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Finding an influencer is a versatile business — you can set your budget, research the best influencer platform and also choose which social media platforms to use. — Getty Images/Kritchanut

Influencer marketing has become a great form of marketing in today’s digital age. Essentially, an influencer uses their authority to affect their audience’s purchase decisions. Influencers are paid by businesses to promote a specific product or service, most commonly on their own personal social media channels on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

Influencers work with businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. If you’re interested in engaging an influencer to promote your brand, here’s what you need to know.

What is an influencer?

An influencer is a public figure, usually with a niche following, who has the ability to affect the behavior of their audience. Contrary to popular belief, an influencer does not need to have a large following to make an impact. In fact, many influencers have a small community of people who trust and respect their opinions and endorsements. These “microinfluencers” usually have fewer than 100,000 followers.

Influencers are often paid by brands to sway their audience’s buying decisions. When an influencer backs a specific product or company, their followers typically value their input and are more likely to invest in it themselves.

Benefits of influencer marketing

There are many benefits of investing in influencer marketing for your brand. Here are some specific pros of working with an influencer:

  • Building trust: Since influencers tend to have a
    committed following, they can build their audience’s trust in your brand
    by endorsing your products and/or services. By working with an
    influencer, you’ll gain access to a niche and actively engaged audience.
  • Cultivating brand awareness: Since influencer marketing
    can help you expand your reach, it also helps cultivate awareness
    around your brand. Consumers may have never heard of your brand until
    the influencer they follow endorsed your products. This exposure allows
    you to establish a reputation for your company that will keep buyers
    coming back for more.
  • Adding to your content strategy: When an influencer
    endorses your products on social media, you can share their posts and
    fill the gaps in your own content by posting theirs. This will also
    diversify your content.
  • Helping you reach your target audience: Most likely,
    the influencer you decide to work with will share the same audience
    you’re trying to target. By utilizing their connections, you’ll increase
    your reach and market to the right people.
  • Providing value to your audience: Influencers
    understand their audience’s interests and needs, which will be helpful
    in determining what will provide value to them. If an influencer decides
    to work with your brand, they most likely believe your product will
    help their followers.
  • Building partnerships: Working with an influencer can open a lot of doors and provide many opportunities for more partnerships in the future.

[Read more: 5 Companies Built on Influencer Marketing]

Contrary to popular belief, an influencer does not need to have a large following to make an impact.

Where to find an influencer

There are a plethora of apps and websites that connect influencers with brands. Many sites specialize in one particular channel (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat or another). Here are a few popular platforms that connect companies and influencers:

  • Aspire. This
    platform works with a ton of big brands, including Calvin Klein, GrubHub
    and more. Not only will it connect you with an influencer, but it will
    also track the influencer’s performance (with stats like sales,
    followers driven and engagement).
  • Heepsy. This
    platform comes with a free trial — a great option, if you’re just
    dipping your toes into the world of influencer marketing. It offers
    location targeting as well as microinfluencers.
  • Klear. This platform
    is also trusted by a number of big brands, including IBM, Nike and
    Microsoft. It also offers a unique tool that helps measure Instagram
    Stories.
  • Tapfluence.
    This software specializes in food, beauty, lifestyle and fashion
    influencers, which are some verticals where word of mouth makes all the
    difference.
  • SocialBook. If user acquisition is your goal, consider SocialBook. It can help you increase brand awareness and follower count.
  • Upfluence:
    Upfluence offers a full set of features like its influencer search and
    discovery engine. The platform has a database of over three million
    influencer profiles.
  • Post for Rent:
    This influencer tool allows both brands and influencers to leave
    reviews for each other so other users can browse ratings and understand
    whether the partnership would be a good fit.
  • Dovetale: Dovetale,
    which can be used by any brand, is specifically geared toward e-commerce
    stores and small businesses looking to match with influencers. The
    platform also offers tools to help streamline influencer marketing
    campaigns.

If you’re not interested in working with an official influencer platform, try using a free tool like Skorr or BuzzSumo to find users in your industry that have a high follower count. Reach out to them to indicate you’d like to work with them and see what their rates are.

How much should you pay for an influencer?

Influencers charge different rates based on a few factors. Usually, an influencer will charge on a per-post basis and take into consideration:

  • The number of posts you want.
  • The type of post (i.e., image, video, story, etc.).
  • Their personal stats: fans, followers and engagement.
  • The effort required of them (i.e., whether they will be creating the post, or if you will be).

Costs can vary widely, but expect to pay within the following ranges:

  • Facebook: $25 per 1,000 followers.
  • Instagram: $10 per 1,000 followers.
  • Twitter: $2 per 1,000 followers.
  • Snapchat: $10 per 10,000 followers or views.
  • YouTube: $20 per 1,000 subscribers.
  • Blog: $60 per 1,000 views.

Some platforms, like Tribe, Aspire or Tapfluence, will set rates for the influencer. That can be a good way to make sure your budget is going to the right people and you’re getting the best ROI.

[Read more: 3 Key Facts About Influencer Marketing]

Tips for finding the right influencer

If those prices seem a little high, don’t worry. Small businesses can still capture the power of influencer marketing without paying celebrity-level fees. Here are some inexpensive ways to find the right influencer to market your business:

  • Turn to micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are those
    with 1,000-10,000 followers. These influencers have been proven to
    deliver strong marketing results. If the goal of your campaign is to
    convert a post into sales, then a micro-influencer may be your ideal
    partner.
  • Define your marketing goals. Start by identifying
    experts in your industry or local community, and then hashing out the
    details of their post promotions. From there, you can increase your
    word-of-mouth marketing and boost sales for your small business.
  • Consider your audience. Before you choose an influencer
    to work with, you’ll want to define your audience as clearly as
    possible. Understand who they are, where they hang out, their
    demographics, etc. This information will help you select an influencer
    who is relevant to your target audience rather than one with a following
    who won’t be interested in your products and/or services.
  • Research your competitors and who they work with. If
    you notice influencers working with your competitors, you might consider
    reaching out to them to forge a brand deal. You can find these
    influencers by searching relevant hashtags on social media and browsing
    your competitors’ pages to see who they’re partnering with.
  • Understand your prospective influencer’s authority:
    When vetting a potential influencer, you’ll want to determine whether
    their following, engagement rates, content quality and depth of their
    niche suit your business’s needs.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading
respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you
should consult a professional who can advise you based on your
individual situation.

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Published December 10, 2021



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