Influencer marketing may seem like something reserved for only the biggest brands but the truth is you can use it to rapidly grow your eCommerce business.
Connecting with the right influencer can increase your authority, web traffic, and conversions. And because of a recent conversation in one of our private Facebook groups, I decided to cover the basics of influencer marketing so that you can leverage it in your business.
A great example of what influencer marketing can do for you is from one of the previous DSL retreat speakers, Jose Luis Marin. He posted a couple screenshots of the insane traffic he was getting after engaging in some influencer marketing. Take a look:
If you want more web traffic and sales in your business, influencer marketing is for you.
If you're reading this I assume you already have a store or plan on building one soon. To get people to your site you're going to use a few different traffic sources:
The most common one is organic search with Google or Bing. Someone will search for your product on a search engine. This audience has an intent to buy since they’re looking for a certain type of product.
Then there are PLAs – Google product listing ads. This audience has an intent to buy because they are using search terms that are relevant to your product.
The next is Facebook ads, they don't have as much intent to purchase because they aren’t specifically searching for your products, so it's harder to convert the leads from this source.
The last one is influencers that may or may not have intent. If they do have an audience with buying intent and the traffic comes from an influencer, you're almost guaranteed to get a sale.
What is an Influencer?
You may already be familiar with the first three ways to bring traffic to your drop shipping store. But influencer traffic is from anyone that has a following. Influencers can be brands, but they’re usually personality driven. This makes them more effective because people trust personalities more than brands.
For instance, imagine if Michael Jordan had an Instagram. His followers would like and trust his opinion. They’d relate to him as a personality much more than with any brand. So if he says "Hey guys, I just released this new sneaker." People are going to go buy it.
Or if he said, "Spalding just made this new basketball." They're going to go and buy it because they trust him. He doesn’t have an official social media presence, but if he did this post would be a perfect example of promoting for Corvette:
This works for any professional athlete, take a pro golfer for example, if they said, "Hey I just got this driver." Then they hit the ball, people are going to visit golfgalaxy.com to try and buy that driver.
Influencers don't typically put out commercials, they’re more organic or natural in their promotions.
For instance, if you’re selling BBQ or grilling equipment a great influencer would be a really good cook. Maybe someone who wins BBQ competitions every year.
Where Influencers Post
Where influencers release content is based on where they built their following, some of the most common platforms for influencers include:
When trying to find influencers keep these three tips in mind:
- Instagram is a good place for lifestyle products like fitness, fashion, and makeup.
- Youtube is great for technical products that need good visuals.
- Snapchat is good for reaching younger audiences.
Type of Influencer Marketing Posts
With influencer marketing, you’ll find that there are basically two ways that they can promote your brand. Either they’ll review your product and interact with it in a positive way OR they’ll use your products in the content they create. Both ways are beneficial but there are some major differences between the two.
To find influencers like this you’ll be looking for people that review products like yours.
For instance, if you had a store that sold rolling flipcharts or whiteboards, you can find people that review various flipcharts on their channels.
These are the influencers that have audiences with the highest intent to buy and have the most potential for your drop shipping business. Basically, because the content is centered around looking at products in your niche, the viewers will be product aware and more likely to convert into a customer.
For instance, if you sold stand up paddleboards and someone is looking up ‘best stand up paddle board’ on YouTube they’ll see the highest ranked video first.
You could reach out to that video’s creator and get them to post a link to your store in the description.
Or you can get them to film a video with one of your best stand up paddle boards, mentioning that they got it from your store. This is how you mix intent with influence.
Imagine someone searching 'best stand up paddle board 2022' and they find the top paddle boarder using your paddle board and referencing your store. That influencer’s audience is very likely to convert, meaning more sales for you.
This is what people that have their own brands do, they ship their product to the influencer and hope that they use it in videos.
This is a prime example of an audience with low buying intent, the influencer is just using the product because it was sent to them. These products may not even be related to the usual content that they make. Sometimes working with influencers like this can still drive amazing results.
With the BBQ niche example, the company I'm friends with sent influencers a bunch of BBQ products like grill gloves and spatulas. Over a short period, they were featured in more and more videos. This sent them more traffic and more buyers.
How do you actually get influencers to promote your brand?
Having people with large social followings using your product in their day-to-day content may sound amazing, but what will motivate influencers to work with you?
Here are the most common options for getting influencers to work with you:
Commissions & Affiliates
The most common deal made with influencers is a 5-10% commission on all sales that they drive. In exchange, they’ll make videos or other content about your products and constantly mention your brand.
This works well with someone who hasn’t promoted anyone else.That’s because their audience hasn’t seen any promotions up to that point, making your product stick out. If your brand fits the influencer, their conversion rate should be great and therefore they stand to make a lot of money off of the sales.
Straight Money Deal
This is where you pay for a post or mention, whether it be a couple times or a one-off. This is less effective because the influencers are already doing this with a lot of other companies leaving you to be one of the many brands they promote.
This may seem scary but if you find a perfect influencer this may be the best option.
For instance, if you had a company that made grills and you found a YouTube channel with two guys that grilled every day and they had 10 million followers with their videos getting a million views each... You’d likely offer equity and build a long-term relationship with them.
You have to be very careful not to get people that will only post about your products a couple times and then stop mentioning you.
This sort of agreement is best reserved for someone that is an industry leader.
You may be wondering, "Why they would work with me instead of just starting their own store?" OR "Why would they want to promote my stuff?"
The truth is they probably don't know how to build an eCommerce business. With equity, the influencer avoids all the work of running an eCommerce business. Instead, all they have to do is mention and link to your product in their descriptions.
For instance, the brand Onnit has comedian Joe Rogan as an equity partner. He doesn't spend time in their office and isn't involved in their business operations but mentions them on every podcast he does. Onnit even went so far to include him in their April Fools joke:
Free Product & Discounts
This works best for influencers with a smaller audience. They aren't used to being paid a bunch or offered equity to promote a brand.
You can usually offer them a smaller product for free or a massive discount on bigger products to get them to promote it. Be warned, you’ll likely take a small loss on the product itself but it’ll generate traffic for your online business.
Where To Find Influencers
Find leaders that are people, not brands. Then reach out to them on social media and see what kind of deal you can work out with them. Get them to start talking about your stuff in their videos, posts, and blogs.
The more you use influencer marketing, the more people will be talking about you. This gives you more links to your site and people talking about you. It also encourages Google to give you a lot more authority, so you'll start generating a ton more organic traffic. When people search for your company or products on Google, they’ll see all the influencer posts.
This increases your organic traffic, conversion rate, and trust with your brand.
If you're just starting out, I would suggest putting off influencer marketing until you have your store setup and have steady traffic coming in with Google PLAs. Ensure your site is functioning well and you're making money, then you can move into influencer marketing.
But after you’re set up and running, this is something I highly recommend focusing on in 2022. It's a great way to get more authority, traffic, and conversions.
If you want more in-depth training on this, my Drop Ship Lifestyle Blueprint has a few detailed courses. If you’re already a member, definitely check out Jose’s talk from 2017's Retreat.
With influencer marketing, you can grow your business significantly in a short amount of time.
Want a little more on influencer marketing? I based this article on my influencer marketing video that you can watch here:
Now that you know what influencers can do for your business, will you start using influencer marketing? Let me know in the comments below.