Influencer marketing used to be limited to celebrities and a very select group of bloggers. But as social media usage has grown (there are now 4.48 billion people using it worldwide, every single day!), so has the number of influencers. Influencer is a broad term, defining anyone with at least 1k followers who has built a community of followers and has the ability to sway purchasing decisions. Instagram is often credited with launching the influencer – did you know it was one of the first platforms to establish links between brands and influencers?
With 500 million daily active users, it currently boasts the most influencers (reports suggest there are nearly 37 million influencers using the photo sharing app, accounting for nearly half of all influencers). Brands were quick to recognize the role Instagram played in brand awareness and product discovery: 70% of businesses currently use it as a key marketing channel for commerce, and influencer marketing has become a key component of virtually every marketing strategy. This year, 55% of marketers plan to use Instagram for influencer marketing, and they’re putting big money behind it: the industry itself is expected to hit $13.8 billion this year, more than double what it was 2 years ago!
Influencer Marketing in a Post-Covid World
While influencer marketing has enjoyed a major growth spurt since its advent in 2016, there has been a marked shift in most ecommerce brands’ Instagram influencer marketing strategies over the past year, due to the change in the way business was conducted during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. With stay at home orders in place, brands not only found themselves entirely reliant on digital platforms to connect with their customers, they also had fewer resources to produce content.
Necessity being the mother of invention, brands made do with limited resources available, turning to UGC and more lo-fi content to fill the void where in-house produced photoshoots would have been. At the same time, influencers who made their living travelling around the globe on aspirational vacations also found themselves grounded at home, producing the same type of homemade content. The result? Covid-19 ushered in a new era of less polished Instagram content. And interestingly enough, customers, stuck at home themselves and craving authentic human connection, found this new content more relatable and authentic than the heavily edited, meticulously produced photoshoots of pre-pandemic. This created an opportunity for a remarkable touchpoint because as all marketers know, authenticity always reigns supreme.
The Rise of Micro and Nano Influencers: Bigger Isn’t Always Better
As the type of content shifted, so did influencer partnerships. While influencer partnerships are on the rise, brands are now more focused on micro and nano influencers and less on mega and celebrity influencers. The industry defines micro influencers as having 10k-50k followers, and nano influencers as having 1k-10k followers. When you expand the definition of influencer to include anyone who has at least 1k followers, the number of potential influencers is suddenly exponentially greater than what it was just a few years ago, when partnerships were exclusively based on follower count.
This opened up a world of opportunity for more influencer partnerships. Whereas follower count used to be the benchmark for determining a potential influencer partnership, now brands look to engagement rate, where mega influencers typically fall short. Why sponsor a post by a superstar with millions of followers when you can partner with a micro or nano influencer with a smaller, but far more directly-engaged following.
Take the example of Tayshia Adams, co-host of The Bachelor and a mega influencer with 1.8 million followers. Her sponsored post with Nivea USA received an engagement rate of 1.8%, which is typical for a “celebrity for hire” post. Now compare that with a micro-influencer post from a partnership with Australian brand Famous Footwear. While the following is much lower, the authenticity is much more apparent as indicated by the 10.5% engagement rate it received.
It comes as no surprise that, according to a recent study, over 80% of businesses consider engagement rate to be the most important influencer metric. As many brands have discovered, micro and nano influencers tend to have better engagement rates, ROI, and produce more authentic content. Not only that, they are much less costly to work with. Mega influencers, with hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers command exorbitant fees for an Instagram post, but micro and nano influencers aka your “average Joe” influencer, is oftentimes perfectly happy to partner in exchange for product or a discount code. As a result, it’s much more impactful (and cost effective) to partner with a handful of smaller influencers instead of one mega influencer, and marketers are pivoting their strategies accordingly. According to a recent poll, they’re investing 47% of their influencer spend behind micro influencers, but only 23% to mega influencers and celebs.
But the shift to micro and nano influencers also brings a new challenge: it can be incredibly time consuming and arduous to vet these influencers manually, often requiring hours spent scrolling through Instagram and DM-ing for outreach, and even then, most marketers aren’t entirely sure they’re the right fit. A study recently revealed that only 39% of US marketers are confident in their ability to identify the right influencers for a campaign. So what’s the solution? Build an army of advocates with your own customers! Not only are they already familiar with your products, odds are they’re already sharing about your brand on Instagram. It’s just a matter of connecting, unlocking their social data, and reaching out. Enter Gatsby!
Who is Gatsby?
Gatsby is a community building tool that reveals your most social customers. Here’s how: when a customer enters their Instagram handle at some point during the customer journey – through a pop-up, form, or during checkout – Gatsby provides key data on their level of influence, so you can quickly identify your most influential customers (aka your best bets for partnerships). Not only that, Gatsby lets you know when they tag or mention your brand and shares the KPIs of those posts, including the best predictor of a good ROI: engagement rate. Through Gatsby, you can also automate influencer campaigns with your customers, allowing you to seamlessly initiate partnerships from initial outreach to tracking.
How Gatsby and Gorgias Work Together
Using Gatsby together with Gorgias you can incorporate your customers’ Instagram insights into your customer service support prioritization and workflow automations. There are two main ways in which Gatsby supports your customer service in Gorgias:
- Sync Influencer Insights: With this integration, Gatsby allows you to collect the Instagram (and soon TikTok) handles of your customers, and passes social media insights on them back to Gorgias. This is key for customer service as it enables you to see if you are speaking with a nano, micro or even mega influencer during a customer support conversation. Gatsby passes Instagram insights about the customer to Gorgias, which then appear on the ticket so you can see their level of influence. So if you’re chatting with them to resolve a customer service issue, you will instantly know if they are a person you may want to engage on a marketing level. These insights include:
- Their Instagram handle and bio
- How many followers they have
- How many people are following them
- How many posts they’ve done
- Track Posts: Gatsby also provides tracking, so merchants can see when a customer posts about the brand. When a customer mentions your brand on Instagram (posts or stories), it triggers a ‘Mentioned You’ ticket in Gorgias. You’ll get a link to their post, and data on its performance. You’ll also have the option to automate off the post with ‘Gorgias Rules’, in the event you want to initiate a campaign.
While there are innumerable benefits to using Gatsby’s influencer insights to enhance customer support, here are our top 3 ways every type of customer service agent can use this integration to take your support to the next level:
- Identify Your Most Influential Customers
Merchants often miss valuable connections with influencers when answering tickets, simply because they don’t have the social data of the person they’re speaking with. Now, agents that are using Gorgias every single day won’t miss out on potential influencers. This has a few benefits: First, when an agent is able to see their customers’ social stats, it allows them to take into account the customer’s level of influence when answering a ticket, so they can ensure that they provide VIP support. Secondly, thanks to the tracking Gatsby provides, agents will know if an influencer mentions their brand, and can quickly react with the appropriate next steps, whether asking about a partnership if it was a positive mention, or responding swiftly to any less than stellar mentions. Last but not least, knowing who your most influential customers are can be incredibly valuable for enhancing your influencer marketing strategy. Imagine the time it would save, and certainty it would provide if you had a pool of happy customers at the ready for when you’re looking to launch a campaign.
- Automate Influencer Outreach
Using Gatsby’s tracking feature, you can see when your customers mention you and what they’re saying about the brand. Whether you use our example below or plan on launching a different kind of campaign, you can create a turnkey influencer strategy with your own customers. Let’s say you get a ticket letting you know an influencer mentioned your brand. You can utilize “Gorgias Rules” to automate a response, asking them if they want to partner. Or you can...
- Create a CS-Based Social Campaign
Nothing delights a customer more than an exceptional customer service experience, and this lends the perfect opportunity for a campaign! One of our favorite ways to use Gorgias and Gatsby is to encourage customers to share after they’ve given a high ticket rating. This is a super easy way to automate an influencer campaign with your own customers during the support experience. Two birds, one stone!
A) Create a Rule: Using Gorgias Rules, create a rule so that when someone rates a ticket 5 stars, it auto-responds with an outreach message offering a reward in exchange for sharing about that experience. We recommend a reward that can be sent and redeemed easily, such as an exclusive discount on their next purchase.
B)Track when they post: You’ll get a ticket when the customer tags you in a post about their experience, so you can see what they’ve shared and then...
C)Send the reward: Once you confirm that the influencer has posted through tracking, you are ready to send the reward!
As you can see, using Gatsby and Gorgias together, you can unlock the potential of your most social customers to connect, build community at scale and drive conversions. Most importantly, Gatsby allows your brand access to key social insights about your customers, and serves as a social listening tool by alerting when your customers mention you on Instagram.
Let’s Get Started
Once that’s done, there’s a 1-minute video in this guide on connecting your Gatsby and Gorgias accounts. And if you’re short on time, don’t miss out on collecting valuable data during the upcoming BFCM rush: Here’s the quick and easy way to collect handles by adding data collection to your Post Purchase/Thank You/Order Confirmation Page.