Every article you look up on this new phenomenon called “influencer marketing” starts with how it is such a hot topic. They all call it a “buzz word.” And, for the most part, it is a pretty popular conversation. I mean, if you look at the stats, it is easy to understand why.
According to an article by Digiday.com and surveys performed by leading marketing firms, “influencers” on social media have been making some waves, and achieving impressive results for their personal brands…
- $570 million: Globally, marketers spent on influencer marketing on Instagram last year, says eMarketer.
- $5,000-$10,000: The price range per post for influencers with 500,000 to 1 million followers across social platforms, according to influencer tech firm Hypr.
- $1,405: The average rate of sponsored Instagram post by influencers with over 1 million followers on Instagram, according to a 2017 survey of 2,885 influencers by marketing company Influence.
Talk about monetizing social media.
This all paints the picture of how lucrative an opportunity BEING an influencer is, but what about USING them? What kind of results do these social media mavens get for brands?
Well, there’s the rub.
It’s hard to say. If you do some digging you’ll find case study after case study of successful campaigns, but 99% of them are for big, recognizable brands. There is very little published on small brands and their use of the cutting edge marketing technique, and even less about private label ecommerce sellers.
The Hidden Power of Influencer Marketing
For the most part, influencer marketing for small physical products brands is a risk. We are forced to simply wade into the uncharted waters and wing it. Throw something at the wall and see what sticks. And that’s typically when, for most of us anyway, we conclude that INFLUENCER MARKETING DOESN’T WORK.
I have personal experience with this and I know many others in the same boat. I had no idea what I was doing, and I “tried it out”……twice. I found relevant influencers with huge followings in my space, paid them, created a promotion for their audience, sent them free product and let them do their thing.
The influencer platforms I used made it sound so easy. Just get these influencers to use or review your product in front of their active and engaged audience and you’ll make sales.
And not once, but twice, did I fail in achieving that (sales). So clearly, influencer marketing doesn’t work. What other conclusion could be drawn? It isn’t like there is anything on the all-knowing internet that shows otherwise. No small brands are providing us with case studies. No seller services are paving the way. No leader is teaching us the tactics. Clearly, influencer marketing is another one of those strategies best put to use by big brands with big budgets.
The System, 3 Years in the Making
I’m going to back up a little bit and talk about the landscape some three-plus years ago. When I started selling on Amazon, myself and my colleagues were obsessed with Amazon’s ranking algorithm. We spent our time focused on ways to spike ranking and visibility with the use of special URLs and promo combinations. We mastered the launch process with the “blast” strategy.
Well, while this was going on, someone who would one day become a friend of mine (a real friend, not a “friend” because we’re all internet marketers who promote each other’s stuff) was forging an entirely different path.
My buddy Brian hadn’t found the same obsession with URLs and algorithms. He hadn’t stumbled on the same sales velocity and ranking tactics. He came at the problem from a different angle and focused his efforts on getting people with influence and audiences to talk about his products.
This became HIS obsession. He was contacting people all over social media platforms, getting anyone who had an interest in his niche and a voice to spread the gospel of his products. He did this relentlessly for some time. And it worked!
What does that mean “it worked”?
Well, my friend Brian managed to build a small army of influencers and affiliates that created buzz around his products. So much so, that he was able to affect increased sales on command for any new product he introduced. This would inevitably increase ranking as well as sales and profit.
It did take time and effort, and mistakes were made and the process was hard learned. But Brian overcame the challenges and managed to perfect an amazing strategy that would benefit any brand owner.
He figured out how to filter through all the noise and data and find influencers that are the best fit for his products and brand. He figured out what metrics are important (protip, it isn’t the number of followers either). He figured out what to say to get the influencer on board, how to set them up for success and how to work out an affordable arrangement that doesn’t break the bank.
And now my good pal Brian can launch a product, get massive exposure, make sales, rank and continue to increase his physical product profits.
But What is the BEST Strategy?
There is no “best” marketing strategy. Any business owner that wants to scale utilizes all avenues available and maximizes the most efficient and profitable ones. However, here’s a quick rundown of the strategies we as marketplace sellers typically employ and what their specific strengths are:
Blasting – We know blasting works like gangbusters for super fast keyword ranking, immediate increase in visibility and sales on Amazon. Blasting DOES also provide brand exposure and can also be used to maintain visibility, but its particular strength is in quick ranking.
PPC – Pay per click advertising is pretty much essential for any online seller. This helps maintain the visibility necessary to steadily grow. Yes, PPC can be used to rank and it can also be used for brand exposure, but its particular strength is in maintaining visibility for steadily growing sales.
Influencer Marketing – Utilizing influencers and social media may be the single, most effective means of gaining brand exposure, and therefore brand LONGEVITY. Yes, once you build up your influencer list you can definitely launch products and rank, and yes this definitely will help you maintain visibility, but this strategy’s biggest strength is in how it helps grow your brand. Think about it. When we are talking about exposure on social media we are also talking about backlinks, SEO, traffic, and all the while, your brand is the thing people are getting introduced to. The more influencers and overlap you have, the more your brand gets in front of eyes multiple times, so your visibility increases dramatically OFF the marketplaces you sell on.
How To Do Influencer Marketing Right
I could totally go over what I’ve learned from Brian about influencer marketing and point out exactly where I went wrong the first two times I tried it, but I think he is a much better teacher than me.
Brian recently put out a four-part series of videos on how to get started with this awesome marketing strategy. And the best part is, it’s FREE. I definitely think you should give it a look. It is informative and eye-opening.
The dude also has a course he just launched. Now I know what you’re thinking….
Not ANOTHER course.
Look, I am super picky about the courses I spend money on too. Seriously. And even pickier about the ones I endorse (as in…notice I’ve never endorsed one before?).
But this information is the only one of its kind. I mean, sure, there’s info and probably training out there on using social media and influencers in general, but none of it comes from a fellow marketplace seller. None of the information available is geared toward physical product sellers building brands on platforms like Amazon…until now.
You’ll learn all you need to know about how to effectively use influencers to grow your brand. You’ll also learn what tools exist to help you do that more efficiently.
In the end, this is another amazing weapon in the marketing arsenal. Effectively using promotions to rank, using advertising for visibility and using social media and influencers for massive exposure will build a physical product business like no other.
Here’s to your awesome success.