How to Launch Influencer Marketing for Midsize Businesses







Ryan Fratzke

Partner & Executive Strategist,

Head of Client Acquisition



What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing occurs when a business partners with a like-minded influencer to promote a product or service. More often than not, midsize businesses connect with influencers within their niche or industry through a website, or an affiliate, that receives a commission for each converted customer.

According to Hootsuite, more than two-thirds (67.9%) of U.S marketers will use some form of influencer marketing this year. That’s expected to increase to 72.5% in 2022.

If your midsize business is searching for a partner to debut or refine your influencer marketing strategy, schedule a free 1-on-1 consultation with Fratzke today.

Outlining Your Influencer Marketing Goals

Any project proposal should clearly outline a marketing campaign’s aspirations. In terms of influencer marketing, reach is going to be an essential key performance indicator (KPI). The goal of working with influencers is to expand your brand awareness, adding more new leads to your sales funnel.

Fratzke also recommends defining or referencing your brand’s customer personas to build out influencer personas. For help constructing your midsize business’ customer personas, schedule a free 1-on-1 consultation with Fratzke.

You should also familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s rules for sponsored content. We specifically think these three points are the most poignant:

  1. Video reviews must include both written and verbal disclosure of the partnership. It must be within the video itself (not just the description).
  2. The built-in tools on social media platforms alone are not enough. However, you should still use them. Instagram itself now specifies that any branded content (aka influencer marketing) on the platform must use the Branded Content tag to identify the relationship. This adds the text “Paid partnership with [your brand name]” in the post header.
  3. #ad and #sponsored are great hashtags to use for disclosure. But make sure they’re highly visible and not just tacked on to the need of a long string of tags.

Selecting Influencers for Your Midsize Business

Fostering a Community on Social Media

Fratzke recommends putting in a bit of elbow grease when recruiting influencers by first building a community on your social media platforms. Determine where your audience lives. Start by analyzing the demographics of your social audiences as well as those of your competitors. Research common hashtags and explore the top influencers in your industry.

Often, your biggest fans will fall into nano-influencer territory (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) or even micro-influencer territory  (between 10,000 and 50,000 followers).

Influencers with a more niche follower base often receive the best engagement and conversion from their audience. In fact, HubSpot reports that 71% of marketers find that influencer marketing leads are better quality than other lead generation sources. Partnering with nano and micro-influencers active in the social media space for your industry is a great way to start.

Use social media  to directly reach out to influencers who inspire you and align with your brand. Often a personal first touch from a social media manager will have more impact than outreach from your brand account. Note that many influencers prefer to be referred to as content creators.

Linking with Influencers through Affiliate Sites

Alternatively, you can have the influencers come to you by signing up for an affiliate program on a reputable website. Here are a few of our favorites:


  • Intuitive Interface
  • Over 225K active affiliates
  • Robust reporting

CJ Affiliate

  • Niche content creators
  • Omni-channel capabilities
  • Detailed customer insights

Rakuten Advertising

  • Award-winning strategy & service
  • AI-powered products
  • Advanced insights & analytics

How to Start Influencer Marketing

Connect with an influencer prior to signing any dotted lines. Build a rapport with potential influencers and ask to review their portfolio for insight into how their posts perform. Inquire about their average click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion metrics. Seasoned influencers will be happy to share this information with a reputable, midsize business.

Once you’ve selected a (small) group of influencers that specialize in your industry, outline the terms of a short-term agreement. We recommend checking out HubSpot’s Affiliate Agreement for reference, but also suggest seeking counsel from a legal professional prior to sharing any drafted contract.  

Next, create a detailed campaign plan. If you’ll be using multiple influencers, utilize a common hashtag to integrate both your and the influencer’s followers into a seamless online discussion. You can even ask influencers to review a brand style guide. Establish an expectation for collaboration right off the bat to ensure consistency across the board.

Debut Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

If you have physical products, gift influencers one or two, asking them to share feedback with their audience. If you’re a service-based business, provide an applicable, gratis service for the influencer.

You can request the feedback be given in timely content, evergreen content, or both. The difference between the two is that timely content is fleeting (i.e. an Instagram Story, Facebook Live, or SnapChat Story), whereas evergreen content remains on an influencer’s social platform or website without an expiration date (an Instagram post or WordPress blog post).  

Depending on the details of your agreement with the influencer, pay commission for every lead or conversion referred by them.

Test & Adjust Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Before launching a full, influencer marketing campaign, review the engagement, impressions, reach, and results of each influencer’s post. Expand the terms of your agreement with the influencers whose content performed the best over a certain period of time.

Don’t spend too much energy focusing on vanity metrics such as likes and comments. While these showcase post engagement, the real value comes from the return on your investment (ROI). We recommend incorporating UTM Parameters into each post to clearly define your ROI. Alternatively, providing influencers with individualized discount codes will allow you to easily track sales.

Looking for a digital marketing partner to elevate your midsize business strategy?

Schedule your free consultation with one of our experts today!



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