According to a recent study by Linqia:
Influencer marketing saw explosive growth in 2016, with 86% of marketers having used the tactic, 94% of whom found it effective.
Let’s look at influencer marketing, and how can your small business use it.
What is influencer marketing?
You’ve probably heard the term “influencer” – content creators with a significant following on Instagram, YouTube, TV, podcasts, blogs, and elsewhere online. They have the power to influence their followers to purchase certain products or services. Their audiences come in varying sizes, too – anywhere from a few thousand to a few million people.
With influencer marketing, businesses and brands partner with these influencers to offer promotions, raise brand awareness, and create unique content.
Influencer marketing in your small business
When thinking of influencer marketing, you may think that only large corporations can afford to do it, or benefit from it. However, that may not be the case. Because there are all kinds of influencers, there may be one out there that’s an ideal match for your small business. Here are some ideas:
- Approach popular mommy vloggers to review your line of handmade baby clothing in exchange for a certain amount of free product.
- Launch a new menu at your restaurant and invite local bloggers in exchange for exposure on their social media channels.
- Partner with fitness Instagrammers to hold a giveaway of your new workout gear.
- In exchange for financial support of a YouTube channel or video, offer a discount code on your services to the first 50 viewers who sign up.
- Collaborate with a popular blogger in your niche on a sponsored post you write for their blog.
To find the right influencers for your small business, you can do a simple Google search or ask around your personal networks. You can also use tools such as BuzzSumo, or go through influencer agencies.
When looking for the right influencer, consider your target audience. Who would they trust and believe? For example, if you’re promoting your luxury fireplace mantel business, who would be a better influencer for your target market: A forty-something fashion influencer who’s always photographed in designer outfits, or a twenty-something food blogger who’s just graduated from university? While it’s true that neither of these influencers have obvious connections to luxury fireplaces, your audience has more in common with the high-end fashion influencer than the food blogger just starting out in life.
And don’t forget, when it comes to influencers, it isn’t the Kardashians or nothing. Smaller niche influencers, like in any business, can be a more effective use of your marketing dollars than someone with a larger following.
Check out DigitalMarketing.Org’s rundown of the average costs to work with different levels of influencers on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and blogs, Forbes’ tips on working with influencers without breaking the bank, and Later’s post on working with influencers.
Influencer marketing can be a fun and unique way to get your product or service noticed by more potential customers. As always, remember to keep everything legal and above board – and have fun!