Social commerce and influencer advertising and marketing: lastly reunited?

The term “social commerce” is too often used interchangeably with e-commerce, when in fact there are two different forms of online commerce. Social trade deserves to be uniquely defined and treated. Let’s start by defining what social shopping really is: it’s a complete shopping experience – from a product discovery journey to a click to shop – that takes place entirely on the social network. This definition is especially important for retailers when considering the role that brand engagement plays in a personalized customer experience. The way consumers shop on social media is different from shopping on websites. Therefore, it means that marketing professionals need to focus more specifically on their marketing efforts for influential people in order to increase their flow of social trade revenue.

Launching social channels is important because social commerce has proven its power in consumer travel and its unique potential to boost ROI for brands. According to an Accenture report, social commerce is now a global market worth $ 492 billion and is expected to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce and reach $ 1.2 billion by 2025.

Developing a social commerce strategy is an important component of brand marketing and should be distinguished from the overall brand e-commerce strategy. Given the huge potential of the market, there is no better time than now for modern retailers to rearrange and prepare their sales strategies, including best practices in social trading, as well as sophisticated analytics that guarantee the success of any campaign.

Social trade overview

Social trade has been growing steadily over the past decade, but in the last two years it has practically become a de facto way of shopping for millions of consumers. The health crisis has significantly pushed consumers away from physical stores in favor of online shopping, but that’s not all: mobile data traffic has risen by almost 50% as a result of the pandemic, meaning consumers are increasingly shopping. via mobile devices. Digital channels therefore gained influence during the purchase.

Where consumers used to react to TV commercials, billboards or magazine articles, today their attention is focused on the smartphone screen. As a result, a large number of purchasing decisions are made here today. With an influential landscape booming, digital content is driving most online sales today. Customized content is used to educate consumers about the brand, highlight products and build loyalty.

As social media becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, they become part of the e-commerce industry, making the shift to social media a shopping experience. This benefits both consumers because of their ease of use and brands because of their ability to reach consumers directly on the screen of their smartphone.

Social trade and the role of influencer marketing

Influenza marketing is at the heart of social trade. One of the biggest reasons why people shop on social media is the visual appeal and discovery experience offered by apps like Instagram and TickTook. Products can be presented to consumers directly through these applications, using interesting content from influencers.

Influencer content is effective for social commerce because it is perceived as more authentic than traditional advertising content, even if it is sponsored and clearly identified with the hashtag. The average consumer sees influencers as a reliable source of authentic and honest content. Consumers are more likely to buy a product when it is recommended and promoted by their favorite TikTok influencer than a brand spokesperson.

This has led to a large redistribution of advertising budgets, away from television and print media, towards digital advertising, including influencer marketing. A recent report found that the Instagram influencer market will be worth $ 22.2 billion by 2025 (compared to $ 13.8 billion in 2021).

That’s why today’s big brands dedicate their budgets to influential people’s campaigns that enable social commerce, as opposed to more traditional marketing spending. Robin Marchant, Marketing Director at Shopify, sums it up very well: “As customer acquisition costs rise, brands want to work with creators to deepen relationships and build awareness, trust and loyalty of their public. And it pays off, according to a study by the Digital Marketing Institute: Influencer marketing campaigns bring in $ 5.78 for every dollar spent.

Impact on content, authenticity and measurability

For brands that want to make an authentic connection with consumers (which, of course, all brands should be these days), interacting with influential people as part of an overall marketing strategy should be a big deal. If implemented strategically and managed properly, connecting a brand with the right influential people can make a difference in terms of visibility, brand perception and, most importantly, company performance.

One of the main ways to measure influencer marketing is to use engagement as a metric. Indeed, when consumers authentically deal with content beyond mere approval, i.e. when they write a comment or share a message, it creates a connection with the brand that has been shown to lead to sales.

However, choosing the right influencers for a brand is just as important as having the right tools to measure the effectiveness of those influencers in real time and being able to adjust if needed (after all, trends are changing and the online world is changing fast). Marketing professionals therefore need tools to make quick changes to their campaigns if needed.

It’s all in the numbers and giving them meaning

However, brands often find it difficult to determine what works and where sales actually come from – in an era dominated by social commerce, the ability to do so is key to redirecting budgets accordingly.

Brands must be able to track the number of clicks, revenue, and ROI generated by their influencer marketing campaigns. Matching sales data with campaign data in the influencer marketing tool can be cumbersome, as exported data often has to be manually paired in Excel. This can be time consuming and expensive, and modern, more modern solutions are needed.

Fortunately, today’s marketers have a new set of skills in their marketing toolkit – the power to analyze sales data and compare it to campaign data from influential marketing platforms using automation technology. An influential marketing campaign can be set up in just a few minutes, and should be an analytical part of the resulting sales flow.

Photo: Jesus Loves Austin / Unplash

Automation is the key word here, allowing for a clear analysis of each influencer campaign. Indeed, every retailer or brand can now access tools that use automation to deliver practical data and insights at their fingertips. Influenza marketing is not just a fad, it is even becoming more central in certain sectors; Retail brands that take the time to implement it and measure it properly have an advantage in social trade and, consequently, the ability to retain modern consumers.

Tribune from Alexander Frolovexecutive director and co-founder HypeAuditor

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