Dec 14, 2023
10 MIN READ
If you are someone running a small business, you might have asked yourself whether influencer marketing is for you or not.
The doubt is genuine and understandable. I mean, when anyone thinks of influencer marketing, he/she might think of celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Beyonce endorsing businesses or products. And it will be costly as hell.
Well, that’s not the case. Not always.
There are ways small businesses can leverage influencer marketing, and it all starts with partnering with micro-influencers or local influencers.
These influencers often have a lower following [compared to macro influencers] but a highly engaged and credible audience. And more importantly, they are affordable. So, if influencer marketing is possible for small businesses, then the next question will be.
So, Why Should Small Businesses Partner With Influencers?
The “Why” always trumps others when it comes to business. If you are to do something new, the obvious and important question would be, why should you do it? Well, in this case, there are several benefits you can yield. The following are some of them.
1. Target Reach and Engagement:
Micro-influencers or Nano-influencers usually have a dedicated and engaged audience. Small businesses can leverage this to reach their specific demographic or niche market effectively. Unlike marketing channels like SEO and content, influencer marketing allows for a targeted approach.
2. Build Brand Trust and Credibility:
Oftentimes, audiences tend to trust recommendations from influencers they trust and value. So, if small businesses can partner with influencers who endorse or promote products and services, then they can build credibility and trust among the target audience.
3. Cost-Effective Than Ads:
When compared to running ads on multiple platforms and hoping for clicks and conversions, influencer marketing is more affordable and effective. If partnered with the right influencer, the campaign will guarantee positive results.
4. Access to Audience Insights and Feedback:
On top of offering brand awareness and attracting a target audience, influencers can provide valuable customer preference and feedback. Small businesses can leverage this information to improve their products or services.
5. Rapid Growth Potential:
With influencers, you need not wait for your SEO strategies to kick in or for ads to bring in sign-ups, or for the sales team to put in a lot of leg work. A successful collaboration with the right influencer can lead to rapid growth in terms of brand recognition and sales.
So, now that you have understood the benefits of leveraging influencers for your small businesses, let's see how you can use them.
How Can a Small Business Use an Influencer to Market Their Products?
The how part here is interesting. There are several ways you can use influencers to market products (or services). The key is to have open communication with influencers and offer creative freedom for them. I mean, it’s the creative part that made the influencer, and it was the reason why you chose them.
So how can you use them? Here are a few ways how.
1. Sponsored Content:
Have you ever seen videos where someone subtly introduces a brand or service such that you are introduced to a brand and its benefits but are still connected to the video? That’s what sponsored content will be with influencers.
Influencers can showcase your products (or services) through their content, albeit with proper announcements that they are sponsored content. This provides a genuine and relatable context that resonates with the target audience.
2. Product Reviews and Demonstrations:
This is yet another way to leverage influencers. Be it a film, a cosmetic product, or a kitchen utensil, there are people [influencers] who have done constant reviews and demonstration videos on them. Having provided honest reviews, their audience loves them for that.
So, if you are introducing a new product, you can partner with such influencers and encourage them to do an honest review. Or, if you are a small business that sells products, then you can try out the same strategy and urge the influencer to reveal where the audience can buy them.
3. Giveaways and Contest:
Free giveaways, discount offers, and conducting contests are other options you can try out with influencers. These methods can ensure customer engagement, not just with the post but also with your products.
Furthermore, it can lead to increased brand awareness and grow your social media following. The participants (prospects) can be asked to follow your brand, share the post, or tag friends to increase reach.
4. Affiliate Marketing:
One of the oldest tricks in the book - affiliate marketing. You can run an affiliate program providing attractive benefits for influencers. The benefits should be such that for every customer he/she [or how they identify themselves] generates, they will get a share.
To give you an example of how affiliate marketing should be done, here’s impulze.ai’s affiliate program.
5. User-Generated Content:
As the name indicates, you can use the content generated by your users (customers) to boost your brand awareness and credibility.
To give you an example of user-generated content, suppose a small business offering new fashion outfits. Now, you could partner with an influencer to flex the quality of dresses, how flexible they are, and so on. OR, you can encourage your customers to post content in your brand outfit with them.
You can then repost the content shared by customers (users) on your official page, attracting more users and, of course, potential customers.
When choosing influencers, it’s important for small businesses to focus on those whose brand image and audience align closely with their own. The key is authenticity and finding influencers who can genuinely endorse your products to an engaged and relevant audience.
How Affordable Is Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses?
With an impressive average ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent, it's a strategy that can yield significant benefits without a hefty price tag. This approach is particularly appealing for small businesses looking to maximize their marketing impact with limited resources.
One of the key advantages of influencer marketing is the potential for dual-purpose content.
By negotiating content usage rights with influencers, small businesses can repurpose influencer-generated photos and videos across various marketing channels. This could be anything from paid advertisements and email campaigns to website content.
Tips for Influencer Marketing on a Budget:
• Partner with Local Creators:
Influencers with a massive following may charge more for collaborations. However, those with a significant local following can be more valuable for small businesses. This is the case, especially if their audience is concentrated in the same area as your business.
Additionally, don't overlook influencers with smaller but highly engaged followings. The engagement rate is often more crucial than the follower count.
• Start with a Small Team of Creators:
If you're new to influencer marketing, it's wise to start small. Creators often produce their best, most authentic content when they have a genuine relationship with a brand. Focus on nurturing these relationships from the beginning. As you start to see positive results, you can consider expanding your influencer team.
• Gift Products and Experiences:
Micro-influencers and local creators often welcome free products or experiences in exchange for their services. This approach is a budget-friendly way to collaborate with influencers. When working with more well-known influencers, consider mixing product gifts with some payment.
Influencer marketing is a versatile and scalable tool for small businesses. Start with a small-scale approach. Initially, concentrate on local and actively engaged influencers and employ imaginative ways to compensate them.
This strategy allows you (small businesses) to use influencer marketing effectively, helping to expand your brand and connect with your audience.
How to Find Local Influencers?
There are several to go for in finding local influencers. In fact, you can find them without the help of any tool whatsoever.
But the problem is that the process is time-consuming, tedious, and ineffective. That’s why we are focusing on tools, more specifically, influencer marketing tools.
Impulze.ai is one such tool you should try. It has a vast influencer database, and its advanced filter options help you curate and find the right influencer for your campaign.
It offers a range of features to help you find, vet, and manage influencers as well as campaigns. On top of that, you can understand how effective each campaign was, as the tool allows you to measure the ROI of each campaign.
Finding influencers is simple enough.
Step 1 - Select the social media platform
Step 2 - Apply appropriate filters [Region, followers, engagement rate, niche, etc.] for the creator and audience.
Step 3 - Click Search
Here’s the signup link to impulze.ai. You try the tool for free and see how effective it is.
Now if you are thinking of pricing, it’s offering special pricing plans for SMBs and small businesses. And it starts at a meager $25 per month. It’s as affordable as it gets for an influencer marketing tool.
How to Reach Out to Influencers?
Influencer outreach is in fact one of the most prominent pain points of agencies and businesses when it comes to influencer marketing. So, what is the solution?
Personalization is the key.
Be succinct, be straightforward, and be enticing. Let them know why you are connecting with them, what your product is, and its USP (or something similar), and be open on how much you are willing to pay.
Though there are many email templates for influencer outreach, you can use no one-solution-to-all templates. You always have to have that personal touch and feel authentic.
If you are interested in learning more, here’s a guide to help you understand influencer outreach completely.
Influencer Marketing Platforms for Small Businesses
Being a small business comes with its hurdles, and a limited budget is probably one among them. If that’s the case, then here is a free tool you can use to gauge the effectiveness of an influencer.
SocialiQ is a free Chrome extension you can use. It offers insights into influencers like engagement rate, average likes, contact details, and more.
It’s working is simple. First, download the extension to your Chrome. And then, when you visit a potential influencer or any account across platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or YouTube, you will get insights about their engagement rate, average likes and comments, the hashtags they have used, contact details, and more.
The tool is free and will be helpful for small businesses in pinpointing influencers if you are searching for influencers manually.
If you want to find influencers quickly, then we suggest investing in influencer marketing tools like impulze.ai. It offers a special price range for SMBs and small businesses.
How to Do Influencer Marketing as a Small Business?
Identify Your Goals: Determine what you want to achieve (brand awareness, sales, etc.).
Understand Your Audience: Know who you're targeting.
Find the Right Influencers: Look for influencers whose followers align with your target audience.
Reach Out: Contact them with a clear, professional proposal.
Collaborate on Content: Work together on content that fits both your brand and the influencer’s style.
Track Performance: Use metrics to measure the success of the campaign.
How Much Do Small Businesses Pay Influencers?
The cost varies widely based on the influencer's reach, engagement rate, and content complexity. Micro-influencers might charge a few hundred dollars per post or accept free products, while more established influencers could charge thousands.
How Do I Find Influencers to Promote My Business?
Social Media Searches: Use relevant hashtags or keywords on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
Influencer Marketing Platforms: Use these tools to find and connect with influencers.
Competitor Analysis: See who is working with your competitors.
Google Alerts: Set alerts for industry-related terms to find content creators.
Your Customers: Look for enthusiastic customers who have a good social media presence.
What are Common Mistakes in Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses?
Not Defining Clear Goals: Without specific objectives, it’s hard to measure success.
Choosing the Wrong Influencers: Not all influencers are a good fit for every brand.
Ignoring Engagement Rates: High follower counts don’t always mean high engagement.
Lack of Authenticity: Forced or overly promotional content can deter audiences.
Not Complying with Regulations: Failing to follow advertising and disclosure laws.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from Influencer Marketing?
Results can vary, but typically, you might start seeing initial engagement (likes, shares, website traffic) within days of the content going live. More substantial results, like sales increases, can take weeks or months, depending on the campaign's nature and scale. Influencer marketing often requires a long-term strategy to fully realize its potential.
Add during optimization-
What Type of Influencers to Partner With?