Cyber Monday and Black Friday offer the best sales potential for U.S. online store owners over any of the other days of the year. Online brands need to prepare well ahead of time in order to take advantage of these selling opportunities. An integral aspect of contemporary marketing plans, influencers are going to be key to helping your brand stand out from the competition this year. This is because people tend to trust them a lot more than they trust brands. With that in mind, here are five ways to find an ecommerce brand advocate this holiday season.
Search through Hashtags
One of the best ways to find influencers is to search through hashtags on Instagram or other social media sites. This is free, and will turn up some of the best results for your e-store. People using hashtags in-line with the ones used by your brand probably have followers who will see the value of your products. Searching through a variety of related hashtags will help you find people who might be good advocates for your brand.
Use an Influencer Marketplace
If you don’t have time to research social media influencers, you can always turn to an influencer marketplace. Several online resources help connect influencers and brands. Most will let you filter your search with specific criteria, such as number of followers or interests. This can save you a lot of time—allowing you to focus on other aspects of preparing for the holiday rush, like ensuring your cloud ecommerce store can handle an influx of sales without crashing. Influencer marketplaces also have a wide variety of potential advocates, so you will quickly be able to find someone in your niche and price range.
Are Your Brands Compatible?
You have your brand. Influencers have their brands. When your brands come together in harmony, it can be a beautiful marketing relationship. However, if your brands don’t align, your campaign could end up a total flop. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when determining the compatibility of a potential brand advocate. First, make sure their interests—and thus, their followers’ interests—actually overlap your brand. To confirm this, spend some time looking through a candidate’s profile. You should also make sure the rhetoric and commentary on their social media pages align with your brand. If something conflicts about your brand with the influencer’s followers, you might not end up making any sales from the transaction.
Are Their Followers Real?
Some influencer marketplaces verify the authenticity of their influencers’ followers. You should do your due diligence as well. If someone has a lot of followers, but gets almost no interaction with your posts, that should be a red flag. You don’t need someone who has a high follower count. You need someone who will help you generate more sales during the holiday rush.
Choose People Who Aren’t Too Famous
The previous point segues nicely into this one. It’s actually beneficial to get brand advocates who aren’t too famous. An Instagram study by influencer marketing company Markerly found the optimal follower count for combining reach and engagement is 10,000-100,000. Going lower than this can work too if you’re on a tight budget or have a very niche market. This will get you more bang for your buck because these people’s followers care more about their posts than the posts of major celebrities. Additionally, consumers can often tell when a celebrity is only talking about a product because they’re being paid for it. This is why traditional endorsements hold almost no weight with shoppers anymore.
Retail can be stressful during the holiday rush. You can take a lot of the worry out of your preparations if you get the right person to be an ambassador for your brand.