If you’re a startup or a small business, you might think you’re not a good fit for influencer marketing. While it might be true that you might not be ready to work with big-name influencers (yet), there’s still a huge world of influencer marketing tips specifically for small brands.
Whether you’re an e-commerce brand or a local coffee shop, you have a story to tell and an audience to reach. Influencers of all sizes have tapped into these niches and audiences. They know what messages convert, and you can use their voice to tell your own brand story.
With 72% of Instagram users alone reporting that they make purchase decisions based on things they saw on the platform, you can’t ignore the power of influencer marketing. In this guide, we’ll share the best influencer marketing tips for small brands specifically.
Stick to Relevent Platforms
Too many small brands make the mistake of trying to do it all. Just like how you want to invest in the right tech tools, you want to also use the platforms that are right for you.
Don’t get caught up in trying to market on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and all of the others at one time. You’ll want to hone into your target audience specifically and where they spend time online.
Each platform attracts its own audience. Everyone isn’t everywhere. For example, Facebook is currently more popular amongst middle-aged and older folks. On the other hand, younger audiences are active on TikTok. With this in mind, you can choose 1-2 platforms to focus on.
Don’t Underestimate Small Influencers
Another big mistake small businesses make when it comes to influencer marketing is focusing on big numbers. You’re a small brand, so you might actually benefit from using smaller influencers.
In the influencer marketing world, this is called a microinflunecer. These are any creator with between 5k – 50k followers. Though they might have a smaller sphere of influence, they’re also more trusted by their audience. They have more dedicated, focused followers, and this is where you really find value.
Let go of the idea that bigger is better. Pay closer attention to the quality of the audience, not the quanitity.
Create a Customer Persona
Before you start influencer marketing, it’s important to know who you’re marketing to. You need a customer persona. Who is your ideal persona? What does he or she look like? Ask yourself these questions:
- How old is your ideal customer?
- What does he or she do for a living?
- What is his or her family situation?
- Where does he or she spend time online?
- What values matter most to them?
- What attracts his or her attention?
Once you have a clear view of your ideal customer, you’re ready to start looking for influencers that fit this niche. Most established influencers have an idea of who their audience is, and they can help you answer these questions based on who they’re currently creating content for. You want someone who aligns closely with your brand to get the best results.
Pay Their Worth
Too many small brands fail at this influencer marketing tip and it comes back to haunt them. It’s easy to think these influencers should work for free, especially if you really believe in your brand. If you love promoting your product or service, why wouldn’t they?
In reality, a lot of work goes into creating content. Depending on the type of collaboration you have in mind, this could be a lot of work for the creator. They’ve put a lot of time and energy into building an audience already, and this has a lot of value. If it didn’t you wouldn’t be interested in influencer marketing in the first place!
As a general rule of thumb, most brands pay $10 per 1,000 followers. That means if you’re working on an Instagram post with a creator that has 15,000 followers, you should pay them around $150 or so depending on the scope of the collaboration.
If you do choose to pay in product, make sure it’s a worthwhile collaboration. For example, if you have a high-value product, many influencers might feel comfortable working in exchange for free credit, product, software, or service. That being said, understand that many are not open to this type of agreement. This is a two-way street between two business owners.
Let the Influencer Tell the Story
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to let the influencer tell the story in their own words. One mistake many smaller brands make is trying to hyper-focus on the way the creator shares the collaboration. While you might have great ideas, it’s important for the creator to stay true to themselves and their audience.
Allowing them to have greater artistic and creative control ensures the collaboration is genuine and authentic. This shows through to his or her followers. Instead of giving too many directions, let the influencer know your goals for the campaign and the overall points you’d like emphasized. Let them do the rest.
Create a Stronger Influencer Marketing Campaign
When it comes to the best influencer marketing tips, you can’t do much better than this list. As long as you’re being genuine with your audience, your ideal customer, and your partnered creators, you’re on the right track.
Don’t lose sight of what’s really important: telling your brand story in a genuine and real way. Many influencers, even if they have under 10k followers, know how to do this in a way that stands out. Now it’s just time to trust them for yourself.