A common misconception about social influencer marketing is that it is super expensive. Sure, endorsements by the likes of Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande will cost you a ton. However, successful social influencer marketing doesn’t have to involve a celebrity endorsement.
Celebrities generally have millions of social media followers, but low engagement rates. A celebrity endorsement can help you create brand awareness. However, it does a poor job of actually influencing people to buy from you.
Social influencers, on the other hand, have much higher engagement rates. Their followers are genuinely interested in their opinions because they’re the experts in their respective niches. A Twitter study shows that almost 40% of consumers have made purchases based on an influencer’s tweet.
The best part about social influencer marketing is that it can work for all businesses, regardless of their size. If you’re a small business trying to make your presence known, social influencer marketing can help you.
How Social Influencer Marketing Helps Small Businesses
In order to understand how social influencer marketing can benefit your small business, let’s look at some common challenges. As a small business, your focus should be on increasing visibility and getting consumers to buy from you.
However, for small businesses just starting out, this is easier said than done. Of course, effective marketing is the only way in which you can get your brand out there. However, traditional advertising on TV and in print is expensive. For a small business, this is usually not a viable option.
The other option is to run ads online. Unfortunately, though, the number of people using ad blockers on their computers and phones is way too high today. Hence reaching your target audience has become more difficult than ever.
Even if you are able to get your message across, why should they trust you and buy your products? It takes years for brands to build credibility, to be valued amidst their competitors and bigger names. You see where I’m going with this, right?
In short, the challenges for small businesses in gaining visibility and revenue are immense. The good news is that you can solve for most of these with effective social influencer marketing.
1. It Boosts Visibility
As I mentioned earlier, social influencers generally have extremely engaged audiences. Their followers want to hear from them and value their opinions. Based on the niche that an influencer chooses, they are able to establish themselves as a subject matter expert.
If you partner with a social influencer whose niche aligns with your products, you can reach a tailor-made target audience. This helps you be visible to people you otherwise wouldn’t have reached. And they’re relevant to your brand and your products. So, if such an influencer recommends your product to their followers, your chances of success are incredibly higher.
2. It Adds Credibility And Conveys Value
Studies have shown that people trust influencer recommendations as much as they trust their friends. So when an influencer recommends your products on their blog or social channels, your brand gains credibility.
Consumers feel more comfortable with the thought of spending money on your products. Because they now know that your brand can be trusted and your products are valuable.
3. It’s Easy On Your Wallet
Contrary to popular belief, social influencer marketing can be quite cost-effective. Micro-influencers are a category of influencers who have anywhere between 1000 and 10000 followers.
Since they have a smaller number of followers, they are able to keep them more engaged. They build and maintain a sort of personal connection with their followers. Naturally, their engagement rates are the highest among all other influencer categories.
Also read: Top 50 fintech influencers in Singapore
Working with micro-influencers can actually go easy on your wallet. Studies have shown that most branded posts by micro-influencers on social media cost less than $500. Sometimes even less than $250. Also, a lot of micro-influencers are willing to work in exchange for free products or services.
Or sometimes, they are also willing to work as affiliates in a commission based model. You can share a unique coupon code with them which they would be displaying on social media. In the event of a sale, you can pay them a previously agreed upon percentage of the product price.
So you see how social influencer marketing can solve most of the challenges you might face as a small business?
How To Grow Your Small Business Using Social Influencers
Now that we’ve established that social influencer marketing is actually beneficial for small businesses, let’s see how to implement it. Here are the steps you should be following for a successful social influencer marketing campaign.
1. Document Your Objectives
An influencer marketing campaign can serve various purposes such as creating awareness, increasing conversions, or boosting website traffic. The question you should ask yourself before embarking on a campaign is what you wish to achieve? A 10% growth in social media followers? Or a 5% increase in conversions?
Make sure to document your objectives and attach a number to it. This will help you later in measuring your campaign effectiveness. It will also help to guide your influencers better so they know what they need to do.
2. Find The Right Influencers
The choice of influencers is a key factor that decides the fate of your campaign effectiveness. Your influencer’s niche should align with your brand and products so you can reach a relevant audience. You must also evaluate the level of influence to see if they truly have an engaged set of followers.
Simply having a large number of followers will not guarantee results. Because sometimes people can acquire paid followers too. Such followers are definitely not genuinely engaged in an influencer’s content. Hence, you need to make sure that your budget is put to use in the right places.
Platforms like Grin can be very useful to help you find and connect with the right influencers.These platforms have the capability of filtering influencers by niche, reach, or engagement. So you can identify the ones who are most suitable for your campaign.
3. Start Your Outreach
A good way of warming influencers up to you is to follow and engage with them on social media. Once you have made your presence felt on their radar, you can start reaching out to them. Your pitch should talk about the value you can provide, and end with a call-to-action.
You can build a Twitter list of the influencers you have identified and start engaging with them. Then follow it up with an email pitch. You can even leverage platforms like BuzzSumo or Grin to connect with them directly.
4. Create A Content Strategy
Once you have been able to establish a communication with your influencers, you need to tell them your campaign objectives. This is also the time for you to negotiate on costs, the frequency of posts, distribution channels and so on.
Make sure to provide the creative freedom that your influencers need in content creation. However, you can definitely ask for a final review before the content is posted. Above all, try to build a long-term relationship with your influencers. Don’t be transactional in your approach. The more invested you are in their success, the more invested they will be in yours too.
5. Track And Measure
Finally, as with any campaign, measurement is a crucial aspect to find out its effectiveness. Influencer marketing platforms can help you track your campaign in real-time and make changes if needed. These platforms can also help you calculate your ROI at the end of the campaign. So you know what you can focus on, in your next campaign.
If you plan your influencer marketing campaign well, your likelihood of success increases greatly. The right social influencers can work wonders for the growth of your small business. So go ahead, try it out now.
Can you think of any other ways in which social influencer marketing can help small businesses grow? Let us know in the comments below.
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