Small businesses can benefit from partnering with local micro-influencers who are a better fit for their brand and don’t break the bank.
According to Sprout Social, 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media. Research conducted by Twitter has also reported that nearly 40% of users claim to have made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer, proving that social media influencer marketing can be a worthwhile investment. While it is certainly an attractive marketing tool, a lot of small businesses may feel that social media influencer campaigns are still out of reach.
When most people think about social media influencers, they liken it to big celebrities being paid thousands of Rands for one or two Instagram posts, posing with a product. But what they may not realise, is that partnering with huge celebrities is not always effective, and that small businesses can benefit from partnering with local micro-influencers who are a better fit for their brand and don’t break the bank.
“Really knowing and understanding your audience is key to aligning with the right influencers. You can partner with a massive global celebrity who has millions of followers, but you have to ask yourself if you are really reaching your target audience. Being more selective can definitely be more effective in attaining your end goal,” says Camilla Lor, Group Property Marketing Executive for Hyprop Investments Limited and strategist for the Canal Walk #CWSquad social media influencer campaign.
Lor shares her insights on where to start and what to look out for when running a social media influencer campaign for your small business.
Finding the fit that speaks to your target audience
When choosing an influencer, it’s normal to become pre-occupied with how big their following is. While this is an important factor, it’s more critical that the influencer has a proven success with their audience, which ultimately is your target demographic. Look at the engagement on the influencer’s posts. What are his/her followers commenting? How are they interacting with the posts? Are the followers sharing the content? Are their followers the potential customers your brand wants to be interacting with and speaking to? At the end of the day, you want the influencer you partner with to have a real relationship with their followers, as this will ultimately yield better results for your campaign.
Know your messaging end goal
Knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve will help you select the right influencer/s for your campaign. Some questions to ask yourself include: Do you want to increase brand awareness in general? Do you want to raise awareness about a particular product? Are you looking to increase engagement on your brands own social media platform? For example, the aim with our Canal Walk #CWSquad campaign was to highlight the message of community and connection, which is what our brand stands for. This informed the selection of our three local influencers (Nadia Jaftha, Aqeelah Harron Ally and Paula Lakay) who embodied the values of our customers and could convey this through the type of content they produce. The #CWsquad is all about fun, and when you put these three girls together, we see fun and connectedness.
Put the content in the hands of the influencer
For small businesses, creating content can be one of the most expensive things to do. Partner with influencers who are willing and happy to produce their own organic content. This way you are also showcasing your brand in an authentic way, rather than turning the content into a sales pitch. The more aligned your brand is with your influencer, the more chance that they will create content that will really help you to sell your brand. Not only is the content more trusted by the audience who follows your influencer, there’s a good chance it will be more entertaining than something you could produce yourself in-house.
For the #CWSquad Campaign, each influencer is required to produce both their own content and group content relating to Canal Walk. The ladies we partnered with are serial lifestyle content creators, so this is their expertise. Our brand falls perfectly in line with their content pillars of beauty, fashion, health, entertainment and most important, community, which drives user-generated content. It’s a win-win.
Measuring campaign success
It’s important for small businesses to assess the return on their investment. With a social media influencer campaign, it’s all about the engagement level of posts, so you can ascertain the actual reach of the content. Did followers deeply engage with the content through liking, commenting and sharing? There are some great tools available online that business can use to track this engagement. Look at tools like Iconosquare, Tapinfluence or Sprout Social. If you are satisfied with the level of engagement, it may be worth partnering with the influencer for a second campaign, or sourcing someone with similar appeal.
Camilla Lor is Group Property Marketing Executive for Hyprop Investments Limited and strategist for the Canal Walk #CWSquad social media influencer campaign. For more information on the CWSquad campaign, visit: www.canalwalk.co.za/cwsquad . #CWSquad