Influencer marketing is one of the hottest trends right now. But for many brands, it seems difficult to utilize. How are you supposed to get influencers to post about your business? How can you find accounts that match your brand goals? How can your business stand out in a sea of other big brands?
If you feel stumped by these questions, you’re not alone – and the answer might be closer to home than you realize. Consider the world of micro-influencers and how they can help your brand.
What Are Micro-Influencers?
An influencer is a prominent public figure who has significant sway in society (like Kim Kardashian or Chrissy Teigen). A micro-influencer is the same thing but on a smaller scale.
Micro-influencers typically have a significant amount of sway to niche audiences due to their expertise or location. For example, your local weatherman might be a micro-influencer because he is easily recognized around town, but isn’t well-known outside of your community.
Beauty bloggers, vloggers, gamers, health experts, and foodies all have their own community of micro-influencers who have a strong standing in their niche. Micro-influencers can also be found in the business world. These are authors, conference speakers, and innovators who make a splash within a specific field.
While micro-influencers are incredibly diverse, there is some confusion over what constitutes a micro-influencer.
Scrunch defines a micro-influencer as someone with 2,000 - 50,000 fans. Meanwhile, Buffer says anyone with 10,000 or fewer followers counts. Does this mean that someone with 200 follows counts? What about someone right on the cusp of 10,000?
The actual definition of a micro-influencer is vague because influencer limits depend on the brands who are willing to pay them. If a brand wants to work with a few dozen micro-influencers with 500 followers on social media, it’s their strategic choice.
Why Micro-Influencers Are Powerful
There are many benefits of working with micro-influencers to promote your brand. While influencers are certainly powerful, they are also more expensive. Most brands can’t afford to hire a household name to promote their products. The good news is that most brands don’t need to. Micro-influencers might be able to help you reach your goal -- at a more affordable cost.
- Micro-influencers help you reach the right audience. It is better to reach 10,000 highly-engaged people than 100,000 people who don’t care about your brand. One of the risks of working with a macro-influencer is that their reach is very broad. You could end up overpaying without getting the results you want.
- Micro-influencers are experts. People trust local food bloggers to recommend good places to eat and expect make-up artists to recommend the best products for their needs. These people are specialists within their niche. As a result, they command their audiences better and drive more results.
- Micro-influencers are considered peers. One of the dangers of being a celebrity is that people think that you’re out of touch with the Average Joe. Sure, you might take make-up recommendations from Kim Kardashian, but what does she know about affordable options when she likely spends thousands of dollars each year on high-end products? Roughly 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by recommendations by their peers – and these peers can be micro-influencers.
- Micro-influencers stretch your budget. We touched on how micro-influencers cost less, but it’s worth exploring in greater detail. With a set budget, you could buy a post by a single macro-influencer, or buy ten posts from different micro-influencers. This expands your reach to highly-targeted audiences. Also, by reaching audiences better, your conversions are likely to increase, growing the overall ROI for working with this influencer market.
As you can see, any brand can tap into influencer marketing. You don’t need a million-dollar budget to get noticed by A-list celebrities. In fact, it’s often better if you don’t.
How Can Your Brand Work with Micro-Influencers?
Like any marketing campaign, you need to develop a strategy when working with influencers. This will help you stay organized and track your results.
- Develop a list of micro-influencers in your niche. This will give you an idea for the average audience size and demand within your industry. If you are in a popular industry (like health or fitness), then your micro-influencers might be bigger than you expected.
- Reach out to micro-influencers for their rates and interest level. There are some companies that specialize in connecting brands with micro-influencers, so you can work with them or contact influencers on your own. With this research, you should be able to develop a spreadsheet with influencers and rates to determine who you can afford to hire.
- Develop brand guidelines for influencers. You want your influencers to bend your messaging to their brand, but you also want to make sure your products are accurately represented. Create a list of dos and don’ts for your brand that each micro-influencer can follow. (Learn More: Your Brand Guide: Creating a Consistent Look and Sound for Your Organization)
- Create an influencer-specific campaign. You can do this by making unique social media hashtags or promo codes for certain influencers. This will allow you to track the results of each influencer. You can also ask the influencer for analytics based on the post (like reach, engagement, etc.).
- Track the progress of your efforts. Monitor the ROI of your efforts and the engagement rates of the micro-influencers you work with. You want to keep investing in the influencers that drive results so you can grow your brand and make these campaigns profitable.
For many brands, influencer marketing is a trial and error process. By staying organized, you can learn what works and what doesn’t.
Identify More Ways to Connect With Customers
Influencer marketing has taken off because it allows brands to form strong relationships with their customer base. It allows you to show how you understand your customer’s needs and what they enjoy. Influencer marketing is part of an overarching theme of customer engagement.
At Spectrio, we specialize in engaging customers through marketing and with positive in-store experiences. Check out our Resources Section to get an idea of how we help customers. We have multiple downloadable ebooks and whitepapers to guide your store experience. Start with our Checklist for Auditing Your Retail Store and then move deeper into your specific niche.