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Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses and Startups

Although we regularly see big brands collaborating with influencers on social media, smaller businesses and startups should also turn to influencers in 2023 to promote goals like brand awareness or growth. Accordingly, influencer marketing can offer several benefits for small businesses by understanding how best to approach it.

A man in front of a computer and a woman scanning a box in a warehouse
A man in front of a computer and a woman scanning a box in a warehouse

Key Takeaways

  • Influencer marketing for small businesses and startups has many benefits, including increased brand awareness and credibility, cost-effective and targeted marketing, creative content and increased engagement.
  • Micro and nano-influencers are great collaborative partners for small businesses and startups.

Before discussing the benefits of influencer marketing for small businesses and startups, as well as providing assistance in identifying the right KOLs and ultimately providing two examples of successful partnerships, we would like to point out that we have published our guide to influencer marketing for startups on our blog.

The Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses and Startups

In general, influencer marketing offers the benefits of increasing brand awareness and ROI, among other things – this is true for big brands as well as small businesses and startups. With that being said, let’s explicitly address the benefits of influencer marketing for smaller businesses:

Influencer marketing allows small businesses to reach new audiences that they would not have been able to reach with traditional marketing efforts. Influencers have an established and dedicated fan base, which is why cooperation can lead to increased brand awareness and presence. This advantage is one of the most important points as small businesses and startups are always found first, then (re)recognized and only then purchased.

Influencers enjoy the trust of their followers because they have established a personal (one-to-many) relationship. So take advantage of this, because you can also strengthen your own reputation and credibility.

Furthermore, influencer marketing is a cost-effective way to promote your products or services compared to traditional advertising methods. Depending on the influencer and the scope of the campaign, small businesses may be able to negotiate reasonable prices for sponsored content. Meanwhile, while influencer marketing has a reputation for reaching enormous sums, if you find the right influencers to work with, that doesn’t have to be the case – more on that in a moment. One idea for starting a partnership is Free Gifting, which is giveaways that you send to KOLs. You can read about what to consider when Free Gifting for Influencers on the Kolsquare Influencer Marketing Blog.

Influencer marketing can lead to a greater engagement rate with a small business’s target audience. Especially if you work with nano or micro-influencers, which we recommend, you can count on a very engaged audience. Followers are more likely to interact with sponsored content, leading to higher engagement and potential conversions.

Small businesses can also use influencer marketing to target specific demographics that are particularly relevant to their brand. In general, this is another benefit of influencer marketing, and it’s particularly relevant for small businesses or startups because, for example, their audiences tend to be more local or regional.

If you have no idea how to promote your products and services more creatively, then influencers are a good choice here. They are creative by profession and have their own style and voice, which is the only way they have gained their reach. In addition, influencers know what’s trending or going viral and can implement that to your brand.

Who Are the Right Influencers for Small Businesses?

Finding the right influencers is critical to the success of influencer marketing campaigns for small businesses, especially when working with micro and nano-influencers. These influencers have smaller following numbers but are often more connected to their audience and can have a greater impact on their followers’ purchasing decisions. Follow the steps below to find the right influencers for your next marketing campaign.

  • Define your target audience: To find the right influencers, you first need to know who your target audience is. Consider factors such as age, gender, location, interests and values.
  • Identify potential influencers: Look for KOLs who match your target audience and have a strong following in your niche. For example, you can use social media platforms or influencer marketplaces to find potential influencers. Influencer marketing agencies like Kolsquare can also help you identify the right KOL and simplify campaign execution. You can request a demo of our data- and Technology-powered complete solution anytime here.
  • Assess influencers’ engagement and authenticity: Don’t just look at the number of followers, but also include engagement rate, content quality and authenticity in your considerations. So here again the key point is to check nano and micro-influencers, which are gaining more importance lately. Check the comments, likes and shares to determine if KOLs have an engaged audience that is likely to respond positively to sponsored content.

The following steps are anticipated,, but they still shouldn’t go unmentioned. Once you’ve identified the right influencers, negotiate the terms of your partnership, including the scope of the campaign, the content to be delivered and the compensation. Read negotiation tips and tricks to set the right price for your influencer marketing campaign here.

Tools and Resources to Improve Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Measuring the success of influencer marketing campaigns is essential for small businesses to determine their return on investment (ROI) and make data-driven decisions to optimize future campaigns. Below is a list of tools and resources to help small businesses measure the success of their influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that can be used to track website traffic and user behavior.
  • Analytics tools from the respective social networks: Most social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, offer built-in analytics tools that you can be used to track the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Influencer marketing agencies: In 2023, many platforms and agencies offer tools for small businesses to manage and measure their influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Surveys and Feedback: You can also gather feedback from your customers to determine if your influencer marketing campaigns are resonating with your target audience. A simple call-to-action (CTA), for example, can also increase engagement.
  • Sales data: Finally, track your sales data to determine if your influencer marketing campaigns are leading to conversions and sales.

Two Examples of Successful Influencer Marketing by Small Businesses

German blogger and influencer Luise Morgeneyer earned a following of 102,000 people through honest writing. The Dresden resident, who now lives in Berlin, started early with her blog, where she shared emotions and experiences; today Morgeneyer has her own publishing company and a functioning online business. Accordingly, she recently worked with two different smaller companies.

So with a rented bike, Morgeneyer cruised through Berlin in a reel. This fits her goals, especially with her focus on climate and environmental issues.

In addition, the author also cooperated with the Dutch start-up “A fairer phone”, which uses responsibly sourced materials to manufacture its phones and also cares about the welfare of workers.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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