Influencer marketing is huge news and has exploded in popularity as a marketing tool in the past few years.
In case you haven’t heard the term or aren’t quite sure what it means one industry leader Tapinfluence defines the terms as:
“Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire/hire/pay influencers to get out the word for you.”
But do a little digging into the tool and it can appear to be an unachievable feat for start-ups, small businesses and challenger brands. With paid for posts costing anything up to $300,000 on YouTube and megastars such as Kim Kardashian reportedly charging up to $200,000 for a single picture post on Instagram.
But fear not.
Influencer marketing need not be all about huge money changing hands to reach huge audiences. Micro-influencer marketing or brand advocacy can be a cost effective or even free way for small brands to work with and benefit from influencer marketing. The concept behind these ideas is that you engage with current fans and followers who have an interest in your brand as well as influence over others. Often these micro-influencers have a smaller audience than your typical influencer or celebrity, however, this means they tend to have a higher engagement rate, higher level of trust from their followers as well as a more focused specialist area.
Working with brand advocates and micro-influencers usually works via the exchange of goods or paying the influencer to co-create content rather than directly paying them to post about your products or services. This adds an additional layer of authenticity to your marketing as the influencer is actually endorsing your brand rather than simply accepting money to post your “ad”.
Two excellent examples of brands, which have used micro-influencer marketing to promote and grow their brand from inception, are Pura Vida (@puravidabracelets) and LORD Timepieces (@lordtimepieces). These two brands have engaged with current fans and micro-influencers, which match their style and values in exchange for free products. If you check out their accounts you will see the attention and success that this strategy has brought them both.
Finding the right influencers in terms of their suitability, engagement level and working out the best ways for reaching out to them can be tricky. This is why there is a whole marketplace of software providers, consultants and agencies designed to help you choose and work with influencers. Although there is some upfront cost for this ultimately finding an independent and trusted advisor will save you time and money in a potentially long process, as well as helping you get the best results.
Working with influencers is not just the reserve of massive brands paying massive influencers to reach massive audiences. In fact, smart smaller businesses can gain better ROI by engaging with micro-influencer and brand advocates to promote their products and services.
About the Author:
Owain Williams is an influencer and content marketing nerd, writer and consultant. With a broad background in marketing and sales across complex engineering, major international events and with a leading marketing agency Owain brings a unique, energetic and experience led aspect to the table.
Need advice or a freelancer to help grow your business? You can work with Owain on PPH.