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What is Influencer Marketing and How Can My Small Business Use It?

Michael Deane

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What is Influencer Marketing and How Can My Small Business Use It?

As a small business owner, you are already quite aware that you can’t make it in a digital world without a strong online presence.

Having a professional website with a blog that is optimized for search engines and social media accounts on the channels your customers regularly use are the digital marketing fundamentals. However, they are hardly enough for your business to make a breakthrough.

A wisely chosen influencer whose follower base matches your target audience can help you take your digital marketing efforts to a whole new level. They can help you bring your products or services closer to their followers, who trust influencers’ choices, opinions, and recommendations, thus making a substantial impact on their purchasing decision.

Read on to learn more about influencer marketing, and the most important ways your small business can benefit from it.

 

What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing and How Can My Small Business Use It?

To better understand what influencer marketing is, and where its unique power lies, we need to know who the contemporary influencers are.

To put it in a nutshell, an influencer can be an expert in a particular niche, or a household name with a large follower base, such as a celebrity with a high number of fans or followers on their social media accounts.

These persons are deserving of their influencer title, as they have the power to influence the purchasing decisions of their followers through their authority, position, knowledge, or a unique relationship they form with their audience.

Based on the number of their followers, there are a few basic types of influencers:

  • Mega- influencers

    are people with more than 1 million followers on at least one social media platform. Famous actors, musicians, or sports stars who belong to this group usually gained their fame offline and transferred it to the online world too. They are very fussy when it comes to the brands they choose to promote and are available only to the major brands.

  • Macro-influencers

    are either successful online experts or celebrities on the rise. The number of their followers varies from 400,000 to 1 million followers on at least one social media profile, so they can be great for raising brand awareness.

  • Micro-influencers

    are everyday people who gained the trust of their follower base by their expertise in a specific niche. As they actively engage with their followers, they can be a perfect solution for promoting small businesses, as long as their target audiences are aligned, and both parties find each other reputable and appropriate for collaboration.

  • Nano-influencers

    have a small number of followers, fewer than 1,000, but are experts in a very specialized field, with a highly-interested followers base, ready to seriously consider their opinions.

 

Many influencers use their social media profiles to share the content they’re creating – blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcasts. To be promoted by these influencers, you need to be reviewed, mentioned, or recommended by them. If you prefer a subtler approach that can still have an impact on their following, a simple photo of the influencer wearing a branded polo shirt or using a water bottle with your logo on it can do a perfect job.

 

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How Can My Small Business Benefit From Influencer Marketing?

When done right, influencer marketing can bring many benefits to your small business. An influencer with authority in a particular niche will help you reach your target audience easier, and with their power to affect the purchasing decisions of their followers, they will help you increase your sales. They can do a lot when it comes to raising your brand awareness, building your own following, and generating more high-quality leads.

However, to make the most of influencer marketing, you need to approach it seriously and pay attention to all the details that can make a difference whether your campaign is going to be a success or a complete failure.

 

Determine Your Ideal Influencer

The best way to start when you’re considering including influencer marketing in your strategy is by compiling a list of influencers in the industry you’re working in. Think about all the reputable personalities with a considerable number of followers on the channels used in your niche.

Once you’re done putting together the list, narrow it down. Identify the influencers that are aligned with your values and goals, and whose follower base is very similar, if not the same, to your target audience.

For example, if your small business is producing healthy snacks, a reputable fitness trainer may be a perfect match, as you are both targeting the same audience. By cornering your market this way, your chances of landing a sale will be much higher.

What is Influencer Marketing and How Can My Small Business Use It

Connecting With the Influencer

Now that you’ve shortlisted your potential influencers, it’s time to start building or strengthening connections with them.

Follow their accounts and interact with them, and when you feel the time has come, reach out to them with your collaboration proposal. You will have to pitch a future partnership perfectly if you want to land them as your influencers.

Some influencers will promote your business just because they know you and trust you. If the collaboration lasts, they are likely to become your brand advocates, interested in helping your business grow. Others will need to be paid for such a promotion, so leave enough room in your digital marketing budget for such purposes too.

 

Agree Upon Content

After you’ve made arrangements on your future collaboration, you will need to make arrangements about the content they will use to promote your small business.

Some influencers are very particular when it comes to their style, so they would want to have all the freedom and create the content themselves, for an agreed price. Others will let you create the content yourself, following some of their standards, and they will just do the promotional part of the job themselves.

 

Start Locally

The best way for a small business to begin their influencer marketing efforts is by partnering with a local influencer in their industry. They spread the word about your business and increase the number of local customers that are using your products or services.

Influencer marketing can bring your small business some great benefits without putting a hole in your budget. Just approach it with all the seriousness it deserves, and watch the numbers go up.

 

 

Read more Marketing related stories in The Weekly Trends magazine.

Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.

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