Influencer Marketing: A Five-Minute Guide for Startups

Feb 8, 2022

It’s a marketing strategy that continues to grow in popularity, but is using an influencer on social media right for your fledgling natural or organics brand? And if it is, how do you find the right fit to ensure you’ll get the results you’re after? Here are five things to consider.

According to nine out of 10 marketing agencies, brands and relevant professionals surveyed for Influencer Marketing Hub’s Benchmark Report 2021, using influencers is an effective form of marketing. But why?

It’s mostly to do with trust. A trusted source (the influencer) introduces a brand or product to a consumer, which makes it seem less like advertising and more like a friendly recommendation. If your young brand is yet to jump on board, here’s a handful of things to bear in mind to help make it a positive experience.

Know what you’re aiming for.

Is it brand awareness? Is it engagement or clicks? Or maybe it’s sales conversions? According to the experts, if it’s brand awareness you’re after, like 29 per cent of brands who use influencers for marketing, an influencer’s reach matters. And generally speaking, the more followers an influencer has, the more people they’ve got the potential to reach. But if it’s clicks or sales that you’re hoping to achieve, it’s an influencer’s follower engagement that’s the more important factor to consider. If you can see how many likes and comments their posts get on average, you can divide this by their follower count and then multiply it by 100 to calculate an influencer’s engagement rate as a percentage. The higher, the better.


‘Smaller’ influencers can be more effective than larger ones.

Think that the more followers an influencer has, the better their engagement will be? Actually, no. The Benchmark Report 2021 shows that while mega-influencers – those with more than one million followers – have an engagement rate of around 1.21 per cent on Instagram, for micro-influencers – those with fewer than 15,000 followers in this case – it’s more like 3.86 per cent. It’s a similar story on TikTok – micro-influencers enjoy a 17.96 per cent engagement rate compared with just 4.96 per cent for mega-influencers. So good news if you’re a brand just starting out: instead of reaching for the stars, micro-influencers could be better for business.

Your values need to align.

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s worth remembering. While an influencer on Instagram or TikTok might have a good following and an even more impressive engagement rate, if they regularly post about, say, steakhouses and leather handbags but your brand is plant-based and supports animal welfare charities, it’s probably not a great fit, right?


And so does your audience.

When you’re considering a potential influencer to bring on board, check whether their followers belong to the group you and your brand wants to attract and speak to. Are they the right age and gender? And are they in the right location?

Money doesn’t always talk.

There’s no question that influencers are often paid for their posts – from a few hundred per post for micro-influencers to thousands of dollars per post for mega-influencers. But the Influencer Marketing Hub’s Benchmark Report 2021 shows that while around a third of brands using influencers to market their products dish out monetary payment in return, the most common type of influencer payment is free product samples. The reason? It probably reflects that most brands are working with micro- and even nano-influencers who are happy to receive payment in kind instead of cash. As a fledgling business, that’s even more good news, particularly for your cash flow.

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