What is influencer marketing? An introduction

Learn what social media influencer marketing is and how it can help boost brand awareness. From micro influencers to TikTok marketing, we unpack why influencer marketing is growing in popularity for small business.
· 10 August 2023 · 4 minute read

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that uses social media to tap into the power of influential personalities. These individuals are known as social influencers.

This type of social media marketing is somewhat like word-of-mouth advertising, but with a twist. Social influencers captivate and engage their online audience. They do this through their engaging content or niche expertise.

A social influencer can endorse, recommend or mention your business, using a social media platform.


What is a social influencer?

A social influencer is an individual who has built a loyal and dedicated fan base on social media. For example, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. 

They often have a specific niche in a field that resonates with their followers. Below we list some examples of the types of influencers that may have an impactful presence.

  • Wellness guru
  • Beauty expert
  • Fitness icon
  • Gamer
  • Photographer
  • Musician
  • Fashion enthusiast
  • Travel adventurer
  • Foodie
  • Public figure
  • Lifestyle content creator

Social influencers are typically grouped into one of four categories, based upon their follower count. Let’s break down what this looks like below.

  • Nano influencers – under 10k followers
  • Micro influencers – 10k to 100k followers
  • Macro influencers – 100k to 1M followers
  • Mega influencers – 1M+ followers


Nano and micro influencers for small business

Social media influencer marketing is a dynamic and evolving landscape. Micro influencers and nano influencers have emerged as significant players.

For small businesses, nano and micro influencers tend to be a popular option when it comes to social media influencer marketing.

These categories have unique advantages for small businesses. And provide a creative way to expand reach and connect with highly engaged audiences. In fact, studies show that micro influencers have a 60% higher engagement rate than macro influencers. And can generate 20% more conversions.

The State of Influencer Marketing 2023: Benchmark Report shows there’s a notable preference from businesses to work with nano and micro influencers (69%), as opposed to macro or mega influencers (31%).

Due to their smaller follower base, nano and micro influencers can foster a more personal and relatable connection with your customers.


The benefits of influencer marketing


A social influencer has built rapport and trust with their followers. This is based on their authenticity and the content they produce.

Their content generally resonates deeper with their audience. This is because their followers are choosing to engage directly with them. When a social influencer promotes your product or service, it’s more likely to come across as a recommendation from a friend. As opposed to an untargeted or unwanted sales pitch. Which in turn, can help build trust and credibility for your business.


You can tailor influencer marketing accordingly to your budget. Plus, the targeted nature of using a social influencer means it can be a more cost efficient approach of reaching potential customers when comparing to more traditional or generic advertising methods.

Partnering with nano or micro influencers is typically more budget friendly than collaborating with high-profile individuals. This cost-effective approach can help you enter the social influencer landscape, even on a limited budget.

Niche expertise

Social influencers usually have a specific niche or expertise. Which means their followers generally share common interests or values.

By choosing the right social influencer for your small business, you can access a ready-made audience that is genuinely interested in what you have to offer. If you’re a small business that caters to specific audiences, this level of focus and targeting is invaluable.

Brand awareness

Collaborating with a social influencer allows you to tap directly into their pool of followers. This can help increase your reach and brand awareness, which in turn, may help you generate more sales.

With new strategies like TikTok marketing and social selling on the rise, it’s more important than ever to consider the potential of these social media platforms. And find new opportunities to meet customers where they already are. 

High quality content

Generally, social influencers are masters at creating high quality and resonating content. Whether it’s aesthetic picture posts, informative YouTube video reviews, interactive Instagram stories or entertaining TikTok videos – they certainly know how to engage their followers.

When you collaborate with a social influencer, you can benefit from their compelling content creation.

The engaging experience they create for their followers, is likely to result in more likes, comments and shares. This will increase content reach and help drive more sales for your business. 

Industry success

It’s no secret that social media influencer marketing is a successful and growing industry.

According to The State of Influencer Marketing 2023: Benchmark Report, 83% of survey respondents believe influencer marketing is effective. TikTok is currently the most popular influencer marketing platform, followed by Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

With these social media giants on the rise, it’s no surprise that 67% of respondents intend to increase their influencer marketing budget over the next 12 months.


Tapping into the potential of influencer marketing can be a really strategic move for your business. It can enhance your visibility, loyalty and credibility. And help foster meaningful interactions with potential customers.

Influencer marketing can help you reach a larger and more targeted audience in new and inspiring ways. And help you better achieve your business objectives.

Learn more about how to plan an effective content strategy, to reach more customers online using social media. 

Reach your customers with online marketing

A strong online presence helps attract customers to your website. We can help you rank higher on search engines and to run online advertising campaigns, plus more. 

Explore more on this topic

Empower yourself to get the most from technology

Learn how to choose the right technology solutions. Get help to boost efficiency, build skills, and integrate tech.

Other articles you might like