Influencer marketing for small and medium-sized businesses
Influencer marketing is a central buzzword in modern online marketing. But what does this concept mean and how can your business benefit?
The term 'influencer marketing' generally refers to the planning, management and targeted use of so-called 'influencers', who make recommendations in order to positively influence the buying behaviour of the target group. Influencers are social media opinion leaders who regularly post content on a particular topic, primarily of their own accord, to initiate social interaction.
Influencer marketing is often used as an advertising tool by large companies - but this strategy is also becoming increasingly popular in the SME sector. In this post, we summarise why you should use influencer marketing to increase your sales and what you should be looking out for.
Why should I use influencer marketing for my SME?
Due to the emergence of more advertising channels, it makes sense to reach customers on alternative levels. Working with influencers offers additional potential to conventional advertising media and thus serves as an ideal supplement to newsletter- and social media marketing.
Here are 3 reasons why you should use this particular marketing strategy for your business:
1. Increase brand awareness
Brand awareness is essentially a measure of how familiar the target audience is with your brand. The greater this value, the more trust (potential) customers have in your brand. In the long run, increased brand awareness boosts your chances of generating leads and thus increasing your sales. With the help of influencers, this can be positively influenced by giveaways, for example. Influencers can share giveaways with your products on their social media platforms, reaching a large and new target audience and thus automatically increasing brand awareness. If you don't have good contact with influencers yet, you can start by sending them small gifts or trial packages and hope they'll post your product. This way, you can build a relationship with a specific opinion leader and ensure future collaboration.
2. Expanding your reach
Influencer marketing campaigns are pretty much always hosted on social media. Mutual tagging increases the reach of your social media channels in addition to brand awareness. However, when selecting an influencer, don't just make sure that they have the largest possible reach/follower count, but also how many interested people in the crucial target group can be reached. An influencer who is only known and appreciated for a certain reason can reach more relevant people than one who simply has many followers.
3. "Influencer product test" for difficult-to-explain products
If you offer a product that is difficult to sell through traditional advertising, influencer marketing may be just what you need. Many opinion leaders test out various products "live" via YouTube videos, Instagram reels or simply in their Stories. Therefore, the use of your product is presented in moving images and possible questions of your target group can be automatically clarified.
Now you've learned why you should use influencer collaborations for your business. In order to plan the most successful campaign possible, the following is a list of what SMEs should pay particular attention to:
- Define the target group
At the beginning of an influencer campaign, it’s first necessary to clarify whether it is at all possible to address the desired target group with corresponding opinion leaders. If this is the case, the target group must be precisely defined. All measures to be implemented during the campaign are based on this definition.
- The right influencer
Choosing the right person to represent your company can be difficult. First of all, it is necessary to take into account that the professional focus as well as their wording, image and personality corresponds to your brand. The influencer must be able to identify with your company in order to get the message across to their followers as authentically as possible.
In order to spread the message of your business in the best possible way and to reach potential customers in the long term, it’s important that an influencer can demonstrate certain storytelling qualities. It is not enough to simply publish prepared content through the opinion leader. This person should bring in their personal experiences and tell a kind of story, because this is more likely to be retold and thus has a much greater memory value.
- Consider nano & micro influencers
Successful influencer marketing is not measured by the number of followers the influencer has. Campaigns with nano (1k - 10k followers) or micro-influencers (10k - 50k followers) can be just as successful - sometimes even more effective. "Smaller" influencers usually bring more specialisation to the table and, meanwhile, are naturally much cheaper than working with "big" opinion leaders.
- Precisely define goals
A clear objective is essential for all online marketing measures - and this is also true for influencer marketing. Goals can include an increase in website traffic, the purchase of a product, or simply making contact. Influencer marketing can only work sustainably through defined goals and their evaluation. Analysis is also important to learn from mistakes and can make future campaigns as effective as possible.
Influencer marketing offers alternative and diverse opportunities to sustainably increase your sales. Invest enough time in preparations, definitions of your goals and analysis. Keeping these points in mind, your influencer marketing campaign is sure to be a great success.