This is the second installment in my influencer marketing series. In “Part 1,” I established what influencer marketing is. In this “Part 2” post, I’ll address why ecommerce businesses should consider it.

Effectiveness

My firm, Intellifluence, has connected brands with influencers since 2016. Before that, I managed organic search campaigns for large and small companies.

In my experience, influencers deliver qualified prospects equal to or greater than other marketing channels. The best performance tends to come from targeted or peer influencers, especially for niche products.

Industry studies back this up. Tomoson, an influencer network, asked brands in 2015 as to the quality of prospects. Roughly 90 percent of respondents stated influencer-generated customers were as good or better than other channels.

Moreover, Mediakix, an influencer agency, surveyed U.S.-based marketers in early 2019.  Forty-eight percent stated the return on investment from influencers was “Better” or “Much better” than other digital channels. Forty-one percent stated the ROI was comparable to other channels.

Ridge Wallet, Feat Clothing, and Benevolence Los Angeles are successful, influencer-driven companies profiled in Practical Ecommerce’s “Ecommerce Conversations” podcast.

Trust

For 21 years, Edelman, the public relations agency, has published an annual “Trust Barometer Report.” The report measures global consumers’ trust in information from government, business, media, and other authoritative sources. The 2021 report was based on Eddleman’s worldwide consumer surveys in the fall of 2020.

Edelman presented findings from the 2021 report at the recent Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Overall, according to Edelman, global consumer confidence in authoritative sources plummeted in 2020, prompting the firm to shift messaging from celebrities and brands towards micro-influencers. According to the report, consumers view micro-influencers as more realistic and more trustworthy.

Edelman is not alone in its conclusions. Cassandra, a marketing research firm, found that 89 percent of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers are inspired by “relatable” influencers versus celebrities.

Cost is the other reason why many ecommerce businesses use influencers.

Affordability

The most successful marketing campaign is meaningless if the barrier to entry exceeds a brand’s budget. According to an Influencer Marketing Hub 2021 survey, the cost of engaging influencers is very affordable at the nano-influencer (1,000 to 10,000 followers) and micro-influencer (10,000 to 50,000 followers) levels. Skipping important variables such as the network, niche, frequency of posts, usage rights, turnaround time, agency arrangements, and effort required, Influencer Marketing Hub zeroed in on the raw cost per post for various audience sizes.

On Instagram, which most ecommerce products tend to start with, the survey showed that nano- and micro-influencers charge as little as $10 per post and top out at approximately $500. The rates were comparable on TikTok, with the two audience sizes ranging from $5 to $125. The rates on Facebook range from $25 to $1,250 per post. Twitter’s are $2 to $125. YouTube, which generally requires the most effort, had nano-influencers charging as little as $25 per video and micro-influencers up to $1,000.

Naturally, the larger audiences command significantly more per post, ranging from thousands to millions at the aspirational celebrity level. However, the focus for most ecommerce brands should be on nano- and micro-influencers. Per-post rates for both are highly affordable, especially when compared to ads on Google and Facebook.

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