Influencer marketing is shaping to be the be-all and end-all strategy in the world of digital marketing today.
And if, as a small business owner, you have no idea what it exactly entails and you’re wondering about all the what, whys, and hows of influencer marketing, this guide is what you need.
Let’s dig in to understand all the need-to-knows about influencer marketing for small businesses!
Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses
Let’s dive into the benefits of adding influencer marketing to your marketing arsenal.
1. Increased brand awareness
Influencer marketing allows you to reach your target audience through a third party. In other words, you increase brand awareness of your product/service in front of the people who are likely to buy it.
And if you couple influencer marketing campaigns with giveaways, contests, or discounts, you can easily engage with your audience right then and there.
2. Access to influencer’s goodwill
Some of the biggest influencer campaigns have been born out of damaged reputations.
That’s to say, when brands go through reputation turmoil, they partner with influencers to leverage their goodwill and bring their brands into a positive light once again.
On a large scale, consider the Barbie movie that helped to revive Barbie’s reputation. Or, think about Cadbury’s partnership with Amitabh Bachchan when controversies were swirling.
3. Ready-made content materials
What is the best part about partnering with influencers as a small brand? You get to use the content materials they produce.
And because these materials keep your specific audience in mind, they’re likely to be more targeted, and you might get a positive response from them.
4. Potential sales
If your influencer marketing campaigns are successful, and your audience is likely “influenced,” they’ll end up buying your product/service.
Some companies even prefer working with influencers as an affiliate or partnering with them on a commission basis (aka, influencers only get paid when someone buys your product/service through them).
5. Product feedback
If you’re working on a new product/service, influencer marketing can greatly benefit you in getting audience feedback.
That’s to say, you can test or launch a product in front of your target audience and wait for their reviews — depending on what those say, you can improve/keep your product as-is.
How Do You Partner With Influencers?
Follow these five simple steps to start a successful partnership with an influencer.
1. Determine the objectives of your influencer marketing strategy
Start by defining the purpose of your influencer marketing strategy. Are you doing it for brand awareness, getting product feedback, or generating sales across social media platforms?
Once you’ve decided, you can then move forward and analyze which influencers to work with, what contract terms to define, and how to determine the timeline of your collaboration.
2. Shortlist influencers
After determining your objective, go forward and shortlist potential influencers for brand partnerships.
Before getting in touch with them, you can also nurture and communicate with them, check their metrics (qualitative as well as quantitative), and research their core values.
Side note: Identifying the values of your influencers is really important as they’ll eventually become a mirror of your brand and can reflect your brand’s morals as well.
3. Strategize terms and conditions
At this stage, depending on your partnership objectives, you can strategize the terms and conditions of your partnership.
Consider questions like:
- What’s the payment model for this partnership, and how much will they get paid (also, will they get paid per project or per post)?
- Who owns the rights to the content material produced by influencers? If the partnership is only for content generation, will they (the influencers) get to use them in their portfolio?
- What are some of the performance metrics to consider to ensure the project is successful?
- How long would the project duration be?
- How many content pieces will you need to produce? What are their types, and what are the requirements for content delivery?
- What do other terms and conditions (like project termination, content approvals, exclusivity, disclosures) look like?
4. Enlist a trial run
If at all possible, consider partnering with influencers on a trial run. That way, both parties will understand how the other works and can identify if this partnership would look fruitful in the long run.
Consider sending your influencers welcome packets or recorded looms to educate them about the project goals, plans, and responsibilities. This extra step helps them to completely understand the requirements of your campaign and shine their brightest.
5. Turn them into brand ambassadors
Once the trial run is successful, you can ask your influencers to consider becoming brand ambassadors.
- Their face will become synonymous with your brand
- They’ll understand your brand requirements better after a prolonged partnership
- They can nurture your target audience throughout the project
- You’d save time by not finding and nurturing new influencers
For example, consider the Khaby Lame X Hugo Boss partnership. The former is an influencer who also works as an ambassador for Hugo Boss.
How to Find the Right Influencers to Partner With?
Use these simple tips to help you find the best influencer for your small business.
1. Leverage your industry network
The best way to find influencers is to look for people within your industry who can act as influencers. Identify the true thought leaders and celebrities in your industry with a massive fan following.
For example, if your target audience often hangs out in some channels (like Reddit communities, Facebook groups, and Slack channels), you can consider becoming a part of these channels to see which people are considered “influencers.”
Alternatively, you can directly ask your customers about some of their favorite influencers (through Instagram Q&A sessions) or tap into your industry network for word-of-mouth referrals.
2. Use artificial intelligence (AI) tools
You can also consider using AI tools like ChatGPT to find the best influencers for your brand.
Feed it prompts that’ll educate the technology about your target audience, your influencer marketing goals, and your industry, and then ask it to identify influencers that will best fit your brand.
You can also use the same technology to explore some popular influencer marketing campaigns and find ideas on how to create a good influencer marketing strategy.
Other technologies like social listening tools might also help you out here.
3. Research the influencers in your industry
Another way to find influencers in your industry is to do manual research. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Look up some of the most popular influencers in your industry
- Use social media hashtags to find them
- Check out the common influencers your customers follow
- Find the people online who replicate your content style/believe in the same values as you
- Browse content topics that your brand talks about and see the influencers excelling on those topics
4. Leverage public relations (PR) agencies
Public relationship experts often specialize in having a strong network of influencers and partnering your brand with the right influencers at the right time, depending on your project needs.
If you’re having trouble identifying or shortlisting influencers to work with, going the PR agency route is something you can definitely do.
5. Use an influencer database
Influencer databases are a resource that’ll allow you to filter influencers based on your industries and project capacity.
They contain information about an influencer’s follower count, industries, topics, specialization of content type, platforms they’re most active on, pricing, audience demographic, etc., which makes it extremely easy to find and work with them.
How Much Does It Cost to Partner With Influencers?
Before we move forward with this section, this is just a short disclaimer to let you know the cost to work with influencers differs based on:
- The industry you belong to
- The type of influencers you partner with
- The kind of work you do
- The content format you prefer
- Your audience’s location
- The individual terms and conditions of your contract
With that out of the way, let’s go forward and find the average costs of the five popular types of influencers — nano-influencers, micro-influencers, macro-influencers, mega-influencers, and celebrities.
According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, nano-influencers charge anywhere between $10-$100 for a standard Instagram post.
On other platforms, like YouTube, TikTok, X (Twitter), and Facebook, they charge between $20-$200, $5-$25, $2-$20, and $25-$250, respectively.
(All prices listed are in US dollars.)
For a typical Instagram post, micro-influencers charge around $100 to $500 per post. For a standard YouTube post, the price is $200 to $1,000.
On TikTok, it’s $25-$125 for each post. On X (Twitter), it’s $20-$100 for each tweet. And on Facebook, it’s between $250-$250 per post.
Some people also consider mid-tier influencers as a separate category (these influencers are sandwiched between micro and macro influencers and have a follower count of 50,000 and 500,000).
A mid-tier influencer’s pricing is a tad bit different from a nano and a micro-influencer, for obvious reasons.
For example, if a micro-influencer’s fee is $100-$500 for an Instagram post and the fee of a macro-influencer is $5,000-$10,000, then a mid-tier influencer will charge between $500 and $5,000.
However, to make things easier for ourselves, let’s focus on the pricing of micro and macro influencers only.
A macro-influencer charges:
- $10k-$20k per YouTube post
- $1.25k-$2.5k per TikTok post
- $5k-$10k per Instagram post
- $1k-$2k per X (Twitter) post
- $12.5k-$25k per Facebook post
Mega-influencers charge the following rates:
- $10k+ per Instagram post
- $20k+ per YouTube post
- $2.5k per TikTok post
- $2k per X (Twitter) post
- $25k per Facebook post
These stars have tiers within themselves (A-lister, B-lister, C-lister, etc.), and their pricing changes depending on the industry they belong to, the kind of content they produce, and their level of popularity.
Side Note: This is just a friendly PSA that micro-influencers have shown higher engagement rates, so it makes sense to partner with them if your goal is sales generation.
Influencer Marketing Campaign Examples You Can Replicate for Your Small Business
Here are five examples of small businesses that successfully use influencer marketing to boost brand awareness and build trust.
1. Penn Tool Co.
Robert Oberst is also known as “the world’s strongest man.” To instill the idea that their products are extremely strong and have excellent craftsmanship, they partnered with him to indirectly showcase the product’s capabilities.
This influencer marketing campaign was a particular success because they used the vibe of the influencer’s “strength” to drive power tool sales.
2. Hims & Hers
Sometimes, to sell a product, you need a person who has authority and trust from your target audience — and that’s something Hims & Hers understood quite well.
So, to sell their products and to educate their audience on minoxidil and its effects on hair loss, they partnered with Dr. J Casale, who, because of his title, brings authority and influence to the table.
3. Clean Origin
Clean Origin, a brand that sells lab-grown diamonds, has multiple influencer collaborations and thousands of brand ambassadors under its belt.
But, something it does differently from other brands is it tries to make each influencer collaboration different from another — and they do this by using the aura of their influencers to their advantage.
4. Henry Meds
Henry Meds is a brand that creates breakthrough medications for weight loss. Since this company deals with sensitive topics and is particularly new to the industry, it’s important for them to collaborate with the right influencers and bring real stories forward.
So, to keep things authentic, they partner with their customers as brand ambassadors and keep the audience engaged with their customer’s progress journey.
5. House of Joppa
House of Joppa, a Catholic rosary beads store, uses one of its owners to play the role of an influencer.
This partnership not only helps House of Joppa promote products but also provides the essence of “why” they embarked on this journey. Obviously, with over 20,000 views, this message resonates with their audience.
Start growing your business with the right steps
Let’s be real: This guide is extensive in the sense of giving you basic information about influencer marketing, but it’s not enough to help you get started.
Regardless of how many guides we write, we just can’t help you through it all because a published guide only answers questions for the masses and not for your individual business.
So, if you’re a small business, you need an expert who knows the ins and outs of the industry and can answer all your questions at a moment’s notice. And that’s exactly where I can help you out.
Click here to learn more about me and my experiences to understand what kind of experience I bring to the table and what I can do for your business.
Author Bio – Juwaria Merchant
Juwaria is a freelance writer specializing in the fields of SaaS, marketing, and health/wellness. Backed with 3+ years of experience, she helps brands build content that adds value to their business. In her free time, you can catch her reading her favorite books or studying the latest trends online.
Twitter: Juwaria Merchant (@juwariamerchant)