The Complete Guide to Affordable Influencer Marketing for Small and Medium sized Businesses

Influencer Marketing 101

Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest digital strategies for brands large and small. Partnering with popular social media personalities provides access to their engaged follower base, delivers authentic storytelling, and drives real results. 

But many small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s) assume working with influencers is only for big brands with huge marketing budgets. Not so! There are plenty of affordable ways SMBs can tap into influencer marketing to grow their presence online.

Follow these tips to make influencers work for your business, even on a limited budget:

Find Nano or Micro Influencers in Your Niche

You don’t need celebrity sponsors with millions of followers. There are tons of nano influencers (1K-10K followers) and micro influencers (10K-50K followers) who are highly engaged in various niches. Their smaller but targeted audience makes them approachable.

Search relevant hashtags or accounts in your industry to discover quality nano and micro influencers who match your brand. Then reach out to ones who might genuinely like your products. Don’t randomly mass pitch – carefully match potential partners first.

Offer Products in Exchange for Content

Gifting your products to influencers in exchange for posts, stories, or reviews offers great bang for your buck. Make sure to outline expected deliverables upfront in a simple agreement. Welcome honest feedback too – influencers will appreciate that you trust their judgment. 

The key is finding partners who align authentically with your brand. Then this method gets you real user-generated content, valuable exposure, and tailored recommendations.

Host an Influencer Event or Activity

Hosting a special event allows you to invite select influencers to experience your brand in person. Plan something exciting that aligns with your products or services. You can keep costs down by holding it at your place of business if possible.

Influencers who attend events are likely to feature the experience across their social channels. Make sure to capture high quality photos/videos you can repurpose too. Attract relevant influencers by offering unique access and fun exclusive activities.

Collaborate on Giveaways to Increase Reach

Giveaways are a proven way to increase engagement and followers. By partnering with complementary influencers on contests and sweepstakes, each of you can share the giveaway with your respective audiences – instantly expanding the potential reach.

Offer an exciting prize related to your business to generate plenty of entrants. Make the steps to enter simple. Everyone who participates must follow both accounts. This tactic helps you and the influencers rapidly grow followers within each other’s niches.

Hire an Influencer Marketing Agency

Of course, identifying and vetting quality influencers, negotiating agreements, managing campaigns, and tracking results – it all takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t have the bandwidth as a lean SMB, consider hiring an influencer marketing agency like Zodiac Global to handle the heavy lifting.

These agencies already have established influencer relationships in various niches. They’ll match you with relevant partners, make sure contractual expectations are clear for both sides, advise on campaign strategy, and provide reporting to showcase your ROI. Essentially, they use their expertise so you can benefit from influencer marketing without the headache of figuring it all out yourself.

Companies like Zodiac Global do this all day long and their expert teams can work out all the details for you. 

The rates influencer agencies charge vary widely but can ultimately save you money compared to investing internal resources. Do your research to find an agency that seems to offer good value and specialises in your specific industry. Then leave the campaign details to the experts while you focus on your core business!

Leverage UGC Content Libraries

User-generated content (UGC) from influencers provides authenticity that brand-created content often lacks. But it can be tricky managing and storing all that UGC from various partners. This is where UGC content libraries come in handy.

Platforms like People Spark, Olapic, and Photoslurp allow you to easily access a searchable database of rights-cleared UGC from diverse creators. You can sort by campaign, influencer, product, media type, and more. That makes curating and repurposing quality UGC for your email blasts, social posts, ads, and website a breeze.

The licensing fees to access these libraries can fit many SMB budgets. And they ensure proper rights, consent, and credits for the content you utilize. It maximizes the return from your influencer partnerships.

Use Discount Codes to Track ROI

To understand the concrete ROI of working with influencers, use trackable promotion codes or links. Provide each influencer with a unique discount code or special URL to share with followers that drive them to your site or product.

Then you can directly see how much traffic, how many sales, and what revenue you generate from each influencer partnership. Insights like conversion rates and average order value per influencer will help you determine your true return and who your best partners are.

With concrete metrics tied to performance, you can better calculate your overall influencer marketing program ROI. Discount codes provide the data you need to double down on what’s working and adjust what’s not.

Our Thoughts…

Influencer marketing is no longer reserved for huge brands with massive budgets. As an agile small or medium business, you can absolutely leverage influencers to raise your profile, connect with potential customers, and drive real growth. Start small by looking for authentic matches in your niche and exchanging product gifts for content. Host engaging events to court local influencers.

 Partner strategically on giveaways for expanded reach. And don’t be afraid to hand things off to a trusted influencer agency so you can optimise efforts while remaining focused on your core business. With the right approach, influencers can become invaluable marketing allies for your SMB’s success.

If you like this, you might be interested in: Blue Tick Updates 2023

Reach out to Zodiac Global here to find out how we can help you align your brand with the stars. Or, if you’re an influencer, contact us for talent management services.

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