If you’re an e-commerce or retail brand interested in influencer marketing, you need to pay attention to rewardStyle and LiketoKnowIt.
The platforms have the power to transform your online presence, and in this article, I’ll walk you through exactly what they are, how they work, and why you need them.
What We’ll Cover:
- An introduction to influencer marketing
- What rewardStyle is
- How brands can use rewardStyle
- What Like to Know It is
- How the platforms work
- rewardStyle and Like to Know It by the numbers
- Who should use rewardStyle and Like to Know It
First, What’s the Big Deal About Influencer Marketing?
The first thing you need to know about rewardStyle and Like to Know It is that they’re platforms for influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is “a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.”
It’s so effective because it mimics word-of-mouth recommendation from trusted friends or sources, and is statistically proven to be one of the most effective ways to market:
- 89% of marketers see a greater ROI from influencers than other marketing channels. (MediaKix)
- 82% of consumers state they are likely to follow an influencer recommendation when making a purchase. (ExpertVoice)
- 40% of millennials say their favorite influencers understand their interests better than their friends. (MediaKix)
The impact isn’t lost on businesses, and in the past two years “influencer marketing” as a search term on Google Trends has risen by 400%.
While influencers come in many forms – industry experts, celebrities, journalists makeup artists – one group in particular, has emerged as particular in demand: the lifestyle expert.
According to a recent Forbes survey of 200+ brand marketers, “almost half (48%) said that a “Lifestyle Expert” is currently the type of influencer most in demand for brand and celebrity partnerships.”
Why the lifestyle expert specifically? Forbes attributes the surge to a few core reasons:
- Relatability : because lifestyle experts are real people, not celebrities, they possess two of the most sought-after qualities in the industry: trustworthiness and relatability. They’re opinions and recommendations are viewed as more genuine and more likely to resonate with their audience
- They know their audience: the lifestyle influencer has built a following from scratch, without the added benefit of name recognition. Doing so makes them very aware of their audience (what they like, what they don’t, what content resonates with them) – which increases their authenticity.
- Quality content: – In order to gain a high follower rate, lifestyle experts have mastered the content in their niche. They know to post content that will have a high importance to their audience. Any branded content they post will, therefore, be highly relevant
- ROI: – lifestyle influencers tend to cost less than beauty gurus or travel bloggers, making them ideal for brand partnerships
Lifestyle experts are the exact group that rewardStyle partners with.
Usually, forming influencer relationships takes a long time and has a high margin for error.
Not only does a brand have to identify the most relevant influencers in their space, but also has to reach out to them with collaboration offers. If the influencers isn’t already familiar with your brand, it can be hard to tempt them to work with you.
What is rewardStyle?
rewardStyle is a business that connects influencers with select retailers.
It’s invitation-only and targets primarily beauty, fashion, and retailer bloggers.
It works like this: RewardStyle forms relationships with retail brands, and then invites bloggers and social media personalities with the right social following to promote those brands through affiliate links.
Using it, influencers make a commission (usually 5-15%) from items sold through their affiliate link.
Buyers don’t get a discount, but there’s no added cost for using your favorite influencer’s link. Influencers and bloggers can’t see who made purchases using the link, only how many of their followers ultimately clicked on their link and the resulting commission.
rewardStyle For Brands
rewardStyle currently works with 1 million global brands.
To work with rewardStyle, a brand must complete a short application process before being accepted into the program and connected to influencers.
rewardStyle touts itself as “an invitation-only, influencer content marketing channel for global brands. As their end-to-end business and technology consultant, rewardStyle maintains unique high-trust relationships with influencers, which allows for maximum economic success.”
Its model seems to be working. Since 2011, it’s made over $1.6 in sales to retail partners and seen an annual growth rate of 78%.
Working with rewardStyle costs a flat fee, which covers full campaign management at every stage, from the initial connection with an influencer to campaign execution and metrics.
Throughout the campaign, brands will have access to detailed analytics and reports to show the retail impact and branding influence.
What is Like to Know it?
LiketoKnowit is a social-based shopping service powered by rewardStyle. It allows users to purchase items their favorite influencers are wearing or using in a given post.
You’ll recognize a Like to Know It post by a small white heart in the right bottom corner of the image and URL in the caption.
Those signals indicate a particular post is enabled through Like to Know It, meaning that you can purchase items featured in the post via the link.
For example, if you follow a fashion influencer and love the jeans they’re wearing, you can get information on who makes the jeans and where you can get a pair of your own. If you also love the shade of lipstick they’re wearing, chances are it’s also featured.
How Do the Platforms Work?
Like to Know it does have a web-based platform, but works best through its dedicated app.
For end-users, the process works like this:
Step 1: Download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app from your app store.
Step 2: Take screenshots of Like to Know It posts featuring the small white heart icon on Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat.
Step 3: Return to the app which will have automatically uploaded your screenshots. It will provide thumbnails and links to purchase items included in the post.
Step 4: Tap one of the items to visit the page URL of the store it’s from.
You can also use the platform by simply opening the app and searching for bloggers or influencers through the search bar. This will take you to their individual page where you can view all Like to Know It-enabled posts by that particular influencer.
The main benefit for both brands and shoppers is the ease of use.
Shoppers no longer have to hunt down their favorite outfits or do deep research to figure out where to buy the item they saw. Instead, they’re connected almost instantly to a page where they can purchase the items they like.
For brands, it delivers prospects straight to the end of their sales funnel with minimal marketing spend. It delivers brand awareness, generates interest and engagement, and in the best cases, a sale. And it’s also as easy as signing up with RewardStyle.
RewardStyle and Like to Know It By the Numbers
If you’re a retailer or e-commerce platform, don’t underestimate the power of these two platforms. Since its introduction, the rewardStyle has delivered:
- $1 billion annual online sales
- 3.4 million+ followers on @LIKEtoKNOW.it
- Partners with 50,000 influencers and 5,000 retailers
- Reaches 100+ countries
While those are impressive numbers, keep in mind that these platforms work specifically with certain industries. Consider them only if your work falls into the following categories:
- Family travel
Also, keep in mind your target audience; 75% of rewardStyle consumers are between the ages of 18-35 and many are women
Who Should Consider Using the Platforms?
While rewardStyle and Like to Know It are ideal for retailers, they may not be the best platforms for everyone.
Keep in mind, it’s entirely lifestyle-focused, and will perform best in conjunction with brands that sell lifestyle products like fashion, home furnishings, beauty products, and the like.
The platform is powered heavily by Instagram users. It’s imperative (as always) to have a fully-formed marketing strategy that outlines the channels your customers are most likely to use.
If you find that your target audience isn’t as active on Instagram, rewardStyle likely won’t generate great returns.
RewardStyle and Like To Know It are ideal for many smaller brands who don’t generate as much business on name recognition and instead focus their value proposition on catering to a specific lifestyle.
Using these influencer platforms allows some smaller retailers to compete head-to-head with larger labels on social media and connect them to influencers who may not otherwise know about your brand.
Before you make the decision, ask yourself the following:
- Does your product fall into a lifestyle category (fashion, beauty, fitness, home, travel?)
- Is your target audience between 18-35?
- Does your target audience use Instagram and social media regularly?
1. How Do I Become a Like to Know It Influencer?
The simplest answer is that you must first become an influencer.
In other words, you need a significant following and high engagement on social media, especially Instagram. If you’re not at that point yet, then it’s time to get busy.
Beyond that, the most important step you need is to cultivate a following that’s interested in one or more of the brands that use rewardStyle.
RewardStyle won’t allow just anybody to participate in its program. Influencers must post high-quality content with good engagement rates.
Once you’ve made it past the screening process, you can start earning a commission by promoting rewardStyle brands on social media.
2. How Do I Make Money on the platforms as an Influencer?
To make money on the platform, you need to identify which brands pay you commissions. Many brands in a variety of industries in the rewardStyle program including:
- West Elm
- Laura Mercier
- Crate & Barrel
- Joe Fresh
- Starwood Hotels
- Kate Spade
There’s a misconception that Like to Know It is only designed for people in the fashion space. As you can see from the list above, there are brands in several other industries that rely on the influencer marketing program with rewardStyle and LiketoKnowIt.
3. Why Don’t I Receive a Notification When I Screenshot a Like to Know It Image?
There are a couple of reasons why that might be happening:
- You didn’t give app permission to send you push notifications. Just go to settings on your mobile device, select Notifications, and then choose the Like to Know It app. Turn on “Allow Notifications.”
- You only get notifications when the app is running. If it’s closed, it can’t detect when you take a screenshot and therefore it can’t send you a notification. Just tap the app icon to open it.
Standing out on social media and monetizing your presence is no easy task whether you’re a brand or an influencer.
By using these platforms, you can easily streamline the process and lead customers directly to your (virtual) door.
If you operate in the retail or e-commerce space, rewardStyle and Like to Know It are certainly worth your time.