We are sure you have seen social media users promoting big name brands on social media. From H&M (clothing store) to Mcdonalds, influencers are constantly being approached by these multinational corporations.
However, today’s article would focus on debunking the stereotype that influencer marketing is only for big businesses. We would explain why SME influencer marketing can be successful here.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing can be broadly defined as marketing through the use of influencers. Influencers refers to individuals that have the ability to influence the perception and decisions of others.
SME influencer marketing
Some of you might question whether influencer marketing is truly suitable for SMEs. After all, aren’t influencers expensive to work with?
Well, that is not true. This is because you decide the budget of your own influencer marketing campaign.
Who do you want to work with? How many influencers do you want to work with? The answers to these questions are determined by your influencer marketing budget.
Yes, there are influencers that might charge more than others. These influencers are usually macro-influencers. Due to their large reach, it might be more costly to work with them. However, you do not necessarily work with these influencers.
You can always choose to work with micro-influencers. They are Influencers that have a smaller following and therefore tend to be less costly to work with.
However, despite the difference in follower count, micro and macro-influencers have their respective benefits.
Macro influencers are good for spreading the general message across to a large number of people while micro-influencers are good to gain the attention of a smaller group of internet users. Therefore, smaller brands will still be able to compete with big brand names when it comes to influencer marketing.
SME influencer marketing example #1. Banza
How do you get someone to buy your product? The very first step should be to let them know about your product. Without awareness, there will not be any subsequent consumer action.
Therefore, influencer marketing is often used to get the word out for new products. The Banza example establishes this well.
Banza is a chickpea pasta company. When it first entered the market, not many people were aware of its products. After all, their products are rather unique.
Therefore, to promote this new concept of chickpea pasta, Brain Rudolph, founder of Banza contacted influencers through emails introducing their products.
Rudolph also contacted influencers through their social media platforms, offering them opportunities to try out this new product.
Influencers who enjoyed the product then went on to share about it on social media, increasing the exposure of Banza’s products.
With its novel product, many were interested and started out trying and sharing the products, accounting for a large part of the success Banza sees today.
SME influencer marketing example #2. Leesa
Secondly, we have Leesa a luxury mattress company. In 2014, Leesa can be considered a small company and was still relatively unknown by the masses. Lessa, therefore, set out to expand its brand name and market by reaching out to millennials.
As a small company, Leesa did not have a showroom for customers to experience the mattress for themselves. Therefore, other methods were required to convince consumers to purchase their products.
Leesa thus decided on influencer marketing. Leesa started off with selecting influencers they felt were the right fit for their brand and its marketing objectives.
Influencers the brand chose were key bloggers who specialize in DIY, style spaces, and interior design.
Influencers were then invited to promote the brand online. For instance, there were influencers that wrote reviews covering the firmness and comfort of Leesa’s mattresses.
The strategic decision of choosing relevant influencers helped propel the small company to the success it sees today, It was subsequently reported that this influencer marketing campaign directed more than 100,000 clicks to their website.
SME influencer marketing example #3. Hollin
Hollin is a bubble tea shop that focuses on handmade pearls.
Bubble tea fanatics might be well aware of the number of bubble tea options available in the Singapore market. To add on, at the time of Hollin’s entrance, there were big brands such as Koi that dominated the market.
Therefore, competition in the bubble tea market was rather high, which made it necessary for Hollin to market itself as a brand that offers something special.
Hollin’s marketing strategy involved a group of social media influencers. Amongst them included food influencers such as @zanthrea. The use of influencers to spread the word about the unique drinks of Hollin proved to be a success.
The aesthetically pleasing drinks of Hollin thrived on the visually-driven social media platform of Instagram.
How to find the best fit influencers | SME influencer marketing
If you have decided on influencer marketing, the next step would be to look for the influencers your brand wishes to work with.
A rule of thumb for finding the best fit influencers is to approach people that are relevant to your brand. This means that influencers you work with have a niche in your product category and are recognized for their knowledge in it.
You can look for influencers in multiple ways. Firstly, by approaching influencer marketing agencies. Secondly, you can look for influencers yourself. You can do so by browsing through relevant hashtags to find suitable influencers or by checking which influencer has mentioned your brand.
In a nutshell, influencer marketing is for everyone. Regardless of the objective, the size of your company or the budget your brand has for marketing, influencer marketing can be used. A quick tip would be to tailor the approach of your campaign based on your brand’s current needs.
With that, we wish you the best luck in your future influencer marketing endeavors!
*Illustrations belong to the respective authors*