Researchers asked 2,000 kids in the U.S. and U.K., “What do you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut? A teacher? An athlete?” Their answers stunned the country: Most of them want to be influencers.
Whether you’re an avid follower of the Kardashian family or the D’Amelio tribe, or on the flip side, find our shared fascination with these people absurd, you can’t deny the power of influencers — they’ve shaped our popular culture, how we consume content, and even what we buy. (One study found that more than 38% of shoppers read influencer reviews before making a purchase!)
But as the influencer title becomes more ambiguous — nowadays, anyone with a thousand followers can claim the title — navigating the world of influencer marketing can be tricky.
We’re here to help: Here’s everything you need to know about finding, choosing, and evaluating influencers to help your Shopify Plus brand reach new eyeballs.
Finding and Choosing the Right Influencers
Gone are the days where influencers are the celebrities who grace magazine covers and commercials. Today’s version is pretty much anyone who can sway their following. Sure, traditional celebrities can double as influencers. But now, there are also thousands of internet content creators who claim major influence over their audiences, even though they’ve never appeared on the big screen.
There are a few different ways for you to begin finding influencers in your niche:
Conduct hashtag research. What are the top or trending hashtags relevant to your brand? Who’s creating the most popular posts?
Do a competitor analysis. Which influencers are your competitors engaging with? Who are the influencers similar to them?
Check out influencer marketing platforms. If you need a helping hand with influencer discovery, no problem! That’s what influencer marketing platforms like Hashtag Paid are for.
So, should you automatically select an influencer simply because they have the largest following? In reality, it’s not as important as you may think. In fact, one study found that micro-influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers see the highest engagement on social media. Use this quick checklist to develop your shortlist of influencers.
How to Use Influencers
Once you’ve identified a list of potential influencers to work with, it’s time to reach out. Here are some collaboration ideas to get you started:
Free products: You provide a free product in exchange for a review or sponsored post.
Paid posts. You pay the influencer’s set rate. This will depend on the length of your campaign, the number of posts, the content requirements, etc.
Affiliate program: The influencer receives a percentage of your sales completed using their unique affiliate codes or links. Pro Tip: Shopify Plus merchants can use Impact to automate their affiliate marketing.
For more ideas on influencer content creation, check out this post. After reaching out with a proposal for collaboration, you’ll then want to hash out the details regarding:
The number of content pieces
How long the campaign will run — we recommend opting for a long-term partnership instead of a one-off sponsored post
Their average engagement rate (to help you calculate your target ROI)
Usage rights and exclusivity — can you use their content across your marketing channels?
Turnaround timing. In other words, how long will it take them to create content, implement your edits, and post? How far out do they plan their content calendar?
Responsibilities, including who’s developing the content (you or them)?
Which social media channel they’ll post to — Instagram and TikTok yield the best ROIs for influencer campaigns. If these two channels are where your target audience spends the most time, great. If not, choose a channel your audience uses for shopping and brand discovery.
Pro tip: It’s important that your influencer posts don’t break Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines! When you’re paying influencers to endorse your products (whether monetarily or with free products), they’ll need to be transparent about it. The last thing you want is to break the trust and goodwill with their followers.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Influencer Campaign
Ultimately, you’ll want your influencer campaign to yield concrete results, such as more traffic to your site and more sales. As they say, likes don’t pay the bills.
To measure the return on investment (ROI) of any influencer campaign, you’ll want to:
Use UTM tracking codes to pinpoint customer interactions generated from each influencer’s posts.
Use a combination of click-through rates, engagement quality, reach, and conversion numbers to understand the full picture. Monitoring standalone metrics can result in incorrect analytics.