In this day and age, with the rise of social media and smartphone use, the incorporation of popular online personalities into media campaigns has practically exploded. Dubbed ‘influencers’, these people utilize their online space to advertise and market various products in conjunction with different brands and businesses. In fact, it is posited that influencer marketing has become the key driver of sales for many brands. Trusted and admired by their followers, they are the perfect vehicle for brands hoping to influence hundreds of thousands – and, in some cases, millions – of people to buy from them or copy particular looks and styles.
What Exactly IS a Micro-Influencer
Whilst large brands have the financial capacity to employ A-list celebrities, smaller businesses with a much-reduced budget would benefit from working with influencers who are more niche. These influencers are often referred to as micro-influencers.
Within this circle of influencers, you are likely to find a dedicated, loyal social media following that frequently engages with the account, although the number of followers is significantly fewer than that of celebrities. This enables them to be intensely specific when it comes to the types of products they will market. So, a micro-influencer specializing in eco-friendly content is more likely to only market products that they themselves fully believe in and that are good for the environment – meaning they will shun big brands with questionable morals and practices.
The smaller audience share means that micro-influencers are able to engage much more meaningfully with their followers, which causes said followers to feel ‘seen’ and ‘validated’. This, in turn, helps to make the audience more much more active – they trust the product purveyor because they trust the influencer marketing them, and so are more likely to purchase the products suggested. Relevant data and conducted studies support this assertion, noting the success of micro-influencers in the eCommerce world.
Finding the Right Micro-Influencer for You
Although we’ve established that micro-influencers are the way to go for better audience engagement and, as a result, for driving sales, it’s worth mentioning that you need to find the right micro-influencer for you.
Employing the incorrect influencer can damage not only your campaign but your brand, wasting both time and money whilst your business remains stagnant. For example, it is essentially pointless to pay an influencer who focuses on mindfulness and mental health concerns to advertise weight-loss supplements.
Handily, there are numerous online analytics-based tools that specifically help you to gather data on micro-influencers according to their niche. Many of these tools are, however, costly. HYPR is a tool that, for 100 searches, is free to use and provides you with a detailed set of data to help you make your decision. Ideally, you want to be looking for influencers with a following below 15,000, as data has identified that conversion rates are higher for smaller accounts. This guarantees that influencers’ audience-share is likely to be compact, with relevant shared interests. The more followers an influencer begins to accumulate, the broader their audience becomes and, therefore, the topics of interest.
What Do You Want?
When comparing and assessing the potential micro-influencers for your brand campaign, it’s imperative to establish what you’re seeking to gain from this particular partnership – do you want more awareness of your brand? Are you looking to promote a particular product or message? Do you hope to achieve more website traffic? Whichever you decide on, you need to ensure that the influencer you choose to work with is not only aware of your goals but also willing to do what’s necessary to help you achieve them.
Content and Engagement Analysis
Although there are various online tools to help you narrow down your influencer search, sometimes actually scrolling through social media and obtaining an idea of the way these influencers present themselves and their ideas can be incredibly useful. You can witness how they operate, how they engage with followers, how frequently they utilize their social media account, and how receptive they are to suggestions and ideas.
While, as established, it seems that a higher follower count is going to expand your audience reach, you would be better placed to focus on smaller accounts and instead analyze their audience engagement. How frequently do they respond to their audience? Are their interactions genuine and meaningful? How does the audience respond to the influencer’s engagement attempts?
Then it would be prudent to look at their previous ads and shares – what links, apps, tools, or products have they chosen to share? Why? How can you tailor your content to suit their style and persuade them to work with you?
Making the Most of Your Micro-Influencers
As we have established, micro-influencers are one of the best ways of promoting brands, products, and messages within niche areas of the market. However, in order to reap the benefits of this approach, it is important to utilize them effectively, otherwise, you will end up wasting valuable time and money.
Making the most of your micro-influencer should include some of the following suggestions: user-generated content, sponsored posts, using hashtags that are specific to your campaign, and include storytelling in your promotion campaign.
Companies such as LaCroix have effectively utilized cleverly branded content to advertise via micro-influencers through curated campaign-specific hashtags, making it easy for social media users to search for and locate related content, demonstrating the power of such a strategy, even with large brands.
Sponsored posts and user-generated content both include persuading influencers to post the content on their own accounts, reaching their audiences easily, and allowing for detailed, lengthy posts related to the brand/product. Engagement increases and your brand is thus reinforced to the influencer’s audience.
Finally, we have the storytelling strategy. It is well-known that audiences are far more likely to engage if they feel some form of connection or affinity to the campaign, influencer, or product. This approach colors the campaign with a personalized story and/or background that the audience can identify with, that they can create an emotional connection with, and therefore leads to a growth in traffic.
Incorporating micro-influencers into your brand campaigns can help expand the reach of your business and, if necessary, drive sales and website traffic. If you feel stuck-in-a-rut and like your business isn’t reaching its potential, it might be time for you to start looking into how you can use micro-influencers to benefit your brand!