Gone are the days when Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and other social media platforms were just a place for friends to connect—they’re now also home to billions of dollars worth of marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, “involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services.” It’s a rapidly growing industry—while influencer marketing had a market size of $1.7 billion in 2016, it’s expected to rise to as high as $13.8 billion in 2021. 86% of women rely on social media for purchasing advice and almost half of consumers depend on influencer recommendations.
The numbers speak for themselves. When influencer marketing is leveraged correctly, it’s a powerful tool that can help your brand tap into audiences it couldn’t otherwise reach. Influencers have already predefined and built a relationship with a niche audience that trusts them. Working with influencers helps you reach these audiences and has proven effective to boost engagement rates, traffic, and ultimately conversions.
Influencer marketing can be a gold mine for brands seeking to increase engagement and conversion with new audiences. One study suggests that the average influencer marketing campaign generates $6.50 for every $1 spent on the campaign, with 13% of campaigns generating more than $19 per dollar spent.
Like most marketing, however, influencer marketing is only effective when it’s done right — and that starts with making data-backed decisions in every step of the process.
Before deciding which influencers will best represent your brand, you first need to know as much as you can about your current customer base. Learn your customers’ gender, age, and location so you can find influencers with a similar demographic in their follower base. By finding influencers with a high percentage of followers that meet your target demographic, you can maximize the efficacy of your campaigns.
It’s also important to be selective in terms of interests. If you own a beauty brand, for example, you should only collaborate with influencers who are active and engaged within the beauty niche.
At Pattern, we focus on working with micro-influencers—influencers with a follower base between 15,000 and 100,000. Micro-influencers have proved to be the most effective in driving engagement. Below 15,000 followers, the reach of posts is limited; above 100,000 followers, influencers tend to have a weaker connection with their audience, and followers are less likely to purchase recommended products.
Influencers with low engagement rates may be a viable option if you’re simply aiming for visibility or brand awareness, but when conversions are your main goal, it’s your best bet to work with influencers with an engagement rate of 4% or higher.
It can be intimidating to find influencers with a high engagement rate whose content aligns with your brand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Pattern brands have access to a database of more than 4 million influencers that can be filtered by location, interest, and follower demographics. Even though it’s more time-consuming, you can also find influencers manually by searching through relevant hashtags.
Collaborating with influencers with a high engagement rate maximizes your odds of running a successful influencer marketing campaign. However, there are many factors involved in such campaigns, and high engagement rates aren’t a guarantee that your campaign will do well.
If the content an influencer creates to promote your product isn’t in tune with your brand, the campaign may fall flat. Brands can avoid this disconnect by requiring brand approval for any paid influencer content. Be careful with this strategy, though—if brands tweak an influencer’s content too much, it may become inconsistent with the influencer’s style, and the audience can lose trust and become hesitant to purchase the recommended product.
It’s a delicate balance to ensure that influencer content is both consistent with your brand’s story and the influencer’s personal style. At Pattern, we see the best results come when brands require content approval but otherwise give the influencer free reign to create content in line with their own style and profile.
As an incentive to drive conversions, it’s a good idea to give influencers a coupon code or link for their followers to use. This serves as both an incentive for purchasing the product and as a useful tool to track how many purchases come as a result of an influencer’s posts.
While choosing your influencers correctly, getting content approval, and driving conversions are the foundation for any influencer campaign, those aren't the only areas that affect success.
When working with influencers, be mindful of the fact that many influencers have fake followers that will never boost engagement or conversion rates. Robot accounts can inflate an influencer’s follower account, making them appear more popular or influential than they actually are. Influencers may buy these followers or attract them with messages promising a gift in exchange for a follow.
Pattern tools help us identify what percentage of an influencer’s followers are genuine. We avoid working with influencers who have a following that is less than 95% genuine.
Once you initiate a relationship with the right influencer, put in the extra effort to continue building that relationship. Give your influencers positive feedback if they do a good job with their content. Make the process of working with your brand as simple as possible. Consider sending them gifts.
When brands put in the effort to build a relationship with their brand advocates, they may find that influencers will start to love the product so much that they will begin posting about it without requiring payment.
Even if you don’t see this outcome, it’s still a good idea to build relationships with influencers so they’re willing to work with you for new product and collection releases in the future. Working with the same influencers over time helps the entire process go quickly and smoothly since both parties know what to expect and the brand knows the quality of the deliverables.
The best way to know if your influencer marketing campaign is working—or what changes you need to make—is to track the performance data. Pay close attention to how many page visits the influencer generates and how many units they sold. This will give your brand a benchmark so you know what kind of results to expect from future campaigns. It will also make it easier to determine whether your investment in influencer marketing is paying off.
It can seem overwhelming to begin an influencer marketing campaign. It may be difficult to know where to start, how to find influencers that are a good fit for your brand, or how to ensure that content is in line with both your brand and the influencer’s style.
Our data-driven tools and world-class marketing teams can help you take the guesswork out of the process. Working with us gives you access to a database of more than 4 million influencers that we can easily filter based on location, interests, and follower demographics. Our tools can also filter through fake followers and track performance data. The best part? When you partner with us, all of this is available at no extra cost to you.
Ready to see where your brand can go? Start the conversation today.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.