In today’s hyper-digital world, influencers are everywhere–louder than ever, reaching wider with every post, and showing no signs of slowing down. They have changed the way customers buy products and the way companies–big and small–sell.
The market is on social media, all nearly 5 billion users worldwide. And influencers are the best way to reach them. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a small startup, the playing field has been leveled, and everyone can be in on the game.
But if you’re a small business, your influencer marketing ROI can look even better than that of larger companies. With the right campaign strategy and the right influencer, your traffic and engagement can easily go through the roof. Think at least double the numbers with just one campaign that goes viral.
What is Influencer Marketing?
But what exactly is influencer marketing, and why does it work?
Influencer marketing is only one of many digital marketing services that can be utilized to effectively promote brands, products, or services through online platforms. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, it takes on a more personal approach, akin to word-of-mouth, which is why it wields such massive appeal.
What is an Influencer?
It works through collaborations with influencers, or people with significant reach and who are able to influence people’s buying behaviors through their online activity. Some macro influencers have a particularly loyal following that they are able to generate income for a brand with just a few stories and posts.
There are four main types of influencers:
- Nano-influencers. These are influencers with less than 10,000 followers, typically newbies and belong to a specific niche.
- Micro-influencers. These are influencers with 100,000 followers or less. They are often very vocal and niche-based. They also have a decent following but less-than-celebrity status.
- Macro-influencers. This is the group where you will find Instagram celebrities, as well as local and Hollywood personalities. They can have an audience of up to a million followers.
- Mega-influencers. These are your superstars, A-list celebrities, and icons. They have large followings of more than a million.
One of the most widely used influencer marketing platforms is Instagram, with almost 2 billion users, making up 31.2% of Internet users worldwide. An even bigger platform is Facebook, with a reported 2.9 billion active users, although Instagram remains to be the platform that Internet users most prefer.
These platforms are where influencers create posts or stories, either independently or in collaboration with a brand, in order to drive traffic and positively impact brand revenue.
Why Influencer Marketing Works
Influencer marketing works because of three main reasons:
- People inherently trust a knowledgeable third party’s opinion about a product.
For example, when a sports superstar like Lionel Messi posts a photo of himself in action wearing a pair of Adidas cleats, his followers will want those shoes. Because if Messi wears them, they must be the real deal.
- Brands are able to tap on the relationship that influencers have with their audience.
What this means is that they ultimately affect what people buy (or don’t buy!) or subscribe to through what influencers talk about or endorse.
- Brands are able to reach previously untapped audiences.
Through influencers with varying demographics and following, brands are able to reach audiences that may have previously been untapped through other marketing strategies.
These strategies are tailor-fit to match what specific audiences pay attention to, making them effective in reaching even smaller niches.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses
From a revenue perspective, influencer marketing is a marketing gem. Done right, it can bring in an average revenue of almost $6 for every dollar that a brand spends on influencer collaborations.
That’s an astounding number! And small businesses are in no way left behind in this.
- Results that create a huge impact on their business.
Small businesses can much more quickly see a positive impact on their traffic and revenue with the right campaign in place.
Since they typically have a much smaller audience, they have a larger potential for growth, with results that are more visible and felt when they happen.
A startup with less than a thousand followers on social media and meager web traffic can see a huge jump in both traffic and traffic-turned-sales percentages simply because they have so much room for growth. Something that more prominent brands don’t have just because they’re already operating at a larger scale.
- Big results at a fraction of the cost.
Influencer marketing has a huge potential for generating revenue–all without having to spend a fortune on marketing campaigns.
Small businesses don’t have the kind of budget that established brands have at their disposal. But they definitely can make what little budget they have work to get people to pay attention.
Some mega-influencers may charge as much as $100,000 per post. But you can as easily find those who will do the same thing for only $100. What’s more, smaller-reach influencers engage much more with their followers.
What this means for a business is every post is guaranteed engagement–with actual followers, not just bots guised as real people.
- Niche audiences reached.
Want to catch the attention of a specific audience? Influencers who have a voice in a particular niche can help you grow your brand significantly.
How to Find and Collaborate with Influencers
All of these can only happen when you have the right campaign and influencer who can make the magic happen for your brand.
There are several ways to find an influencer that will match your business:
- Look up relevant trending topics or hashtags.
These will point you to the voices that lead the discussion. You can filter the results by checking influencer pages for the quality of their content, what their values are, and their target audience. If these match what you’re looking for, strike up a conversation.
- Look through your own pages’ engagement.
Influencers are everywhere, including in the comments and reactions sections. Influencers that truly find value in your business will engage with you through commenting, reacting, or sharing your posts.
- Work with an influencer marketing agency.
You can easily find and collaborate with an influencer by working with an influencer marketing agency. These companies match brands with influencers that suit their business.
Another advantage to this option is they can create and monitor campaigns that are geared towards generating results.
Influencer marketing is, without a doubt, one of the most effective marketing strategies for small businesses. The right influencer can drive massive engagement and revenue by turning engagement into real, measurable results.
And we can help you make that happen. NGP-IMC is a trusted digital marketing agency in the Philippines that has helped bring brands closer to their audiences and target niches through strong influencer marketing campaigns and compelling storytelling.
Jossaine Nunez is a freelance article writer, blogger, and SEO-driven maven. While her true passion lies in writing fiction, her love for storytelling extends to helping brands convey their message in ways that are both engaging and helpful for attaining their business goals.
Jossaine’s interests in writing particularly about people, for people – which translates to brand audience engagement – stems from her experience as the Editor-In-Chief of Siliman University’s The Weekly Silimanian, which published slices of life and educational pieces surrounding university life. Her piece, A Review of Leoncio Deriada’s People on Guerrero Street, published in the Silliman Journal on discussions and investigations in the humanities and sciences, earmarks her foray into the world of writing about, and writing for, humans that make the world go round.