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In order to build strong customer loyalty, you have to build a relationship based on trust. As a startup or SMB, this is particularly hard, seeing as how you’re the new kid on the block, with no portfolio to back you up. After a successful deal, positive customer experience (CX) might be enough to start building this loyalty and even make some of your customers to come back, however, how do you make them trust before that first deal? The simplest way to pull this off is to get someone who they trust to endorse you. This is what influencer marketing is all about.
Apart from increasing your reach, giving you a credibility boost and creating your identity as a brand, getting associated with the right influencer can do wonders for your public image. Therefore, a great influencer marketing is a key to building a solid foundation for any digital marketing campaign. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several ways in which a strong influencer marketing can help small businesses.
#1 The reputation
While a bigger online celebrity, in theory, means a greater reach, nowadays, more and more people are turning towards micro-influencers. There are several reasons behind this. First, they usually have a more uniform demographic as an audience, which gives you a better ROI during the negotiation. An influencer that has over a million followers is bound to expect to get paid more than one with 50,000 followers. However, what if only five percent of the first influencer’s audience is your target demographic, whereas the latter’s entire audience consists of your potential customers? Is it really worth paying more for same or similar reach boost?
Apart from this, micro-influencers usually have a professional reputation within that community. Influencers that advertise sports equipment are usually athletes or personal trainers, whereas those advertising food venues tend to be nutritionists or medical doctors. In other words, people of knowledge and renown within your target community, those you want to vouch for your brand and those you want to get associated with. By collaborating with reputable people, you stand to have some of that reputation get transferred to your brand, as well.
#2 Offering value to customers
The way in which marketing (and the world of business in general) works is actually quite simple – you offer something of value and you receive something of value in return. This is also the same thing that draws people to certain influencers. For instance, the above-listed athletes can offer some insight into their lifestyle, while others may give some exercise tips. Some influencers may be able to teach their audience how to earn money online, whereas others may create useful tutorials to help their future DIY projects. Depending on your target demographic, you should look for those who can offer your audience the most.
#3 Expanding your reach
Regardless if you go to micro- or macro-influencers, you are expanding your reach more than several times over. Think about it, micro-influencers count followers in thousands (even hundreds of thousands), while macro-influencers do so in millions. When it comes to these massive numbers, just imagine a scenario where 1 in 100 of their followers, decides to share a piece of your content that this influencer is promoting. In other words, your reach suddenly starts an avalanche that helps it grow exponentially.
A success in any niche is not something you can achieve on your own. That being said, there’s a way for influencers to help you outside of your marketing campaign. Renowned people in any industry serve as a beacon for experts and overachievers that are tightly connected to it. So, as a small business, there is a great probability that an influencer you’re working with knows all the people and organizations that you are so desperately trying to get acquainted with. In this way, you can use an influencer for your networking efforts and ask them to introduce you to some of these people. In the long-run, benefits of such a move can really make a huge difference.
#5 Survival in an ad block era
Finally, the era of ads, banners and pop-ups is on its last legs. Why? Well, simply because they’re not particularly user-friendly. In fact, a lot of people find them so annoying that they are likely to install ad block (a third-party software that prevents their activity). As of today, about 26 percent of desktop users have ad block software installed on their browsers. Now, while some advertisers work around this by appealing to their audience or preventing access to their content to those with enabled ad block, others are simply avoiding this obstacle as a whole by investing in other forms of marketing. Influencer marketing is just one branch that remains unaffected by the phenomenon of ad blocking.
The above-listed five ideas are just some of the reasons why influencer marketing will continue to grow. The problem with most automated marketing strategies lies in the absence of the human factor, which is something that most consumers still value highly. Needless to say, influencer marketing is one branch where a human marketer will never become expendable.
Guest Post: Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.