What is Influencer Marketing? And How Can it Help Your Small Business?
If you’ve ever heard of influencer marketing or influencing, you might have thought that’s not something for a small business to consider. Isn’t it something that businesses with a lot of money and clout use to help try to snag celebrity endorsements?
Influencer marketing is a lot more than that. And in fact, you as a small business owner can use influencer marketing, too! Today on the blog, Mountain Air Marketing will unpack this idea a little more and why it might be an effective strategy for small business owners.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Did you know about 50% of digital ad impressions are never seen, according to a study done by Nielsen? But two-thirds of customers trust online reviews or endorsements given by actual consumers of the product online. While the old model used to be to try to get celebrities to endorse products and services, that model has become a hybrid of old and new marketing tools for online consumption, so that consumers feel relatable to people giving reviews or offering endorsements. Because the world is increasingly content-driven, more and more customers aren’t interested in ads. Even celebrity endorsements can be hit or miss.
An influencer, is anyone online who has a loyal following and who has an authentic message true to themselves that people are listening to and engaged with.
Influencers can be on any social media channel—including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Snap Chat, just to name a few. They are usually interested in growing their own brand via social media, and so they aren’t interested in becoming a sole brand ambassador for one particular company or product.
There are nano and micro influencers who usually have smaller followings but are very connected to their audience (usually around 1,000-50,000 followers), there are mid-tier to macro influencers (usually around 50,000 to 1 million followers), and then there are celebrities and mega influencers who have more than 1 million followers.
More and more companies and brands are strategizing around collaborating with influencers online, be they nano influencers or mega influencers. Any influencer who is engaging their audience could be great, no matter the size of their followers.
Collaborations between companies and influencers create an organic, authentic connection to an audience that a normal ad might not convey. The cool part about this is that an influencer is usually authentically passionate about some kind of subject, and if a company can be creative and help connect that passion to their brand or product, then the synergy is a natural fit and can produce remarkable results. For example, Twitter did a study that showed nearly 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase from an influencer on Twitter.
With this in mind, influencer marketing needs to be approached with a mindful attitude or sometimes it won’t work. An ill-paired match of product and influencer or trying to get an influencer to peddle something they really don’t connect with isn’t going to go over well with an audience. Followers can smell inauthenticity. What usually works best is strategizing some kind of long-term, authentic partnership with an influencer that will last and that both sides feel equally passionate and engaged in.
How Can Influencer Marketing Help My Small Businesses?
So what does this have to do with your small business? Take a moment to brainstorm about your small business and what it offers. Ask questions like…
- What is your niche? What are your products or services that be great to promote through influencer marketing?
- Who are your customers? Usually there are different subsets of customer—like stay-at-home moms, executive chefs, or fitness junkies.
- Where are you customers usually hanging out online? Are they more Twitter people, or do they love Facebook?
- What kind of innovative, fun, engaging content could work with your brand or products?
It’s fun to think outside the box. It’s then imperative to start researching across social media channels to find local influencers or regional influencers. For example, maybe you own a yoga studio in town that would love to grow your following. Are there popular yoga teachers in your area or region on social media who may be willing to do some YouTube or Instagram video content with you at your studio? Or maybe you’re a local motorcycle dealership. What if you could find some motorcyclists in Colorado or your region and have them do live Facebook videos with you as they consistently stop by your store to highlight a product you sell that they can’t live without on the road?
The possibilities are endless. The hardest part is finding an influencer that truly fits and vibes well with your brand or product—but once you find a great partnership, you can really reach a wider audience than you ever thought. It takes some upfront thought and effort and creativity, but it can have an enormous payoff.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas or know how to find influencers, give Mountain Air Marketing the opportunity to help you out! We have tons of advice and ways to help you figure out this growing online marketing trend. Contact us today!