Could an Instagram influencer really boost your business?

Influencer marketing is now a billion dollar industry where businesses use individuals who have a large following on social media platforms to endorse their products and/or services.

Traditionally celebrities were used to promote brands but now there is a significant rise in micro-influencers aka “insta-famous” people who create niche content with a large following and engagement level. Businesses can collaborate with micro-influencers are usually through sponsored posts and contests.

Micro-influencers allow businesses to reach their target audience specifically and build brand awareness.

Since Instagram introduced the new algorithm that limits businesses reach, the use of an influencer is a key strategy for businesses as micro-influencers are perceived to be a reliable and trusted source in the eyes of their followers. It is important that businesses collaborate on the content with the influencer, as they know their audience best and they know what they want.

The beauty of micro-influencers is that they are cost effective and can deliver results. Businesses do not need ridiculously large budgets, allowing even small businesses to connect and benefit from the power of this strategy.

As a general rule of thumb, the more followers, the more businesses can expect to pay however, some influencers exchange product/s for their promotion. 84 per cent of micro-influencers charge less than $250 per branded post and 97 per cent of them charge less than $500 for a promotion (note that this may vary).

As a small business, a good strategy is to target multiple micro-influencers that have smaller followings therefore expenditure will be less, additionally offer promotion in exchange for free product first before offering payment, this will be dependent on the influencer.

How to choose the right influencer?

Firstly research the top influencers in your industry, who you believe represent your business and brand well and look for those who have your desired target audience demographic. For small businesses in particular, look for local influencers who are engage with your ideal customers.

When deciding do not solely rely on the number of followers, it is important to also look at the level of engagement as studies show that as an influencers following increases, the number of likes and comments and overall engagement of follower’s decreases.

According to Markerly, targeting micro-influencers who have a following between 1000-10,000 allows brands to achieve higher engagement rates. Look out for fake accounts with fake followers.

Businesses can track the success of sponsored campaigns by getting the influencer to include a share link their bio that leads to a targeted landing page, ensuring it is a trackable link allowing the traffic to be monitored.

Alternatively businesses can offer coupon codes as this allows measurement of the conversion as a result of a specific campaign.

In conclusion, the use of micro-influencers is an effective and cost effective strategy that even small businesses can implement, it is just about finding the right influencers for your brand.

Author: Brooke Vulinovich, social media expert, Villa Management. This article first appeared on Inside Small Business, a sister site to Inside Franchise Business.