by Adam Robson
Posted on Wednesday 31st January 2018
This week, we discuss the important role influencers and affiliates are having in the modern 21st century approach to online marketing...
They are calling 2018 the year of the influencer? Why? My view is because traditional forms of advertising are becoming less effective. Let's face it, we are all bombarded by hordes of advertisements everywhere we look.
Influencers in comparison are subtle yet extremely effective in recommending products we may purchase.
The best influencers make us unconsciously aware we need to have a certain product to be more like those that we admire.
So, how do you find influencers and affiliates?
My number one go to is Instagram. Why? It's fairly straight forward to find individuals that could recommend my products, and the best part is it's free!
For example if you sell 'car cleaning products', search for individuals and influencers that love their cars, e.g. #lovecleancars. The right influencer can bring huge credibility to your brand and result in substantial sales.
To approach someone on Instagram, send them a professionally written, but personal, invitation to recommend your products. Offer them a monetary incentive to refer your products to their followers, i.e. a commission on every sale. Many influencers are often paid for simply making posts, but explain to them that the rewards from a commission based arrangement may be far better than a flat fee. If you find someone isn't receptive to your offer, raise the stakes or ask someone else. There are millions of individuals on Instagram all looking to make money, so ask as many as possible. If you're paying commission only on sales then don't be shy on asking as many people as possible to promote your brand. Remember you're only paying if they bring you results. You'll need some tracking software to keep track of all your new sales and any commission owed, (yes, I realise this is a shameless plug for ShoutOut, but it really is the best).
There are countless websites that list influencers available for promotion. Most unfortunately ask you to pay either a flat fee to access their list, others ask you pay a fee on revenue achieved, or a percentage of what you pay the influencer. None of these options I find appealing as you're paying money before results are achieved. If you do decide to go down this path, ensure you compare ratings and reviews from past shop owners on actual performance. The biggest disadvantage of paying influencers upfront is there is no incentive for them to make their posts engaging. They will simply do the minimum required hoping you may get a result.
Another alternative to find influencers is via smartphone Apps. There are numerous now available. They are essentially the same business model as the website version listed above so I won't repeat how they usually work, but they may be worth investigating.
Another option is to find bloggers that are writing about products in your niche and reach out to them. Bloggers are always looking for fresh ideas and content to write about, and are a powerful source of credibility. The best place to find bloggers for your specific product industry is to simply search on Google, adding the term BLOG. You'll be amazed at how many you will find. Check the bloggers audience size to establish if they have sufficient followers to reach a suitable audience of possible buyers.
If your sell products that are locally based don't underestimate the power of your own social media network. Many of your own friends and acquaintances if approached correctly are usually receptive to recommending your products if there's an incentive in it for them. Ask them to ask others to also share their posts. Remember the true power of social marketing is the number of people that may be reached through social sharing.
With 19 years experience in e-commerce, the owner of numerous successful online shops, and the founder and director of ShoutOut, Adam Robson discusses the challenges every store owner faces in the current online business environment.