Influencers are not just an awareness-boosting tactic. They can also be useful further down the purchase funnel. Influencers can quickly build social content, such as ephemeral Instagram Stories, and brands can use them to drive additional traffic to their sites without having to jump through the hoops of a media agency or standard campaign process.

Almost half of stories from beauty-related influencers explicitly mention brands, according to Gartner L2’s report on social commerce. Furthermore, more than a fifth of those stories use the swipe-up function to link to commerce. ColourPop, for example, partnered with makeup artist Alissa Ashley (@alissa.ashley) to give consumers a coupon code for 20% off products sold on its site. The influencer then posted stories that linked to a custom ColourPop landing page, complete with a banner at the top featuring Alissa Ashley’s code.

Social platforms

Brands seeking to diversify their ad content can also partner with influencers in dark posts that send potential customers to product pages. For instance, Olay and Pantene both partnered with a variety of influencers, directly using influencer accounts to link to category landing pages or contest submission pages. Amazon also jumped into the mix, building out an influencer network and linking influencer content on social media directly to Amazon product pages.

As the social commerce playground expands, brands must constantly iterate on existing marketing strategies. Instead of using influencers as mere publicists, brands should start leveraging them as salespeople.

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