Running a small business is a challenging task, yet it can be very rewarding. The business doesn’t have complex structures and team sizes are small. In most cases, team members know each other, so the concept of working together for collective success is embedded in the culture of an organisation.

However, the lifeline for every business success lies in getting more prospects, which can be nurtured and converted into leads. This generates cash flow, keeps staff busy and pays for cheques each week/month.

influencer marketing

For this reason, businesses invest in marketing. A comprehensive marketing plan would use different resources and channels to get more exposure, increase brand awareness or get more MQL (monthly qualified leads) to turn them into sales. Some channels used could be:

  • Paid ads
  • Articles on industry outlets
  • Newsletters/Social Media
  • Local press
  • Business directories

All these channels will give you ROI (return on investment) which varies, however influencer marketing is a growing industry, which works very well with small businesses. More and more businesses are using influencer marketing to grow their business.

What is Influential Marketing?

Influencer marketing can be in any form which seeks endorsements for a product or service, by a person who has gained expert level and knowledge and has greater influence and a huge following. This could be following on social media accounts, any industry or space. Few examples can be journalists, academics, celebrities and social influencers on the web. It works for both B2B and B2C businesses and is being used by businesses of all sizes in both categories.

Influencer marketing industry size

Influencer marketing is a global industry and is present in every country of the world. “The business insider” states the industry is worth 9 billion dollars and brands are set to spend 15 billion dollars by 2022.

A testimonial CMOs and marketing professionals see it as integral part of their marketing for branding and willing to invest in influencer marketing.

influencer marketing
Example of a beauty blogger/influencer

One reason is just as you can find a Costa Coffee and a chicken shop in every UK high street, you can find an influencer for any platform and industry with small and huge following. If you’re looking for a fashion or a beauty influencer, Instagram will be a great platform for you to increase your reach and raise brand awareness.

However, if you’re into selling information products or run a small business, Facebook influencers can be a good fit for you. Both small and large businesses spend some money on influencer marketing and have seen a healthy ROI when worked with the right influencer.

Why use influencers?

You should be asking this question if you are not aware of influencer marketing and why you should use them. On average, businesses have received a value of 5 dollars on every dollar spend. That’s 5 times return on investment. Influencers can help you in 2 ways in growing business growth:

  • Reach
  • Niche

Reach

With huge followings on their social accounts, influencers can help you increase your reach to a wider audience by just sharing or commenting on your post. This means more people will be aware of your offer and will click on the post to read your message. You will get more traffic on your website and can re target those people to sell your product/services. Some businesses have seen their posts gone viral when shared by couple of influencers.

Niche

The influencers can also help you reach any niche to offer a more targeted message to an audience to meet your objectives whether it is to raise awareness, branding or increase your following.

This can be narrowing it down by demographics, location, industry vertical or business size. For instance, if you’re an accounting business, targeting self-employed people, you can work with bloggers and publications producing content for contractors.  

You will get more authority and chances of signing up clients if the message is endorsed or shared by those influencers, as they have gained the trust of their audience. Influencers in niche markets with a smaller following tend to give better ROI than influencer with general reach. A study conducted by influencer marketing hub found influencers with a following between 50000 – 250000 followers performs 30% better in campaign than influencers with over a million followers.

Builds your authority

Sales professionals will tell you the sales cycle has changed from what it was 20 years ago. With the ton of information available on the web, customers are more aware of the products/services they’re looking for which will help them with solving their problem. They perform their research and do read up on reviews and research for social proof. All clients want to know if the product/service provides a solution to their problem. They look for reviews left by other users in sites such as Google review, Trustpilot and Yelp.

Most businesses will place a review from an influencer using the product/service for credibility. For instance, Ninja Outreach is a blogger and marketing outreach tool that help you with finding influencers and lead generation. They have shared a testimonial from Matthew Woodward, SEO expert and influencer, on their website.

Picture credit: Ninja Outreach

How to approach influencers

You can outreach influencers by performing research on the web, forums and different social media accounts. Be clear with the objectives for approaching them. If you are looking to form a relationship with them than offer something appealing to them.

However, if you are approaching them for product endorsement or a branding campaign, make sure you say that in the email as that is the best way to approach them. Be clear and concise.

You could perform the task manually, which is time consuming and will require a lot of effort. The simpler and easier way is to use a tool like Ninja Outreach which gives allows you to find influencers by:

  • Industry
  • Location
  • Following
  • Platform e.g. Twitter/Instagram

The tool allows you to apply filters to make more targeted search for people you’re looking to work with to achieve your goals. You can sign up for a trial account to try the tool for yourself.

Challenges faced working with influencers

Some people face some challenges working with influencers. This starts with making the initial contact, to scheduling an appointment and then managing ongoing interaction for the duration of campaign. 

Influencers are approached by many people everyday and simply responding to every one is a job on its own. The primary reason for people approaching them is to sponsor a post, endorse their product or perhaps share their tweets/posts.

They can set up a structure and streamline the process by using an app which performs all actions required by them. Those can be:

  • 30 mins discovery call
  • Charge for the consultancy
  • Take payment
  • Monitor interaction

If the client has expressed a desire to work with you and accepted terms, the next step is to check your calendar, book a call and take payment for the service. They can do this by using the all-in-one small business app Grow in Cloud which automates the entire process.

Business owners can setup time their working hours, list the services and sync it with their calendar. They can send a link of their calendar to the client to schedule an appointment which will upload the booking page given below.

influencer marketing

The client will click on the “book an appointment tab” to schedule a call. It will upload a new page showing list of all services you offer. To book a discovery call, they would select “discovery call” tab. This will then upload a calendar and show availability in the time zone of their choice

influencer marketing
Example list of initial services seen by a client

Once the day and time is selected, the client will be prompted to type their name and the type of appointment they want; whether on phone, Skype or in person. The best part for you is they will be prompted to make a payment before completing the booking and will be able to read your cancellation policy before booking. This reduces chances of getting into dispute.

influencer marketing
Example appointment request dialogue

You can take payment by Stripe of PayPal. The payment will land into your account and the booking will be synched to your calendar. Grow in Cloud also enables you to set customised appointment reminders by SMS/emails to reduce chances of now show ups.

With this tool, you can also use the contact management function to better manage your relations with the clients. You can write progress, leave notes and get a 360 view of your interaction with the client. This helps when there are other people also involved in the team making contact with the influencers.

To set up a trial account for Grow in Cloud, you can click here.

Summary

Influencer marketing is here to stay and with the rise of social media and its impact, the industry is growing at rapid pace. More and more businesses will work with influencers in the days to come.

Any solutions, that reduces manual work, streamlines and automates essential admin can only help them to grow. It will also make communication and working with businesses a stress-free, pleasant and joyful experience.

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