An influencer is basically someone who has an influence on other people’s buying habits and their lifestyle. Influencers are usually bloggers, vloggers or people with large followings on their social media channels. Their product posts often spark interest in fans and followers, prompting them to consider buying it.
Many companies, including small businesses, have realized the power of influencers. People trust their recommendations, so influencers are a great way to market your products in a genuine, non-commercial way. Influencer marketing is mainly the interaction/collaboration between the business and the influencer, and there are benefits for both.
The influencer will receive free products or payment for creating content. And that specific product started advertising that will make more sales or awareness of that product. The organic following of that influencer may have similar interests. So any recommendations they make are likely to be very relevant to their followers.
Just like any type of marketing activity, there are benefits and drawbacks to using influencer marketing for small businesses. Here is an overview of some benefits:
- Original content – influencers will make genuine and original content that fascinates their audience. They probably know what their followers like, and can make creative content that fits their style, increasing the chances of sales conversions and awareness of the brand.
- Non-commercial promotion – Influencers have more organic reach than traditional media platforms because people look up to them and can relate to them on the same level. So instead of creating content that has a very commercial look and feel, or maybe a very forced product placement, Influencers will create very simple yet powerful content for your brand that will engage your potential targeted audience organically and on a very personal level. And this is exactly what helps the brand in getting conversions that they need.
- Trusted sources – as the majority of influencers are real people making real recommendations, and sharing experiences of their real life, their followers feel like they can trust them. Honest influencers will only recommend products and brands they truly like and have used the product themselves.
- Cost-effective – influencer marketing can be a great way of promoting your small business in an effective budget.
- High reach – just by working with one influencer, you’ll get access to thousands of relevant potential customers. Rather than having to do the hard work yourself and target these people individually, the influencer can instantly put you in front of the right people. Also, thousands of people will get to know about your product by just one influencer. Influencer can also make great awareness about your product among their audience.
And here are the few drawbacks:
- No guarantees – an influencer posts about your product, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get lots of sales. Sometimes posts doesn’t get good response, or conversions. Also, sometimes influencer don’t commit any conversions.
- Complete honesty – some influencers are known for being honest, which is a great thing most of the time. But if an influencer doesn’t like your product and posts about the reasons why they would never recommend it, this can do a huge amount of damage. Brands have limited control over what influencers post.
- Hard to track – influencer marketing for small businesses can be really hard to track. You don’t have access to the influencer’s stats in real-time, so you can’t make decisions about how to change the strategy if something isn’t working.
There are a few checks to get started with Influencer Marketing and make full use of it.
- Goals – What results do you expect, before you contact any influencers, have a think about why you want to use influencer marketing for your small business and how it could help. What will be the expected outcome an influencer can give you? What would be the main aim/goal you can achieve by using Influencer Marketing?
- Research Potential Influencers – There’s no way of working with someone who has millions and thousands of followers if they’re not relevant to your small business. Research lots of different influencers who might suit your small business.
- Design the Campaign – Come up with a powerful strategy to design your campaign considering the projected outcomes that your brand require. Plan the social media platforms where you have your targeted audience. Plan the tone, look and feel of content according to the platform it will be posted on.
- Reach out to Influencers – Ask the influencer about the budget, let them know what you can offer and what you’d like them to do. Show some interest in the influencer’s work. Convince them that they are a great fit for your business.
- Set Terms – set KPIs for the influencer in which you can make full use of influencer marketing within the decided budget. Discuss all payment details including when to pay, what will be the payment mode etc.
- Track Results – Multiple tools can be used to track results automatically, you can also track manually by asking insights from the influencers.
As businesses are following the current trends of Influencer Marketing in Pakistan, the small businesses are also giving it a shot. Here are some examples