Tips for using influencers in your Amazon holiday strategy
Influencers deliver an 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing, so it’s no small wonder that they’re becoming a key component of a digital marketing strategy.
One reason behind their success is that consumers are increasingly turning to social media and blogs for product recommendations.
In 2018, nearly 30 percent of shoppers discovered new retailers on social media, and 49 percent of people rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchasing decisions, according to Twitter and Annalect.
This consumer behavior is of particular importance during the holiday season, when many shoppers turn to social media and blogs for gift ideas. By partnering with influencers, your brand can promote products for the holidays, directing highly engaged and relevant audiences from an influencer’s post straight to your listings or brand store for conversion.
If you want to incorporate influencer marketing into your Amazon holiday strategy, here are five tips for getting started.
1. Identify an influencer who is active within your category.
A McKinsey study reported that five percent of recommenders in the shoes and clothing category accounted for 45 percent of the social influence generated, illustrating an important point: Influencers can only promote your products effectively if your products are relevant to their audiences.
One brand that applied this lesson well is JumpOff Jo, a family lifestyle company that creates products that “grow with your family.” JumpOff Jo collaborated with Janene Crossley, a top one percent Instagram influencer in the Moms community, to promote its Little Jo Kids TeePee Tent on her blog and Instagram. Through Crossley’s posts, JumpOff Jo promoted its brand and product to thousands of relevant consumers, building brand awareness and driving sales.
2. Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand personality.
People make decisions based on emotions. For influencer marketing, that means you need to identify an influencer whose look, feel, community and values align with your brand. If your brand can connect with a relatable audience, you’re more likely to generate a higher response rate.
As an added bonus, influencer contracts can give brands the right to use any pictures or videos created for the brand during the campaign. If you choose a influencer with a matching aesthetic, their content can be seamlessly integrated into your other marketing efforts, including your marketplace listings and social accounts. By sharing an influencer’s posts on your brand’s social media accounts, you also help promote their channel, cultivating a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship.
In the case of JumpOff Jo, Crossley’s family-focused style was a perfect fit for the brand and product, and now JumpOff Jo can use its favorite photos from the campaign in future marketing efforts.
3. Include a clear call to action and collect data.
By requiring influencers to include a clear call to action, you elevate their posts from a static ad to an interactive experience that encourages future engagements. Provide your influencers with actionable language and trackable links to place in their blog and social media posts. These links send consumers from the post directly to your listings, bypassing the SERP and paid search ads to bring shoppers one step closer to clicking “Add to Cart.”
For example, JumpOff Jo asked Crossley to promote a product giveaway with clear instructions for participation. To enter, users had to like the post, follow JumpOff Jo’s Instagram account and tag a friend. The posts received more than 8,000 likes and led shoppers to engage directly with JumpOff Jo’s own social accounts.
JumpOff Jo also gave Crossley a unique discount code and a trackable link to its Amazon listing. Besides incentivizing shoppers to convert, the unique promo code and link also allowed JumpOff Jo to track how many of Crossley’s followers used her unique code or link as a measure of efficacy.
4. Consider using an influencer database.
Identifying an ideal influencer to partner with can be difficult. Social media is saturated with fake followers and would-be influencers, and manually sifting through them is simply too time consuming to be a sustainable practice.
TapInfluence is an influencer database that allows subscribers to set highly customizable filters to sort through the thousands of potential influencers and identify those who meet your ideal criteria. Even then, it’s a time consuming process. Launching a new influencer campaign can easily take over 10 hours, especially for brands without previous experience coordinating such campaigns. It’s recommended to partner with experienced campaign managers to run your campaigns efficiently.
5. Don’t forget about your marketplace product listings.
After putting all that effort into an influencer campaign, don’t neglect your marketplace listings. Make sure your bullet points and product descriptions are informational and highlight your product’s differentiating features, and optimize your media gallery by using high-resolution images and Amazon-compliant videos. Influencers drive relevant shoppers to your listings, but your listing content and images make the final sell.
Online shoppers will continue to flock to online marketplaces crowded with competitors, but you can get ahead of the curve. Use influencer marketing to connect with relevant consumers before they come to marketplaces and increase your market share.
Josh Neblett is cofounder and CEO of etailz, Inc.
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