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Influencer Marketing For Small Businesses

A brief overview over key component of influencer marketing, and the drawbacks and benefits it holds for small businesses!

There is no doubt that Influencer marketing has taken a huge step in popularity in recent years, making many brands wanna collaborate with an influencer to increase awareness, boost sales, etc. And, if you’re a small business looking to tap into the influencer marketing field, but you’re not sure about it, take a seat, grab your coffee or tea, and take 5 minutes to read this blog!


What Is Influencer Marketing?

Let's start with the basics and define the word ‘influencer’ …

What Is An Influencer?

We know that the word speaks for itself, but we still need to go by the book and as the word says: “an influencer is a person who has an influence over other people’s purchasing habits”. You can find them in every piece of content - blogs, vlogs, social media, all it takes is one photo/video or written statement to inspire emotions and create curiosity in their followers base. By sparking these emotions they can cause actions, such as viewers searching for the product or buying it.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Lots of companies decide to use influencers because they are aware of the power they hold - viewers trust their recommendations, so that makes them a powerful advertising source.

Now, influencer marketing is when there is a collaboration between the influencer and the brand! Both parties have benefits, the influencer receives free products and/or payments when creating content about it, while the brand gets targeted and personalised advertising, leading to sales and brand awareness


What Are The Benefits and Drawbacks For Small Businesses?

Benefits

  • Authenticity - the influencer will design unique content that fits with your brand and most likely will appeal to the target audience.
  • No pushy sales advertising - influencers will make it look like a normal post on the feed and people will pay more attention to it rather than a traditional advert.
  • Huge reach - depending on the follower count of the influencer you can tap into a wider audience of potential customers.
  • Trusted source - people buy from people - the audience will be more likely to trust the recommendation and comments of the influencer rather than you. Because an influencer will recommend a product they only like and have a positive experience with them!
  • Cost-effective - it could be a promotion on a budget for your business, for instance if you’re in hospitality and ask an influencer to review a meal in your restaurant or hotel, you pay for their meal but afterwards you can expect bookings that will have a higher return.


Drawbacks

  • No guarantee - not every time there will be immediate results, sometimes the conversation will not happen, or it will take longer.
  • Hard to track - for small businesses could be hard to track the influencer’s stats in real time, so campaign changes would be hard to alter. For instance, you can track the links on blogs but not that well on Instagram.
  • Honesty - it’s a bit of a double blade, because viewers will want honest opinions and if influencers do not like your product/service then they will express the reasons why, which will affect your image. And there is a difference if the product was given as a gift to the influencer to review (you’ll have limited control over what they say), or you’ve paid the person to promote (you have more control over the situation)
  • Can be expensive - depending on the situation it can be cost-effective but sometimes it could be more expensive! Depending on the number of followers the influencer has some of them will be happy to do it on a free gift basis (lesser follower count), while others might require payments (namely those who have higher follower count).


Six Steps To Get You Started

In case you want to proceed and try utilising this marketing practice for your small business then check the next steps you should make!

What Is Your End Goal?

Before you start, think about what you're trying to achieve by making this step and how it could help your business.
For instance, lots of independent businesses in hospitality are struggling to attract customers during weekdays, so this could be a reason for you to try influencer marketing!

Find The Right Influencer

Start looking for potential influencers to work with but don’t jump on the ones with thousands and thousands of followers, if they don’t fit your business as well. Look at their profiles, what is their engagement level, have they done collabs in the past as well, etc.

Don’t neglect micro-influencers, because even if they have 1,000 followers they can be more useful to your business, because they have better post interactions and dedicated followers. 

Plan Your Campaign

Before contacting the influencer you’ll need to show them a plan. They need to know what to expect, will they be paid or it will be on a free product basis/complementary experience. What should that person’s posts be like (are there any restrictions from your side). 

Contact The Influencer 

Now that you have found the person you want to collaborate with and have an action plan that will ease the process for both parties, it is time to contact them. When you do it, be polite, friendly and explain how their work makes them want to join hands, what impressed you about their feed.

Set Out An agreement

A contract in place will never be a bad choice for insurance both for you and for the influencer. Have it in written statement about the payment plan, the content (blog, post, video, etc.), key messages that must be included in the postings.

Track The Results

Even though tracking could be difficult, do your best with this campaign. If your business is online, give a tracked link that the influencer can include in the blog and see how many people came from there, for example. Keep an eye on the engagement levels at the account and if you’re in good terms with the influencer ask for their stats.

Get In Contact

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