How E-Commerce Brands Should Capitalize On Traffic From Social Media Influencers
Influencer marketing is a booming industry, and TikTok’s latest announcement is a call for brands that have not yet tapped into the potential of this market to reconsider. Brands are on pace to spend $15 billion on social media influencers by 2022 — nearly double the $8 billion spent in 2019, according to estimates from Business Insider Intelligence.
Instagram takes the cake when it comes to influencer presence, but with TikTok announcing plans to expand into U.S. e-commerce this year by allowing influencers to post links to products and earn sales commissions, no major social platform has been left untouched by the phenomenon.
It’s no mystery why brands are willing to spend big on influencer campaigns. The ROI potential for brands big and small is vast, as 61% of consumers trust the recommendation of an influencer, whereas only 38% trust brands. Influencers’ authenticity and credibility offer real heft to companies looking for powerful brand ambassadors to stand out among the massive amount of content consumers are bombarded with every day.
But it’s one thing to attract customers to your site with a smart influencer campaign, and it’s quite another to convert them — and given that many influencers earn commission fees, they’ll want to work with brands that can actually get site visitors to make a purchase.
Here’s how brands can both capture and convert influencer-directed traffic.
More Relevant, Personalized Promotions
In today’s digital economy, consumers expect personalization as a basic standard of service. According to Salesforce data, 84% of customers say that being treated like a person (i.e., understanding their wants and needs) and not a number is critical to winning their business.
This is especially important when it comes to customers visiting your site upon referral by an influencer. People trust influencers because they view them as relatable figures who reflect their own interests, lifestyles and aspirations, and it’s imperative to sustain that sense of connection once a shopper lands on your site.
Each customer should feel as if you understand their intent, and that means tailoring offers and promotions according to each shopper’s profile and habits. Mobile customers, for example, tend to skew younger and more price-sensitive. Most TikTokers are younger than 30, while a majority of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 44. For these budget-conscious demographics, perks like free shipping can mean the difference between an abandoned cart and a completed path to purchase. But to deliver a truly personalized experience, data analytics capabilities are key.
Armed with granular customer data and insights, brands can develop individualized, properly targeted promotions, capturing and keeping the attention of audiences that expect instant gratification and have short attention spans. Relevant product pairings, discounts on additional purchases and other incentives can help boost the chances of conversion and keep customers engaged.
Mobile First, With Seamless Experiences Across Devices
A friction-free site experience is essential to securing customers’ business, and in 2021, that means a mobile-first mentality and a seamless experience across devices.
Four years ago, barely more than a third of U.S. e-commerce purchases took place on mobile, but mobile’s share is set to reach 53.9% this year. Mobile accounts for an even greater share of visitors referred by social media platforms, so your site should be optimized for customers to search, find reviews and pay in the quickest and easiest possible way on their phones. This is especially critical in mobile-only social media platforms, such as TikTok where 100% of conversions will be made on mobile.
One-click purchase options, allowing visitors to opt-out of creating an account, saving personal information to prevent the need for customers to re-enter details, visible views and intelligent product pairings are all ways to deliver a quality user experience on mobile or any other device.
Preventing Customer-Journey Hijacking
You’ve launched a savvy influencer campaign, perfected your personalization strategy and optimized your site for all devices — but it could all still go awry if your site isn’t protected from injected ads.
Customer-journey hijacking involves the diversion of visitors to competitor sites via promotional ads (often promising better deals) inserted directly into users’ browsers. Invisible on the retailer side, these ads have proven a major headache — and a costly one at that, driving revenue per visitor down between 5%-7% and reducing conversion rates by up to 5%, according to data from our company.
Factor in the interruption to the customer journey, its impact on brand perception and its detrimental effect on your site’s analytics, and the need to thwart customer-journey hijacking is thrown into even sharper relief — and there are solutions that scan for and block hijacking.
Making Influencer Campaigns Count
Influencer marketing presents valuable opportunities to attract and convert more traffic. To make it work, it must be complemented by meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of the customer journey.
By eliminating obstacles to a quality journey and investing in the seamless, bespoke experiences customers crave, brands will reap big rewards in revenue and customer loyalty — and that’s something to celebrate, with or without a dance on TikTok.