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Who are the most profitable influencers for your e-commerce brand?


Last updated on 07/13/2022

This article is for you if, like many e-commerce brands, they do not ask themselves the right questions when they decide to launch an influencer marketing campaign.

They are often companies that do not understand the mechanisms of influencer marketing. Some companies simply choose the wrong influencers for their brand. They fail to choose influencers who have followers similar to the people who are the target market for the brand’s product.

This in-depth article will help you to have a better idea of who is the influencer that can help you reach your goals.


Questions to ask yourself before looking for an influencer
What is my niche?
Who is the audience I want to target?
What countries can I ship to?
What are my marketing objectives?
What is my influencer marketing budget?

Select the right influencers
The metrics to analyze

The different types of influencers on Instagram and Snapchat with their advantages and disadvantages
Nano influencers
Micro influencers
Macro influencers
Mega influencers and Celebrities

The type of content on TikTok
The niche
Post frequency
The engagement with their audience

The Youtubers
8 Types of video for promotions

Multi-channel influencers

5 best practices for an e-commerce brand to create a profitable influencer marketing campaign.

Selfie mateus-campos-felipe-unsplash
Selfie mateus campos felipe Unsplash

Why does influencer marketing matter for your marketing strategy?

The influencer marketing market doubled its value between 2019 and 2021 from $6.5 bn to an estimated $13.8bn, according to Statisa ‘s forecast.

Influence Marketing Market in billion US dollars – Statista

The average return on investment of influence marketing, when executed well, is 5.20 according to influence marketing hub.

Questions to ask yourself before looking for an influencer

What is my niche?

Some niches are well represented on the different platforms such as beauty, fashion, lifestyle, fitness, cooking, travel. Other more specific ones are less so.
The more you sell generic mainstream products, the more you will have the possibility to work with generalist influencers, but the influencers in a niche might not be interested in promoting your products.

 Who do I want to target?

When working with influencers, you need to have a clear idea of the persona you want to reach.Profitable influencers who care about their community know their audience. They know what they want and don’t want.

Before you even contact influencers, you need to have an idea of the interests, demographics and location of the audience to target.

To which countries can I ship my products?

This is very important for you. If you can’t be profitable by shipping to Australia, avoid Australian influencers. 

You will have to ask the influencer, the agency, or the manager you contact the audience statistics and the country where the followers are, which is in the influencer’s Instagram analytics tool. It is better to have a video recording of the stats or a screenshot (it can be edited).

What are my marketing goals?

You need to define what you want to achieve in terms of performance. KPIs will guide you.

Awareness: metrics related to increasing audience awareness of your product or service, such as content impressions, comments, mentions, reach, and traffic.

Direct Response: metrics related to specific actions, such as clicks, sales, conversions, leads, downloads and subscribers.

Type of goals:

Increase brand awareness

Get X numbers of content impressions with our budget
Reach X peoples on TikTok with the shortlist of influencers.

Strengthen proof of authority and social proof

Increase the conversion rate on the website by X% with the influencer’s traffic.

Improvement in our average comments on our social media post by X%

Reach new audiences

Increase our web traffic of 18-24 years old by X% with the influence marketing campaign.

Drive lead generation

Get X new leads in our email list subscribers for our new product launch.

 Generate sales

Generate $X k in revenue with our influence marketing campaign.

What is my influencer marketing budget?

Having a global idea of the budget based on the previously established objectives allows you to have a basis for negotiation.

Do I take the PR budget or the marketing budget?

Depending on your objectives and the theme of your digital marketing campaign, choose the budget that will be allocated to it. If you are doing brand awareness, it can be the PR budget. If it’s about increasing sales, it will be the marketing budget.

Select the right influencers

If you don’t partner with the right influencers, the campaign is doomed from the start.

Metrics to analyze:

Instagram Insights – Georgia De Lotz – Unsplash
  • Number of comments on the last 6 posts (excluding contests)
  • Number of followers
  • Engagement rate
  • Analytics of the influencer
  •  Recent stories/videos number of view
  •  Age, country, gender of the audience
  • Frequency of posts and stories over the last few weeks/months

Best practices

You want your influencer to have a significantly high number of comments. Likes come in second. Followers in third.

The number of followers allows you to categorize the influencer into nano, micro, macro, mega, and their price ranges.

The engagement rate must be above the average rate. These average rates are different depending on the niche.

General average:

< 20k followers 5%-10% engagement

< 100k followers 3%-5% engagement

> 1M followers 1%-3% engagement

If the influencers you find are below, that is a bad signal. If they are above, that is a good signal.

Influencer’s analytics: you have to ask for their analytics when they say they are interested in working with your brand.

This is what will allow you to know if they can be interesting for your brand or not.

Too many brands do not dare to ask them. It’s a business relationship. You need to know if your investment is worth it.

The frequency of posts is also important, if the influencer never posts stories and posts only a few pieces of content during a month, they will have a lower view rate and social media algorithms will not help.

If the influencer is on several social media platforms, as it is often the case (for example TikTok, YouTube and Instagram), go and see all their profiles.The YouTubers and TikTokers who are on Instagram usually have more engagement.

Ideal audience statistics:

70% female – 30% male. Except if your product target exclusively women or men, of course.

Majority in USA/UK/AUS/CAN or the country you want to sell in. The majority of your audience must come from the influencer’s home country or the USA.

The different types of influencers on Instagram and Snapchat with their advantages and disadvantages

Nano influencers

Nano influencers have less than 10k followers.
These are people who may have a passion and be very niche.
If they are on YouTube, people who are just starting out on TikTok post regularly, or Instagram influencers in a specific niche who have recently started or haven’t yet found the secret sauce to grow their audience.

Advantages and what you should look for

Great engagement rate: their audience can be extremely engaged and can go up to 30% or even 40% engagement rate for the best of them.

Big potential: You can find real amazing nano influencers that will grow their audience later manage to work with them at the beginning with a long-term vision, when they will have a bigger audience, you will win too.

Quality content at low cost: some nano influencers are also specialized content creators who make excellent content. You can take advantage of this by sending them a product and asking them to create content for you. This will be much cheaper than asking a professional photo studio or production agency that won’t know the content that works on social media.


Lack of professionalism: When you contact a nano influencer, they may not be familiar with brand promotion and professionalism. They prefer DMs rather than email.

Not interested in sponsored content: Some don’t want to promote right away because they don’t want to expose their audience to sponsored content at the moment.

No link in stories: on Instagram, the swipe up stories with a URL link is available from 10k, so the nano influencer won’t have the option.

Good for

E-commerce brands that want to start in influencer marketing slowly without spending big budgets. If you need to create content quickly, and the nano influencer responds fast, you can do this very fast, no need to process with an intermediate such as an agency (be willing to pay if you want them to post good content quickly).

A product seeding strategy is also great with nano influencers. You send your products to 10 influencers per month, ask them to post stories and post to their feed, every month. 

This can get you your first few thousands followers, build a community, get some sales and feedback.


Micro influencers have between 10k and 100k followers.
They may already be managed by an agency or a manager. They can also have several platforms with different levels of followers.
For example, some influencers have 300k on TikTok after a few viral videos and only 30k on instagram. Consider all followers, keeping in mind that these are overlapping audiences.


Good engagement rate: that’s what you should look for, a micro-influencer who can have 10% engagement on their posts and posts regularly in stories.

Solicitation: if they have a fast growth, they may not be solicited for sponsored partnerships yet but want to start sponsored content. You can find the perfect one that won’t cost you $1000 yet.


Get response: some influencers who are growing their community are obviously busy creating content and engaging with their community. They may have another activity, another job, or are not a full-time content creator, so they have little time to create content and respond quickly to proposals. So don’t hesitate to follow-up your message if you haven’t received a response yet.

Ask for too much: some influencers who have experienced rapid growth and have partnership opportunities with big brands want all their partnerships to be well(overly)-paid. They don’t hesitate to ask for a big amount because they have already made a partnership at that amount. It’s up to you to negotiate if it’s worth it. Some don’t hesitate to ask for $6k with something like 100k followers and 30k story views.

Good for

E-commerce brands that have a budget and want to bet on the future with their influencers marketing partners. This range of influencers, properly chosen and after negotiation, are usually the most profitable in terms of ROI sales.
Make sure you always keep in touch with those who have been profitable for you in order to do it again.
Many brands only use micro influencers for their influencer marketing campaign, and it works.

Among these influencers, there are many professionals. Don’t ask for free content unless you are a brand that wants to do charity and donate revenue to social causes.

These types of influencers are becoming more and more prominent on social platforms, and their content more and more diverse. You can find many very interesting profiles but be ready to pay them and manage them.

Macro influencers

Macro influencers are between 100k and 10M followers.
They are usually divided into several categories.
Those who have between 100k and 1M followers, +1M followers up to +10M followers.


Reach your awareness goals quickly: these influencers, with their big audiences, allow you to reach many more people at once.

Engagement rates: Some influencers are positioned on multiple platforms or even all content creation platforms, with a solid content strategy. If they are consistently engaging with their community, responding to comments and hosting regular Q&A’s in stories, that’s a good sign.


Post frequency: make sure the influencer posts regularly and that there is not too much space between 2 posts. You want them to be active. On the other hand, make sure they don’t promote different brands every day, like reality TV influencers can do. Usually the audience gets bored and doesn’t click on the ads anymore.

Beware of fake audiences: if you have a doubt, ask for recent audience statistics two times during the negotiation to see if there has been an evolution.Read the comments and quickly look at the name of the followers to make sure there are not too many bots.

The price: There is not really a fixed price. Depending on the countries and niches of the influencers, the prices can change dramatically.

Some influencers who don’t have management yet can also give you prices that are way too high. Generally, a big influencer marketing agency will offer market prices.

Good for

E-commerce brands that want to grow quickly and have a minimum of $20,000 budget to get started. You will find a variety of influencers. 

This is where you can be very profitable or lose money so spend time selecting influencers and writing a good briefing for your campaign. 

Brands that capitalize on their best influencers with a referral program or like Gymshark does, by gathering a real community of fitness enthusiasts, will come out on top.

Try to negotiate from the beginning to be able to use the content created by the influencer for Facebook and Instagram ads, or ask for a brand content partnership to boost the reach of the content in order to maximize your return on investment. 

Mega Influencers and Celebrities

They are the stars you see on TV, artists in concert, sports, and actors, but who are also on social media and who accept sponsored partnerships. Celebrities sometimes may have fewer followers but are generally more expensive because they do public appearances on TV, movies, etc.

Mega influencers are the stars of social media. We have positioned the cursor at 10M followers based on the USA but depending on the country, they can start at 2M or 3M followers.

They are the ones who represent the new trends, who can have a strong influence on culture and even your life decisions. They are extremely powerful and highly coveted by big brands.


Virality: For a brand awareness purpose or to build brand authority, these are the influencer categories you need. You also have a better chance that your brand will be seen and heard everywhere because their posts are often shared by many internet users.

Co-branding: involving the influencer or celebrity in the creation of the product or in the campaign can help you increase reach. If you give an affiliate link, the celebrity will be able to give you a good promotion and maybe a better price.


Not that profitable: Their cost is so high to get them, that the direct ROI is harder to get, although it is possible. But you’ll need to find the right person who will be able to put your brand forward the right way.

If you don’t have at least $100k, don’t consider these influencers “stars”.

Little control over promotion: when you work with celebrities, it’s hard to ask to redo the content.If they are not actors or good salesmen, the content can be done quickly and it may not deliver what you expected.

Preparation and Operations: Prepare your inventory well for the day of the promotion. Because you can have a good surprise that turns into a nightmare if you don’t have enough product, you may sell out too quickly and can’t deliver the products in time.

Good for

Want to put up big money and take big risks? As in all industries, risk pays. Some e-commerce brands have managed to achieve x10 earning up to $1M in a single day with celebrity endorsements. 

An e-commerce brand that has a clear vision, knows its mission and values, and knows mega-influencers or celebrities who share the same vision and values.

If you have already launched and scaled influencer marketing campaigns before, and have the budget, go for it. 10x or more are really possible. The sky is the limit.


Bella Poarch Tiktok views
Bella Poarch Tiktok

TikTok, the short video application, continues its meteoric rise -specially among 15-24 year olds. In July 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded application in the world, according to sensorTower. 

You will find the same type of content as on other platforms: vlogs, fashion, lifestyle, fitness, wellness, business, education, cooking, gaming etc. But with TikTok sauce.

The difference is that many content creators on tiktok manage to have a lot of followers without necessarily being an influencer thanks to the TikTok algorithm which creates virality very easily.

That’s why we have differentiated them.

The video format on tik tok is very native and amateur for most of the content creators on the platform. These are short videos from 1s to 60s and you have to keep the attention of your viewers for the entire video.

Initially known for dance videos, content creators have diversified their content to offer more and more creative things.

So what should you look at before looking for TikToker to promote your products?


Still decent competition: Not all brands jumped on tiktok. Many content creators are not yet contacted by brands, so you can reach an audience for a good price.

The video content, like on youtube, once posted, can be seen regularly and its number of views increases with time if the TikToker gains popularity.

It’s very interesting if you want to reach the gen Z age group of 15-24 years old because they don’t spend that much time anywhere else online.

Huge creativity: many content creators on TikTok have an incredible imagination for creating videos, so if you have selected well, the creative result can be incredible. Nevertheless, make sure that the message you want to convey is good.

Virality: you have a higher chance that the content will go viral if you work with a content creator who already has a few hundred thousand followers or more, in this case it is an extremely interesting investment.

Higher engagement: usually engagement on TikTok is way above other platforms. In July 2020, engagement rates of TikTok content were at 18% for the USA and 15.86% worldwide! According to Statista report

tiktok average engagement rate in countries statista
Tiktok average engagement rate


Not high quality content: most of them record their video with a smartphone, so the quality may be poor. The format will be vertical video and if you download it you will have a watermark. Moreover, finding a content creator on TikTok with a lot of creativity who is not already very sought is now rare.

*Just an update to mention that more and more tiktoker use professional camera to shoot their content now on the plateform.

tiktok video with HD camera
Tiktok video – aaron weiss unsplash

Lack of experience in sponsored content: Some don’t know how to sell products because they usually don’t do much promotion on tiktok. If it is your goal, you have to guide them in the creation of their content to have a result that meets your expectations. Especially if the product is a bit hard to explain in less than 60 seconds.

Global demographic criteria: make sure that the audience is based in the country you want to target. TikTok is global and followers are sometimes from all 4 corners of the world.

 The types of content on TikTok

What kind of content does a content creator on TikTok usually post?
Is it content with transitions, with special filters or effects?
Short videos or long videos?
Do they show their face or film themselves?

These elements allow you to know if the content creator can use and present your product with the content type they usually deliver.

The type of content must be native to the platform. The promotions that work on TikTok are those with native content. Transform a current trend and incorporate your product and brand into it.


If they dance, it is considered a lifestyle/dance. If they give advice on taking pictures, it is considered education/photo.

TikTokers have one niche or two that they combine to make diverse content. It’s up to you to see if the content they produce can fit your product and how.

When you reach out to them, make sure they are comfortable with your products.

Frequency of posts

They must post regularly to keep the attention of their audience. If they do not yet have 1 to 2 million followers, make sure they post regularly otherwise the algorithm will not be in your favor.

Engagement with their audience

If they regularly interact with their audience by replying to comments, creating videos to reply to comments and often performing live on TikTok, it means they care about their audience. They would have a more engaged audience and therefore will be more interesting for you.


YouTubers are also influencers, and unlike the social media Instagram and TikTok, you can find a lot of professionals, experts and KOL. The sponsored content they offer is sometimes more expensive as well depending on the niche, demand and type of video content you are looking for.

A YouTuber, depending on his expertise, niche and the videos he publishes may not be considered as an influencer but a video content creator who may also be an industry expert, making him a key opinion leader.

Partnerships on youtube can cover all niches and micro-niches.

YouTubers are already being paid by YouTube if they monetize their content with advertising video before, during and after their videos.

Youtuber setup stanley li
Youtube studio setup – Stanley Li Unsplash

8 Type of YouTube videos for promotions

YouTubers create different types and formats of videos. Some are more suitable for e-commerce product promotions. Here are 8 of them below:

Product unboxing: A great way for brands to promote their new or existing products.

Tutorials: Viewers love videos about product ingredients, ethical aspects of a fashion brand, the history of a certain trend or style, etc.

Tag or challenge: Harder to incorporate into sponsored content but by being creative, you can.

Haul: Very popular with brands that rely on runway shows to showcase their new products. It is popular for daily consumer products, cosmetics, beauty, clothes, and gadgets.

Comedy/sketch: People love to laugh, and it’s a huge boost for virality because we share what gives us strong emotions. Many youtubers incorporate this type of video even to promote products.

Vlog: Authentic content that appeals to a lot of viewers on YouTube., Can you use your product in everyday use or during travel? Then the vlog is perfect.

How-to: This is a combination of educational content to solve problems. If your product solves a problem, it can lead to content like this.

Product review and full review: Now more than ever, trusted reviews are paramount for consumers making a purchase. Most people wouldn’t think of making a purchase without checking online reviews first. Product reviews go further than online reviews by allowing the viewer to actually see how a product performs while listening to an expert’s review.

This type of video is great for awareness but also for conversion.

YouTubers will offer you several types of sponsored video formats, the most popular are:

Dedicated videos

A video entirely dedicated to your products and brand. Not all youtubers make this type of video. It will cost you more than other videos, but you will have the advantage of having a video with a format created by a YouTuber who, if he is professional enough, can do great quality work. 

You can use this video as a huge social proof if the YouTuber is well-known in the field.

Remember to ask for marketing advertising reuse rights during your negotiation so you can reuse it in your Facebook ads. Explain it’s a win-win strategy where he gets free exposure and you optimize your investment.

Integrated promotions

The YouTuber will talk about your brand during the video either at the beginning or at the end. The video will not be dedicated to your brand but he will talk about it as a sponsor. 

Generally, e-commerce brands will prefer the first format, except if they can integrate it in a vlog video or how-to. It really depends on what the YouTuber can create and what your product is.

Promotion of several brands

For a haul video for example, the YouTuber will present several brands and products, if he specifies that you will have a video dedicated to the presentation of your product but that there will be other brands (non-competitors or competitors) make sure to negotiate accordingly and to collects the maximum of information to not have surprise.

Multi-channel influencers

What you have to keep in mind when looking for influencers, TikTokers or YouTubers, is that many of them (especially once they have reached a certain size of audience) will diversify on other platforms. 

They will then seek to transfer their audiences from one platform to another with links, linktree for example, or swipe up on instagram stories. 

Having harmonized data on the audience of all platforms is difficult because unlike websites, social media and apps do not have tags.

Their youtube audience may or may not be the same as Instagram and tiktok.

So you can try negotiating with these influencers to create promotional content for your brand on their different platforms and then see what works best for your brand.


5 best practices for an e-commerce brand to launch a profitable influencer marketing campaign

Quality over quantity

Spend time looking for the right content creators, your search should be for quality rather than quantity. The average response rate of influencers on instagram is between 20% and 30% for a start-up brand in direct contact, and around 80% if you contact agencies (if you are a samsung or L’Oréal you will systematically get a response, of course). On YouTube, the responses are around 60%.


Work with influencers of various audience sizes to find what is most profitable for you. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, unless you really like risks.

Always-on rather than campaign approach

Offer a long-term partnership when approaching them rather than a one-shot collaboration for a promotional campaign. Content creators who do this for a living need recurring revenue. They will be more flexible if you are willing to work with them on a long term basis, ensuring them a regular income. You will also have more room to negotiate.

Avoid fakes

Beware of those who have 10 comments from the same person every post and want direct payment before submitting the content to you for approval. Unfortunately there are still a lot of fake accounts and scams especially on Instagram. Less so on TikTok and Youtube.

Operations and shipping

Send your product to the content creator in a tracked package with proof of receipt and avoid writing their name on the shipping label if they are very well known. Many say they never receive product packages.

Wrap up

The most profitable influencers in 2021 are those who know their audience very well, and are able to determine if your brand will bring value to their community with your products. 

Their audience size doesn’t matter as long as they have engagement and frequent interactions with their community. 

On Instagram, audience statistics matter a lot to you. If an influencer asks you $3,000 for a feed post and 3 story frames, with 200k average story views and 1.5M followers, with 80% women in the audience if your product caters to women -or the other way around if your products are aimed at men – it can be interesting to work with them.

Keep in mind that the way the content is presented is part of the result. And your offer, as well as your sales funnel once the user has left the application to go to your website, also counts for the result.

Hey! If you’ve reached this point, you must have enjoyed the article! 

If you would like us to write an article that presents a study case of an influencer marketing campaign with the proper strategy, brand product, goal, budget, platform, analysis of influencers profitability (with calculation and tools), template for contacting the agencies or influencers and the entire process of negotiating, let us know in the comments.

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