Within the last few years, the title of influencer has gone from a joke to something that can be quite the lucrative career. Of course, there are still people who don’t consider it a real job, but the money doesn’t lie. Still, with that fame comes opportunities for outside companies to get in on the action. And there have been tons of examples of this happening already.
Influencer marketing is becoming a very popular way to advertise a business, and it’s not only something that large-scale corporations can take advantage of anymore. Smaller companies have been getting in on the action lately. But that leaves us asking, “Is it worth it?” While we still don’t know for sure, this list of the pros and cons of influencer marketing for small businesses should help you decide if it’s right for you.
Pro: Built-In Credibility
One of the biggest struggles for small businesses is building credibility. You could have the greatest product ever, but if no one believes you, it doesn’t really matter. Hiring an influencer to promote your product fixes that issue. They’ve already taken the time to build up their own credibility, and many of their followers will believe anything they say.
That doesn’t mean you should have them lie about your product because that will hurt both you and them. However, if what you offer is as good as you say, the influencer’s authority will help increase awareness and sales.
Con: Difficult To Set Up
While this may all sound too good to be true, there’s a slight catch. These kinds of partnerships don’t just set themselves up. It might be difficult to get ahold of the influencer you have in mind, either because they’re busy or they have someone else who screens their calls. Even if you can contact them, there’s no guarantee that they’ll even have an interest in what you’re selling. Or they might be interested but have better offers on the table.
Regardless of the reason, these relationships can be a real challenge to set up. Of course, you could try for someone who isn’t as popular. They’ll be easier to contact and convince, but their smaller influence range won’t be as profitable.
Pro: Sizable Boost to Sales
Let’s get into more details on the profits, though. As we’ve already alluded to, you should see a noticeable increase in your sales after starting this campaign. Obviously, there will be times in which there isn’t a huge spike, but if you keep paying an influencer to talk about your product, the chances of their fanbase taking an interest will go up.
Also, who said you have to stop at one influencer? You can hire multiple to spread the word about your business even further.
Con: High Upfront Cost
However, the issue with all of this is upfront costs. Influencers, especially the more famous ones, will charge a hefty price to sponsor your product. Even though the increase in sales should cover that cost, you’ll still have to be at a deficit that a smaller company like yours might not be able to afford. This is the problem that holds many people back from trying out this tactic.
Plus, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll profit from this. Just because other companies have, that doesn’t mean you will. If the price to hire an influencer is just too high for you to afford right now, it might be best to wait until your profit margins have improved.
Pro: Easy-To-Reach Target Audience
Despite that glaring issue for smaller businesses, there’s still another massive benefit to hiring an influencer to market your product. You should consider this when weighing the pros and cons. This upside is the fact that it’s really easy to reach your target market through strategic influencer choices. These online icons have built entire communities around their style and personality.
Even if their audience doesn’t entirely include similar types of people, it’ll at least have somewhat similar ones. If you play your cards right, you could end up marketing to the exact types of people you’ve been looking for, increasing your sales potential for a more niche product.
Con: The Influencer Breaks Bad
While the chances of this happening are small, hiring an influencer to promote your product is a huge risk if they suddenly take a dive in public opinion. Regardless of the reason, it’ll hurt your company’s brand if you continue to support them.
Fortunately, cutting ties with influencers who simply promote your product is easy. But if you make them the face of your brand, things could get a whole lot worse. Some smaller businesses never fully recover from a publicity hit like that.