eCommerce business depends so much on product sales. But getting a customer to buy your product is just the tip of the iceberg.
Product businesses live and die by repeat business—and without a strong brand backing that business, your customers might not return.
So how do you encourage brand loyalty in your customers?
That’s no easy feat, especially in the hyper-competitive world of eCommerce. If your competitors are always one-upping you, it’s time to kick things up a notch.
Trust your business promotions to the experts: influencers.
Influencers and brand loyalty: The best match since PB&J
Micro-influencers are the trendsetters of 2020 and these social media darlings are a goldmine of ROI.
Because of their reach and trustworthiness. Micro-influencers, while smaller, still have celebrity-level cult followings that trust them like a friend.
In a world where audiences can forge a personal relationship with an influencer, it’s never been easier for consumers to have a direct line to their favorite products and content.
Of course, consumers don’t feel so lovey-dovey about your brand’s social posts, do they?
While influencers garner hundreds of comments and likes on one post, brands are often left out in the cold with zero engagement to be found.
That’s why it’s high time to leave the content and engagement to the folks your customers want to engage with: influencers.
The numbers don’t lie:
51% of marketers say influencer-created content out-performs branded content.
89% of marketers see comparable or better ROI from influencer marketing compared to their other marketing channels.
There’s nothing wrong with churning out your branded content as usual, but why not get more bang for your buck by partnering with an influencer?
Why influencers for branding?
You might wonder, “Why would I trust my branding to an influencer? Shouldn’t I handle that internally?”
Well, the good news is that you’re still in the driver’s seat with influencer marketing.
But we’re living in a world where influencers are the newest form of word of mouth marketing, which is the most potent and affordable marketing strategy.
Done right, word of mouth marketing with influencers gets 5X more ROI than paid ads. Influencers are the answer for effective, authentic branding that stops thumbs.
But if you need more convincing, influencers are a smart marketing decision for 3 reasons.
1 - Consumers block out branded content
Your customers are looking at a lot of stuff online. And it stands to reason that plenty of brands want their attention, too.
A constant stream of “buy, buy, buy” messages directed at your customers. Over time, their eyes learn to avoid branded messages altogether.
In other words, your customers just don’t care. They don’t care about your newest features, latest product, or announcements.
But its your brand’s job to make them care!
And when you partner with an influencer, you can do just that. Influencers promote your brand in a strategic but authentic way.
The messenger matters in marketing. When your message is coming from an influencer that customers trust, they listen.
Influencers are more authentic and interesting to customers, which makes their platforms more effective for branded messages.
2 - Influencer campaigns scale fast
How many folks follow your brand on social media? Or subscribe to your email newsletter?
If you’re lucky, you’re reaching several thousand people. That’s not bad, but it’s hard to scale your reach as a brand.
Fortunately, you can scale influencer campaigns for insane reach. Micro-influencers are more cost-effective and ROI-friendly than big-name celebs and macro-influencers, anyway.
Translation: you get a ton of exposure for very little marketing spend.
3 - Consumers want to hear from influencers
As great as your branded content may be, customers don’t want to see it all the time.
They want to hear from the influencers they know and love like real-world friends.
Influencers have already earned followers’ loyalty and trust with quality recommendations and awesome content.
Demographics like Gen Z and Millennials don’t trust traditional ads or even branded messages.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars and sleepless nights growing your own following, trust influencers’ established followings to bring home the bacon.
3 ways to use influencers to grow your brand
Branding is an essential part of selling a product, but how do you bring an influencer on board to grow that brand?
Every business is different, but you can jump in headfirst with these 3 branding exercises with your influencers.
1 - User-generated content
Want gorgeous, curated product images?
Well, who doesn’t?
The thing is, it’s difficult for brands to create high-quality content. You want to engage and delight your customers, but you might not have the budget for high-end photoshoots.
Instead, focus on fulfilling orders and let your influencer take the lead with user-generated content.
Rely on an influencer to help you:
Create lifestyle product photos.
Demonstrate your product in use.
Curate fresh photos for your website, social media, and email blasts.
Don’t worry about keeping your content on-brand, either. Through Trend, you can specify certain filters, branding requirements, colors, and more.
2 - Invite influencers to your referral program
Aside from content curation, influencers can grow your brand by introducing it to their followers.
Whether you want to do a one-off campaign with an influencer or want to create an exclusive referral program, influencers help you sell.
That might look like:
Paying a flat rate to work on a slew of campaigns with your influencer via a platform like Trend.
Creating unique URLs and promo codes for your influencers to share. The influencers get a cut of whatever products their followers purchase.
Inviting the influencer to more campaigns to strengthen their positions as a brand influencer for you. This is a longer-term relationship where they regularly give shoutouts to your brand on social media.
However you slice it, Trend can help your brand get more clicks by sharing your products through influencers.
When influencers show how they, a real person, use your products, it entices followers to do the same.
These real-world use cases are relatable and potent, boosting not only sales, but brand loyalty.
3 - Cross-promotions
Influencers are masters of social media and virality. If you need more eyeballs on your brand, consider partnering with a micro-influencer.
That might mean:
Co-hosting a contest with your influencer.
Creating a branded hashtag challenge that your influencer shares with their followers.
Scheduling Instagram TV unboxing videos with your influencer.
Inviting the influencer to take over your Instagram account for one day.
Feel free to share the influencers’ content on your own page and even via Facebook or Instagram Ads. The more you cross-promote, the more amplified your message.
Of course, you have to get the right influencer on board to make this happen.
Trend facilitates this by sending you a shortlist of influencers tailored to your brand and campaign needs.
With a trustworthy, experienced influencer at the helm of your cross-promotion, your brand will make an even bigger splash online.
And remember: it’s healthy to let go of some control here. After all, your influencer is the content expert!
If you take too much control away from the influencer, the content just won’t ring as authentic to their followers.
Let them have direction over the content. As long as they touch on all of the important points and follow your guidelines, it’s fair game.
The bottom line
Brand loyalty is a breeze with the right influencers at your side. Let your voice be heard through the clutter and scale your campaign to boost the number of loyal customers in your ranks.
As long as you have authentic, relatable content and trustworthy influencers, you’ll both strengthen brand loyalty with existing customers and find new buyers.
It’s a win-win.
Now, influencer marketing isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead of DIYing your influencer outreach, go with a trusted platform like Trend.
We match you with pre-vetted, verified influencers with negotiated rates.
Let us bridge the gap between you and your influencers with a smart platform that cuts the time spent on campaign management by 50%.