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The Influencer Effect: How to Use Social Commerce to Supercharge Brand Engagement

Nano influencers or celebrity-status macro influencers; how do you choose? Here’s how to hold a megaphone up to your ecommerce brand!

  • April 12, 2024
  • /
  • CANOPY Management
A young, dark-haired woman shouting into a megaphone

Everyone knows that ecommerce brands spend a lot of time trying to stand out and connect authentically with their audience. One tactic that’s become very popular is strategic collaboration with influencers. 

But with a diverse spectrum of influencers, from grassroots micro influencers to celebrity-status macro influencers, how does a brand choose? 

Or, is there a way to take advantage of the strengths of both?

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What Exactly are Ecommerce “Influencers?”

For the purposes of this post, let’s say that ecommerce influencers are individuals who have established credibility, expertise, or a significant following in a particular niche or industry. They then leverage that expertise on social media platforms, blogs, or other digital marketing channels. 

Their perceived authenticity and the trust they’ve built among their audience position them uniquely to shape opinions, trends, and purchase decisions. For ecommerce sellers, influencers act as force multipliers in bridging the gap between your brand’s online store and potential customers. 

They can provide organic exposure, leverage social proof, present products in relatable contexts, and drive targeted traffic to online stores. By collaborating with influencers, ecommerce sellers can tap into the influencer’s ready-made audience, generate brand awareness, enhance brand image, and ultimately, boost sales. 

With the influencer marketing industry set to grow to approximately $21.1 Billion in 2023, if it’s not on your radar now, it probably will be soon.

What are Macro Influencers? 

When we think of influencers, it’s easy to go right to the celebrity-sized macro influencers like the Kardashians, Beyonce, or Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Macro influencers are prominent figures with a massive following, typically ranging from 100,000 to several million followers across their digital platforms. Due to their extensive reach, they’re often celebrities, industry leaders, or internet personalities recognized even outside their specific niches. 

Let’s begin by pretending that collaborating with a macro-influencer is possible. What would an ecommerce seller receive from that relationship? 

For an ecommerce business, partnering with macro influencers can mean rocketing into the limelight, providing broad visibility and wide-reaching awareness in relatively short timeframes. While their endorsements might not always have the intimate and personal touch characteristic of micro influencers, the scale of exposure they offer is unmatched. 

If it’s in your content marketing budget . . .

A rectangular surface completely covered with new, 100 dollar bills

Why Macro Influencers Might Be the Right Choice

What Are Micro Influencers? 

As fun as it might be to imagine a Kardashian repping your new Amazon salad spinner, micro influencers are – for most ecommerce sellers – not only more realistic, they’re also more relatable AND effective in pointing shoppers to your virtual brand store. 

Micro influencers are individuals who, though they may have a smaller follower count—typically between 1,000 to 100,000—exhibit a strong connection and influence within their specific community or niche. 

What they might lack in the sheer volume of followers compared to larger influencers, they make up for in terms of engagement, trust, and authenticity with their audience. For ecommerce sellers, collaborating with micro influencers can be a particularly effective move. 

Due to their concentrated and often highly-engaged follower base, micro influencers can offer a more genuine and relatable promotion of products, resulting in a higher likelihood of audience conversion. 

The power of micro influencers lies in their close-knit community dynamics where recommendations feel more like advice from a trusted friend rather than a broad advertisement.

Why Micro Influencers Might Be the Right Choice

A young, dark-haired woman preparing to broadcast herself using her smartphone attached to a stand that is holding a ring light

Let’s Not Forget Nano-Influencers

A recent report has made clear that there’s a groundswell of enthusiasm for ever smaller niche influencers referred to as nano-influencers. 

Nano-influencers can simply be everyday social media users, with anywhere from 100 to 10,000 followers. They’re not “professional,” with the majority of their posts featuring everyday content such as family photos, or memes.

Reports continue to indicate that there is a strong preference for working with small (nano – 39% and micro – 30%) influencers ahead of expensive macro-influencers (19%) and celebrities (12%)

A Kardashian, or a Nano Influencer? Here’s How to Decide

OK, not many of you are going to be reaching out to Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney for a recommendation. Still, deciding on the size of an influencer to collaborate with is a critical decision for an ecommerce brand. 

The choice often hinges on a jumble of factors. Just like choices that Amazon sellers might make regarding their pay per click advertising, strategically employing Amazon ads is a balancing act. Sponsored Products ads might help you sell a single product, Sponsored Brand ads are going to promote your entire Amazon catalog. And, with Amazon advertising – and influencers – it’s usually not one or the other, but a blend of both. 

Here’s a closer look at a checklist that might help an ecommerce brand determine which size influencer to engage:

Brand Objectives & Goals

Awareness: If the primary goal is to generate widespread awareness about a new product or brand, then macro influencers with their vast reach can be the ideal choice.

Engagement & Trust: For brands seeking to cultivate trust and foster deep engagement, micro influencers, due to their close-knit and niche following, can be more effective.

Budgetary Considerations

Investment Size: Macro influencers, given their celebrity status and vast reach, generally command higher collaboration fees. Brands with a substantial budget might find them suitable.

Cost-Efficiency: Micro influencers often offer a more favorable balance between cost and engagement, giving brands more bang for their buck in terms of genuine interactions.

Target Audience

Niche vs. Broad Markets: Brands targeting a specific niche or demographic might find more value in micro influencers who cater directly to that segment. In contrast, those aiming for a broader appeal might lean towards macro influencers.

Authenticity & Credibility

Brands that prioritize genuine, authentic endorsements might find a better alignment with micro influencers. Their recommendations often feel more personal and trustworthy to their followers.

Content Quality & Professionalism

Many macro influencers have professional teams crafting their content, ensuring high-quality visuals and strategic messaging. If premium content is a priority, they might be the preferred choice.

Duration & Longevity of the Campaign

Short-Term Spikes: For brands seeking a rapid surge in visibility, macro influencers can offer immediate, wide-reaching exposure.

Long-Term Engagement: Brands looking for sustained engagement over a more extended period might benefit more from collaborations with micro influencers.

Analytical Metrics & KPIs

Brands should clearly define key performance indicators (KPIs) for their campaigns. Metrics like engagement rate, conversion rate, and ROI can offer insights into which influencer size aligns with the brand’s goals.

Risk Management

Macro influencers, due to their broader visibility, might attract both positive and negative attention. Brands must assess the potential risks associated with aligning with a significantly public figure.

A young, dark haired woman in a light blue sweater sitting on a couch and looking pensively at her laptop

The Fusion Approach: Blending Micro and Macro

As I mentioned above, with ecommerce – as with most things in life – it’s a question of calibrating your strategy to fit the specific use case. That’s why adopting a multifaceted influencer strategy offers the best of both. This fusion approach involves taking advantage of the strengths of both micro and macro influencers. 

Here’s an expanded look at how this integrated approach can benefit brands:

Diverse Audience Reach

Depth and Breadth: By collaborating with micro influencers, brands can deeply penetrate niche markets and cultivate strong community ties. Simultaneously, macro influencers allow brands to cast a wider net, reaching diverse demographics and expanding the overall audience of your ecommerce store.

Balanced Budget Allocation

Cost-Effective Engagements: Micro influencers, while cost-efficient, provide high engagement rates, making every dollar count in terms of genuine interactions.

Investment in Broad Visibility: While macro influencers might come with a heftier price tag, the expansive reach and brand prestige they offer can justify the investment.

Enhanced Authenticity and Credibility

An ecommerce entrepreneur can take advantage of the authenticity and close-knit community trust that micro influencers offer, while also leveraging the credibility and recognition associated with prominent macro influencers.

Strategic Content Diversification

Varied Content Styles: Micro influencers often offer relatable, grassroots-level online marketing content. That resonates with audiences on a personal level. Macro influencers, on the other hand, with their professional content teams, can deliver polished, high-quality content, adding a layer of sophistication to the brand’s image.

Risk Diversification

Engaging with a blend of influencers minimizes the risk associated with putting all eggs in one basket. Should a campaign with a macro influencer face challenges, the consistent engagement from micro influencers can act as a safety net.

Sustained Brand Narrative

By blending both influencer types, brands can ensure a consistent and sustained brand narrative. While macro influencers can create significant initial buzz, micro influencers can keep the momentum going, ensuring long-term brand conversations and engagements.

Feedback and Adaptability

Micro influencers, due to their tight-knit communities, can provide more immediate and candid feedback on products or campaigns. This grassroots feedback can be invaluable, and allows brands to tweak strategies in real-time. Macro influencers, with their broader audience, can offer insights into the wider market perception.

How Canopy Management Can Help

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, ecommerce brands need to stay agile and adapt to stay relevant. That’s where the Amazon Experts at Canopy Management come in. Social commerce features such as influencer marketing, TikTok, and Livestream selling are just a few of the ways that the Canopy team can help make sure your digital marketing is up to date.

What would adding 67% more organic sales mean for your brand?

Turns out that when you combine the massive experience of Canopy Management with smart tools and tech, you get industry-leading results like this:

Canopy Management is a full-service marketing agency for Amazon and Walmart sellers. Our team consists of former Amazonians, multi-million dollar sellers, and award-winning experts.

When you consider the many ways that Canopy Management can help you grow your business, you’ll see why selling on Amazon is much easier “under the Canopy.”

Thinking About Hiring an Amazon Management Agency?

Canopy’s Partners Achieve an Average 84% Profit Increase!

Let’s talk