The career path of an influencer has only become more and more desirable in recent years, and for good reason. Getting to work with all sorts of brands and sample their products, accepting payment in the form of cash incentives or other alternatives like free trips, while continuing to grow your following on social media; all in all, it’s not a bad life.
But how can your brand take advantage of influencer marketing? If you’re running a small business, you might be under the impression that it’s a waste of time. After all, influencer marketing is only worth considering if you can afford to hire the biggest influencers in your industry, with the power to sway hundreds of thousands of followers with the mere click of a button… right?
Wrong. While you might not be able to work with the most well known public figures in your field, chances are your business could still benefit a lot from working with smaller influencers, possibly even getting better value for your money than the biggest competitors in the process!
Sounds too good to be true? Then let’s take a look at some of the ways in which influencer marketing can be a great match for small businesses.
An influencer marketing strategy creates user-generated content that dives deep into your brands’ story
For all the time and hard work that goes into producing the perfect banner advertisement, it’s remarkably easy to scroll past one. You’ve probably done it multiple times today already without a second thought. But if you’re advertising your business with user-generated content (UGC), maybe through an online video review or a visual Instagram post made by an influencer you were already following, suddenly it’s impossible to go unnoticed.
One thing UGC does an excellent job of is sharing your brand’s personal message; and when you’re just starting out in the world of business, your brand message is probably the strongest way to connect with your audience. By retaining the customer’s attention for longer, and putting emphasis on what makes your business unique - whether it be the personal connections you form, the sustainability of your products, or something else - you’re allowing people to connect with your brand on a personal level, and that’s where loyal, long-term customers are formed. UGC also has the added benefit of bringing a level of loyalty and trust to your brand, as not only will your audience see an adored influencer show their genuine appreciation for your business, but they’ll also get to see how your products or services work in depth before deciding to commit to a purchase themselves.
All of this will bring traffic to your brand’s website, and help to create a solid community around your brand. If you’re lucky, the influencers you work with will organically spread the good word about your business, and you might end up with others creating UGC for you without having to lift a finger.
Influencer marketing provides the flexibility that small businesses crave
Getting off the ground as a smaller brand can be challenging. Even if the services or products you’re making are pure gold, you’ll likely be missing the proper resources to put yourself in the right place at the right time.
Fortunately, because of the sheer amount of influencers present in each and every industry, influencer marketing can be tailored specifically to your needs. Audience size, content style, commission charges, and platform type are just a few of the many different factors you can filter through when deciding on the influencer that’s right for your brand. For example, if you’re running low on funds to spend on marketing in the beginning, some influencers will be more than happy to work with you in exchange for other incentives, such as free products/trips, or be willing to take a more manageable payment plan.
What’s more, you can check for all these things before you’ve entered a single negotiation - just take a look at an influencer’s existing profile, and you’ll get most if not all of this information free of charge. And once you do select someone to work with, the terms you’ll agree to together can be changed to suit both parties involved, which in turn encourages more collaborations in the future.
Micro-influencers maintain higher levels of engagement with their audience, making them more efficient overall
There’s a certain myth passed around from time to time that influencer marketing is only worth doing if you can afford to pay the biggest and brightest stars in your industry. The reality is that’s just not true.
Not only do bigger influencers frequently require you to play by their rules in order to work with them, but they also tend to have a smaller percentage of followers that actually interact with their content, otherwise known as engagement rate. Meanwhile, micro-influencers have a much higher engagement rate despite their smaller overall following. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one by far is the fact that micro-influencers have the ability to personally interact with their audience, precisely because it’s smaller than their more famous counterparts. This promotes followers to take a genuine interest in each post, and gives them the ability to ask questions about products, which will always be a more exciting way to learn about your brand than reading a static product description online.
Micro-influencers are also great at promoting authenticity for your brand. For one, when there is less money - or even no money at all - involved in a brand deal, it becomes more obvious that the influencer is working with your business purely out of passion for what they do, and that excitement will definitely show in their content. Another point to note, and something that is especially important if your brand makes a point of being more affordable than competitors or using its products in everyday life, is that the vast majority of people will be able to relate to a smaller influencer a lot more than a celebrity they only see through a carefully crafted filter. Micro-influencers are real people, with real problems and real aspirations, so if your brand can impress them, it will definitely impress their audience too.
Decided influencer marketing is right for you? Here are a few tips to note down
As a smaller business, you should be aiming to squeeze every last drop of value from your marketing campaign to make the most of your investment. That means considering any existing brand advocates to work with on top of the enticing up-and-coming influencers you’ve been keeping an eye on, using analytics to work out what worked in your campaign and what didn’t, and nurturing your relationship with influencers in case you ever feel like collaborating again some day.
One last thing. Just in case you were thinking of doing the opposite, remember to be honest about the true nature of your campaign. If the content you’re creating is sponsored, it’s always better to be upfront about it. No one likes finding out they’ve been lied to.
Looking to make use of influencer marketing for a brand in the lifestyle, beauty, or wellness industries? You’re in the right place!
Here at Loved Brands, we’ve built a Creator’s Community that gives businesses like yours the opportunity to offer your products or services to our trusted group of influencers, granting you access to UGC increasing your brand visibility on a weekly basis. Because we don’t offer any monetary compensation to our influencers, you can be sure that the content creators we match you with will be genuinely excited about your brand, and will guide you towards a loving audience you can be happy with.
Sounds amazing, right? Don’t waste any time and book a call now to apply!
Or, if you’re still focused on developing your brand, read about how opting to use niche marketing can grow your audience here.