August 18, 2021 5 minutes to read
David Fairfull explores why influencer marketing is a key medium for small businesses and how it can be used effectively by SMEs.
Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in the digital economy. Thanks to its ability to reach new audiences and generate Return on investment 11 times higher (ROI) than traditional methods, it’s no wonder that influencers are quickly becoming a key part of many brands’ digital marketing strategies.
But for small businesses, knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. While some just don’t see the value, others often struggle to effectively engage influencers or get lost in the sea of new regulations and unclear measurement methods. However, the low risk, high return nature of influencer marketing is too great an opportunity to miss, especially for SMBs.
So how can small businesses take advantage of this trend? Here I give my advice on how to use influencers to your advantage.
Find the right audience
The online space is incredibly saturated, so the ability to find a targeted audience is crucial for the success of the campaign. Famous influencer Kylie Jenner has been reported to charge over A $ 1 million per social post. But not all businesses target the masses, and most will get stronger results using smaller influencers, at a much lower price.
The benefit of using micro-influencers, who have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, is generally less expensive, with some accepting payment in goods and services instead. Plus, influencer marketing is ultimately about engagement. This means that the higher the engagement, the more effective the influence.
Influence Marketing Hub 2021 Baseline influencer report Influencers with less than 15,000 followers have a higher engagement rate, at around 18%, compared to those with more than 1 million followers, at 5%. It’s a win-win solution for small businesses – not only can you target a more engaged audience, but you can also do so with almost any budget.
A good example of an SME engaging influencers is Australian beauty brand Frank Body. The company started in 2013 with only AU $ 5,000 and no marketing budget. But by engaging with influencers, spreading their products, and encouraging users to share on social media with hashtags, they’ve transformed the brand. In 12 months, the brand had more than 350,000 followers on Instagram and, in 2017, had an annual turnover of 20 million dollars.
The founders knew they could engage with their audience on Instagram and found a cost effective way to market their products and generate a buzz. The impact is clear: influencer marketing has an incredibly low barrier to entry and ultimately allows SMEs to grow their brands without breaking the bank.
Define the goals and how you will measure success
Is your goal to see an increase in direct sales? Develop brand awareness? Increase your digital presence? The focus of your campaign will be directly related to how you engage with an influencer, as well as setting the direction of the content strategy.
Once you’ve set your goal, work with the influencer to put in place ways to measure it. We did this during a recent influencer campaign here at Metigy. Our goal for this campaign was to increase brand awareness and draw attention to our creative new services that provide small businesses with easy access to visually appealing graphic design. Since our focus was on broader outreach, we ran a contest with three influencers for a week, giving users the chance to win an unlimited three-month plan for the service.
Thanks to this campaign, we increased our number of social media subscribers by 11%, reached 40,000 new accounts and increased our content interactions by almost 12%. These results show that we were able to target and engage a whole new audience, which was a key goal for us. While there are many ways to measure a campaign, the key is to be guided by the objective of your campaign.
Build lasting relationships with influencers
Once you’ve found the perfect influencer, cultivate the relationship. Building a relationship with an influencer will help them become a brand advocate for your small business. It also means less time spent on production, as you both understand the purpose, what kind of content is going to work, and how things need to be done. With influencers, it’s important to note that these relationships are often mutually beneficial and as the relationship progresses you may be able to negotiate a better price in the long run.
At Metigy, in our last influencer campaign, we narrowed down the choice of content creators by ensuring that our vision, purpose and message are aligned. Each influencer brought with them a strong and unique brand, but all shared the same goal of inspiring others to start their own businesses.
As small business owners, they were connected to our mission and felt connected to our cause. It helped us nurture a lasting relationship with each influencer as we both embarked on the campaign with the goal of mutual support and a shared vision.
The key to remember when working with influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in digital marketing, but it’s more than that. With over a billion people actively using Instagram each month, and nearly double on Facebook, social media is clearly here to stay. For small businesses, the most important thing to remember to start your influencer journey is to make sure you collaborate with an influencer who shares your brand values.
Ultimately, you start a working relationship with someone who is on the verge of becoming an advocate for your brand. Ask yourself: is this collaboration something you will be proud of? With a clear idea of why you should hire an influencer, the only question left is: what are you waiting for?
David Fairfull is the CEO and co-founder of Metigy.
Did you find this article interesting ? Read the latest updates from AiMCO that encourage influencers to disclose giveaways.