Influencer marketing is redefining the marketing profession in many ways. As impactful as it is to professional marketers, it is even more of a gamechanger for small businesses in general. Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat these days as they face greater competition from larger companies. Influencer marketing can help level the playing field.
Influencer marketing gives small businesses a fighting chance as industry consolidation becomes more widespread
Small businesses face a number of significant challenges. Sadly, only 50% of them will survive for five years. The prognosis is even worse for some industries. The three-year survival rate for restaurants is only 40%. The percentage of companies classified as small businesses is shrinking as they are being crowded out by larger competitors.
Does this mean that it isn’t worth starting a small business in 2019? Not at all. Plenty of small businesses can succeed, but they need to take the right measures. Small business owners are much more likely to succeed if they are resourceful and strategic. According to Scalefluence.com, influencer marketing is one of the tactics that they can use to gain an edge over more establish competitors.
Small businesses need to use the most effective form of marketing possible. They can’t afford to waste lots of resources on marketing strategies that don’t pan out. Poor cash flow is the cause of 82% of business failures, which is at least partially attributed to companies spending their marketing dollars on the wrong things.
Companies will get a lot more bang for their buck with influencer marketing. The ROI of influencer marketing is nearly 12 times as high as online display ads. It is also several times as high as paid search engine marketing.
However, companies need to leverage influencers properly. Here are some things that they need to keep in mind.
They must reach out to relevant influencers
I recently had a discussion at a business networking event about companies that refer to themselves as influencers. They talked about all of the supposed influencers out there. Many people who label themselves as influencers are really just generic social media marketers. They don’t have a strong voice in any given industry.
Of course, there are a lot of genuine influences out there. However, many of them are not going to be appropriate for your brand. If you have a business that sells locally sourced crafts, then you aren’t going to get a decent return on your investment working with an influencer that is knowledgeable about cybersecurity.
The influencer does not need to perfectly align with your brand. However, they need to be close enough to provide some real value.
They should have an actual voice – not just impressive social media metrics
Some influencers might look impressive when you look at certain metrics, such as the number of people following them. The problem is that the number of followers is not always a great indicator of their reach.
There could be multiple reasons that an influencer with a strong following is not going to give much push to your brand. They might have paid for a lot of those followers. They also might have a strong followership, because they are funny or interesting. That does not necessarily mean that people respect their opinion or will be moved to purchase a product they recommend.
You need to see how well the influencer is respected in their area of influence. They need to show that they can actually drive conversions.
Influencers need to offer services within your budget
Some influencers have a very strong voice. Unfortunately, they might charge a lot to brands that want to access their platform.
If in influencer’s prices seem too high, then one of two things are the issue:
- You need to set your marketing budget higher and be willing to pay for value.
- The influencer is not the right fit for your brand.
You should always try negotiating a better rate. However, you need to know when to throw in the towel if an influencer refuses to except a price within your budget. You can’t pay so much that you can never get a positive return on your investment with them.