Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses

Earlier this year we talked about link building and the challenges we face in 2019 to make it happen. We touched upon the subject of Influencer Marketing and we wanted to go into a bit more depth about just what Influencer Marketing is and how you can use it to your advantage, even if you are a small business.

 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Wikipedia sum it up pretty well:

Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole on social media. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, and professional advisers).

… Basically, someone popular on social media endorses your brand for a fee/free product and you reap the benefits of their following.

 

Is Influencer Marketing Just For The Big Brands?

Your experience of Influencer Marketing might be limited to people like the Kardashians getting paid $000s for a simple tweet for big brands such as Pepsi or Calvin Klein.

In a world where TV advertising is expensive and ad blockers can hinder your reach, Influencer Marketing is a great way of approaching customers alongside someone they look up to and trust. Hiring a model or a sportsperson to promote your latest niche swimwear line is going to cost you a lot. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that their fans are swimmers and looking to buy your particular niche swimwear. However, if you choose to work with an influencer in the world of swimming, it’s going to cost less and you can be sure that the majority of their fans are looking to emulate them. So choosing influencers to promote your brand can cost less and target niche corners of the market.

 

What Specific Benefits Can Influencers Bring?

The ROI for influencer marketing might be as much as 11 times higher than the ROI for other forms of marketing or advertising.

People are likely to spend more when social media influences them. They are also nearly 30% more likely to buy something on the same day when they use social media.

It’s not all about sales. When targeting potential customers on social media, you can build your brand following.

 

Which Platforms Should Target Influencers Be On?

Instagram is the most well known social media platform for influencers to use to promote brands, but with Facebook Live for videos and twitter reaching so many and encouraging conversation, there’s a lot to choose from. It will depend on your influencer – they might cross-platform promote by default. Take into consideration their following on the platform, as well as the demographics of your target audience (will your grey-pound customers be using Snapchat, for instance?).

 

How Do I Find The Right Influencer?

You’ll want to remember the 3 Rs for this question – no, not those 3 Rs, but Relevance, Resonance and Reach. You want to find an influencer who fits your brand. One that is a potential customer in their own right. They should already be sharing content that mirrors your product or service. You’re looking for user engagement when it comes to resonance. A strong reach is important, but even more important is users who actively engaged with the influencer. Tapinfluence found that this is often higher with ‘micro-influencers’ ones with 5-25,000 followers.

A micro-influencer has an average engagement rate of around 8 percent, while people with more than 10,000 followers have an average engagement rate of just 2.5 percent.

It’s important to look for sponsorship saturation – if an influencer is posting sponsored posts alternately with natural ones, their audience is likely tired of being ‘sold to’. It’s recommended that only 1 in 5-10 posts should be sponsored at most. This is a helpful benchmark.

 

How Much Should I Pay an Influencer?

Some of the biggest influencers charge well into the hundreds of thousands for a single post. Meanwhile, the average micro-influencer charges less than $200.

Ensure you have a signed contract to protect both your interests. This should include pertinent information about what you expect from them, review and creative input, costs/expenses to be paid etc. You can download a template for such a contract here (the link to the template is at the bottom of the article).

 

Influencer Marketing for Small Business Owners Checklist

 

Influencer Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

 

TL/DR? This handy infographic shows you the basics of influencer marketing with some handy stats that might steer you in the right direction for your brand:

Digital Marketing Success With The New Facebook Algorithm

Facebook and Instagram have recently tweaked their algorithm in order to provide a better experience for users. This also means a few new changes for online marketers to get to grips with. To get the most out of your digital marketing campaign, brush up on how the algorithm updates affect audience interactions and what you can do to make things more effective.

Facebook Algorithm
Facebook Algorithm

These recent changes have left brands worried about whether their organic reach will take a hit under the new rules and lower their Facebook audience.The algorithm is broken down into four parts:

  • Inventory (content)
  • Signals (considerations about content)
  • Predictions (considerations about person)
  • And overall score.

Signals are what brands and marketers focus on to have the content viewed by an increased number of users on the news feed. In previous times, Facebook used many signals to decide which posts would be shown to users, including average time spent on content, when it’s posted, story type, a person sharing links over Messenger, comments or likes, multiple replies to comments on a video, the level of information provided, and overall engagement. But now it will use just the active interactions instead, such as comments and shares, so a person sharing a link over Messenger, multiple replies to comments on a video, engagement with a publisher or brand post shared by a friend and comments or likes on a person’s photo or status update.

Facebook values person-to-person connection over person-to-page and therefore will prioritise posts from family and friends over public Page content. This sparks more active engagement from Facebook users. The content is more personalised and worthy of conversation.

There is a difference in active and passive interactions. Active includes comments, sharing and reacting, while passive includes clicking, watching and viewing / hovering. Commenting is very valuable and posts that lead to conversation between people rank higher in the news feed. In fact, live videos get six times as many interactions on average than standard videos. Facebook have advised publishers not to use bait tactics when posting content, such as asking for likes or tags.

Sharing is also important and includes users sharing links or content via Messenger and engagement with a publisher post shared by a friend. Reacting is a form of active engagement and helps brands to reach a wider audience.

So three main tips for brands to focus on during a digital marketing campaign are:
– Create content that connects like-minded individuals
Instead of creating content for your brand, create it for the people. Spark emotion to lead to a share
or a comment. Get to grips with your audience’s motivations, challenges, and what they care about and want to interact with. Content should be interesting and serve a purpose.

– Post content that naturally establish meaningful interactions
Video is a popular and powerful tool with marketers and brands. It is eye-catching and performs
better than links and images in terms of engagement. Live videos are even better.

– Activate niche communities through Facebook Groups
With more than one billion people using Facebook Groups, it is a vital part of the social media’s
user experience. They build active and engaged communities about various topics. Users can
make new friends all over the world and learn new things.

Transform your Twitter social media marketing

Twitter has dropped in popularity with businesses over recent years, as Instagram and Facebook have taken the lead. However, it is still a very valuable marketing tool to use as part of an integrative social media campaign for your business. With our top tips, you can use the site to your advantage and help boost sales.

Twitter
Twitter

1. Competitions
Twitter is popular for competitions amongst users. Put some prizes up for grabs, and tweet using hashtags such as ‘win’, ‘competition’, and ‘giveaway’, to entice users to retweet your post and follow you. This will boost follows and interactions on your page and get your brand out there in front of new audiences. Offering discounts and special deals to the first 50 people who retweet for example is also a fantastic idea or ask people to post pictures of themselves in store.

2. Optimise your bio
Your company voice and identity need to be branded well and look consistent. Tell people who you are in your bio and include a link to your website. Be clear so people immediately understand what you do.

3. Interactions
Interact with customers, influencers and experts in your target areas on a regular basis. Follow like-minded people and search for keywords related to your industry in order to find these. Set up a private Twitter list to keep track of these. HootSuite can also be a valuable tool and make this process much easier. Be casual and helpful, rather than shoving promotions in peoples faces all the time. Build a network and look for collaborations.

4. Tweet often
Tweet on a daily basis, or even several times a day, to make sure you look active. Otherwise people will forget you and your business won’t look busy or exciting. Update your customers on news, new products and special offers. Encourage interactions as much as you can. Use images and videos to make your tweets stand out.

5. Track mentions
Track mentions and keywords so you know what is being said about your brand. Respond in a polite and professional way.

6. Retweet and favourite
Retweet other posts to show your support for similar or relevant brands. Favourite any tweets to get their attention.

7. Follow hashtags
Keep up with the latest trends and follow hashtags then make a link with your brand in some way in order to reach a new audience. Put your business amongst the trending topics to make it stand out. Do not overuse hashtags in case they are seen as spam or look desperate. Less is more!

8. Promoted tweets
Use promoted tweets to reach a greater audience and target the right market to make the biggest impact for your money. Integrate this campaign with your other social media and marketing techniques to make the best out of it. Use analytics to find out how well you are doing and where to improve in the future. This will help you determine what has been the most popular type of content, time of day to post and so on.

Google v/s Facebook : A social Media Clash

Google is Set To Go Head To Head With Facebook. Despite being one of the most recognisable brands worldwide, Google is continuing to step up its expansion by pushing further into the social media arena and building a website to take on the mighty Facebook.
Google’s next big project and latest foray into this market could launch in the next few months and was recently confirmed by Google’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Schmidt, at a press conference as a reply to comments made by a Facebook Executive. Facebook themselves described Google’s forthcoming social media website as “a fairly significant social-media platform.”
The news comes as no surprise following Google surrendering its undisputed daily hits crown to Facebook in March of this year, as Facebook racked up more visitors than its competitor in the United States. It was the first ever time that Facebook’s traffic exceeded Google’s. The search engine giant has been looking to expand its social media offerings for some time given the fact that its current services, Buzz and Orkut have failed to compete with Facebook’s growth, and it appears that falling behind in hits became the catalyst for action.
“Facebook is the leader in the emerging social web. Google is Facebook’s most direct competitor, because Google is dominant in the previous generation of the web, the content-centric web.” said Ray Valdes, an analyst at American-based Gartner Inc.
Google’s latest plans for expansion continue their theme of acquisition and expansion on for this year. They have currently made around 20 purchases in 2010, compared with five last year and it is thought they are stepping up their buying to further enhance their social features and capabilities.
Recent Post : Google Realtime Search

Google Adwords – The Importance of Good Marketing Techniques

These days, every business expert worth their salt is talking about how important online advertising and marketing is for the success for a company, no matter what the industry. Smaller businesses are scrambling to launch websites and establish presence on social media marketing outlets, while larger corporations are seeking ways to use the internet to further track and dissect their target audiences.
If you’re looking for an efficient form of online advertising that will help you get your company name and products in front of only the consumers who are likely to have a need for your offerings, Google Adwords is one of the most important programs for you to investigate.
If you are in the habit of searching or connecting with people on the internet on a regular basis, it’s likely that you’ve been exposed to Google Adwords without even knowing it. It’s no secret that Google is one of the most prolific and influential search engines now in operation, and part of their immense success has come from the strategic use of keywords for marketing purposes. The keywords that people enter into search fields help the search engine to provide relevant results, and in the same fashion, Adwords help Google to display only relevant ads.
It’s important to mention that Google Adwords is a PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising model, meaning that the price that a certain advertiser must pay to have their keyword oriented ads displayed on a certain page are based on historical click-through rates, the relevance of the ad’s text and keywords, a certain advertiser’s account history, and other factors that may be deemed relevant by Google. This can be a very effective cost structure for smaller businesses or those that don’t have much competition in the way of keywords and audience segmentation. Larger companies looking to establish more relevance with popular keywords will have to pay more, but the cost is usually worth it.
If you think that Google Adwords would be a good match for your current marketing needs and advertising budget, it’s important to have a look at the frequently asked questions and Adwords help that are conveniently provided on the Google pages. These informational pages will allow you to see how the best keywords are chosen, and to determine whether the keywords that you want are within your price range. Keep in mind that there are many search engine optimization firms and marketing companies that can set you up with Adwords for an additional fee, but no outside help is needed to start.
Previous: Yahoo Adds Trending for Image and Video Search

Social Media Marketing – Join the Conversation

Social media marketing is an essential component of any online campaign as it allows you engage directly with your customer and more importantly, allows your customer to interact directly with you.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube all allow “members” to both post information and comment on postings from others, including businesses.  Content is immediate and constantly changing.  Members are quick to post a bad experience with a product or business and within minutes all of their friends and their friend’s friends know about it.   If you’re part of the conversation you have the chance to turn the problem into an opportunity.
Web 2.0 ushered in an exciting new era of interactive Internet use, with the creation of sites such as MySpace and Facebook that encouraged user-generated content.  Use of these sites quickly expanded beyond teenagers and college students.  LinkedIn, a business networking site, was launched in March 2003 and within seven years had more than 60 million registered users from over 200 countries.  Members quickly discovered LinkedIn’s effectiveness in lead and referral generation and its potential for social media marketing through an extensive network of business connections and discussion groups.  LinkedIn imposes tight controls on content to prevent overt self promotion.  It is a one kind of Social Media Optimisation.
When Facebook was first created by four college students, its use was strictly limited to Harvard University students for the purpose of helping them get to know each other better.  It was expanded to include other Ivy League schools, then Stanford University, and finally to anyone over age 13 with a valid email address.  Facebook is now the most widely used social network and any social media marketing plan must include it.  Businesses and organizations are able to create their own “page” and invite other users to “like” their page and receive regular updates.  Facebook also offers highly targeted pay per click advertising.
Blogs (a contraction of web logs) are a very important component of Web 2.0.  Anyone can set up a blog and publish whatever they want on any topic they choose. There are no limits on size or restrictions on content, and readers have the ability to comment.  Small business owners were quick to take advantage of blogs as a social media marketing tool and encourage comments or “consumer generated media.”  Twitter is a “microblogging” site which limits posts, called tweets, to 140 characters.  Several applications, including TweetDeck and Search.Twitter.com, have been created to optimize usage.  Twitter recently added paid placement advertising.
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