Influencer Marketing guide for Small Businesses

If you are a young brand who wishes to use social media/influencer marketing, then save and read my blog before you plunge into this new era of Digital Marketing.

On regular basis, several new brands and mompreneurs reach out to me to help them promote their new ventures and ask for tips and guidance to work with influencers

I have been an entrepreneur myself, now a blogger and also been a digital marketer who has worked with top influencers in my last company. Based on these 3 roles I got a fair chance to understand this space to share my take on what new brands must know before they plunge into Influencer Marketing. I have written this blog based on my knowledge, research and experience with the hope that it helps fellow entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Remember- Influencer marketing is not  direct sales. Its brand awareness and promotion which will lead to sales in the long run.

Why should Small Businesses use Influencer Marketing?

As a small business your crucial strategy is to get the word out to your consumers and encourage them to give your business a try. Influencers/bloggers can help to make that connect. Influencer marketing is similar to celebrity endorsement but has a higher weightage as people relate more to a real person with whom they can connect. The dialogue between an influencer and their audience is strong enough to help you generate an ROI of 10 times compared to regular ads and marketing efforts. 

An important benefit of influencer marketing is that you can actually reach out to your niche or a specific target audience. It all depends on the influencers your company works with, and who their audiences are. With more people spending endless hours on social media there are higher chances of your brand reaching to your desired target who may make the purchase on same day!

How is Influencer Marketing for a Small Business different from a that for a Bigger Brand?

Small businesses cannot hire or work with celebrities or top influencers with 100’s of following due to affordability. But the good news is that you can work with Micro influencers who may have followers in range of 0-10,000 with higher engagement rates. New bloggers/influencers will be happy to work with smaller brands as its a huge opportunity for them to showcase their talent and their creativity. This also means your opportunity work with enthusiastic and new age bloggers with an excitement to help market your brand at a much lower cost.

Getting started with Influencer Marketing for Small Business

If you think your brand is ready to take the plunge then here is a checklist of 10 steps to get you started.

1. Rule 1 is to have a good quality Social Media Business page (instagram/facebook) free from any personal/family updates. Once in while showing up yourself helps to connect with your customers but let’s stick to work. Use the intro space well to let people know your business well and to visit your website

2. Social Media is highly visual. Ensure you upload only high quality beautiful and pleasing pictures of your products with important information that will help consumers to make an informed decision. Add product details, pricing and how to buy.

3. A major mistake many small businesses make is hitting in the air. It’s important to understand your products and services and then specify your niche. This will help you choose influencers and bloggers to work with. If you retail mom care products then you should work only with mom bloggers, if you are a travel company then you can work with travel bloggers plus others who also travel and share their stories whether from fashion background or moms who do family trips. 

4. Set your goals like -increasing your brand’s followers, getting more customers, or increasing website traffic. This will help guide you through the rest of the process. Having a goal can also keep you from veering off course.

5. Decide a monthly marketing budget and keep min 60-70% for influencer marketing in initial few months. This can reduce as your brand grows. Strategically plan social media campaigns that are spread over at least 30-60 days.

How to select and work with Influencers?

6. Choosing an influencer to work with is overwhelming. Look for influencers based on your niche only and go through their feed. More than follower numbers look at the content they create and engagement they receive. If their words and lifestyle resonate with your brand, it’s likely their audience will enjoy your products/services and buy them too.

7. Send them professional email with the scope of project to collaborate and ask for their quotes for certain expected work in terms of deliverables. If you really like them try and negotiate for a win win deal. Else let them pass. You can always return to them when you have better budgets but do not spoil the relationships. Look for micro influencers willing to work with you on a barter or small budget. You can request to review the posts they do before it goes up. this helps you ensure its aligned to your expectations and their commitments.

 8. You sell an expensive product or service? You feel you are already giving someone a good barter deal? It may work with few, but most professional macro influencers/bloggers may refuse to work on Barter. At the end of the day it’s their time and effort spent to help YOU to promote YOUR brand. So don’t feel bad if someone refuses to work on barter. They are just sticking with their work ethos. It’s not personal. Add these products/services cost as a part of your marketing budget. Think about this, if you don’t give someone a product to try how else will they be able to review it for YOU? You are the clear receiver here as brand not the influencer. Most can go out and buy your products if they wish to and not worry about reviewing it.

9. Influencer marketing is an ongoing process. Ideate campaigns that your audience can relate to. Plan it in a phased manner to create wave effect over a period of time. Read and research what your competitors do. Planning will be crucial here.

10. Still unsure? Hire a freelancer or a digital agency to guide you. Entrepreneurship is hard and there is as much money to fund.  But if you don’t do it now it won’t matter if you do it later. 

Influencer marketing can help your business grow in abundance. Work hard, choose smart and plan well.

If you are a brand and found this useful, please don’t forget to leave your comment or ask your questions. Happy to help. I have also worked with brands in the past and helped them ideate digital marketing campaigns. You can reach out to me at info.nameplaceanimalthing@gmail.com and I can offer my services to you too.

Women’s Day Celebration with Ariel India – #ShareTheLoad

Every year we celebrate women’s day with so much passion and zeal. As a woman myself, I idealize a world where women and men have equal rights and share to the larger pie whether professional or at home. Though I do see a huge shift in this trend with more men supporting their women whether wives, daughters, sisters or even colleagues we are still a long way to go.

 

 

This year I celebrated this thought through Ariel’s beautifully conceptualised campaign called #ShareTheLoad. Am pretty sure many of you might have witnessed the impact of their previous film sharing a dad’s message to his daughter and emphasizing how important it is for parents to teach their sons just like their daughters. The ongoing mindset where a woman is totally responsible for the household while the man enjoys privileges as a bread earner no longer resonates with the masses.

Ariel invited popular television actors and real-life couple – Ravi Dubey, Sargun Mehta along with Ravi’s Mom Sudha Dubey. The couple shared real life anecdotes and their experience of managing a career and equal household and emphasized on the need for gender parity in a relationship.

The stage was open for interaction with media, general public and influencers. The men in the audience were also taught how to do laundry, so they can go back home and #ShareTheload – EVERYDAY. The idea is to make laundry the face of the movement against inequality within households, because with Ariel, anyone can get best results no matter who does the laundry!

The Super Family!

As a mom blogger am very happy to see how Ariel is urging mothers to raise their children as a generation of equals. After all, parents are responsible for the right upbringing and what our children see at home becomes their guide to lead their future life. All the more important for our husbands to set the right example.

Anti Gravity Booth

Ariel had put up eye-catching installations which shared a message that “Let’s make men doing laundry a reality even on earth”. The idea was to remind parents to teach their sons just like their daughters to grow up to be a responsible partner to #sharetheload

So excited to meet Shagun

The highlight for the day was the special screening of the latest superhero movie Captain Marvel at Select City Mall, PVR Delhi that I was invited to. I was thrilled to watch the movie with Kenisha as Captain Marvel is the first female-led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s an Avengers prequel, telling the story of how Air Force pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes Captain Marvel, one of the most powerful superheroes ever.  I want my daughter to grow up as a fearless, resilient and a confident woman just like Captain Marvel.

 Thank you Ariel for making this women’s day a celebration to cherish for days to come and I hope your message reaches every household to bring a positive change to our society

Know More: http://bit.ly/2TJkJrz

This post is part of a collaboration with Ariel India but the views and opinions shared by me on the #ShareTheLoad initiative are completely my own.