What is Influencer Marketing and Should Our Small Business Be Leveraging It?

what is influencer marketing

‘Influencer marketing’ is getting a lot of buzz these days. But, is it for good reason? Or is it overhyped?

Influencer marketing happens when companies team up with social media influencers to spread the word about their products or services. It’s like good ole word-of-mouth marketing but with a twist. Instead of your friend raving about something, it’s your go-to YouTuber or Instagrammer giving you the inside scoop. It’s all about leveraging their influence to make waves and get people talking. 

The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $21.1 billion in 2023. Leveraging influential creators and tapping into their loyal fan bases is an incredibly effective tactic to add to a content marketing strategy. The question is, where do you even get started with integrating this approach into your overall strategy?

 Keep reading for our 5 steps to begin leveraging influencer marketing.

5 Steps On How To Use Influencer Marketing For Your Small Business

Step 1. Identify the Influencer

When it comes to partnering with influencers, it’s not always about the numbers. Teaming up with a mega-influencer with millions of followers sounds enticing, but it may not be the best fit for your brand.

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have huge followings that span across various demographics, while others have smaller but fiercely engaged communities centered around specific interests.

To make the right choice, you need to understand what each type of influencer brings to the table. Look at metrics across audience reach, diversity, cost, and engagement. By considering these factors, you can find the perfect influencer that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. It’s like finding the missing puzzle piece that completes your marketing strategy.

For reference, here are some important distinctions on the size and different types that exist:

1. Mega Influencers (1M + followers)
2. Macro Influencers (100- 1M followers)
3. Micro-Influencers (10k-100k followers)
4. Nano Influencers (10k followers)

Step 2. Collaborate On a Product or Service

It’s important to find a balance and avoid being too controlling with your guidelines. Avoid the temptation to dictate every word and action of the influencer, as this can stifle their creativity and result in content that appears forced and insincere.

Micro-managing every aspect of the content creation process is another common mistake. You don’t need to scrutinize multiple drafts or impose excessive rounds of revisions. Allow the influencer to add their own unique touch and expertise. After all, they know how to create content that resonates with their audience and builds trust.

Your role as a brand is to provide the necessary resources and support to enable the influencer to create outstanding content. Trust their creative instincts while ensuring they have what they need to deliver great results.

To sweeten the deal, you can provide influencers with exclusive promo codes or offer incentives. This adds an extra layer of appeal and encourages their audience to engage with your brand.

There are all kinds of ways you can work with an influencer some examples are:

Event Coverage

Step 3. Measure Your Growth

As of October 2022, 4.74 billion people worldwide are on social media, which amounts to around 59.3 percent of the global population. To make your business shine, you only need to reach a fraction of these users. But here’s the thing: the average social media user is bombarded with ads and sponsored content every single day. 

When assessing the effectiveness of your campaigns, it’s essential to consider various metrics that provide insights into their impact:

Engagement: Look at the number of likes, comments, and shares to gauge how well your sponsored content is resonating with the audience and generating interaction.

Brand Awareness: Measure metrics such as views, clicks, and website traffic to understand the reach of your campaign and gauge the level of interest it generates among your target audience.

Follower Growth: Keep an eye on the number of new followers you gain during the campaign. This helps you assess the influencer’s impact on increasing your brand’s visibility and expanding your audience.

Inbound Leads: Track the volume of inquiries and messages your brand receives as a result of the campaign. This metric helps evaluate how effective the campaign is in generating inbound leads and driving potential customers to engage with your brand.

By analyzing these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize future influencer partnerships and content strategies.

Step 4. Build Strong Relationships

Collaborating with influencers allows you to cultivate an audience that is more likely to have a genuine interest in your product. When your relationship with an influencer is authentic, there is a strong likelihood that they will genuinely become fans of your product themselves. As a result, they will naturally share their positive experiences and recommendations with their own followers.

This word-of-mouth promotion from the influencer can be incredibly powerful. It extends your reach to a wider audience who trust and value the influencer’s opinions.

Building a solid relationship with an influencer can open doors to other relevant influencers. Not only can they assist you in discovering new leads, but they may also introduce you to other businesses and influencers within their network. This expands your reach and creates valuable connections that can significantly benefit your business. It’s all about nurturing those influencer bonds and unlocking a world of new and exciting opportunities.

Step 5. Stay Up To Date With Latest Trends

Keep up with the most recent trends in influencer marketing to keep your content relevant and effective, such as micro-influencers and the importance of transparency and authenticity. 

In the fast-paced world of social media, trends shape consumer preferences and behaviors. By staying current, you can anticipate changes, adapt your strategies, and seize new opportunities. It’s like having your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and happening, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strong connection with your audience. 

If you want to stay in the game, keeping up with trends is a smart move. Here are a few ways to do so: 

Follow Industry Influencers: Follow influencers in your industry on social media. These influencers and marketing go hand in hand because it’s their job to be trendsetters and serve up fresh content to their followers. When you follow influencers, you’re tapping into a goldmine of insights on what’s hot right now and what your target audience craves.

Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram: Whether it’s the trending tab or “For You” page, these are great tools for staying in the loop with popular discussions and trends. It provides a convenient way to see what people are talking about and what’s capturing the attention of social media users.

Google Trends: It allows you to monitor trends not just in the U.S., but around the world. You can compare different topics and see which ones are gaining serious traction. Once you’ve got a handle on what’s trending, you can whip up content that’s spot-on and resonates with your audience. It’s the perfect way to stay relevant and strengthen your content game.

Influencer Marketing Is Changing The Game

Influencer marketing is a game-changer with some serious perks, making it a savvy choice for brands. By partnering with the right influencers, you can tap into their dedicated and devoted audiences, who are more likely to embrace and trust your product. With genuine relationships, influencers become genuine fans who naturally spread the word among their followers. This word-of-mouth promotion holds incredible power in reaching new audiences and establishing credibility.

As technology advances and consumer behaviors shift, influencer marketing will keep evolving. New platforms will pop up, trends will come and go, and consumer preferences will change. To stay ahead of the curve, brands need to embrace these shifts and adapt their influencer strategies accordingly.

So, if you’re aiming to boost your brand visibility, connect with specific demographics, and benefit from authentic endorsements, influencer marketing is the smart move. It’s a win-win for brands and influencers, creating a buzz that’s hard to match. Get ready to level up your marketing game and make a lasting impact in the digital landscape.

Ready to Launch a Content Marketing Plan for Your Small Business?


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You don’t need to hire multiple full-time employees to handle all of the strategy, planning, writing, designing, and publishing of content. You also don’t have time to wrangle tons of different freelancers to get this all completed. You need one expert team that can help get all of the amazing thought-leadership and subject matter expertise out of your head and into formalized, engaging content that keeps you top of mind with your audience.

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