How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for your Dropshipping Store
- What is an influencer?
- Defining your influencer marketing goal
- Exploring the most common influencer marketing techniques
- Choosing between the most popular platforms for influencer marketing
- Types of influencers according to number of followers
- Determining the right type of influencer for your dropshipping store
- In a nutshell
It’s almost impossible not to begin this article with Pam Moore’s famous quote – “You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” This sentence explains the core value of influencer marketing as part of the dropshipping marketing strategy. It is a marketing trend that is steadily growing and has reached from 3 to 6.5 billion U.S. dollars in the past two years.
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful trends in digital marketing, known to deliver 11 times higher ROI than other digital marketing practices. Every industry can significantly benefit from influencer marketing, including eCommerce and specifically dropshipping. If you are a newbie in the dropshipping game, we suppose you still haven’t developed a winning dropshipping marketing strategy for your store. This is the reason why this article will be helpful for you. We will delve into the influencer marketing section and introduce you to essential elements of this form of digital marketing. After reading this, you can proceed with establishing your strong dropshipping marketing strategy.
What is an influencer?
Influencers are brands or individuals that are capable to encourage people to support a cause, follow a brand, or buy a product. However, individuals, as compared to brands, are seen as more successful influencers because people tend to trust people more.
Influencers don’t necessarily have to be celebrities as long as they have the power to influence their audience’s decision to take action. Their influence is based mostly on their reputation, integrity, knowledge, reliability, or authority. They are mainly active on social media platforms and other social channels by sharing branded visual and written content.
Defining your influencer marketing goal
When creating a strategy for influencer marketing, one thing is of major importance. At the very beginning, you need to define your goal of pursuing influencer marketing. This comes way before you decide your brand’s influencer the channel you will use. Provided that you are just starting your online store, first, you should reflect on what are the priorities of your store. Today, many industries practice influencer marketing to achieve diverse business goals, including:
- Brand Awareness
- Brand Reputation
- New Audience-Reach
- Improving Sales
- Increasing Website Traffic
- Improving Customer Retention or Satisfaction
Defining the end goal of your marketing efforts will help you to choose an influencer more wisely. It is a fundamental step because there are influencers who specialize in improving brands’ reputation, while others in helping brands to increase their sales. In case you choose an influencer beforehand, you can risk investing in something that won’t bring you the desired results. Either way, in the end, influencer marketing can undoubtedly help you achieve all of the above-mentioned goals.
Exploring the most common influencer marketing techniques
After determining your goal, it’s time to look into the most popular techniques used in this form of online marketing. Each influencer out there has a unique approach and offers different services, depending on the niche that’s their specialty. The most frequently used techniques by influencers are the following:
- Ambassadorship Program
- Product Reviews (photos, videos, etc.)
- Brand Mentions
- Discount Codes and Affiliate Marketing
- Content Coverage (PRs, product reviews, etc.)
Suppose you are dropshipping branded clothes, and your goal is to attract a new targeted audience. The most effective way to do it would be to partner up with a fashion influencer who would share reviews of the clothing you are selling. These reviews can include photos or videos of the influencer wearing some of your top-selling products which will encourage people to check them on your website.
Choosing between the most popular platforms for influencer marketing
Every influencer prefers the platform that best suits its voice and personality. Some are more inclined toward visual content and share branded photos and videos. Others, in contrast, lean more toward “influencing” with written content, such as articles. To decide which approach is the right one for promoting your store, you must explore the different platforms and analyze the influencers’ practices. Additionally, another helpful technique is to investigate your competitors’ dropshipping marketing strategy. This way you can see which platforms are most appropriate for promoting your online store.
These are the most used platforms for influencer marketing regardless of the industry:
This platform currently has 855 million users globally, a number that is predicted to grow to 988 million by 2023. In addition, in 2018, 3.7 million posts on Instagram are sponsored by influencers. It is predicted that this number will surpass 6.12 million by 2020. Instagram is among the most popular platforms for influencer marketing and publishing sponsored content by influencers. It offers endless possibilities for promoting your dropshipping business (photos, videos, stories) and it is proven to be very effective.
Statistics published on Statista show that influencer marketing on Instagram is growing at an unprecedented speed. In 2018, the market value was estimated at 1.3 billion U.S. dollars – a number that is expected to double by the end of 2020.
With over 2.6 billion active users at the moment, Facebook is the leading social media platform worldwide. This makes it a very powerful asset for putting a good influencer marketing strategy into effect. Facebook influencers mostly share branded posts – photos or videos on their Facebook pages. Compared to Instagram, the biggest gap lies in the users’ age. According to Statista, 64% of Instagram users are aged 34 years or younger. On the other hand, the largest user group on Facebook consists of male users between the ages of 25 and 34. Many resellers consider it the easiest marketing strategy to implement in order to increase their dropshipping sales.
YouTube holds second place on the list of most popular platforms, with over 2 billion active users. If you are into promoting your online store with influencer marketing in the form of videos, you can’t go wrong with YouTube. According to a survey published on Klear, an Influencer platform, the nano influencers with 500-5k followers on YouTube on average charge $315 USD per video. On the other hand, celebrities with more than 500k followers on average charge $3857 USD per video.
According to data published on Statista, as of the first quarter of 2020, Snapchat globally has 229 million daily active users. It is a popular app for social messaging and sharing photos, and it is mostly used by users aged 15 to 25. Therefore, if your target is this audience and you are selling products for people in this age range, you can pursue influencer marketing through Snapchat. Many consider Snapchat an engaging form of word-of-mouth advertising. Many worldwide brands are using Snapchat influencers to share their brand story, and, usually, they do it by letting them fully take over their profiles.
Lastly, there are influencers who, aside from the above-mentioned channels, have a personal website or blog. They are using content writing as their weapon to influence people to take a certain action. In fact, these influencers use blogs and articles as their primary channel for publishing branded content. Later, people also share this content on some social media channels. These influencers tend to share mostly product reviews in a written form and use branded and sponsored links in their articles. Oftentimes, they also have an affiliate or discount program with the brands they promote.
Types of influencers according to number of followers
Four types of influencers shape the influencer market. Their categorization mostly depends on the size of their follower base. Therefore, we can differentiate the following four types of influencers:
- Nano Influencers – They have a base of 500-5K followers
- Micro-Influencers – They have a base of 5-30K followers
- Power Influencers – They have a base of 30-500K followers
- Celebrity Influencers – They have a base of 500K+ followers
It is a rule of thumb that – the more followers the influencer has, the more expensive the influencer campaign will be. So, how to decide whether to go with a nano or power influencer? Read the chapter below.
Determining the right type of influencer for your dropshipping store
Whether you are going to choose a micro or a celebrity-type influencer can widely impact your brand’s future. Deciding how much you are going to invest in influencer marketing is a crucial element of your marketing strategy. Certainly, you can go with a mega influencer, but is it worth it? Naturally, it depends on your store’s niche and the type of products you sell. For some types of products, the saying “less is more” can mean everything. The reality is you can’t know immediately. You must pick one approach and measure your progress along the way.
Picking out a power influencer can be a double-edged sword. You could invest a lot of money in starting a partnership with a major influencer on Instagram and end up with an increase in traffic but zero conversion. On the other hand, choosing a nano or micro-influencer who specializes in your niche may bring you an insignificant number of new customers but the right ones. Therefore, statistically, sometimes it could be better to build a relationship with an influencer with a smaller but targeted follower base.
In a nutshell
Influencer marketing is deemed effective for raising brand awareness, increasing sales, and building trust with customers. Regardless of the type of your dropshipping store, you can conduct research to discover influencers who operate in your area and reach out to them. There are a great amount of successful influencer marketing stories that have shown excellent results in branding and sales. Therefore, with a well-thought dropshipping marketing strategy and a good influencer as a partner, you surely can grow and expand your business.