Looking for an effective, affordable, and personal way to market your business? Then, check out influencer marketing. Influencers are people with a powerful social media presence. They range from niche micro influencers with a few hundred or thousand followers to big name reality TV stars and musicians with millions of followers. In both cases, their product endorsements can give your business the extra exposure and credibility it needs.
Influencer Versus Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Businesses have always relied on word-of-mouth marketing. If one person likes your business, they recommend it to a friend who recommends it to their sibling who recommends it to their neighbor who recommends it to their cousin and so on. Influencer marketing rests on this same concept but on an amplified scale. Rather than telling a handful of people how amazing your company is, influencers tweet, share, insta, vlog, and blog about your business to all of their followers. These folks have established credibility online, and their recommendations often inspire their audiences to test out new products or services.
Hooking New Customers
Think of influencers like the hook on a fishing line. Influencers hook potential new customers, but you have to do the rest. When these new audience members get to your website, is it easy to navigate? Are your inventory levels ready for a new group of shoppers? If you’re trying to entice people to come to a brick-and-mortar location, can you live up to the influencer’s promises? To reel in these new shoppers, you must have these elements in place.
Improving Customer Traffic Online and Off
As influencers share your company’s website or social media profile, their audience members click on those links. That directly boosts your website traffic and builds your online reputation. In addition, links that lead from one site to your website are called backlinks, and they increase the chances that the search engines will find you when someone does an online search for your products or services. Indirectly, their presence alone helps to draw traffic to your website and eventually through the door of your brick-and-mortar location.
Jump-Starting Your Social Media Campaign
Before diving into influencer marketing, you should also think about your social media strategy. In a lot of cases, influencers direct their audience members toward your social media profiles. You need to be ready to amuse and engage these new followers. That includes sharing interesting tidbits, responding to comments, and answering questions. The objective of a quality social media campaign is to get a regular group of followers. Then, when those followers like, favorite, or retweet your posts, that draws even more followers to your social media account. As that cycle continues, it builds awareness of your brand, but if you’re having trouble getting started, a jump-start from an influencer may be just what you need
Building Customer Loyalty
As indicated above, influencers have a group of followers who respect and trust them. When they endorse your business, their audience members intuitively trust and respect your business. Influencer marketing has a layer of credibility that traditional marketing lacks. To explain, when customers watch a commercial or read an ad, they know it has been written by a company, and they’re skeptical about the claims. In contrast, when an audience gets the same message from an influencer, they instantly trust the message.
The flexibility of influencer marketing lets you create a campaign that perfectly fits your small business’s goals and budget, and there’s a few different ways to get started. To ease into the process, you can work with a marketing agency to get connected with influencers. That’s the easiest approach if you want to reach a powerful influencer with millions of fans or if you want expert help through the process.
To get more bang for your buck, you may want to find a micro infleuncer and reach out to them on your own. Micro influencers don’t have as many followers, but their followers tend to be clustered around a particular niche. Some focus on hair styles, surfing, or cats, while others focus on recaps of sci-fi TV shows, accessories for small dogs, or gluten-free vegan cooking. To break the process down into simple terms, you search online for a micro influencer whose content relates to your business. Then, you contact them directly and try to arrange a deal. Depending on their experience, they may expect payment or be willing to trade endorsements for free products or services. Because their followers are so focused and engaged, micro influencers tend to offer an impressive return on investment for your marketing dollars. You also don’t need to worry about shooting a commercial, writing a brochure, or designing a print ad. The influencer takes care of the pitch for you.
Influencer marketing builds trust and encourages loyalty faster than other types of marketing, and it can be an extremely effective way to jump start your online marketing efforts. Beyond that, you have a lot of flexibility in terms of scale. You can work with a name known online and offline acorss the world, or you can start with someone small who really resonates with your brand.