There is little doubt that influencers are now a significant driving force in modern marketing efforts. They often have the reach and following “conventional” celebrities can only dream of. However, as social media users are becoming increasingly suspicious of genuity of the content they consume online, the number of followers is no longer a guarantee of success.
If you’re planning to build your presence in social media or simply want to learn how to communicate with your customers online, micro-influencers will happily tell you how to do that right.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
According to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, Google searches for the term “influencer marketing” spiked from 3,900 in 2015 to 61,000 in 2018.
In the course of the same report, 92% of the respondents stated they believe influencer marketing to be an “effective form of marketing”.
These days, when we talk about influencer marketing, we think almost exclusively about digital-native personalities that thrive on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
Many influencers started out as ordinary social media users but have managed to establish themselves as authorities in their fields. They inspire trust, spark international discussions and drive engagement no celebrity would sneeze at.
That’s why many brands are recognising their importance in the marketing game
Who Are Micro-Influencers?
The calibre of influencers is generally defined by the size of the audience they gather around them. It’s not uncommon for internet personalities to build a following running into millions.
While those individuals belong to the heavyweight class of internet famous, there is a much more modest group that deserves an equal (if not greater) attention.
Micro-influencers are social media users with audiences that are anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 people. They are regular folks who are passionate about a particular subject and willing to share their expertise and experience with that tight-knit group of followers.
Whatever’s their taste, they know what they’re talking about. That’s why micro-influencers are often viewed as established authorities and experts in their niche.
They know how to talk to their followers, they like to interact with them and perfectly understand what’s important for the people surrounding them online.
Why Are Micro-Influencers Important?
At the onset, micro-influencers may not seem like the dream marketing partners. They have modest reach, less marketing experience and often don’t seem to be cut out for delivering sales pitches.
And that’s exactly why they are so good at what they do.
After all, would you rather trust a product recommendation from a Hollywood celebrity (who most likely doesn’t even use it) or from a regular person who’s tested the product and wants to share their opinion?
Here’s why you should consider bringing in micro-influencers for your next marketing campaign.
They Can Relate to Their Audience
The first major advantage of micro-influencers over their more famous colleagues is that they usually maintain a much better and intimate connection with their followers.
Let’s say that again: micro-influencers are perceived as experts in their field. Be it fashion, knitting or motorcycle repair, they know that stuff “from the inside”. It’s no wonder 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer.
Since they share passion and interests with their audience, they know their lingo, understand their pain points and use that knowledge to create relevant and helpful content.
They Have More Engaged Followers
Imagine trying to reach out to a celebrity through their social media profile. Most of the time, that would be almost impossible since celebrities rarely manage their social media accounts themselves.
Micro-influencers, however, are able and willing to interact with their followers on a regular basis. They personally reply to comments, participate in discussions and maintain that intimate connection many social media users expect these days.
Influencers with smaller audiences tend to drive much higher engagement. This means as much as 13X more comments for users with fewer than 1,000 followers as compared to those with 10 million or more.
They Are Cost-Effective
Business-wise, micro-influencers can help up your marketing game while keeping your budget in a good shape. Since their rates correlate with outreach, you can expect to pay much less than you would for full-blown campaigns with more recognisable names.
How much exactly?
Let’s try to find a simple template and take it from there. According to Hootsuite, you can start with a basic rate of $100 per post for every 100,000 Instagram followers a micro-influencer has. Keep in mind that this is only a reference point and rates will change depending on engagement, industry and type of content.
The rates also vary between platforms. For example, the basic rate for Snapchat in 2017 translated to $500 per 1,000 – 5,000 views. If you wanted to work with YouTube creators, you could expect to pay $2,000 per video for channels with 100,000 followers.
How to Find Micro-Influencers for Your Brand
In order to find the right influencers for your marketing campaign, you should first have an excellent knowledge of your target audience. Who are your clients? What are the demographics? Where do they look for content that’s relevant to them? If your company has a brand strategy, answering these questions shouldn’t be a problem.
This is especially important since you need to decide which platform you’re going to tackle. You have to know where your clients hang out and follow suit.
In a 2018 study by SocialPubli, over 60% of micro-influencers stated they use Instagram as their social network of choice. Facebook came second at 17.2% followed by Twitter (12.4%) and YouTube (7.3%).
While there are many ways to conduct influencer research, it’s a good idea to start looking among the users who already follow or interact with your social media accounts. Take a closer look at the people who actively participate in discussions, leave comments, reshare your content and engage with your brand.
When you find a possible match, see if their content philosophy aligns with that of your brand. Browse their profiles, look up the number of followers and see what they usually post. Do other people interact with their content? What’s the engagement and general reception?
Another method to find micro-influencers is to use dedicated tools and services. For starters, you can check Influence.co. The service claims to have “the largest database of authorised influencer profiles” and comes with powerful search tools that will make the process much easier.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you may want to give Buzzsumo a try. The platform lets you run keyword searches and find related content that’s getting traction in social media.
Looking for authors who post about beauty products and makeup tricks? Fire up the search and find out what’s trending, who’s posting it and how to connect.
Regardless of the search method, make sure to run a thorough background check on the people you reach out to. Collaboration with influencers can make or break your publicity so it’s important to choose the right voice for your marketing campaign.
Things To Keep in Mind
Working with micro-influencers is no different from working with your regular team members. It takes time, dedication and trust to build lasting relationships that will benefit both parties.
In order to kick off that relationship on the right foot, here are a few simple rules you should keep in mind when reaching out to influencers.
Once you’ve found the individual you want to work with, reach out to them in a professional manner. Always send inquiries from your business e-mail account rather than a personal one. You can also send direct messages from your business Instagram or Facebook profile. It’s more professional and makes it clear that you mean business.
State Your Expectations Early On
You don’t want to spam your potential content creators with generic, poorly researched e-mails about how great it’d be if they said a (favourable) word or two about your product. Instead, tell them why you’d like to work with them and make your expectations clear from the very beginning. Their time is as precious as yours so cut down on ambiguity and get to the point.
Avoid Being Prescriptive
Try to avoid telling micro-influencers what type of content they should post. It’s fine to send guidelines or ideas they can reference to but you shouldn’t attempt to handle the creative process for them. They know best how to communicate with their audience so let them do it their own way.
As more people are looking for trustworthy and genuine sources of information, micro-influencers can become your best partners in spreading the word about your business.
If you want to promote your brand in a natural way, seek advice from the very people you’re trying to appeal to. Micro-influencers know your audience better than you do and can communicate with your customers in their own habitat.
Interested in running a micro-influencer campaign for your brand? Be sure to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 1423 313237.