Influencer Marketing 101: 6 Ideas For Small Businesses
What is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is a strategy where brands collaborate with individuals who have a significant and engaged following on social media platforms. These influencers, often experts or enthusiasts in specific niches, promote the brand’s products or services to their audience, leveraging their trust and influence to drive brand awareness, engagement, and potential sales.
Brands need influencer marketing because it taps into the authenticity and credibility of influencers. In a world where consumers are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising, influencer endorsements provide a more relatable and genuine connection. Influencers have built trust with their followers over time, making their recommendations more persuasive.
Moreover, influencer marketing is not just for big brands. Even small businesses can reap the benefits of influencer marketing. In fact, influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses to gain trust, expand their reach, and generate authentic connections with their target audience.
And that’s why in this blog, we’re going to explore ideas that small businesses can use to incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing strategies.
Let’s get to it then!
6 Ideas for Small Businesses to Incorporate Influencer Marketing
1. Educational Webinars or Workshops
Educational webinars and workshops with influencers in your niche can be highly beneficial for small businesses.
Let’s look at some in-detail benefits of this influencer marketing idea.
- By partnering with influencers who are experts in your industry, you can position your business as an authority and a credible source of information.
- The knowledge sharing that happens during these webinars and workshops provides value to your audience.
- Audience expansion is one of the top benefits of these types of collaborations. Leveraging the influencer’s existing following exposes your business to a wider and potentially new audience that might not have been aware of your brand.
- And incidentally, you may be creating evergreen pieces of marketing material. Meaning, the content generated from these sessions can be repurposed across various platforms, providing valuable material for social media, blogs, and more.
Let’s now look at some strategies you can implement for a successful collaboration.
- Choose influencers whose expertise aligns closely with your business niche.
- Choose educational topics that are relevant, interesting, and valuable to your audience. These could include deep dives into product ingredients, explaining complex processes, sharing industry insights, and more.
- Decide on the format that suits the topic and audience preferences. It could be a live webinar, a pre-recorded workshop, a panel discussion, or even a podcast-style conversation.
- Collaboratively promote the event across your respective social media channels, email lists, and websites. And also request the respective influencer to do the same. Use clear calls to action and compelling visuals to encourage registration.
- Ensure the content is informative, engaging, and easily understandable. Use visuals like presentations, pamphlets, or illustrations to communicate ideas better.
- After the event, provide attendees with a recording of the session, relevant resources, and an opportunity to continue the conversation through follow-up content or a dedicated community space.
2. Local Influencer Takeover
This is a great influencer marketing idea where you identify local influencers who have a strong following in your area and invite them to take over your social media accounts for a day, sharing their experiences with your products/services and giving a unique local perspective.
Let’s delve into the benefits of such a takeover.
- Leveraging the influencer’s local following can significantly increase your business’s visibility within your target geographical area.
- Influencers can offer a unique perspective on your business, emphasizing its local roots, community involvement, and value.
- The influencer’s content style and approach can diversify your brand’s content strategy, reaching new demographics and keeping your content fresh.
Now for the strategies to bring alive this influencer marketing idea.
- Look for local influencers who align with your brand’s values and have an engaged following within your area.
- Determine the goals of the takeover—whether it’s increasing foot traffic, promoting a specific product or event, or boosting brand awareness.
- Discuss the takeover plan with the influencer, detailing the content they’ll create, the platforms they’ll take over, and the duration of the collaboration
- Allow the influencer creative freedom while providing your brand guidelines and the key points you’d like them to cover. This ensures authenticity while keeping your brand and its message intact.
- Tease the takeover across your social media platforms and email lists. Generate anticipation by creating teaser trailers or intriguing graphics for social media and other digital platforms.
- Both your business and the influencer should cross-promote the takeover on your respective platforms to maximize its impact.
- After the takeover, express gratitude to the influencer and the audience. Consider following up with related content or a recap to maintain the connection.
3. Behind-the-scenes Collaborations
This particular influencer marketing idea has you partnering with an influencer to provide their audience with a behind-the-scenes look at your business. This also ushers in a great deal of benefits to your small business.
Let’s look at some of those benefits.
- Behind-the-scenes content already humanizes brands. So imagine the trust that an influencer can help you garner when they show their followers a glimpse into the ins and outs of your business.
- Involving an influencer to do behind-the-scenes content for you sets you apart from competitors. Because you’re using an outsider to showcase your unique processes, values, and work culture. This too helps audiences trust your brand more.
- This type of collaboration helps you tap into the influencer’s audience to build an emotional connection with them through the stories that the influencer narrates in your stead.
How can you implement this idea? Let’s take a look.
- Choose influencers who resonate with your brand values and are suitable to conduct such a behind-the-scenes activity.
- Determine the main objective of the collaboration, whether it’s introducing a new product, showcasing your work process, or highlighting a specific aspect of your business.
- Collaborate with the influencer to plan the behind-the-scenes content. Decide which areas, processes, or stories you want to share.
- Decide on the content format that best suits your objectives—videos, photos, live streams, or a combination.
- Tease the upcoming behind-the-scenes collaboration through compelling social media posts and stories, generating excitement among your audience. You can even create teaser videos hinting at what’s about to happen.
- And on the day of this influencer marketing collaboration, encourage the influencer to interact with your team during the collaboration. This can lead to interesting and more natural conversations and insights.
4. Influencer Reviews and Testimonials
Genuine reviews and testimonials by influencers can be one of the best influencer marketing ideas. This point is further proved by real-life success stories of small businesses like Banza who implemented this influencer marketing idea.
Let’s look at some in-detail benefits of this type of influencer marketing.
- Positive reviews and testimonials from trusted influencers can lend credibility to your products or services, nurturing potential customers’ purchase decisions.
- Influencers build a loyal following over time and these followers trust their opinions. Their endorsement can directly impact their audience’s perception of your brand.
- Reviews and testimonials by influencers provide diverse content for your marketing efforts. These can be used on your website, social media, and on other promotional materials.
The benefits are not much of value if you don’t know how to implement this idea. So let’s take a look at some strategies to spring this idea into action.
- Choose influencers who are genuinely interested in your products or services and whose audience aligns with your target demographic. For example, if your small business is a makeup and beauty care brand, reach out to someone in the same niche.
- Provide the influencer with a clear understanding of your products or services, their benefits, and key selling points.
- Collaborate with the influencer to determine the best format for the review whether it’s a video, blog post, social media post, or a combination.
- On the same note, encourage the creation of high-quality visuals that showcase the product’s features, packaging, and overall presentation. You could also offer to give them relevant product images, graphics, and other material to ensure they represent your brand aptly.
- Depending on the product, request that the influencer demonstrate the use of your product or service in their everyday life.
5. Cause-Related Campaigns
Partnering with influencers who are aligned with a social cause that your business supports can build a meaningful connection and emphasize your commitment to making a positive impact.
Looking at more of the benefits this influencer marketing idea offers will give you a better understanding.
- Aligning your business with a social cause demonstrates your commitment to that society and therefore gives your brand a positive image.
- Influencers can authentically champion causes they genuinely care about, making their involvement in your campaign resonate deeply with their followers.
- Leveraging an influencer’s reach exposes your cause to a larger audience, raising awareness and encouraging participation.
- A 2019 study found that customers expect brands to do what is right. Pairing that with an influencer who believes in the social cause your brand is trying to promote, can help engagement, reach, and conversions to a higher degree.
Let’s move to see strategies to practically implement this idea.
- Choose a cause that helps your brand’s values shine and resonates with your target audience. The influencer you pick should also genuinely reflect the same commitment you have to the cause.
- Define clear goals for the campaign, whether it’s raising funds, spreading awareness, or driving specific actions like signing petitions, and then communicate the same to the influencer.
- Share stories on social media about how your brand and the influencer are making a difference using compelling graphics and videos.
- Clearly communicate the desired action you want your audience to take—whether it’s making a donation, sharing content, or participating in an event.
- Encourage the influencer to actively engage with their audience, respond to comments, and create conversations around the cause.
6. Product Giveaways
Organize product giveaways where influencers can offer their audience a chance to win your products. This can be such a beneficial influencer marketing tactic.
Let’s look at some of those benefits.
- Giveaways attract attention and encourage participation, leading to increased brand visibility and engagement. And leveraging an influencer’s following allows you to reach a wider audience and potentially gain new followers and customers.
- When an influencer endorses your giveaway, their positive reputation can reflect onto your brand, building trust and credibility.
We’re going to now look at strategies that you can use to execute this idea.
- Define the goals of the giveaway—whether it’s increasing brand awareness, growing your social media following, or promoting a new product.
- Select a prize that’s relevant to your audience and creates genuine excitement. It could be a popular product, a bundle, or an exclusive experience
- Decide on the entry requirements, such as following your accounts, liking the post, tagging friends, and sharing the giveaway.
- Collaborate with the influencer to create visually appealing and engaging social media graphics and videos that announce the giveaway and explain the rules.
- Encourage the influencer to interact with participants, respond to comments, and create excitement throughout the giveaway period.
What’s the Takeaway?
As you can see, these are great influencer marketing ideas that you can leverage to take your business to another level. While traditional marketing methods and marketing designs can be great ways to reach your target audience, this new trend of influencer marketing is a potential gold mine. Did you know that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations with Instagram being the most preferred platform for influencer marketing? And did you also know that for small businesses it’s most beneficial to work with micro-influencers than with mega-influencers? Yep, that’s right.
And if you’re a small business struggling to establish yourself, these stats paired with the benefits we presented for each of these influencer marketing ideas should give you the appropriate nudge to go ahead with an influencer marketing campaign.