How Small Businesses Can Use Influencer Marketing in 2019


If you've been hearing about influencer marketing but haven't dipped your toe in yet or you are wondering how you could use it for your business, I've put together some tactics for small businesses for how to use influencer marketing in 2019:

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Perhaps you’ve wanted to incorporate influencer marketing into your strategy but have been too afraid of the risks. It can seem like a highly competitive industry where only the big companies with huge budgets who treat influencers to lavish trips and extravagant gifts monopolise the attention of those social influencers with over a million followers.

However, the influencer marketing industry has become highly saturated at the top. The influencers that have grown in popularity and online fame have lost their relatability that once distinguished them from traditional celebrities. With trends like nano-influencers and e-sport being so prevalent to 2019, there has never been more opportunity for small businesses to use influencer marketing and reap the benefits.

I’ve narrowed down the best tactics for small businesses to use influencer marketing to help them stand out from the crowd.

Recommended reading: The Most Effective Marketing Strategies For Small Business

Who are nano-influencers?

Everyone on Instagram has that friend or knows someone from their hometown, who is really popular on Instagram and has the ability to gain thousands of likes and comments in minutes. Nano-influencers are ordinary people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are keen to advertise products or services on social media. Their lack of fame is their very asset which makes them more relatable and trustworthy compared to the more popular influencers in their industry.

For small businesses, nano-influencers are a great opportunity to increase your brand exposure and purchase intentions amongst a highly engaged audience. Small businesses can find these new age influencers by researching the most popular hashtags in their niche. It’s also worth having a look at the influencer content that other businesses in your industry post on their social channels.

Nano-influencers will be commenting on such content, inadvertently promoting themselves by inviting them to have a look at their content on the same topic or products. Another surefire way to find them is to have a scroll through #bloggerrequest on Twitter, as nano-influencers will be undoubtedly promoting themselves for collaboration on there.

Recommended reading: 10 Low Cost But Effective Marketing Strategies for Startups

Look out for emerging industries

Don’t just assume that as, for instance, a healthy drinks company that you should only partner with sports and fitness influencers. For a competitive advantage, small businesses should look for new industries to get the best ROI.

If you have never heard of eSports, don’t worry. Just know that it is extremely popular and set to be worth £1.25 billion by 2019. eSports is the official name given to competitive video gaming.

So where’s the relevance within the industry that they have to promote your products? Influencers in this realm aren’t stereotypical geeks - they’re a pool of influencers of all genders and ages with multi-faceted interests for small businesses to choose from. They have thousands of devoted subscribers who watch them compete live via apps like Twitch. The live nature of these influencers’ content means that small businesses can expect quicker results for, say, giving them one of those previously mentioned healthy drinks to stick on their desk whilst they play video games for their thousands of viewers.

Choose unique content distribution channels

Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing. You can’t scroll long until you see an influencer promoting some form of protein shakes or fit tea. This has lead to an intense competition of brands vying for a spot on an influencer’s newsfeed. The competitive nature means growing your brand’s exposure and engagement on newsfeeds can be a lot trickier, even if you are using paid advertising.

In order for small businesses to get their content seen on Instagram, it is worth prioritising Instagram Stories over posts. Instagram Stories have prime real estate and stand at the top of the app, meaning that they’re viewed by a lot of users first, before they even consider scrolling down to see normal posts. What was once merely 24-hour content, they can also now be permanently saved on an influencers’ profile as a “highlight”.

According to Instagram’s internal data, the 400 million users who watch Instagram stories are so engaged that brands see a 75% completion rate on their content. This means their audience stays to watch all the way to the last story frame.

In short, when you partner with an influencer, ask them to post on their Instagram story instead of an actual post, or both if they’re offering the other for free. It will be a bit cheaper compared to their asking price for a traditional post and your target audience are more likely to see it.

It is important for the relationship between an influencer and a brand to be mutually beneficial, and not seen as merely a transaction. Going into 2019, as the influencer industry becomes even more saturated, small businesses should keep an eye on nano-influencers and emerging industries so they can benefit from this trend strategically and competitively.

Over to you now. Have you worked with influencer marketing for your business? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019
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