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To engage an external host or conduct a live sale on your own? We analyze the pros and cons of using influencers’ help in live shopping

The launch of live shopping activities is a significant step forward towards increasing sales and building an authentic relationship with customers. One of the most important decisions that we have to make when preparing our first show is the right choice of the host. We can decide to run a sales stream on our own or with the help of one of our colleagues, or to hire an external person in the form of an influencer or industry specialist. In the following article, we outline all the aspects which are supposed to be taken under consideration of choosing a host.

The first factor to consider is host availability. You have to analyze whether you or one of your colleagues will be good in this role, whether they are a talkative person and do not feel too much stage fright in front of the camera. Be aware that there are no doubles in a Live Event, so being able to manage stress is a key factor. If your team does not yet have a person who feels comfortable in front of the camera, then it is worth considering using the help of specialists, i.e. industry experts or influencers. Their experience in public speaking is certainly at the appropriate level.

Where to find external hosts? Primarily on social media and blogs related to your industry. How to contact them? Directly via a private message, e.g. on Instagram. We live in a time where even the greatest stars are literally at our fingertips. At worst, you just won’t get a reply. If you cannot find the right leaders, it is worth checking the offer of agencies specializing in influencer marketing, which are responsible for negotiating the terms of cooperation with advertisers. These types of companies have in their portfolio many well-known, more or less, creators who can support your entry into live commerce.

An important condition for entering into cooperation with an external specialist or resigning from cooperation is the issue of costs.

It should be borne in mind that while in the case of niche and less recognizable hosts, the cost of engaging in a one-off event will be lower than, if we are talking about the largest influencers, the cost may be much, much higher. In this situation, it should be considered whether the costs incurred can be reflected in the potential revenues. An alternative to the costs related to cooperation with an influencer may be discounts for the participants of your sales stream, or investment in paid traffic sources in order to reach a wider group of potential participants of the sales event.

Knowledge of the industry and products is a key competence.

The person presenting the offer should know the answers to questions from participants, which are a permanent part of every live commerce event. If a company representative acts as the host, the problem of unfamiliarity with the products does not apply to us. The company’s employees know not only the products, but also the customers and their needs. The situation is different when we want to use external help. It is worth cooperating with industry specialists or influencers who are familiar with the subject related to our offer. If we want an influencer who we value for other qualities, such as charisma, then product training will be necessary.

The issue that raises considerable doubts related to the involvement of influencers in sales events is their credibility. The basis of commercial activities for famous creators is advertising cooperation with brands. It is perfectly normal for influencers to present company offers in return for a fee. However, it is worth remembering that your clients are aware of this, so the influencer you work with should be authentic and credible. Before starting cooperation, take the time to check the cooperation history of a specific influencer. It may happen that it was previously associated with your competitor or with another company with which your brand should not necessarily be associated.

The ubiquitous hate on the Internet is also a factor that should be taken into account. Check comments on influencers’ posts. If there is a lot of negative content in them, be aware that it can transfer to your sales broadcast. The reverse situation is the use of a warm image of an influencer liked by the recipients. In such a situation, some of the sympathy that the creator enjoys will flow to your brand.

The biggest advantage of cooperating with influencers is the ability to use their reach for your own marketing purposes.

A person who is followed by several hundred thousand users can bring your company several hundred thousand new customers. Pause for a moment and imagine how many followers of Instagram’s biggest stars have not had contact with your brand. Cooperation with famous people costs money and it is worth converting this cost into advertising potential. Analyze your Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns to see what is the cost of bringing one converting user to the store’s website. It is also worth comparing the rates of individual influencers, as they can be very diverse. These amounts are not given in any open source, therefore their spread is high, and the reach potential of one influencer may be significantly overestimated, while another underestimated.

By using the help of influencers, we derive benefits related to their image, but we do not build our own.

Currently, there is a trend in marketing where customers know the people behind a particular brand, which adds to its authenticity. Live shopping is an ideal opportunity to introduce people related to the company to customers and build their recognition. A recipe for using the influencer’s image to build your own personal brand may be a joint stream running by a recognizable creator and brand representative. Live shopping is not a closed-off phenomenon and events hosted by several hosts are not a rare sight.

The course of the sales transmission is a key importance for its effectiveness. If the event is interesting for customers, they will not only make purchases on it, but also appear at the next ones. The concept for interesting time management of customers is worth its weight in gold. You need to answer the question, do you have an idea how to conduct a live sale? If you don’t, then it makes sense to enlist the help of someone experienced in communicating with your audience via video format. If you already have an interesting idea, working with an influencer may be limited to using his image and reach and will come down to playing out your scenario.

The answer to the question whether it is a better solution to prepare a sales relationship on your own or to use the help of an influencer is ambiguous.

It is worth translating the above factors into your own reality and analyzing all the pros and cons. An alternative may be to reconcile two options and run a sales stream together with an influencer. You can also use a strategy in which you will use cooperation with an influencer only for the premiere event, and you will run the next ones yourself. The key is to analyze the effectiveness. Test different variants and draw the appropriate conclusions. Your customers can also answer the question posed in the title of this article. A good method to increase interest in the event will be to ask a question, e.g. via social media, thanks to which you will find out which influencers are being followed by your customers.

It is possible that professional live streamer will gain popularity over time.

In China, the KOS (Key Opinion Seller) group, specialized in live commerce, emerged from the classic opinion leaders, i.e. KOL (Key Opinion Leader).

Remember that Vidvi is not only a tool for live shopping in your online store, but also experts who provide advice at every stage. If you want to get tips from our specialists, please use the contact form.

Want to learn more about how to implement live commerce in your store?

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