Redefining Influencer Marketing for Small Business

If you’ve followed any celebrity on Instagram, chances are, you’ve been exposed to influencer marketing.

It’s a pretty basic concept—get famous (read: influential) people to promote your product. It’s an age-old tactic that’s been revived through 1:1 images attached to a barrage of hashtags. 

Influencer marketing, as it relates to celebrities, probably isn’t a realistic option for the typical small business owner. But it’s a good reminder of a business practice that is the driving force of this strategy—the referral. 

Essentially, influencer marketing is having your favorite sports star tell you that he wears tagless cotton tees and loves them (via a thinly-veiled attempt at pretending he doesn’t get paid to post that). If you’ve got the budget for a famous endorser, great! It’s projected to be one of the top digital marketing trends of the year. If you don’t, don’t disregard the value that lies within.

Referrals from anyone are a big boost for your business. Testimonials or rave reviews on your website are an easy addition that lets others know you’re not the only one who thinks your business is awesome. Have some great community connections? Don’t be afraid to ask for their endorsement, online or otherwise. 

For the sake of small business, let’s redefine “influencer.” For me, a trusted parent recommendation is very influential. For you, someone who’s had your restaurant’s lunch buffet every Tuesday for the last three years might have an opinion that rings true for the potential customer. Dig into those resources, leverage them online and tap into the trend as it pertains to our business. You don’t necessarily need a big budget, or a t-shirt clad celebrity, to make influencer marketing work for you