Social Commerce and Influencer Marketing: Do They Finally Get Together?

The term “social commerce” is often used interchangeably with e-commerce, when in fact they are two distinct forms of online commerce. Social commerce deserves to be uniquely defined and addressed. Let’s start by defining what social commerce really is: it’s the entire shopping experience – from the journey of discovering a product to the click of a purchase – that takes place entirely on a social network. This definition is especially important for merchants when considering the role that brand engagement plays in the personal experience of customers. The way consumers shop on social media is different from the way they shop on websites. Therefore, this means that marketers need to focus their influencer marketing efforts more specifically in order to maximize the revenue stream of social commerce.

Strengthening social channels is important because social commerce has proven its power in the consumer journey and its unique ability to increase ROI for brands. According to a report by Accenture, social commerce is now a $492 billion global market and is expected to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce, reaching $1.2 billion by 2025.

Developing a social commerce strategy is an important component of brand marketing, and it should be distinguished from an overall brand e-commerce strategy. Given the huge potential of the market, there is no better time than now for modern traders to revamp and prepare their selling strategies, integrating best practices in social trading as well as cutting-edge analytics to ensure the success of every campaign.

Social Commerce Overview

Social commerce has grown steadily over the past decade, but in the past two years it has almost become the de facto buying method for millions of consumers. The health crisis has largely pushed consumers away from physical stores in favor of online shopping, but that’s not all: mobile data traffic has increased by nearly 50% as a result of the pandemic, which means that consumer purchases are increasingly being made via mobile devices. So digital channels have gained influence during the buying journey.

When consumers reacted to TV ads, billboards, or magazine articles, today their attention is focused on their smartphone screen. As a result, this is where a large number of buying decisions are made today. With the burgeoning influencer scene, digital content is driving the majority of 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, it has become a part of the e-commerce industry, making social media browsing the shopping experience. This benefits consumers for its ease of use and brands for its ability to reach consumers directly on their smartphone screen.

Social commerce and the role of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is at the heart of social commerce. One of the biggest reasons people shop on social media is the visual appeal and discovery experience that apps like Instagram and TikTok offer. Products can be offered to consumers directly through these apps, using engaging content from influencers.

Influential content is effective in social commerce because it is seen as more authentic than traditional advertising content, even if it is sponsored and clearly identified with a hashtag. The average consumer views influencers as a trusted source of authentic and honest content. Consumers are more likely to buy a product when it is recommended and promoted by their favorite influencer on TikTok than a brand spokesperson.

This has resulted in a significant reallocation of the advertising budget, away from television and print media, and toward digital advertising, including influencer marketing. A recent report revealed that the market for Instagram influencers will reach $22.2 billion by 2025 (up from $13.8 billion in 2021).

That’s why today’s big brands allocate their budgets to influencer campaigns that enable social commerce, rather than traditional marketing spending. Robin Marchant, Chief Marketing Officer, Shopify, sums it up well: “With customer acquisition costs on the rise, brands are looking to collaborate with creators to deepen relationships, build awareness, and audience trust and loyalty. And it pays off, as a study by the Digital Marketing Institute shows: Influencer marketing campaigns bring $5.78 for every $1 spent.

Impact on content, credibility and measurability

For brands looking to establish a true connection with consumers (which all brands should be these days), engaging with influencers as part of their overall marketing strategy should be important. If the brand is strategically implemented and managed properly, connecting the brand with the right influencers can make a difference in terms of visibility, brand awareness, and most importantly, the bottom line of the company.

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

However, choosing the right brand influencers is just as important as having the right tools to measure the effectiveness of these influencers in real time and being able to make adjustments if necessary (after all, trends change and the online world is changing rapidly). So marketers need the tools to make quick changes to their campaigns if necessary.

It’s all about numbers and giving them meaning

However, it is often difficult for brands to determine what is working and where sales are actually coming from – and in an age where social commerce is so dominant, the ability to do so is critical to being able to redirect budget resources accordingly.

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

Fortunately, marketers today have a new skill set in their marketing toolkit – the ability to analyze and cross-reference sales data with campaign data from influencer marketing platforms. using automation technology. An influencer marketing campaign can be set up in just a few minutes, and the analytical part of the resulting sales funnel should be as well.

Image credit: Jesus Loves Austin / Unplash

Automation is the key word here, as it allows for a clear analysis of each influencer campaign. In fact, every merchant or brand now has access to tools that take advantage of automation to deliver actionable data and insights at their fingertips. Influencer marketing is not just a fashion, it is becoming more central to certain sectors; Retail brands that take time to properly implement and scale have a head start in social commerce and, in turn, the ability to retain modern consumers.

amphitheater Alexander FrolovCEO and Co-Founder of Hype checker

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