Influencer Marketing: A guide for small businesses
What is Influencer Marketing?
A growing number of influencers have emerged since the explosion of social media platforms. Today content creators have a large influence on audiences and, by sharing their world with their audiences, they offer them an insight into their world.
Thanks to this unimaginable growth, many businesses started looking at these profiles as a potential way to market their product through relevant audiences. That’s when influencer marketing appeared on the scene.
As the word suggests, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves people recommending a company’s products and services, usually their peers, and they get paid for it.
Apart from traditional paid partnerships, where simply the company pays an influencer to advertise or review their products.
There are different types of influencer marketing campaigns
This campaign is where an influencer typically gives away free products of the brand to one or more of the influencers followers
- Discount Codes
Influencers use discount codes or affiliate codes for promotional purposes, while their followers use them to support your business. Influencers receive a percentage of the sale made by their followers when they redeem their code.
A brand’s social media page is taken over by an influencer for a day. Followers are taken through the entire experience of their day.
- Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are influencers who have long-term partnerships with brands.
Influencer marketing is largely done by giving products to influencers, so the influencers can use the products to promote the brand by posting them on social media.
- Sponsored Ads
A company exchanges a package of their products / or free services for a social media post, story, or reel. The post usually has a tag that reads, “This is a paid sponsorship with ___.”
This type of campaign is when a brand works with an Influencer on their product / service.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing in Small Businesses
- Increases Customer Loyalty and Trust
The amazing thing about influencers is that they build trust with their audiences not just by advocating products, but by also showing their audience a glimpse into their personal lives. By promoting certain products and services, they influence users to buy them.
- Increases Reach
Aside from social commerce, influencers are the next big thing on social media, and they are already there. You will be amazed at the amount of traffic they drive to your website or social media page.
- Increases Brand Awareness
Keep in mind, Influencers have followers from all over the world, but mostly local.Your brand is exposed to a broader range of their audience who could potentially be your customers.
Is Influencer Marketing really for your Business?
We have explored the different types of influencers and the benefits of influencer marketing, so let’s take a closer look at how to use them to benefit small businesses.
Finding an influencer is not just any famous person with a high following, considering the different types of influencers, researching their audiences is worth every penny you spend on your influencer marketing campaign.
Think about it, Micro influencers are said to be having the highest engagement, they are cost effective compared to Macro or Mega Influencers, However, this does not mean you must focus solely on micro influencers; you can choose anyone who fits your brand and represents it well.
Particularly if you are a B2B company who normally speaks to a relatively small audience, you might need to find an influencer – no matter how small – who truly speaks to your product niche.
64% of surveyed small businesses use social media in their marketing strategy. According to this study, social media is a preferred favourite for small business owners. If you want to start on social media one of the most cost effective ways is Influencer Marketing.
You could start by offering your products / services in exchange for a social media post to test if it works for your brand.
How to make Influencer Marketing work for Small Businesses?
- Define your Goals and objectives.
It’s important to know what you’re hoping to achieve through this strategy, is it to raise awareness for a new product / service? Or do you want to increase your sales? No matter what you want to accomplish with these campaigns, be sure you have a clear vision.
For example, An effective way to leverage influencers and increase your brand’s reputation would be to ask them to test your products and write reviews. Influencers will endorse your brand or link their name to it, much like testimonials.
- Find the right influencers.
As we mentioned before, finding the right influencer is very important for your marketing strategy, targeting the wrong influencer with the audience who are least interested in your products / services would not help you reach your goals and objectives. It is important to thoroughly research about influencers whether it is a well known influencer or a local influencer, it is also important to understand their audience.
- Analyse / Keep record of your metrics.
Depending on your goals, there are many ways in which you measure the impact of your influencer marketing.
For example, you can track and measure the engagement a post gains.
Here’s how to calculate engagement rate :
Total Engagement / Total number of followers x 100
However, it is very beneficial to keep a record of metrics. On a simple spreadsheet you could include :
- Cost spent on this campaign
- Name of the Influencer
- Their username
- The Social Media platform
- Type of Influencer
- The type of campaign
- Engagement Rate
- Date of the published post
In case you’re looking for tools, here’s a list of 10 influencer marketing tools every marketer should consider.
- Finding the right platform
One of the most important steps in an influencer marketing campaign is finding the right social media platform you want your brand to be exposed on.
For example, You’re an e commerce store, you want to gain exposure to your brand to boost visibility and sales.
TikTok is the best option to pick now that social commerce is gaining popularity and TikTok is integrating with social commerce.
Tiktok shop” has been a hot topic ever since TikTok launched it because users can now shop directly within the app.
You can find the best influencer for your business and you can get them to endorse your product. The best part about this is, the influencer can also link the product, which means they click on the link and purchase the product directly.
- Build long lasting relationships with Influencers
Make them your brand ambassadors if you find the right ones. Building long-term relationships with influencers can have numerous benefits, including a steady increase in audience and visibility. Their followers become your followers.
The audience will also become more familiar with your brand.
To sum up, Influencer marketing is not just for big brands and even small businesses can benefit from an influencer marketing campaigns, but you need to carefully select your goals and picking the right one, not just looking at how big their audience is but how they can help you reaching your target audience and drive value to your brand.