social influencer marketing for small businesses (SMBs)

How Small And Medium-Size Companies Can Use Social Influencer Marketing For Their Business

Have you ever bought something because a celebrity you admire uses that product or service?   You’re not the only one.  This is social influencer marketing, the tactic used by businesses across industries to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive their brand’s message to their target audience.  Social influencer marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most important digital marketing strategies for small and medium businesses (SMBs).  As it becomes increasingly mainstream, there are more and more businesses reaping the benefits of this fresh take on endorsing products.  Indeed, social influencer marketing is more than this.  It is a means of building your brand alongside a subject matter expert in your niche.  Here, we will explore some of the fundamentals of social influencer marketing and explore some of the best ways to break into this exciting domain.

To this end, let’s look at how you can deploy social influencer marketing to achieve the benefits that you want.

Know What Social Influencer Marketing Can Do For Your SMB

Knowing what audience you want to reach with your influencer campaign will allow you to have a better idea of whom you need to approach to get things started. Ideally, you should already have an idea of whom the target audience of your brand is. Perhaps some influencers are active in the same space as the niche of your business.  If you are aware of such people already, then these are the individuals that you need to be reaching out to in order to achieve the results that you want to see.

Relationships between influencers and small businesses often happen organically.  This is usually a double benefit for your business, as the relationship will be a natural fit and you will also benefit from the authenticity of the brand connection with your influencer.

For example, if you are a local gym owner, you may seek out a partnership with a local athlete to promote your brand.  As part of your influencer campaign, you can invite the athlete to your gym to experience your facilities and enjoy all that your gym and trainers have to offer. The athlete, who is your influencer, will then share their experience on their social media accounts.  This will give your gym more credibility within the local market as a locally known athlete (your influencer) has endorsed your facility, among a hose of other benefits. Through a social influencer marketing campaign, your business will gain more traction, attract more customers, and become more established in your area.

It is important to establish goals for your social influencer marketing strategy so that you can determine if it is working or not.  In many cases, these goals will include increased search traffic, or even increased sales of products that are being endorsed by the influencer.  Taking some metrics before you begin your campaign and throughout the process will allow you to gauge how things are progressing and whether your business is receiving a reasonable ROI on your influencer campaign.

Choose The Right Influencer

Many small businesses have not yet explored or fully utilized social influencer marketing yet.  If you feel like you are behind the curve, then you may be tempted to choose any influencer just to have someone out there endorsing your products and highlighting your brand. However, make sure to carefully consider the relevance of a particular influencer to your brand.  If you want to ensure that you get the best ROI on this form of digital marketing investment, it is also important to have a look at the engagement that your prospective influencer gets with their posts, as well as their overall reach or audience base.

In terms of relevance, it is essential to remember that influencer marketing is more than just working with celebrities to endorse your products.  The individuals that small businesses work with through social influencer marketing already have a loyal and enthusiastic audience.  These individuals are, in fact, subject matter experts of sorts.  If your small business can enlist the assistance of an influencer to advocate for your products among their existing user base, then you can reap the benefits of increased attention being paid to your brand.

When vetting your prospective influencer, it is also important to verify that their followers are, in fact, genuine. Since influencer marketing is potentially so lucrative these days, there are many who are seizing upon this trend by loading up accounts with tens of thousands of fake followers.  Do your due diligence and only approach those who genuinely seem to connect with a similar audience as your brand.

Keep Your Social Influencer Marketing and Brand Authentic

Naturally, one of the most critical rules that cannot be broken when it comes to using social influencer marketing is to keep the quality of your products high.  Not only will many influencers be hesitant to work with a business who is pushing subpar goods, but their audience will quickly realize that the influencer is simply endorsing the product for the money that they get out of the arrangement.

This is a sure way to case negative light on your company and also compromise the relationship that the influencer has with their audience. If you want to avoid this fiasco and maintain the legitimacy of your brand and the reputation of the influencer, make sure that you are actually providing a top-quality product that an influencer will be proud to represent.

Social Influencer Marketing Is About More Than Your Products

Beyond product endorsements, influencers can also play a role in simply boosting your brand.  This can be done through blogging or posting on your business pages on a regular basis, talking about your business on their own social media channels, providing you with the opportunity to write a guest post on their channels, or even appearing with your business in video or other content alongside you and your team.

Getting the most value out of your relationship with a social influencer makes it important to experiment with a variety of these approaches and strategies.

Small and Medium Size Businesses, Get Started With Influencer Marketing!

You can expect that the social influencer marketing trend will only accelerate in popularity and importance in the new year.  If you have not yet explored the role of social influencer marketing in the success of your small or medium size Business, get in touch with our team at Mikesell Digital Consulting to learn more about how you can start your search for an influencer that is embedded in your niche to start seeing results.