From the first AOL instant messages in 1993 to the emergence of social networks including Instagram and Pinterest in 2010, marketers are constantly trying to figure out how to leverage new opportunities to reach and engage consumers. We rush to exploit them until the consumer becomes tired and our tactics ineffective.
Now is just such a point in online retail marketing as evidenced by the lack of trust expressed by consumers across the spectrum.
Today’s online consumer doesn’t trust advertising. 96% of people believe that the advertisers do not act with integrity—69% of these people attribute their lack of trust to the advertisers’ motive to sell more efficiently. Technology is solving this problem by giving consumers the ability to block online advertisements.
Consumers are weary of online reviews. If consumers smell a rat, a site will lose the sale, and they may lose a customer for good. Amazon.com takes the issue seriously and sues people who are “misleading Amazon’s customers” by selling “fake reviews of products”.
Organic search results used to be the best source of quality traffic to e-commerce sites. Now the best converting traffic comes from social sites, in particular Instagram. Over a third of Instagram users have purchased a product online using their mobile– making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users.
If ads, online reviews and search are losing their effectiveness, what is working to drive traffic and online sales?
40% of people have purchased a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube (Twitter and Annalect, 2016)
Influencer marketing works and is being adopted by smart e-commerce marketers to boost awareness, drive traffic and increase conversions. 49% of people rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. (Twitter and Annalect, 2016)
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to break through online clutter and drive engaged, higher converting traffic to an online retail site. Consumers face an overwhelming number of ads, content and buying options. Influencers signal trust in the overwhelming world on online retail, giving shoppers the confidence to buy.
Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. (Nielsen Catalina Solutions, 2016)
Pixelshop has developed an influencer marketing product to simplify the process of launching, managing and tracking influencer marketing campaigns. The Influence platform matches brands with people who love their products and want to promote them. This is not a simple pay-for-play business transaction. It’s a love match between brand and influencer that maintains the authenticity and trust necessary for influencer marketing success.
Currently there are limited options for driving direct online sales from influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing is currently very campaign-centric. A brand pays an influencer to promote a product or brand through specific activities like blog posts, Instagram posts, email, etc. When the campaign is over, there isn’t really a way to extend the relationship with the influencer and continue to drive results.
Pixelshop is releasing a very exciting product called Infiliate that combines influencer marketing with affiliate marketing. Influencers will be able to set up Instagram shops and sell the products they love through affiliate links that reward the influencer a commission fee for resulting sales. This is huge!
When an influencer marketing campaign ends, the influencer can keep the product in their Instagram shop where it will be found by followers shopping all of the products endorsed by the influencer they trust. Influencer marketing campaigns will go from one-off events to ongoing promotional opportunities.
Consumers will love being able to browse and buy from their favorite influencer’s shop. The influencer will have an additional stream of revenue. Online retailers will benefit from their ongoing association with trusted influencers and will pay for performance.
Learn more about Pixelshop’s influencer marketing products.
Rachael Wachstein is a digital marketing strategist based in Chicago. She spends her time working with brands to achieve their full potential online. Her passion is discovering and testing the latest and greatest digital marketing tools and technology.