Influencer marketing is now an established strategy in the area of digital marketing. Gone are the days when digital marketing was a tool for big businesses only. The rise of the internet and social media has changed how small businesses look at their marketing strategies. The explosive growth of e-commerce, the advancement in logistics, and the easy access to information have opened the entire world to the small business owner. Small businesses now can market and sell to anyone and anywhere around the globe. As the saying goes—the world is your oyster.

Influencer Marketing has been a buzzword for a while now, and the mainstream media regularly refers to it. Most marketing consultants will include a strategy around influencer marketing as part of their marketing plans. Influencer marketing is rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method. However, it is not a new concept and has been around since the time marketing has been around. It is just that it has become more critical in recent times. Simply put, influencer marketing involves a brand working with an influencer to market one of its products or services.

An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. In the good old days, an influencer would typically be a celebrity who would endorse and promote your products. Before the internet and social media, businesses used either television commercials or print media. Unfortunately, that kind of promotion is not something small businesses could afford. However, the rise of social media has broken the cost barrier, and small businesses can easily have access to influencers at affordable prices.

So how can small businesses benefit from the power of influencer marketing?

Increased Brand Awareness

One of the biggest challenges for the small business owner is creating brand awareness. We live in an era where everything and everyone around us is trying to get a piece of our attention. Big brands with millions in marketing budgets can grab much of that space through expensive TV commercials and other digital media. Small businesses need to find methods to create awareness about their brand in an already crowded marketplace. An influencer provides you a ready platform to amplify your brand message.

Targeted Marketing

As a small business, you need to ensure that you target the right audience to ensure a good return on your investment. We recommend that small businesses start their influencer marketing by collaborating with micro-influencers. As the size of the audience of a micro-influencer is small, their followers are more likely to follow them because of their interests. Once you find the right influencer for your brand, it gives you a platform to reach a targeted audience for your brand.

Build Social Proof and Trust

Over the past few decades, people have developed a distrust for corporate brands. There is a perception that brands and corporations are greedy or manipulative. As humans, we trust other humans more than we believe brands. There is an age-old adage in marketing that says, “people buy from people, not businesses.” Influencer marketing builds on this belief and enables people (your customers) to buy from people (your influencers). Think of it this way. Would you buy something because you saw an ad or because your closest friend recommended it to you?

Affordable and cost-effective marketing

One of the most significant advantages of micro-influencers is that they are affordable and very cost-effective. Cost is an essential consideration for small businesses, which usually have limited budgets, unlike mega-corporations. Micro-influencers have a more modest following but often provide high engagement. Since they have a smaller following, they do not charge a lot. Most micro-influencers will partner with you for an average of $200 or less per post. Some of them may even work for free in return for gifts or a pre-agreed subscription of your products.

Influencer marketing is becoming more critical and can hugely benefit small businesses. And if you want to get an edge over your competition, you cannot overlook it. Influencer marketing, combined with a solid social media strategy is the key to growing your small business. Influencers provide you with quick and easy access to a community of satisfied and loyal users. Find an influencer that your target audience already trusts and follows and hand over your product or service to them. There is nothing better than a word-of-mouth recommendation, and an influencer can do that for you.