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E-commerce and Influence Marketing: how to capitalise on this winning combo?

Daniel Wellington, Glossier, Purelei or Honest Beauty, many online brands have been successful due to their Influence Marketing campaigns. By partnering with the most relevant KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) for their brands, these Internet-born brands have been able to grow to become key players in their fields. Learn in this article how content creators influence consumer behaviour and what Influence Marketing can do for your business. Let's get started!

person holding a phone
person holding a phone

The role of Influence Marketing in the purchase decision

According to a recent Statista study, 94% of the surveyed people declared that positive reviews posted on the Internet made them more likely to buy a company’s products or use its services. On the contrast, negative reviews drastically reduce consumers’ willingness to buy, with 92% saying that negative reviews would make them less likely to be interested in a brand. Another interesting finding is that 79% of respondents say they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family.

Using KOLs to promote your products or services is definitely an effective strategic lever to make yourself known and boost your sales. However, these figures vary greatly from one country to another. Indeed, according to a second study carried out by Statista, if in Brazil, China or India more than 30% of the respondents declared to have bought a product after being promoted by celebrities or influencers, this figure drops drastically to 12% for France, which has the lowest rate, 15% for the United Kingdom or Germany, or even 17% for the United States. Although they do not always directly influence the act of purchase, content creators nevertheless remain an excellent vector for improving brand awareness.

There are also important distinctions according to the size of the community of identified KOLs. Indeed, while macro-influencers or celebrities allow to reach the best visibility thanks to their very large audiences, nano and micro-influencers are known to be closer to their communities and are appreciated for their transparency and honesty. Although they reach fewer people, the closeness these influencers have with their respective communities and their ability to create relevant content encourages their followers to make a purchase.

Nowadays, before making a purchase decision, we all tend to look online for consumer reviews, whether it be directly on blogs or on social networks. Postings on social platforms play a major role in building trust in brands. KOLs give you instant access to a highly engaged audience that you would not be able to reach with more traditional marketing methods.

Influence marketing remains a performance lever that generates excellent results, as long as you know how to choose the right influencers to work with. When fully mastered, influencer marketing allows you to identify specific audience segments led by a KOL on social networks. Finding influencers is the biggest challenge for those running in-house campaigns according to a study by Influencer Marketing Hub. Technology solutions like Kolsquare can help you identify which profiles are most relevant to your brand thanks to the wealth of information and data you can find about them: where their followers come from, who they are, what their average engagement rate is, what their interests are,…

A strong ROI through Influence Marketing

Finding and identifying the right profiles is always worth it however ! In fact, according to the same study by Influencer Marketing Hub, for every dollar brands spend on influencers, they get an average return on investment of almost $6.

The research of Ogilvy, the American advertising agency whose clients include brands such as IBM, Coca Cola, American Express and Nestlé, also points towards this. And for good reason, in their latest report on Influence Marketing in 2022, the agency showed that each channel to which influence is added can increase the return on investment by up to 30%.

Furthermore, while it was difficult to measure the exact ROI of your Influence Marketing campaigns in the past, this is no longer the case as the sector becomes stronger and more structured. By ensuring that the briefing of KOLs is part of a defined campaign plan and that the content generated is set up to be effectively trackable, you can manage your budgets more effectively and evaluate your return on investment against your business results.

Successful brands using Influence Marketing

Starting from scratch, some of the world’s best-known e-commerce brands have created a genuine empire thanks to social networks and Influence Marketing. Take the example of the Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington. With a start-up investment of less than $25,000, Filip Tysander, the brand’s founder and CEO, started his business from the ground up. Unlike competitor brands such as Swatch, Daniel Wellington did not pay large sums of money to celebrities to promote its watches.

Meanwhile, the brand’s marketing strategy has always revolved around a strong presence on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and, most importantly, Instagram. Filip Tysander understood the tremendous potential of content creators and social networks from the very beginning. It is therefore not surprising that the brand has, at the time of writing, 4.9M followers on its Instagram account.

The American cosmetics brand Glossier is another example of a brand born online, in a completely different industry. Unlike traditional make-up companies, Glossier did not do any market analysis before launching. In fact, the brand relied instead on the power of influence of the famous beauty blog “Into the Gloss” created by the brand’s founder Emily Weiss. Among other things, this is what has enabled Emily Weiss to effectively identify the cosmetic expectations of her readers. The “Into the Gloss” blog and the brand’s Instagram account (which now has over 2.6M followers) have undoubtedly been the most important tools in the development of the Glossier business. These serve as both the inspiration for product development and the perfect customer survey tools.

On the jewellery side, the German brand Purelei has also managed to make a good impression thanks to its differentiating Influence Marketing strategy. Its founder, Alisa Jahnke, explains that she quickly decided to rely on content creators to launch her brand: “Very early on, we started writing to influencers and sending them jewellery,” she says. To track the success of an Influence Marketing campaign, Purelei has used coupon codes, among other things: The most important thing about influencer marketing and follower growth is social proof. Having more followers simply increases the faith that potential customers will have in you” says Alisa Jahnke. Influencer marketing continues to drive Purelei’s growth today.

E-commerce and Influence: 3 ideas for easy scaling

Scaling through influencer marketing to boost your sales and get your brand off the ground? It’s more important than ever, and we’re showing you three ways to do it now.

Set up an affiliate program with the most relevant KOLs for your brand

You probably already know how affiliate marketing works: a KOL – in this case, an affiliate – promotes your products or services on social networks or on his blog, in exchange for a promo code or a link you send him so that he can earn a commission on the sales and/or traffic he generates on your website. This also allows you to easily track and measure the impact of an influencer’s communication, but also to compare the performance of different content creators activated for your campaign.

By 2022 it is estimated that 80% of brands have affiliate programmes. Leading e-commerce company Amazon even offers KOLs the opportunity to create their own online shops through its affiliate programme. Globally, the US has the largest market share in the affiliate sector, with over 39%.

In addition, affiliate marketing alone accounts for over 16% of all e-commerce orders in the US and Canada. That’s just the beginning. Affiliate marketing remains one of the main ways to effectively measure your ROI and implement your Influence Marketing campaigns.

Social Shopping, Live Shopping, Stories,... : take advantage of the different functionalities offered by social networks

With Instagram Shopping, Instagram offers you the possibility to create a real shop front on the social network for your brand. This is very interesting since 81% of users say they use the platform to do research on products and services. In 2019, a year after the launch of this new feature, 130 million users were already clicking on a product tag every month.

According to a study by Hootsuite, one out of two people have already used Instagram to discover new brands. Instagram Shopping is an incredible discovery tool: 50% of people use it to discover new brands, products or services. And two out of three people say the social platform helps foster interactions with brands.

With Social Shopping, Instagram brings together the social network and e-commerce mechanics of the traditional web in one place. If you are not yet using Instagram Shopping, you could be missing out on powerful sales opportunities. If you want to create your own online shop, you can find out how to do so on the dedicated Instagram page.

Stories, meanwhile, now allow anyone with an Instagram account to share links. Once reserved for KOLs with over 10,000 followers, the feature has now been extended to all accounts. This is a boon if you want to rely on nano-influencers for your Influence Marketing campaigns in particular.

Receive notifications from nano and micro-influencers on your sales pages

Another way of scaling in e-commerce through influencer marketing is to ask influencers for opinions on your products. We often think of them to test a product, to give feedback on their social networks, but it is also possible to negotiate a partnership to get a review directly on your website.

This will increase trust in your products or services among future customers, because as we have discussed above we all tend to refer to online reviews before making a purchase.

Are you an e-commerce brand and want to know more about your next Influence Marketing campaign? Contact our dedicated experts now for a free demonstration of our technological solution.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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