Millions of companies eager to have them some influencer marketing for their small business. One Kim Kardashian. We’re bound to have a problem here.
Kim Kardashian? Seriously?
Despite what you may have thought, this article isn’t about Kim Kardashian. Well, not entirely, that is.
What it’s really about is how a small business owner with a very tight ad budget can take full advantage of that cool little thing called «influencer marketing» we talked about in the previous post of mine – «What Is Social Influencer Marketing and Why Should You Employ It?».
Influencer Marketing Is More Than Just a Trend
Influencer marketing is projected by some to become a $5-10 billion market within the next five years. That’s way beyond a simple trend – influencer marketing is becoming a thing on its own, with its unspoken rules and laws.
The current unspoken rule #1 says that you can’t really have a successful influencer marketing campaign if you’re not ready to cough up some $10,000 on it. Speaking of Kim, for THAT amount of money she won’t even bother to delete your email with the proposal.
However, small businesses also love to have fun – just like their bigger counterparts. And they certainly can benefit from some exposure influencer marketing might give them.
Main Benefits of Influencer Marketing for a Small Business
There are quite a few.
1. It’s Universally Accessible.
Seriously, there’s always a guy on the block who’s «The Mack» and the other guys and gals are paying attention to what he says and does. Hey, don’t get offended – it was just a metaphor!
In reality, the people who mold public opinion in certain groups, wide or narrow, are usually bloggers, writers, reviewers, activists, and other public-type personas.
They don’t necessarily have to be world famous like Kim Kardashian – it’s all a matter of scale, really. A local guy who runs a blog on washing machines has equal influence over all his 100 subscribers as Kim has over her 100 million Instagram followers.
2. It’s the Next Big Thing.
Influencer marketing is definitely the next big thing in digital marketing and promotion – the sooner you jump on the bandwagon, the better. The world won’t wait.
With things like these, the trailblazers usually have an advantage over the latecomers as they can establish firmer connections to the industry leaders and follow the industry’s leading practices much easier.
3. It’s (Relatively) Cheap
We’ll get to that later but the fact is that influencer marketing really lowers the price bar for an average ad campaign while retaining its efficiency.
It’s not easy throwing money on a losing PPC campaign when all you get is a few dozen clicks with 1-2% conversion. Increasing the budget won’t do you any good.
Therefore, you have to look for something that is budget-sensitive, yet as effective – influencer marketing.
4. It’s More «Human» Than Any Other Type of Advertising.
This is the biggest point of all. People have gotten TIRED of all the ads they’re being bombarded with through numerous channels. They’re SICK OF IT.
Wherever you go on the Internet, there’s an ad.
Want to search something on Google? Contextual advertising gets in your way. Found the website you were looking for? Beware of «subscribe-to-our-bullsh*t-newsletter» pop-ups. Left off to another website? Remarketing ad campaign banners will follow you pretty much to your deathbed and even further.
Many people, especially the younger generation (the so-called Generation Z) who are to become the main driving force behind all online sales really, really soon, have grown completely ignorant to the old-school ads that marketers are trying to shove down their throats.
Can’t fault them for that. This doesn’t mean there’s no way of marketing products/services to these people – there absolutely is. It just has to be different. It needs to aim for the heart rather than an index finger clicking or tapping on a link.
What these people are looking for is a human connection, social interaction, someone to vent their frustrations for them and tell them what’s good and what’s evil – let them have that. Suggest your product/service subtly and step back watching them taking interest in it.
5. It’s Viral
That’s a direct continuation of the previous point. Whom do customers trust these days
Authorities? – Never. Manufacturers and sellers? – No way. Smart advertising? – Well, maybe if it’s crafty enough.
Whom they really trust are other customers, people who’ve had the chance to experience the product/service in person and have something to say and share about it.
Whether you like it or not, the market has become customer-centric, not manufacturer-centric as it was in the Era of Industrial Revolution or seller-centric as it was during the 20th century.
But, hey, who am I to make such biased statements? Here are some cold stats for you from Nielsen – only 1/3 of people trust online ads, roughly 40% trust TV (who are these people???). The shocker comes when you learn that 92% of respondents said they trusted «earned media» – recommendations from friends, family, influencers, and word-of-mouth promotion.
Find a way to adapt to this new reality or cease to exist as a business – that’s a no-brainer.
Leveraging Influencer Marketing for a Business
These are the steps you might need to go through to make your influencer marketing campaign happen.
1. Identify the Influencers You Will Work With
To do so, you will need to understand clearly what your target audience is. You must know EVERYTHING about them (by the way, this nice little article might help – «How to Create Buyer Persona for Your Business and Get More Clients»).
When you’re perfectly aware of whom you’re catering to, it’s time to choose the right influencer for the job. Of course, you need to start from the nature of your product/service. Obviously, can’t ask Kim Kardashian to promote your new «LM57XUI291-09» model of a lawn mower on her Instagram page.
There’s only one rule of thumb, really, when choosing a social influencer to work with – let it be the person you would trust. A guy or a girl whose word you would take for granted. Because if you, the business owner, do, the customers will too.
2. Align Your Channels With Those of Your Influencer
Once you’ve settled on an influencer, it’s time to see how well your media channels are aligned – it’s quite a practical thing actually. If it’s a YouTube blogger or an Instagram celebrity, where should the links lead to – your website or your shop or your landing page?
Do it this way: take a sheet of paper and map out the user path in its entirety – starting from the moment of seeing/hearing about your brand from the influencer to the moment of the first purchase.
What are the weakest points? Where are the users most likely to drop off? Think it all over carefully before proceeding to the following step.
3. Formulate a Clear Message for the Influencer to Pass On
Whatever you come up with, it’s got to be brief and concise – not for you, for your audience and for the influencer. Simple concepts that everyone can relate to are much better than complex, subliminal marketing messages that no one gets anyway.
Make a draft of the idea or even create the ready-made visuals if you’re good with graphics.
4. Get in Touch With the Influencer and Come to an Agreement
Once you’ve compiled the package – your marketing proposal, message, visuals etc. – it’s time to knock on the door of the influencer you’ve chosen.
Contact the guy and ask for cooperation on your project – paid, I would assume. Agree on the price and other terms but, most importantly, get your idea across right so that the audience will have it the way you’ve planned.
5. Combine Influencer Marketing With Other Types of Advertising to Achieve Maximum Effect
To achieve the effect of synergy, run the social influencer marketing campaign alongside your other, traditional marketing campaigns – PPC or what else you have there.
The initial impact on the audience has to be strong.
Thanks for making it to the end of today’s «Influencer Marketing for Small Business: Got Kim Kardashian?» article – I hope you’ve found it worth reading and sharing with your friends.
The right thing to do would be share this article with your friends on the social networks – just click on one of the icons of social media, it’s that easy.
If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.
Kudos to you for hanging out on my blog – there’s more good stuff if you want it, like this piece, for example: