Influencer marketing is more popular than ever, and it continues to grow as more and more businesses utilize influencers to promote their products.
The volume of sponsored content on Instagram is expected to jump from 3.7 million brand-sponsored posts in 2018 to almost 5 million sponsored posts in 2019.
One-quarter of small businesses use influencers to support their social media marketing efforts, according to a new study by Visual Objects.
Small businesses benefit from micro-influencers – people with smaller, more-engaged followings whose fees are affordable for nearly any-size budget.
In this article, we show you how influencers and micro-influencers can benefit small businesses. Influencers help small businesses by:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Building trust with potential customers
- Providing a flexible digital marketing option
3 Ways Influencer Marketing Benefits Small Businesses
Use this information to understand how to use influencer marketing to create digital marketing campaigns that expand your brand’s reach and build trust with its customers.
1. Increases Brand Awareness
According to LaunchMetrics’ 2018 State of Influencer Marketing report, 90% of marketers agree that influencers help them increase brand awareness.
Hiring an influencer to promote your brand or products helps expand your reach because influencers share your product and brand with their own audience, granting immediate exposure for your business.
Selecting influencers whose audiences are similar to yours is essential to turning influencer exposure into new fans and customers for your brand.
The majority of influencer marketing takes place through sponsored posts, as shown in the Statista chart above, but Instagram takeovers and in-person events are also popular ways for influencers to promote brands.
Yoga instructor and Instagram influencer Charley Hernandez, for example, posed with a case of La Croix Water, and La Croix shares the image next to the caption “Lending a hydrating, helping hand.”
Source: La Croix Water, Instagram
Small businesses should take lessons from how larger brands approach influencer marketing to see how they can leverage influencers to grow their audience.
2. Builds Trust With Customers
Influencers have discretion over the brands they choose to partner with, an expression of trust in your company that can influence how people perceive your brand.
The trust influencers build with their followers can translate to consumer action when they support your company.
Influencer marketing also creates an organic ad experience for users: Sponsored posts are integrated into users’ Instagram feeds and are therefore less disruptive than a pop-up or banner ad.
3. Micro-Influencers Are Flexible and Affordable
The 2018 Launchmetrics study found that 46% of professionals say they get better results when working with micro-influencers.
Because micro-influencers have smaller audiences, they’re more connected to their fans, who frequently engage with their posts and trust their recommendations.
On average, micro-influencers with less than 1,000 followers generate an 8% engagement rate, compared to influencers with over 100,000 followers who average 1.7% engagement.
Micro-influencers also are affordable on nearly any budget. The average micro-influencer listed on Tomoson influencer agency charges less than $100, with many listing their rates as low as $20 - $40.
Additionally, many micro-influencers are willing to promote products in exchange for goods and services instead of payment.
One study found that 45% of influencers say they’d work for free if it’s a brand they love.
Finally, micro-influencers are flexible, and many are open to new ideas and creative promotions.
This type of flexibility provides an advantage for brands who’d like to include influencers in special promotions such as livestream broadcasts, podcasts, or in-person events.
Highly-engaged audiences, affordable rates, and flexibility make micro-influencers an excellent choice for small businesses wanting to use influencer marketing to raise brand awareness and build trust with their audience.
Influencer Marketing Creates Benefits for Small Businesses
Influencer marketing is an effective promotional tool for businesses of any size.
For small businesses, though, micro-influencers may align more with their business model and marketing budget.
Reaching out to micro-influencers requires a different approach than you’d take with a celebrity or established business. You can often contact a micro-influencer directly and should try a personal, friendly communication style since many micro-influencers are influencers as a hobby.
Consider searching for your fans who have already shared your content, using an online influencer service such as Tomoson or Upfluence, or looking through a reviews platform to find the best options for your company.
Kelsey McKeon is a Content Developer for Visual Objects, a resource for business-to-business firms to earn visibility and showcase reviews from former clients. She focuses on marketing and web design research. You can find her on Twitter @kelsey_mckeon and @clutch_co.