How To Run An Influencer Loyalty Program

Discover how to spice up your loyalty programs by turning customers into influencers.

Lena Young
October 06, 2020

How Have Loyalty Programs Changed?

There is no denying the change the entire world has experienced in 2020. Really, is a blog post even a blog post anymore without mentioning the coronavirus. Probably not. But, more than being the most typed search term in 2020, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the way in which brands engage with their clients. 

Due to the health guidelines enforced by corona, many purchases now take place online. Meaning more and more brands need to leverage eCommerce practices. Loyalty programs support brands both online and offline, but during a period that is primarily online, it’s important that all practices support digital sales. Enter the Influencer Loyalty Program. A modern spin on that classic loyalty program, which perfectly finds an intersection between your customers and influencer marketing. 

What is an Influencer Loyalty Program?

For eCommerce brands, a successful influencer marketing strategy requires a holistic approach. It is not just about discovering the right influencer to promote your brand but leveraging your existing network of customers and fans to identify brand ambassadors. 

That means turning your customers into your influencers. As lovers of your product, who better to publicly endorse and advocate your brand. Best of all, influencer partnerships can seamlessly integrate into your overall marketing strategy. Effectively creating an authentic brand voice and driving meaningful connections. 

Like any loyalty program, your influencer program can also be incentivized for purchases and have an easily identifiable tiering system for qualifying various participants. Identifying brand ambassadors within your network is something every eCommerce brand should be practicing. The process is relatively straight forward and can be integrated into your customer journey. Use our step-by-step guide and discover how to run a sophisticated customer loyalty program that will not only boost brand awareness but will be an optimal component of your sales strategy. 

Loyalty Program Guide

Step 1: Turn Your Customers Into Influencers

The base of any good loyalty campaign is an incentive to drive action. Traditional loyalty programs are typically structured off of customer purchases. “Spend $20, you get $20.” The higher the purchase the higher the reward. Well, an influencer loyalty program is kinda like this, but different. Rather than qualifying customer loyalty by spending, it is measured on social media power. 

What does this mean? Have customers post about your brand on social media. It could be by using a hashtag or posting review videos. Find a content medium that is accessible and supports your brand. This will let you identify your customers on social media. It will teach you what type of content they are likely to engage with, what they think about your product, and – best of all – will allow you to discover influencers among your client base. You could never know, but some of your most loyal customers could be serious social media giants. 

Step 2: Collect Social Credentials 

It’s important to find a point in the customer journey that enables the collection of social credentials. This will make it easier for you to identify and vet the most influential customers in your network. Rather than asking for an email address, you’re requesting an Instagram handle. 

There are many places to collect a client’s social details. In your email nurture flow, on a thank-you page after purchase, during the check-out process, having a brand ambassador page on your site, or in a pop-up. We recommend trying a few options and assess where your clients are more inclined to share their details. 

Step 3: Create a Compensation System

Generating traction on social media is just the first step. Once you’re getting the juice flowing, you’ll need to have a carefully crafted understanding of what you’re looking for. There are many ways to compensate your customers for participating in an influencer loyalty program. 

Methods For Influencer Loyalty Compensation:

  1. Pay-Per-Post: Offer your brand ambassadors monetary compensation for posts. Perhaps not all posts receive compensation, just posts that generate a certain engagement and exposure benchmark. Learn more about influencer rates here.
  2. Giveaways: Offer free product giveaway to participants as a thank you. If the influencer posts about a product that they love, show your customers that you love them by offering a free product.
  3. Pre-Release Samples: Show your customers how much you value their opinion by sending samples of pre-released products. Ask for their feedback, and include them in the development of your brand.
  4. Exposure: Share your brand ambassadors’ posts on your social pages to help them grow social exposure. Even if your customers have a smaller network, giving them a chance to shine shows that your value is the most important influencer.
  5. Affiliate Program: Provide high performing influencers with affiliate links that can be easily monitored. If links lead to conversion, offer your influencers a percentage of your revenues and an incentive for further sales.
  6. Tiering System: Create an internal tiering system that lets you determine how you compensate your brand ambassadors based off of clearly defined benchmarks.

While a tiering system may seem overwhelming to establish, it will help you and your team set clear goals for your influencer loyalty program and easily monitor KPIs. Below is a helpful chart for tiering and qualifying your loyalty program. By setting rewards based on specific requirements, you can easily filter through your network to find the Gold Tier of influencers.

Influencer Loyalty Tiering System

Step 4: Monitor Results

Once you and your identified influencers have begun generating further content, it is important to set KPIs for analysis. If the goal of your loyalty program is to drive conversions, then having a way to track conversions is essential. Whether you’re sending your influencer coupon codes or personalized links, having a tool that can track conversions lets you understand which collaborations are the most beneficial for your brand. By tracking such links you can better understand the type of network that is more responsive to your product and have a more comprehensive understanding of future collaborations. 

Fun Fact: Klear creates and monitors coupon codes. Schedule a Demo to learn more! 

Benefits of an Influencer Loyalty Program? 

If you’re not convinced already that Influencer loyalty programs are a great asset for your brand, here are a few other benefits! 

  1. Create Meaningful Relationships with Your Customers
    Loyalty programs are ongoing campaigns that your audience is meant to participate in, and in turn, will get rewarded for. This shows that you value them and that they are an essential part of your success. 
  2. Learn More About Your Network: Running a loyalty program will teach you a lot about your network. When working with new influencers you might be connected with new audiences that you didn’t realize love your brand. This can help create more niche and meaningful marketing initiatives, and drive customer relationships.
  3. Repurpose Beautiful Content: If influencers know one thing better than us common folk, it’s how to create beautiful and engaging content. Leave this to the experts. Let your customers create beautiful content that can repurpose. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

If you’re ready to take your eCommerce influencer strategy with a sophisticated loyalty program, schedule a call with one of our influencer experts and learn how to use Klear to run an influencer loyalty program.