5 Qualities That Make Influencers Good For Small Businesses

by Sep 30, 2021Marketing0 comments

Influencer marketing has developed to become a multi-billion dollar business in the last few years.

Big companies from every industry have been known to employ this strategy.

Influencer marketing can assist brands in attaining goals that relate to branding and engagement, sales, and much more.

However, you don’t need to be a large corporation to benefit from influencer marketing.

Smaller, local companies are able to benefit from the method, too.


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However, success depends on the selection of the appropriate social media influencers for your business. This can be daunting at times, especially for smaller companies with little resources. 

If you’re a small business that’s interested in influencing marketing, continue reading for more information on what to be looking at when it comes time to find influencers.


Before we get started: where can you find influencers?


There are three methods to identify influential individuals:


  • Social media
  • Influencer marketing platform
  • Influencer marketing agency


The most efficient way to accomplish this is to use an agency.

However, it’s also the most expensive option and is likely not an option for most small-sized brands.

And an influencer marketing platform requires a subscription, but it’s much less than what you’d pay an agency.

If you use this type of platform, it’s possible to find influencers more quickly than if you use social media on your own.

But if you have a very tight budget, don’t be afraid to search directly via social media.

It requires the most manual work, however, it’s also free.

To determine which approach is most suitable for you, consider your goals, the resources available to you, and your budget.

And whatever option you choose, it is important to have access to influencer performance metrics.

This data can be obtained through agencies or an influencer marketing platform, or you can request influencers to provide it.


What should you look for when it comes to influencers?


Let’s examine the different types of metrics and traits small-scale businesses should be looking for in influencers.


1. A follower count you can actually afford to pay


The cost of services offered by influencers is affected by a number of variables, including follower count and engagement rate, the country, as well as the type of content you’re asking for (video for example is more expensive than photos).

Follower counts are one of the easiest ways to quickly gauge more or less how much an influencer will cost.

To achieve this, let’s sort influencers into 6 levels:


  • Nano influencers, 1-5K followers
  • Micro-influencers, 5-50K followers
  • Medium influencers, 50-100K followers
  • Macro influencers, 100K-1M followers
  • Mega influencers, 1M+ followers
  • Ky opinion leaders, no particular range of followers


From the Medium tier on up, influencers won’t collaborate with you unless you pay them fees or offer them very valuable free products (imagine a free car or diamond necklace).

Mega influencers can cost tens of thousands of dollars per post, if not higher.

So for most small brands, the simple truth is that you just can’t pay these influencers.

Similar to that, a KOL (or key opinion leader) isn’t necessarily the best choice either.

KOLs are industry experts admired on and off social media, and that’s why they’re not limited to any specific follower range.

They’re also expensive to work with and difficult to get ahold of.

So if you have limited resources for your campaign, a KOL might not bring you the best ROI.

That said, sometimes you might be able to arrange a collaboration with a KOL if they are a genuine fan of your products.

For example, Senator Bernie Sanders wore mittens from a local Vermont brand to the presidential inauguration, and the maker was consequently flooded with requests for mittens.

Anyway, thankfully, there are a lot of good options for smaller companies.

Nano influencers, with 1-5K followers, typically cooperate with brands for free products alone.

Micro-influencers, with 5-50K followers, might collaborate for free products on their own or for products with a relatively small fee.

You may think that these influencers, with very few followers, will not be able to make an impact on your marketing campaign.

However, think twice, because these influencers have the most engaged audiences of all influencers, which brings our attention to the following point.


2. Good Engagement Rate


The engagement rate determines the degree of interaction between an influencer and their followers.

The more that followers trust and like the content an influencer creates, the greater the chance they’ll engage with it.

And the more engaged an influencer’s audience is, the better your brand is positioned to translate that into engagement with your products, too. 

Since small-scale businesses don’t have the resources to pay for influencers who have millions of followers across the globe,

It’s best to market your brand to a targeted, engaged niche. You connect with fewer people, but the right ones.

So what is a good or bad engagement rate? Compare the engagement of influencers with the average engagement rate of their peers.

This can be done with the help of an influencer marketing platform, or download the media kit of an influencer and look up benchmarks for their segment.

Be aware that engagement benchmarks vary based on categories, social networks, and followers numbers.

Therefore, don’t try to compare TikTok creators with the average rates of Instagram influencers.

Or, don’t compare fashion influencers with 5K followers against sports influencers with 500K followers.

Also, be on the lookout for very low or high engagement.

If it’s extremely low, it might be that people simply aren’t interested in the influencer’s content.

Or, it could be that followers are inactive, or worse, fake.

If engagement is extremely high, the influencer might have purchased fraudulent engagements (like fake comments or likes).


3. Authentic followers that match your target audience


All marketing campaigns should keep in mind their target audience.

You can’t succeed if you don’t know who you want to reach with your campaign content.

Knowing your target audience also helps you determine which influencers are the best fits for your campaign.

When finding influencers, check to see whether their followers are similar to the audience you want to target.

Look at demographics like age, gender, location, and interests to ensure that the influencer has the ability to connect you with the appropriate people.

If you don’t have access to these details, ask the influencer for them.


image1 - 5 Qualities That Make Influencers Good For Small Businesses


This is an audience location analysis from an influencer marketing platform.

We can see more than half of this influencer’s audience is interested in surfing.

When looking at an influencer’s followers, also verify their authenticity.

Perform a fake followers audit to eliminate those influencers whose audiences are composed mostly of bots. Fake followers cost companies $1.3 billion in the year 2019.

And as a small-sized business with a modest budget, it’s crucial to not waste your marketing money on bots.


image2 - 5 Qualities That Make Influencers Good For Small Businesses


For this influencer, 8.46% of the audience has demonstrated some type of suspicious behavior.

This chart is taken from an influencer marketing platform.

There are a variety of ways to identify the presence of a bot:

  • There is no profile photo or biographical details
  • Names appear to be random combinations of numbers and letters
  • Very little or no content, or content that consists of pure ads
  • Comments that are out of place or unnatural, as though they weren’t made by a real human

Audience authenticity verification is a vital step in making sure that you choose the best influencers to promote your small business.


4. Local presence


Big brands are able to collaborate with influencers from all over the globe since their businesses are internationally based.

However, for small businesses, it’s a different story. In your case, it is better to keep your business local.

What’s the reason? Local influencers better understand your brand, your area, and your culture.

And they could even visit your business if you have a physical location.

Additionally, local influencers will help you connect with people who live in your region, who are the people best positioned to buy your products.


5. Personality and content that is aligned with your brand


The last one is applicable to every brand that is involved in influencer marketing: Look for influencers who are aligned with your company.

Followers shouldn’t be left wondering why their favorite influencer collaborated with your brand; it should just make sense.

This cannot be measured by data, so review their profile and trust your gut. Think about questions like:

  • Does this influencer produce content in the same style that my company does?
  • Does their content quality live up to my standards?
  • Is their voice the one to spread my message?
  • Does the influencer adhere to the same values as my brand?
  • Does their aesthetic style match my style?

Engaging with influencers who align with your brand’s values will lead to more authentic and credible collaborations.




Influencer marketing is an enormous, growing market, and even small businesses can benefit from the strategy. But remember that success is contingent on finding the right influencers for your brand, so keep these 5 qualities in mind when you begin influencer discovery.


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