What is influencer marketing? In online marketing, influencer marketing is based on the fact that consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands. Building trust online is essential to making sales, and influencer marketing builds trust and credibility in a way no other marketing method can because influencers are people who have: Reach through social media or some other form (they can reach a large number of people). So influencer marketing is using influencers to promote products or services to the followers who believe in them. Why influencer marketing? When he or she recommends your goods, you can be sure that many of their followers will buy into what they say. In 2014, at the time a small luxury mattress company, Leesa, who deals directly with consumers, needed a way to reach millennials. Micro-influencers – these are people with followers on social media of about 1000 – 10000; large enough to have influence but small enough to “get” to. What to look for: Are their followers the right audience for your business? How to find them: Your own followers If you have already built up some social media presence, you may have Twitter or Instagram followers who are micro-influencers.
28% of marketers report that influencer marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition method. We’ll get into why in a bit…
But does it work for solopreneurs and small business?
And it can be done for free, or by using low-cost tools.
This article focuses on businesses that don’t have big budgets for marketing but are prepared to put in the work to find real influencers who will believe in their products and services and get excited about a potential partnership to help your business grow.
What is influencer marketing?
Word of mouth marketing has always been the most powerful form of marketing, from the minute people started selling stuff way back when, and it still stands true today.
In online marketing, influencer marketing is based on the fact that consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands.
It makes sense because the average online user is exposed to about 3000 brand messages every day. It’s too much.
And online, where you can’t actually see the face on the other side of the computer, trust is key.
Building trust online is essential to making sales, and influencer marketing builds trust and credibility in a way no other marketing method can because influencers are people who have:
- Reach through social media or some other form (they can reach a large number of people).
- Credibility they’ve built in a certain area; they’re viewed by others as experts, and
- Sales and communication skills that persuade people to try or buy.
In addition, they share these personality traits:
- They like to try new things
- They enjoy sharing
- They’re motivated
Influencers are not necessarily celebrities, just people who have authority in a certain niche.
So influencer marketing is using influencers to promote products or services to the followers who believe in them.
But. When an influencer promotes your goods, it has to be done naturally and sincerely because influencers are usually people who have built their credibility by being credible. And that is where the trickiness of this type of marketing comes in, which we’ll get to.
Solopreneurs who use influencer marketing, tap into the power of a person’s influence online.
If you’re wondering how effective it is… more than 67% of marketers are increasing their budgets to accommodate this technique.
Having said that, it’s not only big companies who are investing in influencer marketing.
Solopreneurs, without a big budget, or even any budget, can also utilize influencer marketing.
Why influencer marketing?
There’s many digital methods of marketing, such as:
- Search engine marketing
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- SMS marketing
- Affiliate marketing
And so on.
And yet, a study shows an increase of 325% in Google searches for “influencer marketing” in one year, which confirms the growing popularity of the strategy. That can only mean one thing: influencer marketing works.
Indeed, a report by Linquia found that 92% of marketers say that influencer marketing is effective.
It’s all about T-R-U-S-T.
Traditionally, people would do business with people they liked and trusted. And because they would go into a physical store where “real” people could be seen working, consumers would go into a shop and believe that if they were to buy something that needed to be returned and refunded, all they’d need to do is simply return to the shop with the item and proof of payment, and Bob’s Your Uncle.
Or before they’d agree to accepting a service, they’d meet with a representative and discuss the deal.
Digital marketing is different because generally speaking, consumers don’t interact with humans, but with clicks. This is why email and social media marketing are still so important – because when done correctly, relationships and trust are built.
Digitally speaking, humans find it hard to trust online brands because they can’t see the humans face-to-face behind the computer.
A whopping 70% of millennial consumers are influenced to purchase by recommendations of their peers.
And this is why influencer marketing is so effective; the influencer has built trust with a large group of people. When they endorse a product or service, their followers consider the influencer a trusted peer, and so the influencer has tremendous persuasive power.
To boot, influencers are so much more interesting than brands. For example, Imforza says that 86% of the most-watched videos on YouTube about beauty were made by influencers, compared to a mere 14% from brands. Brands are boring and focus on the promotional aspects, but influencers treat their audience as buddies. And buddies are far more fun than business meetings.
When he or she recommends your goods, you can be sure that many of their followers will buy into what they say.
Instead of you as a solopreneur needing to build credibility from scratch via various channels like social media and email marketing, a two minute discussion about your goods from the mouth of an influencer can generate more sales than had you spent months of hard work trying to build trust.
Motivating factors for influencers
Not all influencers will want to partner with you. And that’s OK. But it helps to know what will motivate people to help grow your business.
This is the formula that motivates micro-influencers:
They believe in your products or services +
Have an audience that would also be into your goods +
You are not direct competitors.
And here’s the proof to back it up: