A recent Forbes article discussed why community matters so much for small business owners. By working together, we can create sustainable and thriving business communities that benefit everyone.
“Influencer marketing” is another way of implementing this principle. While a lot of online resources about influencer marketing tend to be directed toward large, high-profile companies who are able to connect with other big-name brands or celebrities, the fact is small businesses can benefit from influencer marketing too.
The Value of Social Media
Influencer marketing is a largely a social media phenomenon. Businesses collaborate with influencers- individuals, brands, or other businesses- on content marketing campaigns so that they may share their audiences. It is a mutually-beneficial operation that expands the outreach of both parties, and it is completely doable for small businesses to participate.
Social media has made it cheaper and more efficient for small businesses to connect with potential clients, customers, and other businesses. Your target audience is literally a click away, and social media marketing costs far less than traditional mediums like print, television or radio.
There’s no reason why you, as a small business owner, can’t build meaningful relationships with the influencers in your immediate vicinity. Here’s how.
How To Benefit (Mutually) From Online Influencers
Determine which influencers you should network with. Is there an individual, brand or business in your community who potential clients or customers might look to for referrals? Which voices in your community do your neighbors turn to for local news or industry advice? Perhaps one of these “influencers” is a past client or customer?
Commit to networking and promoting. Be visible to these influencers, whether by attending in-person events or commenting on their online content. Promote these events, and forward their content to your audience. Networking is an ongoing, long-term process, but try to figure what your influencers’ goals are and how you can help them.
Team up, then cross-promote. Collaborate on a marketing campaign, event or giveaway, or online content that benefits the both of you. Some examples:
- Collaborate on a social media takeover, during which your influencer takes control of one of your social media accounts- like Instagram- and provides content that both audiences will see
- Host an online giveaway with your influencer. Donate a product or service for a chance to expand your customer base.
- Offer to write relevant guest articles for your influencer, then cross-promote each other.
- Host a collaborative webinar.
Make yourself a desirable influencer. Our article, “How To Become An “Industry Expert,” will walk you through all the steps to actually become an influencer. Write blog posts about the latest industry news, and be active in forums. Provide your audience with unique, expert advice, and be inclusive by tagging clients and businesses you’ve collaborated with. If you dedicate yourself to create meaningful content on a regular basis, and boosting other individuals and businesses while you’re at it, you’ll become an influencer in no time!
What If I Don’t Have Time?
You may already know that having an active social media presence will boost your long-term success, but you just don’t have the time. DCA Virtual Business Support is here for you. Reach out to us for more information on how you can make social media a part of your overall business strategy! [email protected]
For more helpful advice on managing your small business, follow DCA Virtual Business Support on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and our brand-new Instagram page. In celebration of our five-year anniversary, we’ve got some exciting things on the horizon… including our own takeover!