Marketing can be an uphill battle for small business owners and start-ups with no proper tools or experience. Many end up forking out large amounts of money with no guaranteed return.

The typical consumer views around 5,000 ads every day, so there’s little chance of these businesses getting through all the noise. How can they survive in this hypercompetitive environment?

Cue, influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing focuses on using key opinion leaders to convey your business’ products, services and messages to a larger market. Rather than marketing directly to prospective customers, you instead engage these influencers to use their network of followers to get the message out for you.

To give you a better idea of the advantages of using influencer marketing, we’ve listed 5 reasons why this marketing tactic is invaluable to small businesses and start-ups:

It’s cost-effective. Even if your initial investment is quite small, it can still reap considerable returns. By selecting highly relevant influencers that appeal to your target audience, you can cut through the noise for a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

It can build brand loyalty fast. Most small businesses and start-ups don’t have longstanding customer relationships. Influencer marketing allows you to leverage the trust and rapport an influencer has developed with its followers. By having an influencer create native content featuring your business’ product, you are being introduced to the person’s followers with implicit credibility.

It’s highly targeted. Gone are the days of traditional advertising, and its expensive and inefficient attempts to reach large, broad audiences. Influencer marketing allows you to create highly targeted campaigns by pinpointing variables such as age, gender and geography.

It creates premium content. Influencers are not only distributors of content, but also content creators themselves, saving small businesses and start-ups the time and effort to create regular content.

It’s easy to track ROI. It is important to monitor how followers react to the influencer marketing, and if this translates to sales. Measuring the success of an influencer-driven campaign has never been easier, there’s a wide range of tools at your fingertips. Using hashtags and promo codes are a great way to help you monitor the effectiveness of the influencer marketing campaign, allowing you to track sales, usage and click-through rates.

Influencer marketing goes hand in hand with small businesses and start-ups. So, next time you’re considering traditional advertising, take a stab at influencer marketing. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.