In marketing, the term “influencer” refers to a generalized category of people who use their vast social media reach to publicize products or services to their audience interested in learning about what they are promoting. Influencers fall within identity tiers depending on the type of products they favor and the size of their audience.
Research shows that more than 17% of retail entities now focus on investing their marketing budgets in this channel, and 90% of consumers interact with influencers on a weekly basis. According to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, this trend continues to grow, with the influencer marketing industry likely breaking $16.4 billion by the end of 2022.
Marketers looking to expand their customer engagement options could have untapped opportunities with influencers, given that these cohorts can be essential to a successful customer-centric marketing campaign.
According to Hector Pantazopoulos, co-founder and CRO of SourceKnowledge, influencers build an audience interested in purchasing products they promote to take advantage of a special discount or deal.
Influencers can operate independently or become affiliated with specific brands. Within the influencer community, some band together in a network connected to marketers looking to hook up with particular audiences. That is what Pantazopoulos offers with the SourceKnowledge publisher network.
Until now, he operated on an invite-only referral basis to acquire new influencer members. In late September, the company began to accept new, qualified, deal-centric influencers to deliver on the growing demand from retailers.
“It is proven that consumers’ purchases can be influenced by what they see in their social media feeds,” Pantazopoulos told the E-Commerce Times. “Helping content creators maximize their yields is core to our values, so we are excited to open up the opportunity to join the SourceKnowledge Influencer Network to more social media accounts.”
Expanding Spheres of Influence
With inflation at an all-time high and a recession looming, or by some accounts already here, consumers are actively looking for deals. He added that working with deal-centric influencers is an excellent way for brands to stay in front of their audiences, which may be looking to cut ad costs.
The open web ad network empowers incremental reach for retailers and increased yield for publishers. It facilitates authentic deal-centric content to help influencers grow their business and their followers find great deals on their favorite brands and products.
Influencer networking helps brands work with suitable candidates. Companies like SourceKnowledge provide a clearinghouse for this advertising approach.
By signing up, influencers get instant access to the budgets of top media retailers. They can quickly generate monetizable links for their favorite retailers and earn a premium cost-per-click (CPC) rate. With SourceKnowledge Influencer Network, retailers can add nano- and micro-influencers to their media mix with goal-based parameters.
“It can be a drain on resources for large e-commerce brands and direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses to identify and directly solidify agreements with micro-influencers who reach their target audiences,” he offered as a critical benefit for businesses like his.
Influencer marketing is now a significant business factor for big brands and smaller retailers to use to engage customers. But the process is not always a quick fix to sparking sales.
It does take time for influencers to establish a bond with loyal followers. With the right combination of influencers, though, brands can receive a substantial boost in customer attention.
Nano influencers are alternatives to traditional paid influencer marketing, dubbed macro-influencers. Those in the nano tier typically receive little to no pay. Instead, they receive free products or services in exchange for posting on their social media platforms in their own style.
The macro tier, on the other hand, claims from 500,000 to one million followers. Their social media presence and top-scale pay from significant brands usually generate their entire income.
Micro-influencers push products to highly-segmented audiences, often giving them the most direct influence. They can bring in as much as a 60% higher engagement rate with brands compared to macro-influencers, according to Pantazopoulos.
He suggested that today’s influencers, in a way, are an extension of what people did before the trend made its way to social media.
“Referrals were a regular part of retail commerce back in the day. You might get a flyer in the mail, or you went to the local grocery store and found an item on sale. You would call up your friends and let them know. Today’s e-commerce influencers are very similar,” said Pantazopoulos.
How It Works
Part of SourceKnowledge’s expansion involves onboarding other agencies in the influencer business. Take, for instance, the affiliate advertising program MyDealAddiction active on Facebook and a participant in the Amazon Associates Program.
Since joining the SourceKnowledge Influencer Network, MyDealAddiction has worked with retailers such as Wine.com, Wayfair, Chewy, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Womanizer, and more. That relationship has already grown results.
“SourceKnowledge has helped me connect with a wide variety of respected retailers and offers a very fair and straightforward pay model,” said Michelle St. Pierre of MyDealAddition in the network expansion announcement.
His network operates on a cost-per-click advertising revenue model that websites use to bill advertisers based on the number of times visitors click on a display ad attached to their sites, explained Pantazopoulos.
Under this model, participating influencers get paid for every valid click instead of only by commissions. He added that it helps retailers and e-commerce brands easily tap into the power of influencer marketing.