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Monday 27, February 2017 by Jessica Combes

Five benefits social media influencers bring to SMEs

There is a common misconception that to market your brand you need to have a big budget, according to Maurice Hamilton, Global CEO at The SMC Group.

Gone are those days when we were restricted to traditional outlets like TV, radio, and print to promote our business. For SMEs, it is now easier to go to market using the different options and platforms available online.

As our generation continues to shift to social media, consumers are constantly looking at favourite personalities to inform their purchasing decisions. There is no denying the growing success of social media influencer marketing, which is stated to be the next big thing in advertising. For the visionary marketer, the rise in social media influencers has opened up a new channel for brands to amplify their message. Targeting the right influencers can help reach new audiences as well as can lend credibility to the brand via different platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and their personal blog.

SMEs can benefit from influencers in the following five ways:

1.       Credibility
Building credibility can be challenge for many start-up brands. Being backed up by the right personality who exemplifies their brand can give their business that push and support in the industry. Having the right voice to review their brand can increase their brand’s integrity.

2.       Awareness
It is important to consider what kind of awareness they are looking for when identifying the influencer. Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach a wider audience by utilising an influencer’s (extensive) social reach to promote a product, without being directly involved in its promotion.

3.       Recommendations
In general, influencers inspire their followers; they want to dress like them, behave like them, and achieve the right goals like them. Finding the right influencer that inspires and SME’s target audience is hence key to market your business.

4.       Cost effective
Using an influencer to market your brand might sometimes be expensive, but is often more cost effective than billboards or traditional advertising.

5.       Efficiency
If SMEs partner with the right person with the right momentum and energy behind their brand, they will influence their followers. This can often be more efficient than traditional advertising as it is easier to measure ROI through social media analytics.

Small businesses should take advantage of influencer marketing. Executing an influencer marketing strategy that meets customers’ expectations can provide lasting results that will eventually increase their bottom line. Research also indicates that influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing online customer acquisition channels with proven results.

Even though influencer marketing is one of the hottest online marketing trends right now, it is advised that business owners do their research, ensure their efforts are lined up with their overall marketing strategy and test and track their results to improve performance, to best utilise this marketing super-tool.



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