Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses: An Essential Guide
This article provides an overview of influencer marketing for small businesses and explains why it is an important tactic to consider.
In the current media landscape, where consumers are exposed to a multitude of marketing messages, influencer marketing is a strategic way to reach a target audience with relevant and authentic content.
If you’re looking to grow your small business, influencer marketing is a tool that you should definitely consider. With careful planning and execution, influencer marketing can be a highly effective way for small businesses to reach new customers, build brand awareness, and generate leads and sales.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that uses social media influencers to promote a product or service.
Influencers are people who have a large following on social media and are considered to be experts in their field. When they endorse a product or service, their followers are more likely to trust their recommendation and take action.
For small businesses, influencer marketing can be a powerful way to reach a new audience and build brand awareness. It can also be more cost effective than traditional marketing methods, such as advertising.
How do you plan an influencer marketing campaign?
In general, planning is a critical component of any successful marketing campaign. The first step in the planning process should be to set the following:
The more specific your answers to these questions are, the better your chances of success with influencer marketing for small businesses.
Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives and target market, the next steps in the marketing planning process involve:
- Selecting the right platforms
- Choosing the right influencers
- Measuring your success
The next sections provide specific guidelines on how to approach each of these steps.
What platform should you use?
The platform you choose for your influencer marketing campaign will depend on the type of audience you are trying to reach and the service or product you are offering. Different platforms attract different demographics, so you should choose the ones that are most likely to be used by your target audience.
For example, if you are a B2B business that is targeting lawyers, you should focus on LinkedIn, which is a professional networking platform that is used by millions of lawyers around the world.
The below infographic shows basic demographics by platform. This can help you choose the platforms that are most likely to be used by your target audience.
How do you choose the right influencer?
Influencers can be categorized into five groups based on the number of followers they have: nano-influencers, micro-influencers, mid-tier influencers, macro-influencers, and mega-influencers. The below table shows the pros and cons of each influencer type.
Smaller influencers usually have more engaged followers, showing trust and loyalty. However, bigger influencers can help you reach a larger audience.
Nano and micro-influencers are a cost-effective way for small businesses to reach a targeted audience. They often have a loyal following of engaged users who are more likely to trust their recommendations. In addition, they are often more affordable than macro-influencers and may be willing to collaborate in exchange for free products or services.
Besides the size of the influencer following base, there are other key characteristics to take into consideration when selecting an influencer to partner with:
How to reach out to influencers?
You can contact influencers through Direct Messages (DMs) on social media or email. If the influencer has their email address in their profile, you can start by sending an email.
In your first interaction with an influencer, you want to make them excited about the project. The more they like your product or service, the more authentic they will be when speaking about it on social media. Thus, keep your message concise and to the point, but ensure that it is clear and enthusiastic.
Once an influencer replies, you can provide more information about your campaign. This includes the goals of the campaign, the launch timeframe, and any compensation you’re offering.
In addition, you should also discuss the type of content (e.g., video vs. statics post) for your influencer marketing campaign. You can also ask the influencer for their recommendations on what type of content would work best for your campaign.
How to measure an influencer campaign?
Improving your digital marketing strategy is an essential and ongoing process.
To measure the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign, you can track the following metrics:
Influencer marketing for small businesses is one of the few cost-effective marketing strategies to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and generate sales.
However, influencer marketing is not without its challenges. It is important to choose the right influencers who are a good fit for your brand and who have a genuine connection with their audience. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, there are paid tools that simplify the process of finding influencers.