Welcome to Thanx Media’s “Elements of E-Commerce” blog series. Follow along as we wade through the nuts and bolts of e-commerce technologies that you need to know.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing uses individuals to spread the word about a company’s products and services. Influencers are people who are already connected to your audience. Maybe they have 1 million Instagram followers; maybe they write a blog that’s trusted by your core buyers. Basically, they are people who other people are listening to.

An influencer marketing campaign will use influencers to create relationships with potential buyers. This might be a tweet about how an influencer uses a product that promotes the product’s visibility. It might be a conversational social media post that creates online chatter about the company. An influencer doesn’t have to advocate for your product; the key is connecting an audience to your company.

Why use Influencer Marketing?

⋅  Buyers respond when they are connected via other consumers. According to this HubSpot infographic, 75% of consumers don’t trust banner ads, but 70% do trust consumer reviews. And here’s an important stat: online shoppers are 71% more likely to complete a purchase when they have been referred by social media.

⋅  Ads are blocked and ignored. 83% of online browsers indicate that they would like to block mobile ads. With desktop and mobile ad blocking software growing, using traditional advertising is less likely to reach your audience.

Example Campaigns

Influencer marketing success is pretty clear, in both B2C and B2B worlds. These two campaigns showed solid returns, and might offer some inspiration for how you can use influencers:

⋅  Kickster and DJ Khaled – This Forbes post gives us the backstory on how Kickster (a sneaker sales app) used influencer marketing to get 10 million views on its app in 24 hours. Kickster created a Snapchat filter for a DJ Khaled concert series. They were able to grab Khaled’s attention so much that Kickster’s filter was used more than the official event filter—giving Kickster visibility without the use of inauthentic endorsements or the high price tag of paying for celebrity advocacy.

⋅  Phillip’s increased brand awareness – Traackr, an e-commerce tool for managing influencer campaigns, outlined Phillip’s push to use influencer marketing to gain visibility in the healthcare and lighting industries. With influencers participating in social media conversations, Phillips was able to create online chatter about the company and improve brand awareness.

Check back for Part II of our discussion, where we will outline what e-commerce technology can do to support your influencer marketing campaigns.