Choosing the Right Influencer: A Small Business Owner’s Guide

A small business faces a variety of challenges. One of the challenges it deals with is engaging in marketing practices with limited funds. Even if a small business has just been launched, it has to do a good amount of marketing to attract consumers.

In today’s times, digital media has emerged as the most effective platform to promote your business. When one discusses phrases like digital media and marketing, the one word that instantly comes up in your mind is that of an ‘influencer’.

An influencer is someone who has a certain number of followers on social media and can get their target audience to buy a particular product or invest in a service by talking about it. They have a certain influence over their consumers and that’s why they are referred to as influencers.

Businesses of all sizes, whether big or small, benefit by investing in influencer marketing. If you are a small business with limited marketing funds at your disposal, you have to be careful while picking influencers to collaborate with. You have to ensure that the influencers you are collaborating with will help in promoting your business and ensure that you get good returns on the marketing money you are spending.

Here is how a small business owner can choose the right influencer:

Decide a Budget

Before you start looking for influencers to collaborate with, you have to be sure about the amount of money you are willing to spend on influencer marketing. Sometimes, brands want to collaborate with certain influencers so desperately that they end up spending more money than they had set aside for influencer marketing. As a small business enterprise, this is one mistake you cannot afford to make.

The first rule of influencer marketing is that you should not overspend. Once you decide on a budget for influencer marketing, you must make it a point to stick to it. If an influencer quotes a particular amount for a collaboration and you are not sure about it, you can reach out to a digital media consultant and check whether the amount quoted by them for the promotional activity is fair or not.

Check the Number of Followers

Checking the number of followers does not mean that you will opt for the influencer who has the biggest following on social media. You must remember that the more the number of followers an influencer has, the higher will be the amount of money charged by them. Once you are sure about your marketing budget, you can approach influencers based on the followers they have.

If you have a very high marketing budget, you can collaborate with mega influencers with a follower count of more than a million. Mostly, small businesses opt for macro, micro and nano influencers who charge a lesser amount of money. While a macro influencer has 100,000 – 1 million followers, a micro-influencer is someone who has 1,000 – 100,000 influencers. A nano influencer tends to have less than 1,000 followers.

Choose a Platform

When a small business has a limited marketing budget, it should focus on carrying out promotional activities on a singular digital platform. This results in the marketing activities taking place in a focused manner and showing prominent results. Though Instagram is the most preferred social media platform for businesses today, you can try some other platforms as well.

Once you are sure about the platform you will be using for your digital marketing activities, things become much simpler. If you decide to promote your business extensively on Instagram, you have to look for influencers on the platform who are relevant and would be the right people to build a connection between your business and its consumers. After choosing the right platform, choosing the right influencer becomes easier.

Analyze Engagement

In the recent past, many influencers have been called out for buying followers or creating fake accounts through digital media agencies and getting them to follow their accounts. By doing this, influencers would try to build a perception of their following and popularity. Because of this reason, you should not choose an influencer solely based on their follower count.

Having a close look at the engagement rates of the posts shared or uploaded by influencers will help you figure out whether they have genuine followers or not. If an influencer has 1 million followers but their posts get only a handful of likes, there is a strong possibility of them having fake followers. Whether you are planning to collaborate with new micro influencers with collab experience or veterans, you should check their engagement rate first.

See Content Quality

When you are running a business, you have to be extremely careful about its branding and positioning. Before forging any kind of partnership or association, you have to be sure that it will not cause any harm to your branding. If you collaborate with an influencer who is known for creating controversial content pieces, it could affect your business adversely.

As a business, you would be concerned about the quality of products or services you provide your consumers with. It is equally important to be conscious of the quality of content that is being put together by the influencers you choose to collaborate with. Apart from checking the aesthetic value of their content, you must also check its tonality, messaging, and structure.

Negotiate Terms

When two individuals or parties get into a partnership, they have to be on the same page. Many influencers tend to be a little unreasonable with their demands. Because of this, influencer marketing ends up becoming a liability for small businesses at times. If you end up spending too much money on influencer marketing, it will not reflect well on your business.

It would be advisable to collaborate with influencers who would be willing to work as per your terms and conditions. At your end, you should ensure the terms and conditions are well etched out and fair for both the parties involved. While you should respect the terms and conditions put across by an influencer, you must ensure that you do not sign up for something that proves to be detrimental to your business.

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