Photo Credit: shutterstock
If you’re a small business owner, there are a variety of ways that you could use social media to grow your business. For example, you could leverage the power of social networks by launching an influencer marketing campaign. As part of this strategy, your business partners with an online influencer on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube in order to promote your products or services.
“Macro” vs. “Micro” influencers
In order to partner with these influencers, however, you will first need to come up with your overall strategic approach. It all starts with coming up with a clear, concise brand message and a strong understanding of your desired target audience. Once you’ve isolated these two factors, you will be able to find the “right” influencers to help your business grow.
At the outset, one of the biggest considerations that you will have is whether you should work with “macro” influencers (those with more than 10,000 followers) or “micro” influencers (those with less than 10,000 followers). Too many small business owners make the mistake of assuming that they should be trying to line up macro influencers, but the reality is that, for a small local business, it’s often better to partner with micro influencers.
Types of influencer deals available
Partnering with micro influencers really expands the types of deals that you are able to make. For example, if you try to sign up a macro influencer (i.e. someone like one of the Kardashians), you will probably only be able to afford what is known in the industry as a “one-off” deal. In these deals, you pay a big-time celebrity money to make a single post on Facebook or Instagram featuring your products. While that post might reach a large audience, there is absolutely no guarantee that there will be any engagement around that post, or even if there is, that people will be buying more of your products.
When you partner with a micro influencer, though, you might be able to collaborate on a deal that will do more for the long-term success of your brand. For example, another type of influencer deal is known as the “creative partnership” deal. In these deal arrangements, you work directly with the influencer (usually an artist, musician or creative personality) to create a one-of-a-kind product that represents your brand. Typically, the influencer will collect a percentage of any profits from the sale of those products, so he or she has a vested interest in creating something that has direct commercial appeal.
Payment structures for influencer deals
Before contacting macro or micro influencers, it’s also important to have a basic understanding of the various payment structures. A variant of the “pay-per-post” structure, for example, is a licensing deal, where you also get the rights to re-post the original piece of social media content anywhere else on the web. This dramatically improves the “shelf life” of a single social media post, but also comes at a higher price. (Unless you agree to this deal, the intellectual property remains with the creator, even though you paid for it) Another variant of the “pay-per-post” structure is the “pay-per-sale” arrangement, in which payment is only made after a specific number of sales have been made. This type of deal makes more sense from the perspective of a business owner, but may not be as desirable from the perspective of the influencer.
What’s important to keep in mind throughout this process is that the best macro and micro influencer deals involve partnerships and long-term collaboration. The “right” influencer for your business is one who shares your view of the world, and who is able to tap into the right type of niche audience. It might seem much more glamorous to partner with an A-list Hollywood celebrity, but the reality is that you will probably get more bang-for-your-buck by partnering with a micro influencer who shares your outlook on the world.