Here’s How Shoppable Content Can Boost Your Influencer Marketing
Shoppable Content in Influencer Marketing Posts: How Does it Work?
What’s the next red-hot influencer marketing trend that captures U.S. brand marketers’ attention and budget allocations? Our bet is on shoppable content. In a nutshell, shoppable content is the ability to provide consumers with a direct path to purchase online. Shoppable content can be any kind of digital asset that consumers can click through to make a purchase, from influencer-shared social media posts to videos or in-platform ads. Social platforms offer brands endless opportunities to connect with consumers through strategic influencer partnerships. By adding shoppable content to the mix, influencers can now drive the full sales cycle in a single post — from awareness to purchase. With shoppable content, brands can take advantage of an activity their target consumers are already engaging in (in this case, browsing their favorite creators on social media) and boost action with a “buy now” button.
How Does Shoppable Content Work?
In order to share some examples of how this all works, we talked with our expert friend Joel LaFrance, VP of Marketing at Basketful. Basketful is a shoppable solutions provider, with the goal of changing the way we get our groceries by turning any content into a cart. We asked Joel about what the audience sees when they encounter a shoppable post that uses their technology. For instance, if a creator is helping promote a food brand with a recipe, here’s what the experience is like on their end (:55):
For the layperson, we simply power that little call to action, the add to cart button. So, most people don’t know they’re even using Basketful. They just know that they’re hitting a button that says “buy now” or “check out at Target.” Or, if it’s a shopper marketing thing or multi retailer, we power that little button. Behind the scenes, what we’re doing is we have automatically curated what’s in that content. So, it could be a recipe of five to 10 ingredients, however many ingredients. Or, it could be a singular product. And, we curate that in the background automatically. Then, we serve up from our in-depth integrations we have with dozens and dozens of retailers, we say, “Okay, what zip code is Danielle in? Then, what stores actually have those ingredients available?” And, we serve that up to that shopper.
Shoppable content allows audiences to buy products without ever leaving the platform or website, and it can also be used to provide options when it comes to receiving the goods. While some folks are happy to shop or pick up items in-store, others will want completely seamless e-commerce experiences and contactless delivery.
Can Shoppable Posts Show Different Retail Options?
One strategy for communicating flexible retail options is to partner with influencers who can share these choices with their audiences in a way that’s relatable and genuine. Does your brand offer delivery, in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and ship-to-store? Influential content creators can help share brand differentiators of all kinds, including the various options for last-mile delivery. Here’s Joel describing how shoppable solutions can combine digital and brick-and-mortar store options, and even utilize geotargeting and inventory intelligence (:49):
So, if it’s a shopper marketing thing, and you’re just buying at Target, we can direct you. We can bring you directly from … It’s literally a click to cart. We can put those products directly into your cart at that retailer. You can check out from there, or you can save it for later, come back, fill out the rest of your cart, and pick up at store. Or, if it’s a multi retailer, a brand marketing, we basically present what we call a shop-able landing page where there’s a carousel of you can pick up that recipe at Hy-Vee or Target or Kroger or whatever that local grocer is that’s within your vicinity that actually has those products in stock with that brand sponsored item at the top of the heap and at the center of focus in there.
Consumers are often looking for purchase inspiration as they scroll through social media, which makes them ripe for conversion. Leveraging high-engagement creator-shared content with shoppable solutions lets brands answer consumer questions at the right place and time — and drive sales intent with zero barriers to purchase.
Does Shoppable Content Provide Brand Safety?
One aspect of shoppable content brands often ask about is brand safety, in terms of making sure that what’s being promoted is actually available (and that audiences don’t get a “close enough” competitor product swap during the buying process). Here’s how Joel’s company addresses this issue (1:01):
Protecting brand fidelity is at the forefront of what we do, is making sure there’s a brand behind there paying for that content to make sure that that inspiration actually gets to cart, is making sure if it’s Hershey’s or whatever company, that it’s a Hershey’s product going in there, not just chocolate bar. You don’t want to end up with chocolate covered espresso beans or any other myriad of other chocolate things. You want a chocolate bar of that specific brand, and making sure that fidelity is there in the background. We understand replacements and other SKUs, that if a 20 ounce chocolate bar isn’t available, that there’s a 12 ounce bar or whatever to make sure that that brand fidelity is protected throughout, and it’s actually available at that retailer. So, a lot of that goes back to the strengths of those integrations and the data from retailers that we have to have in the background to make sure that that brand fidelity is protected, and the shopper is actually getting what they expect, too.
Maintaining brand safety with shoppable content also comes down to finding the right influencers to partner with. Starting with clearly-defined campaign KPIs (key performance indicators), brands should align with the social media users who have a true connection with the audience they’re looking to reach. A full influencer marketing strategy should include all the campaign details and deliverables, including exclusivity requirements. Of course, all this effort isn’t worth much without the metrics that help refine strategies and reveal results. Joel shares how his company’s solutions provide campaign clarity, down to the ability to determine the most efficient (and budget-friendly) platform tactics (:58):
Then, we can see down funnel into, okay, how many people actually converted it at that retailer? That is really rich information, especially in the post-ATT, cookie-less, all the privacy initiatives going on, and how they’ve hampered some marketing visibility in optimization methods. We’re bringing some of that power back to the brands so that they can see, okay, what was my cost per impression on this platform when I ran it on social platform A? What is my cost per cart on that same social platform? And, how does that differ against social platform B and C? Through that data, you can start to build that picture of, oh, you know what? Social platform A is really good on a cost per impression basis, but from a cost per conversion standpoint, maybe it’s awful. And, this other one is way better from a conversion standpoint.
The “Perfect Storm” for Brands
When it comes to reaching target consumers at precisely the right moment to encourage a purchase, it’s hard to imagine a more effective scenario than shoppable content. Today’s shoppable content possibilities offer a seamless experience for shoppers within the social channels they prefer, with ever-improving technology solutions that successfully reduce the customer journey. Whether on a high-engagement platform like TikTok or incorporated into a brand’s owned channels, social commerce’s targeted and personalized shopping experiences provide a ‘perfect storm’ environment for influencer audiences.
Interested in learning more about setting up a shoppable campaign with targeted influencers? Talk to us today.