One word from the right mouth to the million years of that person’s followers can take your business from zero to hero. That’s the premise of influencer marketing or using bloggers to promote your products and services. Bloggers have come a long way since their modest beginnings.
Knowing what the future holds for them may be the way to outplay your competitors and save yourself some money. Want to know the latest secret for growing your e-commerce business in partnership with bloggers?
Here it is: go for the ones with a lower follower count. Sounds counter-intuitive? It won’t be after you read this guide to finding the perfect blogger.
Why bloggers are great for your e-commerce business
Social proof is one of the most significant drivers of sales and brand loyalty. So, it should not be surprising that generating it via influencer marketing will turn into a $10 billion industry by 2020.
Here are some of the reasons why bloggers are marketers’ favorite marketing channel.
- Ninety-two percent of marketers who tried influencer marketing found it to be an effective channel.
- Almost half of the consumers depend on bloggers’ recommendations, while forty percent had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.
- Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
- A popular blogger’s endorsement has shaped roughly a quarter of purchases among 18–34-year-olds.
- More than half of female consumers made purchases based on influencer recommendations, with Facebook and Instagram as the preferred platforms.
- The Top 25 YouTube stars get three times more video views than traditional celebrities.
Now, you may be thinking, ‘All I need to do is find a blogger with millions of followers, cash out, and then start cashing in. However, the influencer bubble is not all sunshine and rainbows.
Why you should choose your blogger carefully
Recently, a significant influencer fails sent shockwaves through the community of fashion bloggers. Instagram blogger Arianna Renee, who goes by the name Arii, decided to launch her clothing line, ERA.
Arii boasts a solid 2.6 million followers. So, she expected she quickly would kickstart her first sales. It turns out, she sold fewer than 36 T-shirts, failing to meet the requirement of the partner company for the initial drop of items.
So, what is the takeaway from this cautionary tale? Plenty of incredibly successful bloggers have a large following and a strong personal brand. Yet, the former doesn’t necessarily lead to the latter.
Follow and like aren’t costly. They don’t take much of our time or emotional investment. Engagement, on the other hand, means much more — and Instagram recently made a severe plunge in engagement rates.
Bloggers who can rack up views, a high click-through-rate, and start and keep a conversation among their followers show great potential in terms of understanding their followers’ interests and concerns.
So, how do you make sure you pick those versus the more than 2 million-follower lady who only could sell 36 T-shirts?
The Appeal of Micro-influencers
Nano-influencers (1,000–10,000 followers) and micro-influencers (10,000–50,000) have been a buzzword among digital marketers for a while. And for a good reason!
- Micro-influencer campaigns drive 60 percent higher engagement rates than average campaigns. (Go2 Experticity)
- Eighty-two percent of consumers would follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer. (Go2 Experticity)
- Micro-influencer campaigns are 6.7x more efficient per engagement than influencers with more significant followings. (Medium)
The greatest assets of these bloggers are strong personal branding, knowledge, and the amount of engagement they generate. They don’t chase likes. They are focused on creating high-quality content and having a conversation. Since these bloggers spend more time in touch with their followers, focusing on their needs and interests, they also have a better understanding of things that work with their target audience.
Micro-influencers are more cautious about the things they promote, and this is not a bad thing. This means they likely will take on partnerships with brands and businesses that align with their brand. This boosts your chances of success and minimizes the financial risks.
Finally, bloggers with a smaller audience come with lower price tags for their services, despite being able to provide you with the same value as their larger competitors. According to Social Media Today, most of them charge up to $1,000 per sponsored post.
Where and how to find the right bloggers
Finally, here are tips on how to get in touch with the best bloggers, and make sure they are the right fit for you.
1. Look for industry/niche knowledge
Bloggers who can help you grow your e-commerce business should wield considerable expertise in their industry or niche of choice. This is how they build their authority and credibility, along with the chances of their recommendation turning into your sales.
2. Research, research, research!
The simplest and most effective way to create a list of potential partners is to search for bloggers, their websites, or content pieces based on keywords tied to your business or niche.
You can apply this method across all platforms — Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Keep in mind that some industries fare better on specific social media. For example, beauty and fashion are industries that thrive on Instagram. Arts and crafts are reserved for Pinterest. Tech gadgets are popular on YouTube.
Another tip is to localize your search. If you noticed that your business fares well, or shows potential in specific locations, try reaching a local blogger. This is particularly important for e-commerce businesses with international reach. Local bloggers will be able to present your product in a way that speaks to a specific audience. This is particularly important in the Middle East.
An excellent way to check a blogger’s credentials is to test their domain authority. You can use this free tool to do that.
3. Seek content that aligns with your brand
Once you create a list of potential partners, check out their content in-depth, whether it’s on a social media network or their own website. Does their tone and messaging align with your brand? Does their visual identity complement your product and brand? These are important details. There are plenty of great bloggers, but their style doesn’t necessarily match yours.
4. Seek followers who are your target audience
If you sell anti-aging face cream, there is not much point in hiring a 20-year-old blogger followed by teenage girls. In the process of vetting a blogger, pay particular attention to their followers’ demographics and interests and compare them against your buyer personas.
5. Set realistic engagement level expectations
We talked about this. So, no need to repeat why you need to pay attention to this metric. The only thing left is to give you the benchmarks. Based on the blogger’s number of followers and an average number of comments (we suggest you leave the likes out if you are calculating the rate on Instagram), you can calculate their engagement rate and compare it to social network benchmarks. These are considered good engagement rates.
Keep in mind that these numbers are averages, and they can vary significantly from case to case. So, we encourage you to study this report in detail. It contains social media benchmarks for several important marketing metrics, sorted by industries.
If you want to analyze traffic and engagement on the blogger’s website (or your competitors’), you can use a tool such as Ahrefs. While it is a significant financial investment, it provides you with a goldmine of data you can leverage.
Your competitors are gearing up to mobilize even more influencers in the years ahead. But don’t go headfirst into influencer marketing. Capitalize on patience and research in choosing your future partners. And remember, bloggers, are more than a mouthpiece for your brand. Focus on building a relationship with bloggers and teaming up with them, rather than treating them as a one-time transaction.
We are Fetchr; a company specialized in e-fulfillment. We help e-commerce entrepreneurs grow their business in the Middle East. Let’s make it happen! One box at a time. Learn more here.
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This blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered business or legal advice. MENA 360 DWC-LLC (Fetchr) will not be held liable for the use, non-use or misapplication of this information, lost profits, personal or business interruption, or any other loss.