Did you know that in 2017, 86% of marketers tried influencer marketing? And out of the ones who did, 92% found it to be impactful and effective. However, there’s a misconception among many marketers that influencer marketing can be very expensive and small businesses can’t afford it.
And that is why many small businesses are afraid to even explore influencer marketing. They are not confident enough to design and implement a cost-effective and successful influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing can not only help in increasing your brand awareness and visibility but can also lead to increased sales for your small business.
So, in this post, I’m going to talk about a few important things which small businesses need to know about influencer marketing. This will help small business kick-start their influencer marketing campaigns.
Here are three things which I think small business owners need to know about influencer marketing:
1. Influencer-Generated Content is Attractive and Engaging
I understand the importance of creating attractive and engaging content to woo your audience. And this is one of the reasons why I suggest small business owners leverage influencer marketing. It gives you the opportunity to create interesting and engaging content. However, for this, you will need to explain your campaign goals and objectives clearly to your influencers.
Let me tell you, you may be surprised to see the type of creative ideas your influencers can come up with.
Authenticity is an important aspect that can help you convey your story more effectively to your audience. So, give as much creative freedom as possible to your influencers. This will motivate them to create genuine content, which can get the attention of your potential customers.
For example, Naked Juice teamed up with lifestyle blogger and influencer, Kate La Vie, to promote their brand on Instagram. The picture below shows her outfit of the day, her gym gear, and a strategically placed Naked Juice bottle.
As you can see, the post garnered more than 3K likes. So, provide creative freedom to your influencers and watch them create some amazing content for your brand.
You can also approach influential bloggers for guest posting opportunities. When you contact them, be sure to mention some engaging content ideas that are relevant to their audiences. Both you and the influencer can enjoy the benefits of such collaborations.
The influencer will get high-quality content for their blog, and they can help your brand’s messaging reach more people. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Influencer Content Can't Be Blocked
As of 2018, 30.1% of internet users in the United States are known to use ad blockers on their Internet-connected devices. However, ad blockers have no effect on the content created by influencers. So, you can still find a non-intrusive way to reach out to these people.
Influencers have huge followings on social media. They are able to create and share authentic stories that appeal to their followers. Their followers have willingly chosen to consume their content.
And so, when you work with them to promote your brand or products, you can be sure that your message will get through to the right people. Provided, of course, that you team up with relevant influencers in your niche.
Lauren Hendrix is a fashion influencer with 21.7K followers on Instagram. She collaborated with an online clothing store, Mariedel & Co, to promote their products. Within one hour, the post managed to gain more than 500 likes. Such is the power of influencer marketing.
Image Source - Instagram
You might be wondering how you can find relevant influencers for your business. One way of doing this is to search on Instagram with hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored. Go through the profiles of influencers that you find via such searches and check if their niche aligns with yours.
If they do, check the quality of their posts, their follower counts, engagement rates, and the kind of comments they receive. If you find that their followers love their content and their content is likely to resonate with your target audience, reach out to them and pitch your proposal.
However, this will require a huge investment of your time and effort. If you want a more effective way of finding and reaching out to relevant influencers, you should definitely consider using an influencer marketing platform.
Platforms like Grin can help you search and filter influencers by their industry, reach, engagement rate, social media platforms, and much more. You can even contact them directly from the platform, share your products, send payments, and so much more.
3. Influencer Marketing is More Credible than Ads
Did you know that 85% of people consider the suggestions of their family and friends before making a purchase? Also, 86% of consumers read reviews and feedback about local businesses before they make a purchase. These statistics indicate that people attach a lot of importance to word-of-mouth.
And this is exactly what influencer marketing can help you achieve. As mentioned before, influencers have a huge number of loyal followers. So, by teaming up with relevant influencers, you can gain the trust of your target audience and build credibility for your brand.
However, before you aim to impress your target audience, you need to impress influencers with your products. If they love your brand, they’re likely to create more authentic stories about it. And this can help you truly gain the trust of your target audience because your sponsored post will no longer look like simply an advert.
This can also help you expand your reach and tap into new markets which might otherwise have not been possible.
For example, Olga Pishchykova, Miss Dubai 2018 and owner of Lava Laguna Media Holding, has over 70K followers on Instagram. She collaborated with Christian Laurent to promote one of their beauty products.
As you can see in the post, she talked about how the product’s quality and effectiveness impressed her. This clearly indicates that she has used the product and is genuinely talking about it. The post got more than 2K likes on Instagram.
Image Source - Instagram
Influencer marketing is preferred by many marketers and brands because influencers are creative and impactful. It is a cost-effective strategy and it is known to generate a higher ROI than any other marketing form.
Anyone can leverage influencer marketing for their business regardless of its size. So, if you still haven’t used influencer marketing yet, give it a shot. And let me know how it turns out for you and your business.
Do you know any other things about influencer marketing that small business owners should know about? If so, please feel free to comment.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin , a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process