Influencer Marketing: What small business owners need to know


influence

Figuring out how to grow your business can be challenging, there are different routes you can take and we are here to guide you through one of the most effective ways. Honestly, once you have your value proposition and branding, is a matter of communicating why your product is worth it. And, when you find the right content creators this can easily be accomplished, here is what you should know:

Planning

When thinking about your campaign consider:

  • What is my goal? Is it providing educational information, product features, a new launch?
  • What is my timeline? 
  • Which social media platforms do I want to use? 
  • What is my budget?
  • What is the least amount of influencers you want to collaborate with?
  • Are you including some kind of incentive in the campaign? Discounts, hashtags or links?

Influencer Maddie Cidlik included a discount code for brand Princes Polly

Instagram is the best platform to raise brand awareness and get more traffic to your ecommerce store. This survey shows that 83% of users have found new products on this network. If you don’t have an account yet, create one but make sure it’s a business one. This type will allow you to post pricing, add products and specific links. The whole purpose is to make the process faster and easier for the customer. After finishing the set up, make sure you stay active and post at least 3 times per week. Make sure the feed looks cohesive, I recommend following a color palette and sticking to it at least for a couple of weeks. A great resource to plan all your posts and follow a specific aesthetic is UNUM, here you can visualize all your content. 

Find influencers for your brand

Don’t waste your time looking for famous influencers or celebrities, of course they have a big following but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have high engagement. I advise you to go straight for nano influencers. This is the best way to approach a marketing strategy without having to spend a lot of money. These content creators have from 1 to 5K followers with usually pretty good engagement which is defined as the level of interaction between an influencer and their genuine followers. The best part about this method is that you can pay them with products or samples alone.

This is an example of a micro influencer with high engagement rates. Most of them are authentic, transparent about different topics and are interested in maintaining a relationship with their followers.

Consider location

If you are a small business with a physical store, try looking for  instagram influencers within your area. On the other hand, if you have an e-commerce store, choose influencers that live near you since there is a bigger chance that they have heard about your brand.

Utilize software

A good approach would be directly searching on Instagram either by tags or location. Even though you don’t have to invest on this, it might take you some time, as a small business owner you need to be as proactive as you can.

Thankfully, there are some helpful resources out there. Influencer marketing platforms allow you to search for influencers using filters such as engagement rate, location, number of followers and industry. Once you get the results you will be able to see all the metrics, contact information and  bookmark your preferred ones.

Make sure you take this into account:

  • Audience demographics – age , gender, location, interests
  • Audience authenticity – Are the followers real, are there some fake accounts?
  • Follower growth – Is it organic? Has there been a decline?
  • Past branded content – Does it seem genuine? Does it look professional?

Contact & negotiate

Once you have a good amount of influencers you want to collaborate with, you can go ahead and contact them. Remember sometimes not all will answer so reach out to as many as you can, just in case.

Craft a short, professional email with this information:

  • Basic details about your company – who you are, what you do, your brand’s message
  • Campaign goals 
  • Timeline – Due dates
  • Why they’re a good fit – whether it’s their location, style, voice, etc.

When it comes to negotiating, be upfront and concise. Make sure your message comes across and they understand everything. This is crucial since it will define a big part of the campaign’s success. While providing instructions make sure you aren’t super specific, allow them to have some creative freedom. Content creators usually have pretty good ideas as of how to display the product properly. You can of course ask for their opinion and feedback, the fact that they know their audience is incredibly helpful.

Launch the campaign

You should track all your results by either asking the influencer since they can provide you all the insights and metrics or you can easily set up Google Analytics.

Also, collect all the media, share and repost on your social accounts. You can even send to friends and family so they can spread the word. Every time you do a campaign, save all the content, learnings and results in a folder with the specific date. This will allow you to easily find them if you need to refer to specific information in the future.

The brand Mejuri reposting content from one of the influencers they worked with.

Kindly follow up if you see there is a mistake in the content or if they haven’t posted on time. Most of them are open to hear feedback and will correct mistakes.

Think about results

If you didn’t get the exact results you wanted don’t worry, it’s all a learning experience and some goals take time to achieve. This learning experience will make you realize things you need to improve or also what kind of influencers work better than others. Stay positive and proud of any progress you have made.

Write notes about what you liked from each influencer you worked with and take it into consideration when working on future campaigns. Staying organized is key and this will help you all along the way.

Take away

Don’t be discouraged if your conversion rates weren’t as high compared to big brands. When you implement this strategy regularly, you will get great exposure and website traffic. Always move forward with confidence, trusting in your expertise and desire to evolve.