As a small business owner, I understand the importance of staying current with the latest marketing trends. In today bustling society with ads being presented to us in every direction, it can be easy for small businesses to get lost in all the noise. We have to do our part to stay in front of our target audience. One way that small business owners can pull ahead of the competition is by using the power of influencer marketing.
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As social media usage continues to skyrocket, more and more consumers are turning to their favorite social channels for product and service recommendations. Considering the current data on social media usage, it comes as no surprise that more brands are investing their dollars in social media influencers for product promotion.
As social platforms continually modify their algorithms and organic reach declines, it is becoming apparent that word-of-mouth marketing is more valuable today than ever. So, you may be thinking, “How can my small business jump on this influencer marketing bandwagon?”
Developing an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Before you dive into commenting on your favorite blogger’s latest IG post asking them to promote your service, let’s discuss the best way to make this thing work.
First things first, you need to have a strong understanding of who your target audience is. If your product or service is best suited for Millennial Moms, for example, you will want to build out a list of top-rated mom blogs that have access to your target audience. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make when partnering with an influencer. No matter how many followers an influencer has, if they don’t put you in front of your target audience – you are just wasting your time and money.
The easiest way to connect with influencers that are the best match for your business is to work with an agency that does the heavy lifting for you. For example, if you are looking to connect with mom influencers, companies such as Intellifluence can help you to connect with the best influencers in that niche. It is honestly the easiest way to pitch and collaborate with influencers rather than tracking them down yourself on every social channel.
Get Blogged is another company to consider working with to find high-quality bloggers that can post about your business. Get Blogged lets you post opportunities for free and simply take a commission from the amount paid to the influencer.
Another thing you will want to consider when developing your influencer marketing strategy is your budget. Some brands start off simply offering products or services in exchange for promotion. Some brands offer the product or service and monetary compensation for promotion. Some brands allow influencers to receive a percentage of sales made from their referrals. Some offer monetary compensation only for promotion. The method you choose is totally up to you.
Your strategy should also include details on how you prefer influencers to promote your product whether they link to your website in a sponsored post, write up a review, or share a few images on their Instagram feed. These are all details you need to clarify and align with your budget.
Whatever the case may be, you need to make it worthwhile for an influencer to promote your product. You have to give them something of value. This is not the time to try to cheat your way through the system. You will find that developing a good relationship with influencers will be quite advantageous in the long run.
The most important thing is: you make sure you are partnering with the right influencers. I cannot stress this enough.
I have been on both sides of the coin as an influencer partnering with brands and as a brand partnering with influencers. All I can say is, this is a marketing trend that your small business cannot afford to ignore.
If you are a small business owner currently partnering with influencers, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.