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eBay spawns a new brand of 'seller' influencers

eBay spawns a new brand of 'seller' influencers

We’ve already seen the buzz that micro-influencers - those with less than 10,000 followers - are creating in the world of Instagram marketing.

According to the 2018 Global Micro-Influencer study from SocialPubli.com, this mighty influencer segment is currently dominating the network with seven times more engagement than those with supersized followings.

But there’s another reason brands are reevaluating what kinds of Instagrammers are best to work with: influencer fraud. From buying followers to inauthentic content, an increasing amount of damaging trends are springing up in the influencer world, which means brands and marketers are using new techniques to weed out the bad eggs. Here’s how eBay is adapting to the shift...

Who's involved?

Online marketplace eBay and a string of social influencers involved in the platform’s new Influencer Network. These include fashion and lifestyle blogger Monica Awe-Etuk, lifestyle and travel blogger Alyson Haley, Shannon Willardson, Stello Style and Hollie Woodward. As well as being powerful social influencers, they all have one thing in common - they own online shops.

Purpose of campaign

eBay launched its Influencer Network in order to fuse its paid-for advertising with a diverse blend of social media users and eBay sellers. The primary purpose is to inspire shoppers to purchase from eBay, creating a stronger community feeling and sharing a wide and diverse mix of inspiration.

By partnering with online shop owners and eBay sellers, the marketplace can also nourish brand values trust and transparency among consumers - something that’s top of the priority list for marketers. To minimise the risk of influencer fraud, eBay influencers must have an eBay User ID, an active blog and at least two active social channels.

Process

As part of its Influencer Network programme, eBay launched a campaign to promote the use of LIKETOKNOW.IT app for eBay finds. From Shannon Willardson’s blog post on her tips for finding the best deals on eBay to Alyson Haley sharing why she trusts shopping on the site, it’s evident that partnership agreements include one unique blog post and one social share.

Each post also has a clear call-to-action - to drive readers to eBay to see what makes it perfect for a range of needs. Since these influencers are already sellers, their blog content blends into the Influencer Network blog content in an effortlessly organic way. Throughout blog posts, buy-now links are easy to follow so that web users can go straight to products influencers recommend.

eBay influencer network

Analysis

Instead of paying influencers with hefty voices to shout about eBay, the platform is giving its sellers a place to grow and be heard. Those who operate their own small businesses through the marketplace can present themselves in ways like never before, driving traffic to ‘seller’ influencer’s blogs, websites or social media pages.

eBay also benefits - these kind of sellers are already naturally passionate about what they share and this authentic attitude is always genuinely appealing to customers. All influencers are 100% clear about the fact their posts are paid-for by ebay, with ‘Paid partnership with ebay’ tagged as well as a ‘sponsored’ hashtag.

eBay has found a unique and genius blend in the influencer makeup, appealing to an audience craving authenticity and generating sales for the online marketplace flawlessly. The platform gets click-throughs directly to its sellers, products and shops and readers have a more diverse form of shopping inspiration.

Outcome

A modern mistrust for traditional ads means more and more influencers are selling stuff without appearing to do so. However, there’s no doubt that the influencers in this campaign are talking about shopping and everything related to it - appealing to those consumers turned off by lack of transparency.

eBay has created a network with voices instantly recognisable to online shoppers and Instagram users alike - influencer content on the eBay network blog doesn’t look out of place either. Put simply, this is a super smart move from eBay that’s taken a step in the right direction in terms of where influencer marketing is going and has garnered a lot of engagement, sales, brand recognition and trust for doing just that.

Staff Writer

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