female influencer recording makeup tutorial
From displaying your products to helping build trust around your business, influencer marketing is a valuable and effective means of promotion. — Getty Images/warrengoldswain

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to get the word out about your small business. Consumers generally trust recommendations from their friends, family and network more than from traditional marketing sources. And, with the rise of micro-influencers, influencer marketing isn’t just for global corporate brands anymore.

If you’re interested in leveraging influencer marketing for your small business, here’s how to make the most of partner content.

Launch a new product or service

Working with an influencer is a great way to hype up excitement around a new product launch. Influencer campaigns have been shown to generate eleven times higher ROI than normal outbound marketing campaigns. Influencers are natural storytellers; sharing creative control over a product launch can build significantly more buzz and excitement than normal promos and teaser content.

Influencer campaigns give you the chance to have fun with a product launch. Here are some ways to partner with an influencer leading up to a big release:

  • Product review. Give the influencer exclusive early access to try and review your new product. They can talk up some of the features and benefits that will cultivate excitement among your customers.
  • Offer promo codes. Create a sense of urgency by letting the influencer publicize a unique promotion, such as offering 10% off to the first 100 customers who purchase.
  • Make a story. Give users a behind-the-scenes look into the making of a new product and tell a story about why you’re choosing to offer it.

Find someone with the right audience

When working with an influencer, make sure the person you choose to work with has an audience that matches your target customer profile. Are their followers mostly teenage girls, or moms looking for recipe ideas? Tools like Kred, Traackr, Followerwonk or Buzzsumo can unlock audience insights and engagement statistics for potential influencer partners. This can make a big difference in what content the influencer is willing to promote.

[See more: How to find an influencer.]

Likewise, make sure the influencer is posting about topics related to your business. For example, a cafe should work with food influencers, not fashionistas. Does their branding and overall aesthetic match your branding and design? If you’re working with a Twitter influencer, does their profile contain profanities or slang you would never usually use? Make sure you know exactly how the influencer’s personal brand matches up your business’s brand.

When working with an influencer, make sure the person you choose to work with has an audience that matches your target customer profile.

Take advantage of their platforms

One of the big benefits of influencer marketing is that an influencer can say the things you, as a business owner, can’t say. As long as you follow the sponsorship rules set by the FTC, an influencer can boast about your brand in ways that would seem arrogant if they came from your personal channels.

Influencers have a unique position with audiences that trust their recommendations. Depending on the channel, NextWeb estimates that 60% of people trust the reviews coming from influencers they follow. Leverage this impact to call out specific product features, brand differentiators and talking points you wouldn’t necessarily promote yourself.

Share their content on your channels

Influencers are professional content makers, and they’re good at what they do. Many influencers get creative in their brand collaborations. They’re pros at storytelling, and smart business owners take advantage of their talent by sharing their content on their own channels. Not only does this give you some nice marketing material, it benefits your brand to highlight the partnership. Make sure to tag and credit the influencer when you repost their work. It’s also a good idea to use the same hashtags as the original post to make sure the content is seen by interested followers.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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