“Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Marketing to an audience of influencers is similar to word-of-mouth marketing, but it doesn’t rely strictly on explicit recommendations.” (Marketing Schools)
53% of Americans consider product reviews and ratings as the most crucial attribute of the online shopping
Influencer Marketing is predicted to be a “top trend” of 2020, but Influencers typically cost money, and for most small to mid-sized businesses this expense is not in the marketing budget. Here are three ways you can use Influencer Marketing to reach and convert your audience that don’t include a well-known, high-paid, celebrity or expert.
1. Customer Reviews/Testimonials
Your customers have their own following on Social Media and their followers, typically friends, family, coworkers, etc., are trusted by their network. Additionally, these folks are usually average people in the community, not someone you are forcing to speak highly of you or paying to refer people to your business.
Sharing reviews from these happy customers is a trustworthy form of your business’ capability to get the job done.
Monitor review sites (Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Trustpilot, etc.) and share these reviews on all of your Social Sites, as well as your website, and emails.
These testimonials provide trustworthy evaluations of the work your company can provide.
2. Average Social Media Users with a Following
Seeking out Social Media Users that are known for sharing their opinions on products is a great way to get your products on the radar of a new audience.
One of our client’s sells specialty cycling products, they provide a well-known (in the cycling world) Cyclist with their products as needed for him to share the company’s information with his fans. While this cyclist is a “celebrity” in this particular industry and his opinion matters to other cyclists, providing products and not a large payment is a cost-effective way to use his expertise, trust, and following to promote these specialty products.
Another business we know is a small operation run out of a spare room in a home. This business makes nail polish. The owner attends local make-up expos. She approached several Social Media users who are known by a large audience across the country for sharing tips, tricks, and information on products. She supplies these Social experts with her latest line of nail polish and they promote the polish line to their fans. The nail polish lines sell out every time. She pays for no other advertising, just uses her Influencers to push her product line.
Again, no payment required. The only out-of-pocket expense for this business is the wholesale cost of the products she gives them.
3. Loyal Customers
While most happy customers will leave a review or testimonial if they are pleased with your services, they also can work on your behalf without your knowledge by sharing your business with their networks.
- 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
- 81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts versus 78% who are influenced by the posts of the brands they follow on social media.
- 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness.
Keeping your loyal customers pleased with your services or products is crucial to this form of Influencer Marketing. When someone in their networks seeks your services or products a happy customer will share your information and refer them to your business.