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Exploring the Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses

Updated: May 9

An older woman with a grey updo and white tank top is siting on a couch filming an influencer video. There are illustrated coins and up arrows behind her

Small businesses face many operational challenges, often due to budget constraints. This impacts the ability for many of these businesses to market themselves and hire the necessary manpower to do so. Influencer marketing can open doors, providing many benefits to small businesses so they can remain competitive against giants and market leaders in their niche.

Influencer marketing can offer small businesses the ability to build a brand presence and heighten visibility. It also offers them the ability to effectively and continuously market their products and services. This is where influencers can be a small business gold mine; competing with large brands without having the budgets and resources of that of larger organizations.

Leveraging influencer marketing for your small business is a great opportunity to off-set some start-up costs for marketing. It can be a great way to aggregate consumer buy-in and brand loyalty when trust has already been built between consumers and influencers. Small businesses can benefit from associating themselves with reputable influencers to enhance their own brand reputation and visibility.

Influencer marketing offers a plethora of other benefits to small businesses. Let's explore several of those benefits and how your small business can start to establish relationships with influential figures.


Who are Influencers and What Do They Do?

Influencers are often subject matter experts, or individuals who become subject matter experts, in a particular niche or passion, and cultivate a community of like-minded individuals. These influencers provide their followers with value over a shared interest, product, service, brand, and the like. By doing so, they build trust with their followers over time. The key insights here are "trust" and "value.” If there continues to be trust between the two, followers can become loyal members of the influencers community.

Once a mutually beneficial relationship is established, influencers have buy-in with their audiences and can impact consumer behavior. They can then activate their followers and encourage them to take some form of action with an existing business, brand or initiative. They have influence, hence the term influencer.

Influencers are also often content curators who build their communities in digital spaces. Think of influencers as a communication channel. They can be used as another vehicle for streamlining marketing messaging and communications directly to your audiences. The growth, and continued growth, of social media channels has provided them with the ability to build a digital presence, a brand identity, and grow large followings.

By leveraging other additional marketing channels, they can further grow their brand, continue to communicate with their audiences, and create a network of marketing streams to drive further impact and reach within their influencer marketing strategy. Some influencers become so popular that they may also go on to offer their own products and services and monetize within their niche.

Understanding the Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Having the ability to influence consumer behavior can present unlimited opportunities for influencers and brands. This is a huge opportunity for a small business owner. Advertising with an already existing targeted audience, cultivated by an influencer, you can benefit by not having to spend as much resources on initial investments to conduct market research, and work with more expensive marketing firms and agencies. As a small business owner, you can also benefit from a higher return on investments by working with influencers directly connected to an audience that fits within your ideal target market.

The impact on brand visibility

According to a study conducted by Linqia, 94% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is an effective strategy for increasing brand visibility and awareness.

In fact, influencer marketing is a billion dollar business. Between 2020 and 2022, the industry grew by 84% from $13.8 billion to $16.4 billion.

Why? The ability for hyper-targeted reach and brand visibility is an opportunity businesses are willing to spend their money on. As a small business, tapping into just a small percentage of this influencer market can be lucrative.

quote saying "Micro-influencers (those with follower counts between 5k and 100k) are often preferred for niche targeting due to their more engaged and specialized audiences" with purple and orange lines around

Target audience reach

An influencer's ability to reach an audience highly targeted to your niche is perhaps one of the most, if not the most, important benefit of influencer marketing.

Reaching a demographic profile of individuals, in the right places, at the right time, who are likely to make a purchase, can greatly increase your profitability as a small business.

It's been proven that influencer marketing yields a strong return on investments for small businesses. Linqia reports that 39% of marketers reported an ROI of $10 or higher for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. In comparison, Google ads has a 2:1 ROI and organic social media being 4:1.

Relatable content

Through shared interests, influencers often generate content that is relatable and will resonate with their audiences. This helps to drive meaningful engagement and interactions between influencers, their audiences and among the community directly.

Driving such engagement and conversations can better enable influencers to establish consumer trust, build brand equity, and acquire loyal followers.

Small businesses looking to leverage influencer-community relationships can gain brand recognition, built-in between themselves and consumers directly.

User-generated content (UGC), an umbrella term used to describe any content that your customers are creating about you, is also a great opportunity for small business owners to diversify their content.

Getting others to add to your content bank as a small business owner generates marketing collateral to further promote your products and services that support other marketing activities, including influencer marketing. This provides a share-of-voice and form of public-relations and goodwill by getting others to validate you and generate content for you.

Connecting With the Right Influencers

Now that you know what influencers are and what makes them influential. Let's explore the different types of influencers. There are three types of influencers: micro, macro, and nano influencers.

  • Macro influencers: Usually have a significant online presence, with 100,000 to 1 million followers, and cover a range of topics.

  • Micro influencers: Over half of marketers choose to work with micro-influencers who have 5,000 to 100,000 followers. They specialize in specific topics and have a dedicated following.

  • Nano influencers: These influencers have between 1,000 to 5,000 followers but often generate high engagement. They operate within a niche community and build strong relationships with their followers. They often collaborate with brands in exchange for free products rather than monetary compensation.

You must first build genuine relationships with these individuals. Consider following and engaging with them directly to get a better sense of who they are, their level of expertise, if their audience is your target audience, how they prefer to work and be communicated to.

Seventy-one percent of influencers prefer personalized emails when being approached by brands for collaborations. Personalized outreach shows that you have taken the time to understand the influencer's content and audience, increasing the likelihood of building a genuine connection and selling your products and services successfully.

When you do connect, be:

  • Clear about your expectations

  • Transparent about your requirements

  • Communicative of goals and metrics

  • Be collaborative

  • And, open-minded to not limit creativity

Negotiating with influencers

When entering into negotiations with influencers it's important to know your budget. No two influencers will ask for the same rate, because multiple factors must be considered for accurate pricing. These things could include:

  • Influencer reach and engagement

  • Channels and amount of posts to be distributed

  • Content generation: images, videos, and audio etc.

Discussions about pay and fair rates can often be sensitive since under-valuing an influencer can be perceived as a direct insult. Offering them a fair price for their work can greatly enhance and strengthen your relationship.

As we've mentioned previously, some influencers may not require monetary compensation but will want to discuss other incentives. These could include:

  • Affiliate programs and codes

  • Giveaways for more brand awareness to the influencer

  • Free/heavily discounted products/services

  • Exclusive access/input

  • Long-term partnership opportunities

Exploring Influencer Marketing Platforms for Small Businesses

A projected bar graph showing the importance of influenecer marketing platforms. Such important factors include influencer management, analytics and reporting, search and discovery, and campaign management. It is projected that in 2030 we will be spending over 10x what we currently spend on platforms

Going the manual route for sourcing influencers can become tedious and a job within itself. Exploring platforms to consider for influencer marketing as a small business can offer many benefits:

  • Streamlining the influencer search process

  • Influencer relationship management

  • Access to performance metrics and data

Here are a few platforms you may want to consider:

  1. A feature-rich influencer marketing platform that offers a range of services. With Inzpire Me, you can easily search for influencers, manage collaborations, track campaign performance, and access valuable data and reviews. The platform also provides customizable campaign templates and offers an entry-level plan at a budget-friendly price, making it suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. Pricing starts at less than $100 per month.

  2. Intellifluence: A comprehensive influencer marketplace and management solution, boasting a vast database of over 200,000 verified influencers across various social networks and platforms. Their thorough vetting process ensures high-quality influencers and eliminates wasted outreach efforts. With built-in tools for discovery, messaging, payments, and unique features like influencer-led offers, Intellifluence offers a flexible and affordable platform to connect with influencers and manage campaigns effectively. Pricing includes a free plan or their lowest plan is less than $100 per month.

  3. Modash: A comprehensive tool for searching and analyzing influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. With access to over 200 million public creator profiles, brands can find the perfect influencers by applying filters and analyzing audience data. Modash also offers content monitoring for live campaigns. Pricing starts at $120 per month.

Key Takeaways

Influencer marketing has many benefits. So much so, the industry has continued to grow in the last several years. To survive and have longevity in today's business landscape, businesses, big and small, must consider different approaches in their marketing mix, especially small businesses.

Influencer marketing can give your small business the opportunity to become sustainable and attain success by increasing your brand exposure through authentic storytelling, enhance your brand reputation by associating with reputable influencers, be cost effective, and diversify your content through UGC.

To remain competitive, you may want to consider prioritizing your authenticity and tailored approaches when partnering with influencers to ensure their brand values, brand voice, and target audiences align with your business.

Leverage our expertise in influencer marketing for small businesses

We have experts ready, willing, and on-hand to help you take your influencer marketing strategy for your small business to the next level. Let’s connect and discuss how we can better serve you.


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