When it comes to small business marketing, you need to make every action count. With so many options it can be hard to know where to focus your attention – list building, social media strategy, Facebook ads, encouraging referrals, Google Adwords, networking… the list goes on.

Then you throw Influencer Marketing into the mix.

You might have heard of social media influencers, but how can you make it work for your business and how can you find a good one?

Let’s look how you can effectively use a social media influencer in your marketing strategy.

 

What Is A Social Media Influencer?

Influencer marketing has been around for decades. Think strategic product placement in movies, celebrities wearing a certain label, or sports people endorsing certain brands.

That is influencer marketing on a grand scale. In the digital age, social media has made it easy for everyday people to gain their own following and become influential in a specific market. A social media influencer will build their own personal brand to develop an interested audience. Their audience trusts them and their products recommendations.

At small business level it is very unlikely that you will be able to afford a celebrity endorsement. But there are plenty of other influencers that have decent followings that you could choose to work with.

Basically, influencer marketing works by the influencer posting about your product on their own social media pages, exposing it to their large and engaged audience. Suddenly, your products are in front of thousands of people who might not have seen them otherwise.

 

Knowing If It Is Right For Your Business

Influencer marketing does not work for every business, so you need to carefully consider if it will work for yours. Often influencer marketing works best in the B2C market. It helps if you have a physical product or a desirable service to offer.

Clothing, makeup, shoes, cute things for kids, beauty treatments, adventure experiences, and services that help people all do really well with an influencer. However, B2B services like accounting, admin, or marketing probably wouldn’t benefit much.

 

How To Choose A Good Influencer

When you work with an influencer, at the very least you are going to be giving them free product. So, you want to make sure you choose someone that is worth the investment.

First and foremost, you want to make sure they have the right kind of audience for you. There is no point advertising with a cat lover if your product targets sausage dogs! Their followers need to be a complementary audience that is full of your ideal client.

Don’t get bogged down by the number of followers they have. What you really want to look at is the engagement of the followers. If they have a high level of engagement, their audience are obviously interested in the content they post. But if their engagement is low, any posts about your products might not have the impact you want.

Micro influencers with a smaller audience can often be just as effective. Especially if they have a really niche following that your product fits into.

When hunting for a social media influencer, start with your own fans and followers. You might already have an influencer or two following you. If they are already familiar with your products or services then they are going to be able to endorse them more authentically.

If that doesn’t turn up any results, then get to researching who the big (or small) players are in your industry. Instagram is a popular platform for influencers, so start there.

 

How To Make It Work For Your Business

Once you have found the ideal candidates then it is time to open the conversation with them. Be clear on your expectations, what you want them to do in terms of posting and endorsement. Some larger influencers may charge a fee on top of your product donation. If they do, make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.

Before you begin working together it can be a great idea to draft an agreement between you both so that everyone knows what is expected. Ensure that your chosen influencer holds up their end of the bargain by committing wholeheartedly to what was agreed.

Once their posts go live, request detailed reports on the reach and engagement levels to track how successful the campaign was. Like any marketing investment, you need to ensure that it provides a reasonable return. So, set some goals for what you might like to achieve – are you raising your brand awareness, are you prospecting for leads, or are you going for sales? Understanding your goal will help you measure the results in the end.

 

Using a social media influencer can be a great way to gain brand awareness, reach a whole new audience, and generate potential leads. But you have to make sure it is an effective method for your business.

If you would like some advice on how you could make influencer marketing work in your business, then get in touch with me here at The Marketing Baker today. I can help you to see how it can fit with your overall strategy and if it is a sensible choice for your brand.