Behind the lavish events and expensive PR packages is a flexible marketing strategy that can be tailored for success by almost any business; regardless of size. Many believe that influencer marketing is reserved for the mega brands, but this is not the case.
Influencer marketing can seem daunting, but if you are curious about how to use it as a small business, then this blog covers all you need to know; from benefits to reaching out to your first influencer.
Before diving in, if you are unfamiliar with what influencer marketing for businesses is and how to use it, click here to find out.
Influencer Marketing for Businesses: the pros
When considering influencer marketing for businesses, handing creative freedom over to an influencer means you are guaranteed authentic and original content associated with your brand to be published. This will ensure that any promotional content related to your brand does not look like a recycled copy of another brand’s content, which is what traditional marketing methods run the risk of. The creative freedom also allows your influencer to stay true to their aesthetic—something that their audience clearly love to see; increasing engagement and brand awareness.
Influencers are real people, making a real living from social media marketing. This means that anything they recommend must be as realistic and authentic as possible otherwise their followers will see right through the facade of promoting products they do not actually like/use. If you are fortunate enough to partner with an influencer who is willing to promote your product/service, this will automatically deem you as trustworthy to their audience; essentially increasing your ROI.
The beauty of influencer marketing for businesses is that it can be tailored according to your budget. You do not need to spend thousands of pounds on flying influencers out to a hot country to promote your brand. Sometimes all it takes is an invite to an exclusive event or sending one of your products to an influencer in the post for your brand to gain exposure.
Following on from the previous point, influencers have audiences who are willing to listen to them. This means that by working with just one influencer, you automatically have access to thousands of potential customers. This also eliminates the need for you to spend time individually searching for those who make up your target audience.
Influencer Marketing for Businesses: the cons
A blessing and a curse when it comes to influencer marketing for businesses is how honest influencers will be about a product they do not like; something that is also appreciated by their audiences, as it highlights their genuineness. While this can be great for ensuring that you are partnering with an influencer who has a loyal following, it can also do a huge amount of damage to your brand.
Can be expensive
It is true that influencer marketing can be incredibly cost-effective for small businesses, however, when it comes to partnering with bigger influencers and influencers who do this as a full time job, they can sometimes ask for payment in return for their promotion of your product. In addition to this, you might be such a small business that it would lose you money sending your product out for free. The flip side of this is that sacrificing that money could gain you extra sales which could make it all back, with profit. It just depends on which risks you are willing to take and if they are the best thing for your business.
How to start a campaign
You’ve made the decision to utilise influencer marketing in the hopes of increasing awareness of your business and, eventually, drive sales, but where one earth do you begin?
What are your goals?
What do you aim to achieve through this influencer marketing campaign? Is it simply to gain more followers on social media? Perhaps it’s something a bit more technical, like increasing sales by 10% over the next 6 months. Your goal will determine what influencer you partner with.
Choose your fighter
Choosing the right influencer is vital to achieving the goals set out in step one. Do your research before jumping straight in with the first influencer you find. Picking somebody who matches the image and values of your small business is a no-brainer, but also ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s their engagement like?
- Have they done similar collaborations in the past? How successful were they?
- Do you see yourself forming a long-term relationship with them?
Bigger isn’t always better
Don’t ignore micro influencers just because of the size of their audience. You will often find that micro influencers have more engaging and trusting relationships with their followers, meaning that anything you ask them to promote will not fall on deaf ears.
Before reaching out, it is important to check that you are a follower of their account, yourself. This is a two way street. If you show them how supportive you are of their work, they are more likely to want to hear what you have to say. Where appropriate, engage with their posts over a period of time before sliding into their DMs.
When the time comes to reach out directly, be friendly, open and honest. Open with an enticing subject line, give them creative control and don’t forget to thank your influencer for their time at the end.
Top Tip: don’t forget to let the influencer know what benefits they can expect from you. After all this is a partnership.
Track your results
You’d think this would be the most obvious step, but you’d be surprised at how overlooked result measurements are. In tracking and measuring your results of the campaign you will soon be able to compile a list of what works well for your brand and what doesn’t. These lists will greatly benefit any future campaigns to choose to run and guarantee more and more success each time.
Influencer Marketing for Businesses: Final Thoughts
Influencer marketing truly is for businesses of all sizes. If you are determined to increase brand awareness, gain exposure, drive sales and increase ROI then you can tailor this marketing method to suit your budget and needs. With being a smaller business there are extra financial risks to consider, as you may not have the extravagant budgets that the mega brands have, however, we don’t believe this should be a deciding factor for whether you opt for utilising influencer marketing.
Can a local business use influencer marketing?
Yes! Using influencer marketing, no matter the size of your business will increase engagement, brand awareness and drive sales.
How do small businesses approach influencers?
- Outline your goals
- Choose the right influencer (make sure you are following and engaging with them!)
- Reach out to your influencer with details about the collaboration
- Track the results .
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