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How to Drive Sales with Influencer Marketing

If your business isn’t already using influencers as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are missing out on a ton of growth opportunities. 



How to Drive Sales with Influencer Marketing

One of the biggest challenges that businesses face, especially early-stage brands, is figuring out how to get their products or services in front of relevant audiences. Businesses are looking for ways to reach companies beyond the use of traditional marketing strategies like advertising. Well, thanks to the rising popularity of influencers, it's become much easier for brands to create brand awareness, generate interest in their products, and drive sales. 

Several statistics also show how effective influencer marketing is. For example, on average, businesses make $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. It's no surprise that the global influencer marketing market size has more than doubled since 2019. According to Statista, the influencer market was valued at 16.4 billion dollars in 2022. 

So if your business isn’t already using influencers as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are missing out on a ton of growth opportunities. 

In this article, we will look at actionable ways you can drive sales with influencer marketing. 

Let's get started. 

Run giveaways or contests with influencers

When done right, giveaways and contests can help your brand boost awareness and social media engagement. They are also an effective way to generate leads. And when these leads are nurtured well, they will eventually convert into sales. 

Giveaways are also great for generating initial hype when launching a new product. But a giveaway or contest promotion will be ineffective if no one sees it. 

One way to ensure that your promotions reach a significant number of people is by collaborating with influencers. Influencers already have a large following and running the promotion with them will attract more attention to it than if you posted on just your brand’s social media pages.

The next step after deciding which influencers to work with will be choosing the nature of the giveaway. Consider what it is you want participants to do for a chance to win the prize. 

If your goal for the promotion is to generate sales, then you could ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. With a solid email marketing strategy, you can convert these new leads into paying customers. 

If you want to drive awareness to a product or your brand in general, ask them to share the giveaway post and also tag their friends. If you want to get more followers, simply ask participants to follow for a chance to enter the competition. 

Also, before you launch giveaways or contests with influencers, you need to determine how long the contests will last. If it lasts too long, people will forget all about it and move on. On the other hand, if it’s too short, you might not get enough entries. The best practice is to run the contest for 2 weeks (14 days)

Here is an example of a brand collaborating with an influencer to run a giveaway campaign:

Dbrand Smartphone / MKBHD 

Dbrand, a phone skin manufacturer collaborated with popular tech YouTuber and influencer Marques Brownlee a.k.a MKBHD to host a social media giveaway. The prize for the giveaway was a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Note along with custom phone skins. 50 phones were up for grabs. 

The purpose of the giveaway was to generate leads that Dbrand could nurture ahead of the holiday shopping season. The giveaway was promoted on MKBHD’s YouTube and social media profiles. The giveaway was very effective as Dbrand received a huge boost in followers after the campaign.  

Host a social media takeover with an influencer

A social media takeover is when a brand lets an influencer temporarily post content on the brand’s social media account. Social media takeovers are a great way to get your brand in front of a new audience and they usually run for between a few hours to a few days. 

Here are the best steps to follow to host a proper social media takeover:

Decide which influencer to work with

For a successful social media takeover, you need to work with influencers with relevant audiences. It’s also best practice to choose an influencer that your current followers already know about. You don’t want to alienate your current followers all because you want to attract new people. It’s a good idea to ask your current followers which influencers they want to see take over your social media page. This will give you a good idea of who to approach. 

Along with how many followers the influencer has, you should look at other metrics like engagement rates, past collaborations, and the type of content they share. Also, ensure that any influencer you work with has similar brand values as you. 

Choose the network

Several factors can determine which social media network you choose. For instance, you might choose to host the takeover on Instagram because you want to increase your brand awareness on the platform. Or you can host it on TikTok because you want to target the Gen Z audience instead of millennials. 

Build your framework

Your framework defines your expectations of how the takeover will run. Without a framework, there will be no guidelines for the influencer to follow. Here are some questions to ask when building your framework:

  • When will the takeover start and how long will it last?
  • How many posts is the influencer expected to make?
  • What kind of media will be shared?
  • Which part of your account will they take over? Will it include regular posts, just stories, or both?
  • Will the influencer be in charge of writing captions
  • Will the content include elements like polls and links?
  • Is profanity allowed? And if it is, to what level?

Also, be careful when setting rules for the takeover. You don’t want to take away the voice of the influencer. The takeover will be less effective if all the posts look like your brand made them. 

Set up permissions

In some takeovers, like hosting on Instagram and Snapchat, you might have to give the influencer your password. It's important that you only work with influencers that are trustworthy and have probably done similar collaborations with other brands. Once the takeover is done, revoke their access to your page and change your password.

You can also limit posting permissions for added security. For example, Facebook offers different options in Page Roles. So you can set the influencer to just be a moderator. If it's on a Live, assign the Live Contributor role. On Instagram, you could also host joint Live sessions so you wouldn’t have to give up your password. 

You can also use social media management platforms like Iconosquare to add an approval process. This means that the influencer won’t be allowed to automatically share posts to your account. Your team will be able to approve the post before it goes live.

Promote the takeover

Once you’ve set up the framework and permissions, you and the influencer should promote the takeover. Don’t just start the project out of the blues. Create an opening intro post that you will promote for a few days before the takeover date. Building anticipation will lead to more engagement when the takeover begins.

Ask influencers to review your products

Customers value the recommendations of influencers. In fact, a survey showed that 61% of consumers trust the recommendations of influencers. Only 38% of them trust branded social media content. 

And if making sales on social media is your main objective, influencers are also very effective. Eight out of ten customers said that they have purchased something after it was recommended by an influencer. 

Many people also rely on influencers when vetting out which businesses they will purchase from. So if you want to drive sales to your business, you should get influencers to review your products.  

Tip: Avoid influencers that will promote anything on their page. You want to work with the ones that prioritize sharing quality content over promotions. 

The next question is – how do you get influencers to review your products?

First, you want to make sure that you work with influencers that have used and love your products. So if there is a recognizable influencer that is a fan of your product, you can collaborate with them.

On the other hand, if they are influencers that you want to work with but they don’t know your brand or haven’t used your product, you can try influencer gifting. Also known as product seeding

You can send a DM or email the influencer asking for their details so you can send over the free product. Here is an example of a message you can send:

“Hi [name of influencer], we have this product that I think you’d enjoy. May I send you a sample?”

After the influencer agrees, send them the free product with no surprise demands. You don't need to ask them to promote your product in exchange for a review. Only bring up collaboration if they genuinely love your product. The best ambassadors of your products are fans. 

Get influencers to share gift guides during holidays

A lot of people depend on gift guides especially during festive seasons when shopping for loved ones. For example, in 2021, product and gift review sites like CNET, Strategist, and Wirecutter saw an average of 690% increase in website visits from November through December. 

Since influencers have a lot of followers who are also likely looking for gift ideas, you can collaborate with them to promote gift guides. They are two easy ways to go about this. 

The influencer can share gift guides that only feature products from your store. This strategy is effective when you have products that complement each other. For example, an influencer can promote different products from the same beauty line; lipstick, blush, mascara, etc. 

The influencer can also create gift guides that feature products from different brands. The main thing is the products complement each other and are not mismatched. 

Ask influencers to promote branded hashtags

A branded hashtag is a custom hashtag that is created for your brand. The hashtags can be used to promote your brand, products, or campaigns. 

If you are launching a new product and want to generate buzz and interest around it, create a branded hashtag. Next, ask influencers to use the hashtag when sharing content related to your product or brand. 

You should also include branded hashtags in the copy promoting your giveaways and contests. They are great for starting conversations. And as part of the rules of your contest, you could also ask participants to share the hashtag too. If enough influencers and their followers interact with the hashtag, there is the potential for the hashtag to go viral. Which means more awareness for your brand and products. 

Give discount codes to influencers for their followers

You want to drive sales on social media? There is no more direct way to do this than to give discount codes to influencers that they can offer to their followers. This strategy is simple but effective as most of the influencer’s followers might check out your products because they perceive that the financial risk of transacting with your business is now reduced. And if it’s an influencer with public goodwill, buyers might feel like they are getting a good deal. But the key thing is to collaborate with influencers with the relevant audiences you want to target. Audiences that are interested in your product.

It’s also a good idea to offer each influencer you work with a unique discount code. This will make it easy to track their performance. For example, which influencer had the most conversions; people that used their discount code and went on to make a purchase. 

Collaborate with influencers to create new products

If you have a large influencer marketing budget, you can collaborate with influencers to co-create new products. You could also create a new product on your own but launch it in partnership with an influencer. 

But note that since launching a product with an influencer is a big risk – both in terms of brand budget and brand reputation – you want to collaborate strictly with big-name influencers that can guarantee a positive ROI. You will also increase the chances of success if you work with an influencer that you already have a long-term relationship with. Someone that you have done collaborations with in the past and have become a brand ambassador. There will be less friction since you and the influencer already have a good working relationship. 

Tip: Before you launch the product, you and the influencer should tease the potential collaboration on social media. This will help boost brand awareness and get your followers talking. 

Let influencers create shoppable posts

Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow users to create shoppable posts. Customers can directly shop on the platform without having to leave the site. 

On Instagram, you can even tag and display the prices of the products in your posts. Your followers can then click on the post and buy the product. 

So when influencers promote your products on these platforms, direct them to use shoppable posts. Their followers can click on the posts and buy the products with ease. Call-to-actions like “Shop Now” can also be used in Stories to drive sales. 

Create a brand ambassador program

Brand ambassador programs are great for building long-term relationships with influencers. The influencers will serve as spokespersons for your brand and will regularly recommend your products to their followers on social media. 

And unlike brand-influencer relationships, brand ambassadors will be solely committed to your brand and not partner with your competitors. For example, Tyler Jordan is a GoPro Ambassador. A lot of his content revolves around promoting GoPro. 

To run a successful brand ambassador program, it's best practice to only accept trusted influencers into the program. Not everyone should be your ambassador.  Work with influencers who are already associated with your brand and already love your product. It's also important that your ambassadors have the same values as your brand. 

Tip: Offering your brand ambassadors regular product updates, media assets, support, and sometimes insider info will help them better promote your business. 

Ready to start working with influencers?

If you want to boost awareness of your brand and products on social media, collaborating with influencers is the perfect way to do it. 

Hopefully, the tips in this article will help you better drive sales with influencer marketing. 

Also, make sure to check the rest of our blog to learn actionable social media marketing strategies and from the experiences of other professionals. 

the writer


Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.


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