In July 2018, Instagram exceeded 500 million daily active users. The ultrafast development of Instagram contributed to the creation of microblogs and to the spread of the bloggers concept and, lately, to very popular influencers.
Influencers: who are they?
An influencer can be anyone who has the ability to influence the decision or opinion of others. Usually, these people form a strong community around them. More and more often, creation of a community is becoming an important element of a brand’s strategy. A good example of this is Nike.
Brands supply products that influencers have to recommend on their profile, encouraging their followers to buy them. Such micro-influencers seem to be more “available” for ordinary people than the first page celebrities. They often interact with their followers. Mostly, they are happy to respond to all messages, as opposed to the cover models. For every $1 spent on influencer campaigns, brands can earn $7.65 on an average. Some companies can even earn more than $20 for every dollar they spend.
Developing the influencer marketing market
Instagram considers influencers to be a huge source of traffic, therefore it is trying to introduce new functionalities. Lately, the app has been testing the new “creator account” profiles feature, which offer tools dedicated especially to influencers.
So far, many marketing platforms have been created for brands and influencers. They help find suitable influencers for brands, using a special algorithm, not only on the basis of the number of people observing (sometimes the number of observers can be bought) but also on the basis of the involvement of their followers and the relationship created with them. For influencers, these platforms help them manage their profile or find a brand to cooperate with. Influencer marketing platforms are mostly focused on functions like searching and discovering new people, providing contact information for each influencer, managing ad text and graphics creatives, hashtags, @mentions, campaign duration, all the deadlines, analytics and reporting the impact that an influencer ad campaign creates for a brand’s product.
The well known portal Mediakix.com has published an estimation which shows how the Instagram influencer market has been increasing in the past few years, and they predict that it can reach $2 Billion by 2019 and even $5-10 billion market by 2020!
Best examples of using influencer marketing campaigns
From an unknown brand to the leader of the fashion industry in India
Craftsvilla – an eCommerce website that sells ethnic, vintage, and handcrafted clothes, footwear and accessories – was one of many brands that wants to play a bigger role in the market. Their main goal was to create brand awareness by involving fashion influencers which suited the brand’s image and displayed very well in social media. The brand also used interesting storytelling in the campaign thanks to hashtag “MySareeMyStory” so viewers could know better the influencer who is wearing the product.
During a two-month campaign, Craftsvilla managed to reach out to millions of their target audience and, based on the popularity of influencers, is now one of India’s leading eCommerce websites.
Instagram zooming possible with Sony
Another great example might be Sony’s Xperia Z5 campaign on Instagram. The smartphone’s camera has 5X zoom which makes it one of the most powerful cell phone cameras, and moreover, Instagram seems to be the best place to promote photography. There wasn’t any chance of zooming on Instagram before, that’s why creating the first zoom option seemed to be a good idea. They took a highly detailed zoom photo taken with the Z5 and cut it into hundreds of smaller shots organized into five layers. After that, Sony created more than 100 Instagram accounts, and tagged it in an appropriate way that effectively let the recipient of the content zoom into any part of the original photo and find more than 50 hidden details.
30 influencers participated in the campaign and spread the photos as part of a competition where people could zoom in five times on parts of the original photo. The campaign has been a huge success: 17M potential contacts: 28k people who engaged in the operation; 384k people who saw the operation; 16,5M people who heard about the operation.
Make tea great again with Bigelow
Bigelow Tea wanted to promote its products by encouraging people to lead a healthy life. They started an influencers marketing campaign that was able to present the emotional involvement and healthy aspects of drinking tea.
In the campaign, influencers tried to incorporate Bigelow tea into their content in many different ways. Some of them created their own recipes, others have transformed the packaging thanks to the art of DIY. Blogger Jess from “A Million Moments” provided her readers with a guide to creating beautiful pots from a tea pack.
The campaign brought huge success. Influencers have been able to generate over 32,000 blog entries for their sponsored posts. The total media value of Bigelow tea increased threefold, and the brand recorded a significant increase in sales of 18.5%. Influencers ideally fitted the product to their content in a natural way, which contributed to the credibility of posts.
Social commerce queen reaches her first billion
Kylie Jenner became the youngest billionaire in the world. At the age of only 18, she decided to set up her own cosmetics brand. Due to popularity in social media, Kylie Cosmetics brand products were spreading at a rapid pace. Currently, her profile on Instagram is watched by over 128 million users, and 20 million follow her company profile. On March 5, Forbes magazine announced that Jenner can boast the fastest reaching of a billion. What’s more, the celebrity did this in just 21 years, so by 2 years faster than the previous record holder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Looking at this achievement, you can not doubt the power of social media commerce and influencers!
As you can see, social media such as Instagram and e-commerce go well together. Influencers have been fueling sales for several years now, and even the most famous brands are not afraid to use their help. Over the next years, the influencer marketing market will continue to grow supporting business with sales.
But what if we decide to cooperate with influencers and it does not bring us the expected benefits? Let’s say we have read a lot of articles about effective cooperation with them and our conversion is still very poor. We may start wondering if the many hours spent searching for a suitable influencer were useless, or maybe their content wasn’t engaging enough. We always like to blame somebody else, but the key is to look deeper into the sales process which begins after redirecting to the mobile e-commerce site.
Driving more benefits
Now, to benefit fully from cooperation with Influencers, it is crucial to be ready for mobile users. As we can read in the global digital report 2018: “two-thirds of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants now have a mobile phone”.
The immense numbers no longer surprise us. There are more and more parts of our lives in which mobile apps help us, like banking or a doctor’s visit. Without an efficient mobile platform, we will be lost in times of such intense technological development. That’s why it’s important to observe technological innovations in order not to be left behind.
If we think that in cooperation with influencers we did everything correctly, we should make sure that users are smoothly redirected from Instagram to the transaction site. In this case, PWAs are a must-have option. You can easily implement one using Storefront Cloud– a mobile-first eCommerce platform helping businesses to get to the next level. You won’t have to worry about keeping your brand coherent while your mobile users are jumping from one channel to another.
How will Influencer marketing change?
The influencer marketing market has started flooding us from every direction. So far, the new marketing method is doing quite well but won’t we get tired of hundreds of sponsored posts while we scroll our Instagram feed?
It is possible that in the future people will try to avoid dozens of fake product recommendations and will stop paying attention to them, that’s why it’s sure that something will replace it. But for now, don’t worry; influencer marketing won’t die and will rescue plenty of e-commerce businesses.
See other facts impacting e-commerce in 2019.