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Should you consider influencers within your eCommerce marketing strategy?

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Author: Becca McDonald, Business Development Executive, eCommerce Worldwide

 

As one of the most digitally savvy regions in the world, the Nordic countries are a prime target for social influencer marketing.

 

These influencers are key individuals who hold sway over potential customers, and likely have either an expert insight into the market (e.g. beauty bloggers) and / or a large social media following.

 

Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the Nordics. YouTube however, also has a strong user base and represents some interesting opportunities for brand communication; either directly or via video bloggers (vloggers). Buzzador reports that Facebook is by-far the most popular social media channel with 90% of the Norwegians surveyed using it at least once a day, if not more regularly. 42% of Swedish respondents are using Instagram daily.

 

Social Media Influencers Banner

 

Vloggers may be particularly interesting for online brands as YouTube attracts 1 billion monthly unique visitors between the ages of 18 and 29. Top vloggers can have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views per week, often more than prime time soaps. Their audience trust them, they cross-promote on other social networks and their power can be influenced by products selling out mere days after being mentioned.1

 

Nordic companies are cashing in the social media currency, such as Stockholm’s Nordic Light Hotel, who offer discounts or free stays based on your social media clout (ranging from a 5% for customers with 500 or more Facebook friends up to a free stay for those with 100,000 followers.2

 

Considered to be one of the most stylish parts of the world, fashion bloggers from this region dominate the charts of most viewed bloggers, who also boast some of the largest social media followings. If you’re seeking influencers yourself, freemium tools, such as Klout, Social Blade and Klear can be a good place to start to quantify the social media presence of your chosen influencer, crunching numbers across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere.

 

Kenza Zouiten, Sweden’s most popular fashion blogger, boasts over 1.5m Instagram followers and 45,000 Twitter followers and has since launched her own fashion brand. She is ranked as having a 98/100 influencer score by Klear but may be more difficult to engage with due to her popularity.

 

Kenza Zouiten Social Media

 

There has been a lot of buzz around the term 'micro-influencers' on platforms like Instagram. These micro-influencers, may have a moderate sized following however the analytics show that their 'like' or engagement rate is proportionally much higher compared to the super influencers (often celebrities and models) who have millions of followers.1 They are also easier to reach than the super influencers who will be inundated with requests from companies.

 

Social Media 500 Influencers

 

This engagement rate was found to be true for both unsponsored and sponsored content, where research shows the optimum influencer, would be the micro-influencer with 10,000-100,000 followers. Conversely, others may define micro-influencers as up to 200,000 followers and others, less than 10,000.3

 

In brief, a promoted post featuring your product on the profile of a famous celebrity or a large brand may seem like a quick way to get access to millions of potential fans but engagement would be far lower.3 Scott Guthrie, digital director at Ketchum states sums it up nicely stating '"Influence isn't the same as popularity. Influence drives action. Influencers are change agents'."4

 

Studies have shown that influencers are capable of producing a 'ripple effect' for brands, due to the trust they instil in the consumer (92% of consumers trust recommendations, even from people they don't know, compared to company-created content.). Influencers, and to a larger extent, micro-influencers are valuable to brands because of their ability to connect with the consumer, rather than their fame alone. At present, over 2/3rd of brands use influencer marketing and 53% have allocated a stand-alone budget for sponsored posts.3

 

Some industry experts are still sceptical of influencer marketing, conceding that it may be easy to get carried away in pursuit of a quick win with return on investment that is also potentially difficult to quantify. It is also vitally important to consider the long-term goals and how obviously sponsored posts may damage your brand’s reputation if you do not build trust among consumers.4

 

 

1 - Forbes
2 - Linkdex
3 - Social Times
4 - The Drum

 

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