There are countless Shopify stores that have never sold a thing, not to mention the newly minted entrepreneurs that are struggling to maintain upward sales momentum even after they make their first sale.
Now, if you have a good product, but no one knows you exist you can simply go to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or another marketing channel to get exposure for by buying advertisements. But, what if you don’t have a lot of money to pay the skyrocketing CPM’s/ CPC’s that the social platforms are charging? The answer for many is influencer marketing. Many modern merchants are shifting their budgets and scaling their influencer marketing channel as a preferred investment - but, isn’t influencer marketing expensive too? We’ll get there!
As a general thought experiment, if you started an online store and found the right person with a lot of followers to promote your product, there is a high chance you will start processing sales. Furthermore, if you did make a couple of sales in the first month, it will likely inspire you to continue investing in your business rather than shutting it down and moving on. Momentum and growth is everything when starting a business. It’s important to think about cost-effective ways to promote upward velocity because it is really easy to want to give up.
Here is a couple of tips for Shopify merchants when starting and scaling your influencer marketing channel.
1 Create An Inbound Process
One of the best ways to start building your influencer channel is to let influencers come to you with ideas, especially if you are inexperienced with content marketing. Often times influencers and creators come with a better understanding of the market than the entrepreneurs building their businesses and this can be a great way to refine your product vision.
At the start, it can be as simple as having a Google form that is linked from your home page or social profile. As you scale, however, you will likely need to invest in some software to accomplish this because there will likely be some fraudsters trying to get paid or get free products. Tools like Dovetale can help in this process and is the most affordable way to scale your process. As a general note, small companies selling on Shopify shouldn’t pay $1,000’s to software companies to accomplish their influencer marketing goals - keep the majority of your budget and spend on the influencers that will directly affect your bottom line. The assistive software you purchase should be there to help you, not cripple your business.
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By Mike Schmidt
Founder of Dovetale.com. Prior to founding Dovetale he founded Listn (acquired by Beatport), a social network focused on connecting people around the music.