A Google study found that “for every person who clicks on the link of an influencer video on YouTube, there are 4 more who do not click but still download the game.”
Translation – the actual conversion rate of an influencer marketing campaign is 4X higher than what is currently measured. And this is a conservative multiplier noticed just in the first week of a campaign going live.
The unseen effects of influencer marketing (and why small businesses can benefit from them)
Google calls it the non-tracked majority. Think of it as the ripples of an influencer campaign that you cannot see. They can be as high as 10X and do not account for long-term effects, as influencer campaigns frequently have an impact months later and on difficult-to-track channels.
That’s a long-winded way of saying influencer marketing works. And it works really well.
Rather, in the digital age, promoting a brand, product, or service without the support of content creators can turn out to be an ambitious endeavour.
Yet, the myth that influencer campaigns are only meant for the big fish in the pond perpetuates. D2C brands like Away, Bombay Shaving Company, Casper, and The Man Company, who have successfully built their businesses by leveraging influencers, stand testament to that.
So, here’s why any budding or small business should use influencer marketing:
Sowing seeds of awareness
Nothing is more important for a fledgling business than creating a buzz and putting it in the spotlight. With their large and fiercely loyal followers, influencers help achieve this holy grail. They make a business more discoverable and recognisable in their community.
Kindling relatable perception
In the absence of a “brand tag”, another objective that small businesses strive hard to achieve is relatability. The perception you want to build is of resonance.
Since creator content doesn’t give the impression of being advertorial, that’s precisely what a business can accomplish with influencer campaigns.
Moreover, influencer opinions are considered trustworthy by customers. So, when growing businesses get creators to review their product or service, they make the brand more relatable.
Harvesting greater returns
Another reason influencer marketing is suitable for small businesses is that it is more cost-effective and produces better returns. Research proves that every dollar spent on influencer marketing delivers a return of as much as $5.20.
You get a higher return on your ad spend. Compared to display advertisements, the ROI of influencer campaigns can be as much as 11 times greater. So, the business not only shells out less but gains more.
Small influencers bring the bacon
There is no doubt influencer marketing is a growth asset for small businesses.
Levelling up a business requires:
- Reaching more audiences
- Building deepe and better brand perception
- All without blowing a hole in the budget.
Influencers make this a reality. But not all influencers are created equal. It is micro and nano-influencers who hold the most potential for small businesses.
These are creators with less than 1,000 to 100,000 followers but a 40% higher engagement rate than bigger influencers. The modest follower base hits the nail on the head for small businesses as it allows access to a specific, targeted market.
Collaborating with them for a campaign increases the chances of the business connecting with consumers already predisposed to their product.
As experts in their niche, these influencers have the power of suasion. But more importantly, their finger is on the pulse of their audience, making every recommendation as mighty as word-of-mouth.
Small businesses further hedge their risk with micro or nano-influencers because the cost is lower. Celebrity or macro-influencers are economically prohibitive, while smaller influencers leave brand pockets unscathed.
Separating the wheat from the chaff
Micro and nano-influencers are very open to brand collaborations and partnerships. That doesn’t mean any small business can rope in any influencer. For the campaign to genuinely work, there has to be synergy between the creator and the brand.
So, how does a small business zero in on the right influencer?
First, comb through the demographics to see if the target market overlaps with the audience of the influencer. Second, sweep through your social media to find a creator who is already interested in or engaged with it.
Always keep an eye on the North Star
Influencer marketing is a win-win situation, irrespective of business size. It lends credibility, fosters awareness, and drives traffic. But for it to truly do its job, the marketers have to let go.
The control and creativity of the narrative have to be in the hands of the influencer; only then the authenticity of the message shines through.
Lastly, mould the influencer campaign according to the North Star—the primary objective the business is aiming for. It could be generating more leads, gaining more followers, or boosting engagement. What matters is that the entire influencer marketing campaign works towards it.