How to leverage influencer marketing in your small business

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Date: 14 April 2022

Commuters engaging with social media and influencers on their phones

It's no secret that influencer marketing isn't going anywhere; it's gone from strength to strength and is projected to be a 16 billion dollar industry by the end of 2022!

But why?

Well, the answer is pretty simple… influencer marketing can benefit your business across multiple metrics:

  • increasing brand awareness
  • reaching new audiences
  • improving brand advocacy
  • increasing conversions and revenue

In addition, utilising influencers within your marketing strategy is a great way to bolster your brand's asset bank, giving you great content across organic and paid channels.

So, how can brands leverage influencer marketing to benefit their marketing strategy?

As a leading ​​Digital Marketing Agency based in London, we're here to dish the dirt. 

1. Bigger isn't always better.

No, really, bigger isn't always better! When brands look to execute influencer marketing, they often think they need to go after the Kim K's of the world, when really going after nano and micro-Influencers can be far more beneficial.

Nano and micro-influencers have their ear to the ground with their community and are able to secure more engagement and trust from users. Why? Because they're more accessible and the connection with their follower base is more intimate than those with celebrity status.

A whopping 82% of customers are likely to buy a product that is associated with a micro-influencer! So, if you're looking to achieve sales, increase brand awareness and build up brand advocacy, then smaller creators are the way to go.

2. Make them brand ambassadors.

Influencers, brand ambassadors, what's the difference?

Well, we've all seen influencer posts that scream “I was paid to do this”, and ultimately it can come across as very disingenuous to the end consumer. A way to get around this is to reach out to influencers who are directly related to your product - don't just go after the latest reality TV star who's hot at the moment; think long term.

For example, if your product is related to food, then reach out to influencers directly related to the food space. Go after vegans with the growing demand in that area, go after healthy recipe creators, but also look at who else you could work with… Want to diversify to new audiences? Think laterally, go after parents who live busy lifestyles that your product could have a significant impact on.

Remember: If the influencer that you're working with believes in and enjoys using your product then they're more likely to put more effort into the end content, which will only serve your brand further.

It's time for some stats: 61% of users trust influencers, compared to 38% of users who trust branded social media content. That's a huge untapped resource if you're not already working with influencers. If you use this to your advantage and reach out to influencers who are likely to have a higher affinity with your product and they create more genuine content, that is only going to increase and benefit your brand.

“Influencer marketing is hard to track; it's nearly impossible!”. Oh, that old chestnut. If you're an ecommerce brand, take it to the next level with your influencer marketing strategy and offer them specific discount codes to advertise to their follower base.

3. Don't be scared of TikTok.

At the time of writing this article, #tiktokmademebuyit has 10.7B mentions on TikTok. I repeat - 10.7 BILLION MENTIONS. Now is not the time to sleep on TikTok influencers.

42% of TikTok users say they are on the platform to discover new things, while 67% of users reported that TikTok introduced them to products they had never thought of before. Success has come in many forms, from the $30 Amazon leggings that were rocked by Lizzo, to the Slazenger Skort that racked up 7.6 million views. Predicting the next big thing isn't an exact science, but if you're able to harness the power of TikTok and its native Influencers then you're one step closer to virality.

So, we just do a TikTok dance, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Look for a niche that's related to your product or service and contact influencers in that space - but don't approach them with the hard sell of your brand out of the blue, ensure that you engage with them first, follow them, engage with their content so you're not coming in cold.

Moreover, we're seeing more and more TikTok style creatives being used across the paid social landscape to stop the scroll. If you're working with a creator who makes these kinds of videos, then use that to your advantage and gain the usage rights so you're able to use the creative across multiple brand touchpoints!

4. Create meaningful relationships.

Listen up, people in the back, this is one of the most crucial parts of influencer marketing - building meaningful relationships.

Influencer marketing by nature can appear very transactional. The best way to leverage it within your wider marketing strategy and cut through the noise is to cultivate long-standing relationships with influencers, which will gain more coverage over time. Bonus points if you make these connections with nano and micro-influencers, as these profiles are likely to grow and develop organically, giving your brand access to even more users over time. Remember, even the biggest influencers started out small, so if you can be taken on that journey with them then your brand advocacy and awareness will only go from strength to strength.

5. Live shopping - The Gen-Z of teleshopping?

Live shopping, or live commerce as it's otherwise known, grew exponentially in 2021 and is set to grow again in 2022. Having started in China in 2016, the trend is spreading West, with brands such as Levi's, Charlotte Tilbury and Sephora getting involved.

Teleshopping, but make it Gen-z. Swap the TV and naff presenters for phones and influencers showcasing products on our social feeds. Successful live shopping events have seen between a 10-20% conversion rate and a 40% less return rate!

So, how do brands get involved? Collaborate with an influencer and position them as a thought leader within the space by aligning them with your product niche. If you're a fitness brand, get a fitness influencer with a highly engaged following to conduct your live shopping event.

The key to success is keeping it entertaining. Now more than ever we're seeing the users' attention at an all-time low, so keeping it current, exciting and engaging is the way to go.

Recap time! We hope you were making notes…

Nano and micro-Influencers are a key opportunity for brands in 2022, along with fostering meaningful relationships with relevant, engaging creators. Look for creators where you can use their content across all your brand touchpoints, and don't sleep on live commerce events!

Copyright 2022. Featured post made possible by The Good Marketer

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