For many small businesses, the biggest problem is that you’re unable to get the word out about who you are and what you do. Great goods and services? You’ve got that covered; but marketing is where you tend to struggle.

An easy way to market your company is to use influencers. Influencers are people who, as the name suggests, are able to influence. How it (generally) works is that you offer an influencer a sample of your product and they offer their honest opinion about it, letting their friends and followers know what they thought.

If you use Instagram regularly then you may notice images of celebrities posing with a product, encouraging their fans to check it out. That’s an example of influencer marketing. (Influencers can be found on several social media sites, from YouTube to Twitter and from Instagram to Facebook).

According to a study from Linqia (via adweek), the use of influencers in marketing is on the rise with 89% of marketers surveyed saying that they are happy with the ‘authentic brand content’ posted by the influencers they work with. 77% said that brand and product engagement is a key benefit, while 56% highlighted increased traffic to the brand’s website as one positive outcome.

The use of influencers has many advantages then, but how do you find the right one to work with? The following three factors should be taken into account:

  • Are They Authentic?: When you look at the influencer’s content, what’s your first thought? Do they seem genuine and honest? Or do they only post sponsored content and not much about their social media presence seems personal? Trust your gut; consumers will trust theirs and they won’t flock to your product if the person promoting doesn’t seem trustworthy.
  • Are They Relevant?: If you really want to get your money’s worth with an influencer then you have to make sure that they are relevant to your brand. It’s no good using a YouTube beauty vlogger to promote your gadget store, for example, and you wouldn’t use a gadget blogger to promote your makeup brand. Look at your demographics (e.g age, location, interests) and see if they line up with the influencer’s.
  • Are They Able to Engage?: This one is absolutely crucial. An influencer may have many subscribers or followers but do those people actually engage with their content? Do they comment? Do they give it ‘likes’? An influencer with less followers may actually be more valuable than a hugely popular one depending on their engagement levels (the more engagement, the more sales for your business) so be sure to double check.

Influencers are more important to your business now than ever.

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