Did you know there are approximately 1.17 million small businesses in Canada? All of which are competing with each other for customers and sales. So with so many options and alternatives available to consumers, how can your small business make itself stand out from the crowd? One option is influencer marketing for small businesses.

You’ve probably heard of influencer marketing or an influencer. In fact, you’ve probably considered it to promote your products or services. But, how can influencer marketing benefit your small business?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a common form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people. Basically, influencer marketing involves using influencers who are people with the ability to sway or persuade others to buy your products or services. The concept of influencer marketing is dependent on inverting the marketing funnel.

The traditional marketing funnel is: Product/Service > Promotional Campaigns > Customers. 
The influencer marketing funnel is: Influencers > Promotional Campaigns > Products/Services.

Influencer marketing identifies individuals that have influence over potential customers and positions marketing activities around these influencers. Influencer marketing also offers the products or services offered by a brand the potential to unify its sales, social media, and digital marketing through powerful and relevant relationship-based communication.

How Influencer Marketing Works

Just think of influencers as consumers. Consumers love hearing from other consumers right?

Let’s say you want to advertise a new product like athleisure apparel. You can promote it by hiring a celebrity such as an actor or model. However, hiring a celebrity will cost you a lot and the results may not be as good as expected because not all their fans will be moved by your product or service

On the other hand, you can promote your product or service by hiring influencers such as a fitness specialist who is active on a blog or social media. This fitness specialist will have thousands of followers who are specifically interested in fitness so they’ll be more likely to buy athleisure apparel. Hiring an influencer will cost you a lot less than a celebrity and delivers better results for your product because it’ll be placed on a niche market.

Celebrities are much more visible than influencers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re more influential. Using influencers makes more sense than using celebrities to promote your products or services. Influencers with 3-10K followers receive an average engagement rate of 5.71% compared to influencers with 100K followers who receive an average engagement rate of 1.84%.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses

Influencer marketing is a viable solution for small businesses. Influencer marketing yields numerous benefits when it comes to promoting your products or services. Here are the 5 benefits of influencer marketing for small businesses:

1. Cost-effective

Influencer marketing campaigns are flexible and you’ll be able to fit them into your budget. You can look into offering free products or services as a form of compensation.

2. Brand loyalty

The success of a small business is based on a loyal customer base. So with influencer marketing, you’ll be able to build brand loyalty.

3. Targeted advertising

Influencer marketing will allow you to carry targeting advertising campaigns. This will result in generating more leads in order to increase your sales.

4. ROI is trackable

You’ll be able to track ROI with influencer marketing. There are various tools and metrics you can use to track the success of every influencer marketing campaign.

5. Increase traffic

You’ll receive more traffic as influencers posts content on their blog or social media accounts with a link to your website and social media account.

How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing

So how do you get started with influencer marketing? Well, you’ll need to have a goal and a general idea of who you want to work with. Then, it’s time to put your influencer marketing campaign into action. Here’s the step by step on how to get started with influencer marketing:

1. Identify influencers

The first thing you need to do is to find your influencers. Start by looking for people on social media who post about your desired niches or subjects.

2. Reach out to influencers

The second thing you need to do is to make contact. Once you find the influencers you’d like to work with, you’ll need to reach out and explain what your business is, what you’re looking for, and why they’d be a good fit for the campaign.

3. Set a budget

In a perfect world, you can find influencers who will be willing to promote your product or service for free. However, this isn’t how the way things work in today’s world.

So the third thing you need to do is get ready to set a budget. When you made contact with the influencer, you’ll need to agree on the scope of the project and the compensation.

4. Produce, approve, and publish content

The fourth thing you need to do is produce and approve content. When you’ve agreed to the terms of the campaign. You’ll need to produce and approve content before any posts go-lives on their blog or social media account. Then, when you’ve approved the content, your influencer can start sharing them with their followers.

5. Track the results

The fifth thing you need to do is track and measure the results. Now that your posts have been published, it’s time to track and measure the success of the campaign. You’ll want to find out if people are clicking on it, liking it, or leaving comments on the posts.

Source: 5 Steps for Getting Started with Influencer Marketing

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.