Dropshipping and influencer marketing are a match made in heaven.
Google “the top marketing strategies for dropshipping businesses,” and influencer marketing will undoubtedly pop at the top of your search results.
The reason? Influencer marketing always drives results.
And we’ve got the numbers to prove it!
According to Oberlo, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, you can expect an average return of $18. What’s more, in a study commissioned by Twitter, nearly 40% of Twitter users said they had made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation.
If done right, influencer marketing can do wonders for your business.
But how can you leverage influencer marketing for your dropshipping company?
We’re here to help! In this post, you’ll learn how to use influencer marketing for your dropshipping store. But first, a quick primer on influencer marketing.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Before we get into influencer marketing, you first need to understand who an influencer is and their role in marketing.
An influencer is someone who has the power to influence the purchase decisions of others because of his authority, expertise, or relationship with an established audience.
Simply put, an influencer is someone in your niche or industry with sway over your target audience. Since influencers command authority in a given niche, their presence makes them a useful launching pad for companies looking to build online credibility.
So, brands that need to expand their reach and build online credibility can easily achieve those goals by partnering with influencers.
And this is where influencer marketing comes in.
Influencer marketing is a social media strategy where companies partner with individuals (influencers) who have a large, engaged social media presence. This can include celebrities, bloggers, industry experts, and everyone in between.
The advertiser reaches out to an influencer and asks them to promote their brand or endorse a product. In return, the advertiser pays the influencer a certain agreed-upon price, which could be in the form of a commission, equity, or straight money deal.
This marketing strategy has grown massively over the years and is being used by dropshippers and established brands.
Why Does Influencer Marketing Work?
90% of marketers believe influencer marketing is an effective form of advertising, according to a recent Influencer Marketing Hub survey.
So, why does it work?
The audience of these influencers perceives them as an authority in their fields.
Since influencers have earned this trust with their followers, once there is an endorsement mentioning your brand or products, there is a high chance their followers will trust your brand too, and even convert to loyal customers.
Influencers have the power to drive leads to a particular business and even make them try out new products.
Think about it this way.
Influencers are authoritative figures and possibly industry experts that their followers look up to. For this reason, their followers will be happy to try out any product recommendation the influencer might have and look forward to using the same product as them.
How to Use Influencer Marketing in Your Dropshipping Business
Now that you know what influencer marketing is, how can you use it to grow your dropshipping business? Here’s how to get started with influencer marketing and use it effectively in your dropshipping company.
1. Define Your Business Objectives
The first step in building an effective influencer marketing strategy that drives results is to define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this campaign?
- Is it branding?
- Increasing website traffic?
- Improving sales
- Creating brand awareness? or
- Improving customer retention
Defining your goals will help you choose an influencer wisely.
This is a fundamental step because some influencers specialize in creating brand awareness while others are experts in creating sales copy. If you skip this step and choose an influencer right away, you risk investing in something that will not yield your desired results.
2. Determine the Best Strategy for Your Campaign
Once you’ve determined your goals, it’s time to look into the techniques or strategies that will help achieve those goals.
Different influencers have different marketing approaches unique to their specialty and industries. The most frequently used techniques by influencers are:
If an influencer is a fantastic fit for your brand, you might consider making them your brand ambassador if they are okay with that.
A brand ambassador is someone who represents and advertises your company for an extended period. This arrangement has many advantages because it’s long-term influencer marketing, unlike other shorter-term strategies outlined below.
This is the most popular approach to affiliate marketing.
A sponsored content is simply a social media post that contains an advertisement for a product or service. The influencer will “endorse a product” by creating content around it and sharing it on their social media handles.
At the end of the content, the influencer shares a CTA that invites followers to purchase your products. That said, sponsored content works best at increasing sales.
If your goal is to create brand awareness, your influencer will, in most cases, opt for brand mentions. The influencer will frequently mention your brand in their social networks and even on blog posts. This approach can help to improve your site’s SEO.
Discounts / Affiliate Links
Everyone loves discounts! And they become incredibly powerful marketing tools if an influencer is involved.
In most cases, your influencer will combine discounts with sponsored content.
3. Choose a Social Media Channel
Where do you want to launch your influencer marketing campaign?
Instagram is considered the best channel for influencer marketing. However, it might not work for all businesses. Depending on your target audience and campaign type, you might want to choose a different channel.
When trying to determine the best channel for your campaign, keep this in mind:
- Instagram is a great place for lifestyle products, like fashion, fitness, and food
- YouTube is great for technical products that may require tutorials or user guides
- TikTok and Snapchat are great for reaching out to younger audiences
To determine the best social channel for your dropshipping store, you may need to explore the different platforms for influencer marketing.
Some of the most common platforms for influencers include:
Additionally, it can be helpful to research what platforms your competitors are using in their influencer marketing campaigns. Doing so can give you more insights into the platforms ideal for your business and industry.
4. Choose the Right Influencer for Your Business
Choosing the right influencer for your dropshipping business is critical to the success of your campaign and business as a whole. Settling with the wrong influencer can prove expensive down the line, so it’s worth investing quality time on this to make the right decision.
One way to find influencers on social media is to do a hashtag search of specified keywords. This will typically populate the top hashtags in your niche. You can then look for posts with the highest engagement (lots of likes and comments)
Alternatively, you could use an influencer marketing platform, like Heepsy, that lets users discover influencers quickly. The good thing about such platforms is that they let you find influencers by niche, location, engagement, and more.
5. Agree on Collaboration (Deal) Structure
Once you’ve found the influencers you want to work with, you’ll need to reach out to them and try to strike a deal with them.
Note that influencers don’t promote businesses for free.
Hence, you’ll want to find something that can motivate them to work with you. Here are the most common options for getting influencers to sign up for a deal with you.
Straight Money Deal
In this structure, you pay for a post or mention.
You could agree with your influencer on the payment terms—whether to pay for every brand mention or a one-off payment.
Influencers with millions of followers (also known as mega influencers) will charge a high rate, so it’s good to settle with a mid-tier influencer, especially if you’re on a tight budget. These influencers typically have between 20,000 to 100,000 followers, and they charge less.
Commissions and Affiliates
Commission deals are very common, whereby you pay influencers a 1-10% commission on all sales they drive. In exchange, they create videos about your products and constantly mention your brand.
If the influencer commands a high authority in your industry and is trusted by many followers, you could see a dramatic increase in sales. Affiliate commissions are a great way to avoid paying for underperforming posts.
Equity arrangements are rare and are best reserved for industry leaders. But if you can find a perfect influencer, this option might work for you.
6. Maximize the Content Value
Get maximum value out of the published influencer content by repurposing it for other channels. Here are some ways to maximize the influencer content value.
- Share the content on your social media accounts
- Publish it as a Facebook ad
- Publish it on your products page
One of the benefits of repurposing influencer content is that it helps you reach new audience members. Repurposing content is also a great way to redeem less successful content.
To Sum It Up
If done right, influencer marketing can do wonders for your dropshipping store.
The trick is to devise and launch a carefully thought-out influencer marketing campaign that takes all the factors discussed above into consideration.
Remember, influencer marketing is a long-term game.
When influencers create content around your brand or products, people won’t buy straight away—some will start following your brand, and others will purchase over time through follow-ups and retargeting campaigns.