If you think influencer marketing is a neat idea but not relevant to your business, think again.
“Leveraging influencer marketing is not just for lipstick and laptops or big national brands,” says Carol Sours, partner at Treo Marketing. “Small businesses of all types can—and should—consider integrating an influencer strategy in their marketing plan.”
Today, influencer marketing isn’t about reaching out to the biggest celebrities. An influencer is someone who has an engaged following on social media platforms. Instagram is the most popular platform in this regard, with more than 500,000 active influencers. Depending on your industry and product, you might also find influencers who align with your brand on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, or blogs. Leveraging an influencer allows for targeted marketing and instant performance monitoring.
“Influencer marketing works because of the age-old ‘word-of-mouth’ principle,” Sours says. “Purchasing decisions are easier when the information comes from someone you know, like, and trust. Even if you serve a niche market or are very localized, there is likely an influencer who has the ears and eyes of your target consumers.”
Here’s how it works: brands can reach out to an influencer whose following aligns with their market. Someone doesn’t have to have the largest number of followers to be an effective influencer, as long as their audience engages with them and finds them inspiring. “Micro-influencers” have 5,000 to 25,000 followers. “Nano-influencers” have 1,000 or fewer followers.
Through tagging, likes, offer codes, or other tracking methods, it’s easy to see the results of an influencer marketing campaign. Before you start, Sours offers these tips:
- Relevance: Partner with a social influencer who shares content that is relevant to your brand and offering. If you offer financial services, partnering with a musician who has a large following is likely a disconnect. An influencer in the real estate, insurance, or legal industries will likely make more of an impact.
- Reach: Check out the influencer’s platforms to see the number of followers you could potentially reach.
- Response: Review platform posts and engagement. High levels of likes or reactions and comments demonstrate an active, engaged audience. What level of response has the influencer been able to generate for other brands or on topics relevant to your brand?
- Results: Likes, reactions, comments, and follows are nice warm fuzzies, but you’re looking for revenue results. Tracking all the interactions is important, but keep in mind that many followers may never engage on social, but will still follow through with a purchase. Incorporating a promo code or other tracking mechanism with your call-to-action will help monitor sales performance and provide insight on the success of your influencer strategy.
Looking for more business insights? Connect with MCPL’s Square One Small Business Services team today.
-Square One at MCPL