Influencer Marketing for SMB Brands

Copy of graphic_icon overlaying photo

Influencer marketing has exploded onto the scene as word-of-mouth marketing for the new era of business building.

This new style of creative marketing allows small and medium-sized businesses to tap into larger audiences by collaborating with an expert, ambassador, celebrity, or athlete to promote their business.

While hiring someone the world adores or trusts isn’t a new way of marketing businesses or products, this new wave of influencer marketing on social media platforms is a trend that has proven itself to be quite effective in recent years.

Influencer marketing—the numbers speak for themselves

According to a recent report, the influencer marketing industry is expected to hit $9.7 billion by the end of 2020, a jump from $6.5 billion in 2019. On top of that, the amount of companies using an influencer has increased by 300% over the last few years. And while dollar figures are on the rise, it appears to be money well spent as another report suggests that for every $1.29 a brand spends on an influencer, they receive an average ROI of $11.38.

If we dig a little deeper into these stats, you’ll also discover that influencer marketing is quickly becoming the way consumers prefer to find companies they want to purchase from.

Think about it — how many times have you checked out a brand or purchased a product because one of your favorite follows has endorsed or recommended it? We’re confident in saying that a majority of us have. In fact, around 50% of consumers who were recently surveyed say they depend on influencer recommendations to guide their purchasing decisions and another 74% look to their favorite social network for the same reason. 

Why should you invest in influencer marketing?

Taking into account the numbers above, it’s safe to say the influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes to increase awareness, engagement, conversion rates, and revenue. To understand where you can get the most bang for your buck is staying abreast of spending trends.

According to a recent report, Millennials make up the majority of the working force, and their spending power is astronomical. In fact, this generation is expected to spend $1.4 trillion this year. They also happen to make up the majority of social media active users and tend to frequently make purchases on or through social media. By fine-tuning your influencer marketing strategy to target your preferred demographic, you can expect outsized engagement and increased revenue.

Just take a look at Adidas’ success with their #MyNeoShoot campaign. They wanted to focus on a younger audience with this campaign as 70% of their Instagram followers were under the age of 35. By partnering with Selena Gomez and Iga Wysocka, the brand with the three stripes was able to tap into this age group and not only increase their sales by 24.2%, but also grow their audience with 41,000 followers. 

What types of influencers can help B2B brands?

There are different types of influencers helping businesses reach new horizons. At the most basic breakdown, influencers are separated into two different levels: micro and macro. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

Micro Influencers:

A micro influencer typically has a following of thousands to tens of thousands of followers on their social platforms. Their marketing efforts typically involve producing relevant content for their audience on social media, blogs, and other types of publications.

Since they have a relatively modest following and consistently push out relevant content, they have impressive engagement rates. A typical collaboration with a micro-influencer usually involves them posting a picture on their Instagram with a brand’s product and writing a blurb about it. Their manageable audience size makes it easy to engage with their audience about your brand and or product. 

While micro influencers may not have the clout or follower count of celebrities or macro influencers, this does not necessarily mean they are less effective. Micro influencers can have ultra-passionate and specific audiences, allowing brands to hone in on the exact audience and fit their campaign to their interests.

Macro Influencers:

This is where your celebrities, athletes, and key opinion leaders come into play. These influential individuals who have hundreds of thousands-to-millions of followers on social and are very well-known across a multitude of industries. As macro influencers are so popular, they’re effective at reaching multiple large audiences across various channels.

Working with a macro-influencer provides a multitude of opportunities to promote your brand or product. Some examples include social media posts, commercials, and online or print ads.

How can you find the right influencer for your brand?

As a small-to-medium-sized business, you have many options to test the waters as you begin to navigate the influencer marketing landscape. Make sure you’re well-aware of how much you’d like to allocate towards this type of marketing efforts and look for a micro-influencer who can work with your budget to bring in a steady ROI.

For example, a business that sells yoga or athletic apparel may look to yoga practitioners on Instagram who have 10,000+ followers who are looking to partner with businesses that make products their audience will love. Take the time to educate them on your products (their followers will undoubtedly have questions and comments on your brand) and develop an authentic, eye-catching campaign featuring the influencer posing in and posting about the apparel. This type of strategy can stretch across multiple industries—it’s not just reserved for yoga products.

The bottom line: Social media has proven to evolve marketing efforts in ways that help businesses bring their brand front-and-center to consumers. Including influencer marketing into your advertising strategy is a surefire way to grow your audience with consumers you want to identify with your brand. 

Related Content

The State of Sponsored Social

Get the full breakdown on 36,000 branded Instagram posts published on behalf of more than 3,200 sponsors in sports