Chances are, if you have looked into social media marketing, influencer marketing has been mentioned somewhere in the mix. As a small business owner, influencer marketing campaigns may seem unnecessary – but it is actually the opposite. Whether or not you choose to work with micro or macro influencers, influencer marketing campaigns can increase sales, awareness, engagement, and brand loyalty among (potential) customers.

The Benefits

When partnering with influencers, they will introduce their following to your brand – resulting in increased awareness about your company, services, and products. Consuming influencer content is completely optional, this means that followers are generally more interested and invested in the various topics the given influencer chooses to discuss.

Not to mention, followers give influencers an extreme amount of trust and attention when it comes to products or brands. 92% of global consumers consider the personal recommendations influencers provide more influential than other advertising formats on their purchasing decisions. These recommendations will transform not only into tangible sales but also into trust and loyalty for your brand. Nielson has reported that influencer marketing generates 11x more ROI than other marketing methods. And, every dollar spent on influencer marketing results in $7.65 in earnings.

Incorporating Influencers into Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

After you have decided to include influencer marketing as part of your upcoming marketing strategy, you have a few different campaign options. Although many influencer marketing campaigns are social media based, you can also promote content on websites and blogs.

On Social Media

While influencer marketing takes place on essentially every social media platform, Instagram is definitely the front-runner. Among influencers, 78% noted that Instagram is their favorite platform for brand collaborations. Influencer marketing posts, or sponsored posts, retained a billion likes over the course of 2017. On Instagram, takeover campaigns, video/picture content, branded hashtags, giveaways, reviews, and live streaming are some influencer (and brand favorites). Takeover campaigns are when influencers take over your account for a certain timeframe and are in complete control of content posted during that time. Video and picture content created by an influencer should be shared not only on the influencer’s page but also on your own! Branded hashtags can be drafted and utilized for campaigns specifically with influencers as well as on your normal social media marketing content.

On Websites/Blogs

Influencer partnerships featured on websites and blogs are much less complicated, as there are fewer choices to be made regarding content. Especially if the influencer is regarded as an expert in their field, inviting them to write guest content and have them cross-promote it on their channels is an excellent choice if you are aiming to improve awareness and trust in your brand. Interviews, Q&A’s, and reviews are some of the other options you can take advantage of during a website or blog-based influencer marketing campaign.

Get Started With Influencer Marketing

There are a few steps that every small business owner should take leading up to and during influencer marketing campaigns featuring their business. First of all, partnering with an influencer is not something you want to jump into blindly – make sure to do your research. Make sure that they are active in the same or at least similar industry as your business to ensure that their followers will even take an interest in your brand. When the influencer shares common values or beliefs with your company, the sponsored content is likely received as a genuine recommendation rather than a sales pitch. Also, note their following size and how often the influencer is taking part in marketing campaigns. If their followers are already being bombarded with sponsored content, they are not likely to pay attention (or trust) the message being presented. Ensuring their following is engaged is another must since engagement is not only a sign of a top-notch influencer but also hints towards a successful marketing campaign for your business.

Once you have a few potential influencers picked out for a future marketing campaign, make sure that your own identity has been solidified. Without a consistent brand image and message, it will be difficult to produce a quality marketing campaign with an influencer. But, branding means more than just a logo and can take time. If you find yourself struggling to highlight your brand’s personality, contact the BusySeed team today. We are not only pros in social media marketing, but also in branding!

After these two important steps, you are finally ready to reach out! When connecting with influencers, remember personality matters! That’s why you need a solid brand, after all. Although they may become tempting due to time or resource constraints, avoid generic template messages. Your outreach message may be the first impression an influencer has about your brand and you want it to be a good one. In each message, introduce yourself, your business, and why you think that specific influencer is a perfect match for your brand. Mentioning incentives is always a great way to get the ball rolling too!

All-in-all, the influencer marketing world can be tricky to understand and navigate as a small business owner. But, as long as you have a concrete brand matched with clear goals and expectations, it’s only a matter of time until you release the perfect influencer marketing campaign. And remember that no matter what your business is struggling with, the BusySeed team is here to help keep your business busy. Contact us today: 888-353-1484.