What is influencer marketing?
Influencer Marketing is the fastest-growing customer acquisition marketing method. Nearly 40% of marketers say they are now dedicating a budget for influencer marketing, and 80% report influencer marketing to be effective.
Influencer marketing can be broadly defined as marketing through the use of influencers. Influencers refers to individuals that have the ability to influence the perception and decisions of others.
Is influencer marketing suitable for SMEs to implement?
You may question how suitable influencer marketing is for small businesses, after all, aren’t influencers expensive to work with?
However, this might not be the case, this is because, just like every other type of marketing tactic, you are the one that decides the budget of the campaign. You can choose how many influencers you are going to work with, the duration of the campaign and which social media platform will your campaign be on. The answers to all these questions will be determined by your influencer marketing campaign budget.
Furthermore, the misconception you may have about influencer marketing being expensive may be due to higher profile campaigns run by macro-influencers having a greater reach, Of course these macro-influencers charge a higher price than their smaller counterparts. This is primarily due to their larger follower, and thereby, a larger audience that you can market your products to. However, for SMEs, you don’t necessarily have to work with such big influencers.
You can always work with micro-influencers. These influencers usually have a smaller follower count of 1,000 to 100,000 followers and are cheaper to work with compared to macro-influencers. Working with both micro and macro-influencers have their own respective benefits.
Although macro-influencers have a larger following, micro-influencers generally have higher engagement rates. This is because they don’t have massive followings and are still able to connect on a personal level with their followers.
This makes their communities more tightly-knit than those of macro-influencers. According to studies, the engagement rate for micro-influencers on Instagram was about 3.6 percent while macro-influencers only managed to get 1.5 percent. The former is higher than the average Instagram engagement rate of 1.73 percent.
As the size of the audience of a micro-influencer is fairly small, their followers are more likely to follow them just because of their interests. Those who’re interested in what the influencers post will follow them. This gives you a chance to reach out to a highly-targeted audience for your brand.
If the content that influencers post is relevant to your business’s branding, their followers will likely receive your sponsored posts with the same enthusiasm. This means that you’ll be able to get high-quality leads by partnering with micro-influencers.
How do you find the right micro-influencer to work with?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some people to buy followers and likes on Facebook and Instagram, also known as fake influencers.
As a smaller business with a tighter budget, you would want to make sure that you are spending your money right and getting returns on your campaign. Thus, it is important for you to make sure to do your research and go through each influencer’s profile throughly before reaching out to them for a collaboration.
Other important things to check includes their audience demographics, engagement rates, quality of engagement, and more.
It’s also crucial to check their tone and values. They should ideally match those of your brand as the influencer will be seen as an extension of your brand. Anything that they do will reflect on your business as a whole, be it good or bad.
It’s a good idea to look out for those influencers who are already talking about your brand. These people will be more passionate about your brand and your cause, also resulting in them partnering with you easily.
Alternatively, you could use influencer marketing tools to find them with relative ease.
Influencer Marketing Tools
“Identify authors and creators with engaged audiences and genuine authority on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the web.”
With BuzzSumo, you can find influencers in any location or category. Sort by reach, authority and engagement to find people that align with your target audience.
Then, build outreach plans, add influencers to Twitter lists and export data for detailed analysis. BuzzSumo Pro starts at $99 per month, and $79 per year, saving 20 percent if you commit to an annual plan. It is a good starter plan for small teams.
“People trust influencers, not ads. Build this trust with Klear.”
Klear boasts 500 million social profiles and influencers in over 60,000 categories. Use it to find, engage and track relevant insights, manage influencer outreach and monitor ongoing campaigns.
You can even customise bespoke solutions for you based on different platforms such as Instagram and YouTube and based on business type, whether you are an enterprise or an agency.
Klear is a slightly costlier option, but still offers a very reasonable $250 per month for a starter plan.
“Build Relationships. Build Buzz.”
BuzzStream helps businesses build relationships with influencers. This outreach platform helps you research influencers easily and maintains contact information, profiles and conversation history between your brand and the influencers you work with.
BuzzStream also gives your team a centralised database to work from, freeing up valuable time your team needs to build out successful marketing campaigns. Simultaneously providing deep insights into your campaigns, team performance and link placements through fully customisable reports.
Buzzstream is really affordable, with its lowest package starting at $24 per month, with 1 month of service free if you opt for paying 12 months in advance.
Scrunch is an all-inclusive, end-to-end platform that enables you to find the top bloggers, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram influencers from a comprehensive database that includes dozens of niche markets. You can search by geographical location, engagement rates, follower range or by the specific social network you’re interested in.
Prices on Scrunch vary, but for the small businesses that are just starting out, the starter package is free of charge and allows you to manage a single campaign. For unlimited campaigns and expanded features, the pro model package starts at a reasonable price of $99 per month with custom packages available as well.
With social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram having constant daily increases in their number of users, the influencer marketing industry is only going to grow. So, finding the right influencer marketing tool is essential in the development of your brand’s influencer marketing strategy.