it works with any ecommerce creator too, meaning you can get measuring your campaign quickly and with ease.
Every ecommerce business should consider a partnership with an influencer. It’s a core part of every successful brand’s marketing, and it should be part of yours too.
Beware the mistakes of others though: set out clear and defined goals for your influencer, but let them take the lead. Bear the above in mind and you’ll surely be on your way to a successful partnership.