As an eCommerce business already utilizing some form of influencer, brand ambassador, or affiliate marketing (in this article, collectively referred to as "influencer marketing"), you understand the value these partnerships bring in driving sales and increasing product visibility. However, even the most successful influencer programs can benefit from fresh ideas and new approaches. This article is for you if you're looking for ways to get even more out of your influencer partnerships. We'll share the top 6 ways to maximize the success of your influencer program and take your brand to the next level. From leveraging social media to hosting giveaways and collaborating on content creation, these strategies will help you effectively utilize influencers to drive sales and grow your brand. So get ready to see an increase in orders from your affiliates and influencers with these proven techniques.
1. Start a private influencer group
Create a private community group for your influencers, brand ambassadors, and affiliates using a tool like Discord or Facebook Groups. This group can allow this community to collaborate, share ideas, and receive updates on new campaigns and products. You can also use the group to offer training and support and solicit feedback and suggestions from your influencer community.
Encourage influencers to use the group as a resource for getting help and support with promoting your brand. This could include troubleshooting technical issues, getting feedback on content ideas, or seeking advice on getting more orders with their referral codes and affiliate links.
Here are a few ideas for engaging with your private influencer group:
- Host live events: Try hosting live Q&A sessions or webinars (i.e., Facebook Live) in the group. This can be a great way to provide more in-depth training and support to your influencers and can also help to foster a sense of community and collaboration within the group.
- Have giveaways and contests: Decide on a fun giveaway or contest to run every month, or every quarter. For example, the person who makes the most sales or creates the most engaged-with TikTok video that month wins a prize. This is a great way to keep your influencers active with posting and sharing their affiliate link.
- Facilitate inter-group bonding: It’s important to help your influencers build relationships with each other, as that will increase their retention and loyalty to your brand, and make sure their experience with you is a positive one. To facilitate this, you could host live icebreakers a few times per month, either via a video call like Zoom or in the comments of a post. For example, google a few icebreaker prompts and post them, having everyone answer them in the comments.
2. Give influencers campaigns to complete
Provide influencers with specific campaigns or challenges to complete. These could include creating a particular type of content, promoting a new product, or participating in a social media challenge. This helps keep influencers engaged and motivated and provides you with a consistent stream of content and promotion for your brand.
Some ideas for campaigns or challenges to give your influencers might include the following:
- Product review campaign: Ask influencers to review a new product or a best-seller and share their honest thoughts with their followers. This can generate buzz and interest in your products and provide valuable feedback for your business.
- Social media challenge: Create a social media challenge for your influencers. This could be a hashtag challenge, a photo challenge, or a video challenge. By participating in the challenge, influencers can help to promote your products and engage with their followers.
- Blog or video series: Ask influencers to create a series of blog posts or videos featuring your products. This provides a consistent stream of content to share with your audience and helps build your brand's credibility and authority.
- Influencer takeovers: Consider hosting influencer takeovers on your social media channels or your website. This can involve influencers creating and sharing content on your accounts for a specific period, such as one day or week. This can be a great way to expose your brand to a new audience and generate interest in your products
By giving influencers specific campaigns or challenges to complete, you can keep them engaged and motivated. You can also ensure that you consistently get fresh and high-quality content and promotion for your brand.
3. Utilize your leaderboard
Every Buzzbassador merchant gets a leaderboard on their dashboard that shows them the top 10 sales-performing influencers for any given period. Merchants can screenshot this leaderboard and share it with their influencers to encourage competition and motivate them to work harder to promote their products. Consider updating the leaderboard regularly, such as weekly or monthly, and offering rewards or incentives to the top performers. Note: if you are not a Buzzbassador user, you could create your own version of a leaderboard using a free tool like Google Sheets or Canva to make a chart.
Here are a few more ideas for making the most of an influencer leaderboard:
- Incentivize friendly competition: Make the leaderboard visible to your influencers by posting it on your website or in a private group (i.e., Facebook group) or sending it to them via email (i.e., Klaviyo). This helps keep influencers motivated and engaged and creates a sense of community and competition.
- Make the goals that drive the leaderboard clear: Clearly define the goals and metrics that will be used to measure the performance of your influencers. This could include things like the number of sales generated, the engagement rate of their content, or the reach of their promotions. These metrics should be the same ones that determine the leaderboard rankings. By setting and communicating clear goals, you can help influencers to understand what is expected of them and how they can improve their performance.
- Reward for leaderboard performance: Consider offering incentives or rewards to the top performers on the leaderboard. This could be something as simple as a gift card, a discount on your products, or something more substantial like a cash prize or gifted product or experience. By offering rewards, you can help to motivate influencers to work harder and be more effective in promoting your products. This can also create a sense of loyalty and appreciation among your influencer community and encourage them to continue working with your brand in the future.
Utilizing a leaderboard can be a powerful way to motivate and engage your influencers and brand ambassadors. By setting clear goals, offering incentives and rewards, and communicating regularly, you can create a sense of competition and drive better results for your brand.
4. Prioritize regular communication
Communicate with your influencers regularly to keep them informed about their performance and how they can improve. This can also be a great way to keep them up-to-date on new products, campaigns, and promotions and to keep them engaged and motivated to continue promoting your brand. We strongly recommend sending all your influencers weekly or biweekly email updates to accomplish this and ensure they are constantly feeling supported and well-informed.
Here are a few ideas for making the most of your email updates:
- Include exclusive updates and offers: In addition to regular updates on new products and campaigns, consider including exclusive updates and special offers just for influencers in your emails. This could include things like early access to new products, special discounts, or exclusive content. By offering these perks, you can encourage influencers to continue promoting your brand and to share your products with their followers.
- Segment your email list: It's even better to segment your influencer emails into lists based on activity and performance. This allows you to create more tailored and relevant emails that resonate with each influencer. For example, you could send a different email to those new to your program than those who have been loyal for years. Or, you could customize the emails differently for influencers who have made you sales already vs. those who have not. You can accomplish this easily with Buzzbassador's Klaviyo integration - learn more about that in this article.
- Use Klaviyo flows: In addition to lists and segments, consider using Klaviyo's flow feature to automate your communication with influencers. Flows allow you to set up automated email campaigns that are triggered based on specific actions or events. For example, you could set up a flow that sends a thank you email to influencers when they generate a sale to create a trend of positive reinforcement. Or, you could set up a flow that sends a nudge email that includes content ideas to influencers who have not promoted your products in a while. Using Klaviyo flows, you can streamline your communication with influencers and ensure that you provide them with the most engaging information at just the right time.
By following these tips, you can create email updates that are more effective at engaging and motivating your influencers and ultimately drive more sales for your brand. Don't underestimate the power of a well-crafted email campaign within your influencer marketing strategy - it can make all the difference in driving success for your business.
5. Collaborate on content creation
Collaborating with influencers on content creation can be a powerful way to showcase your products and increase visibility for your brand. By working with influencers to create custom content, you can tap into their expertise and audience to reach a wider audience and drive more sales and conversions. To make the most of content collaborations with influencers, it's essential to set clear goals and objectives for the content and to provide guidelines and support to help influencers create high-quality content that aligns with your brand messaging and values.
Some potential types of content that you might consider collaborating on with influencers include:
- Sponsored posts: Influencers can create sponsored posts featuring your products, with your account tagged as a collaborator or a partner of the post. This can drive traffic to your account from the creator's audience.
- Hashtag challenges: Influencers can participate in and promote hashtag challenges featuring your products. For example, you could ask all influencers to post on TikTok using a unique hashtag, and the best post wins a prize.
- Product demos: Provide specific instructions to your influencers - like a list of features to show in use or product specs to mention - to be used in videos demonstrating how to use your products. These product videos can be very effective on Instagram stories, Instagram Reels, and TikTok. These product demo videos are a great way to showcase the features and benefits of your products and provide valuable content to your target audience.
- Collaborative videos: Influencers can collaborate with your account or with other creators to create videos featuring your products (think: TikTok duet video or even an in-person collab to record an Instagram Reels video). This can expose your brand to a broader audience and increase visibility on social media.
- Custom assets for creators to use: Try creating a custom sound for your creators to use in their videos (TikTok, Instagram Reels), a graphic for creators to use as a green screen in the background of their videos, or an image for creators to repost on their Instagram story. There are many ways to get creative in giving your influencers a good starting place for creating content, ensuring that your brand is at the center.
6. Make sure your influencer compensation is fair and incentivizing
Perhaps the most important one on this list is ensuring that you are offering fair and incentivizing compensation to your influencers. If your influencers do not feel valued and fairly compensated, they are surely not going to be motivated to help make you money. For smaller brands, surely it can be tempting to offer no compensation and try to convince influencers to work for free in exchange for free products or discounts on products. However, remember that influencers are a way to acquire customers, just like any other marketing method. There are very few lucrative marketing methods that you can get for free - all of your most successful marketing methods likely have a CAC (cost to acquire each customer). So, you should expect that your influencers will too.
In recent years it has been popular to pay influencers per post - for example, $500 for one TikTok video. While it is important to value influencers’ time and creativity that goes into the content they create, it’s also important to establish a long term relationship with them in order to ensure the best success for both parties. An influencer should feel like they can make a lot more money with your brand by promoting you long term than just by making one post. So, what most of our merchants do is work with their influencers to decide on a revenue share model that makes the most sense for both parties. This motivates the influencer, because they can scale endlessly with your brand and get to share in the success they create for you. It also is great for the business, because you get to keep your CAC for your influencer marketing proportional to the amount of sales you generate. In most cases, brands find that their CAC for each influencer sale is even less than the CAC they would spend on Facebook or Google advertising.
You can also add extra compensation on top of the revenue share, like gifting products on a certain schedule or awarding a cash bonus for certain pieces of content. But, it’s important that that baseline monetary “success share” is in place so that the influencer never feels as if they are putting in all the work to make you successful and getting nothing in return.
By implementing these six strategies and continually seeking new ways to engage and motivate your influencers, you can take your influencer program to the next level and drive better results for your brand. Whether utilizing social media, hosting giveaways and contests, collaborating on content creation, or utilizing email marketing, there are endless ways to drive more sales from your influencers. Don't be afraid to get creative and think outside the box - your influencers are a valuable asset to your brand, and investing in their success is an investment in the success of your business.