Selling on Amazon alone isn’t really a bad idea, for short term plans it’s even a good idea. But if we think long term, there are a lot more to benefit when you have your own online store as well. There are a lot of strategies which you would be able to implement if you have your own e-commerce store, there are some products you could only sell on your own e-commerce store, and believe it or not but if you also put in effort in your e-commerce store, your store could someday be as superior as Amazon is. It’s important to consider having your own online store in the long run because having your own store allows you to build your brand better.
Having your own store also allows you to easily get influencers and referral partners to promote your business because you can easily track who has sent you sales. With Amazon, it is not possible to see which influencers have referred people to purchase your products. When creating an influencer marketing campaign, there are several things that you must take into account. In this series, you’ll learn the top 20 dos and don’ts of influencer outreach.
This article focuses on Dos. These will be the things that you should do to win your target influencer’s heart.
Get to Know the Influencer
The first step in successful influencer marketing lies in your relationship with the influencer. With this, it is very important to get to know the influencer before you even do anything. Think of it as a relationship with a potential friend. You cannot expect this person to help you in any way if he or she doesn’t know you. You need to build a relationship first and this is what this step is all about.
Understand Where They Are Coming From
To fully get to know the influencer, you must first complete a background check on the person. More than their online channel, you should look at what they are interested in. It helps to explore their social channels to see what they seem to like and share. This will give you an idea of the behavior of the person. Why do you need to do this? Well, it is all part of getting to know the person. You’ll want to know as much as you can about him or her.
Join Their Community
Every influencer earned that title for a reason. It is all because they have followers. These followers often create a community and this is what you need to join. Why do you need to do this? Well, you need to get to know the type of content that this influencer makes and the best way to know that is to be on the receiving end of the information. However, there may be some cases when getting access to this information may be hard. This may be because the influencer has an exclusive community that can only be accessed for a fee. When this happens, you should consider if this is worth pursuing. If the influencer has a market that is a big market than he is worth the study, then go for it. But if you are just dealing with a micro influencer, you might as well skip this.
Connect with Them Physically if You Can
Digital marketing conferences and meetups are there for a reason. It allows you, an ordinary person, to connect with influencers in your industry. In fact, this may even be more effective than just emailing that person. By seeing them in person, you’ll get to feel their presence and aura. You’ll also get to know them a bit more. From here, you also have the option to approach them. In here, you can give a 1-minute pitch about your business or you can give them your business card. You’ll never know if your product or service will be relevant to their needs. If they say ‘No’, it’s okay. There is no loss in trying.
Prepare an Outreach Plan
There are many influencer outreach software services for a reason. And it is because outreach can be quite tedious if done manually. With this, you may need an outreach plan. Sure, you’ll still resort to manual outreach. But the gathering of contact information can be easier with the help of some software. So be sure to consider that in your influencer marketing plan.
Prime the Influencer
One of the problems of using influencer software is that it tends to automate messages. Thus, it creates impersonal messages that influencers ignore and delete. You don’t want to be that person. With this, you should practice the habit of priming the influencer. You can do this by introducing your business to the influencer and demonstrating how you can help each other.
Offer Value Before Asking for Anything
Now, it is important to note that you should always be giving before receiving. This is true in relationships as it is in business. You should always aim to offer value before you ask for anything. For example, you can give the influencer a referral incentive before you ask him or her to promote you. The prize precedes the action. It may seem unfair but that is the rules of the trade when it comes to influencer marketing. You have to give the influencer a solid reason to promote you.
Be Sure That Your Product or Website is Worth Promoting
Here’s the thing. Many business owners are fascinated with their own products and services that they tend to think that influencer feels the same way. Sorry to disappoint you but that is rarely the case in real life. Influencers are busy creating their own content. So, if you will bother them with another ‘amazing’ product, you’ll be surprised that they are not as enthusiastic about it as you are. Influencers are often bombarded with these offers. Unless you stand out, you’ll never have a chance. With this, it is very important that your product or service is worth the attention. Aside from offering something unique, your product or service should be highly relevant to the niche of your target influencer.
Send Your Products for Review
One of the ways to get an influencer’s attention is to send them products for review. Note that I have not said that you should ask them for reviews. Instead, you should just send the product right away. Ask for their contact information and ask where you can send your product. Then send it right away. From there, ask them if they liked the product. Chances are they will review it if they really like it. You don’t even need to ask.
Namedrop the Ethical Way
There are influencers who will simply ignore you unless you have already proven something for yourself. With this, you can namedrop. But that’s not to brag. It is to assert your position that you have already worked with other influencers in the industry. This technique will often put an influencer’s guard down allowing you to promote to them.
Offer Them Something Unique
As I have mentioned a while ago, influencers are already so used to promotions. In fact, they see their emails loaded with it every day. So, if you don’t offer them something unique, they are less likely to take you up on an offer. With this, you should think about their position as you have learned from observing them. You should know that they want to increase their reach and they want more of their audience to see them in a positive light. One technique that I have used is to provide them with a unique discount code that has their name to my online store. It is a nice ecommerce marketing technique that can help you win some influencers to your side. You should also consider launching a referral program so that they know that they expect a solid commission for every sale they refer. Companies such as Hunting Bow Lab and LessChurn.io have reported a 30% increase in sales after starting a referral program.
Ask for What They Think
Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback . It is easy for business owners to view influencers as some sort of god because of what they have achieved. But they are just humans too. They may have some point-of-views about your products and services and how it can be promoted. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. You’ll never know what you’ll uncover.
In our next article in this series, we’ll go into more detail about the don’ts of influencer marketing and what you should do instead.
Arlen Robinson is the co-founder and VP of Business Development at OSI Affiliate Software. He is also the host of The Ecommerce Marketing Podcast where he discusses marketing strategies with experts from all over the world