Drive Direct Sales with Influencer Marketing: Melissa Davis, GM of ShopStyle

By Linda Chep from CMA's Digital Marketing Council

As a Performance Marketer, I have seldom (never) considered Influencer Marketing as a method that I would leverage to drive direct sales for a brand. In past experiences, Influencer Marketing has always performed well for me, but only in driving brand awareness and engagement. This is why I was so surprised to learn that Influencer Marketing, when executed properly, can (and does) work in driving direct conversions and a healthy ROAS for a brand.

Here’s the story – In March, I found myself at an Influencer Marketing breakout session at the Ebates Max Summit in the charming city known as Charleston, SC. The GM of ShopStyle, Melissa Davis, stood in front of a roomful of Performance Marketers and illustrated how ShopStyle Collective can help in acquiring direct sales. I don’t know if it was the Twizzlers or popcorn (we were in a historic theatre), but I was sold. I’m kidding – the facts, data and case studies that Melissa had presented won me over (but snacks do help).

I was so impressed with the presentation that I had asked Melissa to jump on a quick call to further discuss best practices and tips – captured below:

Tell us about ShopStyle Collective:

We are a network of elite Fashion and Lifestyle publishers and influencers. We give you the tools, data, opportunities, and guidance you need to grow your brand, your community, and extend the reach of your voice across all of your platforms. We have strong relationships with thousands of retailers and brands around the world. We are also a commerce company with expertise, reach, and scale.

What should Marketers keep in mind when building a Sales-Driven Influencer Marketing campaign? 

  1. Clear Goals and KPIs: There are different Influencers for different initiatives. Some brands go after high-level branding and others go after direct sales.
  2. Leverage Data: It’s also key to leverage data to drive decision making. We will always provide brands with transparency and performance insights. We can also tell you what Influencers are already talking about, how they’re talking about your brand and how they’re driving sales. We’ll always use data to pair you with the right Influencers to achieve your goals.
  3. Partner with the Right Influencers: Always work with the Influencers to drive what the overall program looks like. Sometimes brands dictate too much. Programs are more successful when brands give Influencers more creative freedom as they know what works best.  

Can you give us an example of a success story?

Over the winter Holidays, a Fashion brand partnered with us to launch an Influencer Marketing program. The program generated over $500K in direct sales with our team.

LC Note: From the Media Kit, it states that a campaign using 3 top bloggers to promote specific brands drove a ROAS of +362%, which also resulted in a +45% increase in sales. This is about the same ROAS you’d expect from a high performing Display Prospecting campaign. But, keep in mind that 92% of consumers trust an Influencer more than an ad.

Can other verticals, aside from Fashion, leverage ShopStyle Collective?

Yes! Other verticals are expanding into the fashion Influencer realm. Our Influencers want to be seen beyond fashion. They are lifestyle bloggers, and are not just focused on clothing. They also talk about home, travel, and décor. We’ve run successful programs with several brands outside of Fashion, including Ford Motors.

Who can Marketers contact if they’d like to learn more about ShopStyle Collective?

Hilary Sloan at hsloan@shopstyle.com.

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Tags: marketing, shopstyle, influencer marketing, sales, direct sales, fashion, digital