Written by intern Rhiannon Gilbert
We know that building your own personal brand is important, but what if you could benefit from someone else’s personal brand, too? That’s the whole idea behind influencer marketing, a tactic where companies traditionally use a popular celebrity to promote their product or brand. Of course, most brands aren’t multi-million dollar franchises with the budget to pay actors and pop stars to wear, ingest, or apply their product. That doesn’t mean that smaller businesses can’t reap the same benefits of endorsements from micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are the “little guys” who wield a lot of power on social media, and they’re becoming essential for online marketing efforts.
What Is A Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers aren’t owners of the most popular accounts on social media. Some have as few as 500 followers and others fall closer to the 100,000 mark. The optimum number of followers needed to define a micro-influencer is debatable. Those numbers still don’t touch the millions who follow celebrities. However, micro-influencers are unmatched in their follower engagement quality. Micro-influencers tend to get around 3% engagement per media (which, in laymen’s terms, is pretty darn good!). That’s what happens when an account is very specific and tailored to a passionate niche audience. There are micro-influencers for almost every topic you can think of: food, fashion, fitness, travel, sport, parenting, art, etc. Micro-influencers can be found on all social media platforms, but Instagram is the most popular spot. Take a look at Shapeshift Report’s top 40 micro-influencers on Instagram.
How They Can Help Your Business Grow
Consumers see right through celebrity endorsements. Diet Coke might be Taylor Swift’s soda of choice, but who’s to say that Coke wasn’t just the highest bidder for her endorsement? Social media consumers trust endorsements from micro-influencers because they’re regular people who choose the products they use because they like genuinely like them. Micro-influencers are the cyber word-of-mouth for masses of modern consumers, and we know that trust is one of the biggest factors influencing young people’s online purchasing decisions.
Targeting a specific audience can be a challenge when similar companies are going after those same audiences. Having a micro-influencer on your side can help your brand grow tremendously when you harness the power of their followers. Their niche personal brand fits your niche product and — bam! — you’ve tapped into a major vein of your target audience. Micro-influencers can get thousands of fresh eyes on your business.
To top it off, micro-influencers are one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise. Their followers engage with them because they want to see their content. If that content includes your brand, those followers are much more likely to trust you and want to try your product because the micro-influencer uses it. This bypasses a lot of the gambling, guesswork, and competition you face when using traditional social media advertisements. Utilizing a micro-influencer is almost always guaranteed to give you a higher ROI.
How To Find Your Dream Micro-Influencer
A good place to start searching for micro-influencers is through hashtags that are relevant to your business. Micro-influencers rely heavily on the use of hashtags to procure niche audiences, so you’re sure to find a lot of posts from relevant accounts pertaining to your area of interest.
The best-case scenario is that a micro-influencer is already a follower of yours! This is actually the case with a lot of brands, and it makes for a great marketing partnership between you and the micro-influencer. Take the time to investigate your followers and see if any of them have authentic, influential accounts that could help boost your brand through an organized endorsement.
Once you find someone you think might be a good candidate, follow them. See how they engage with their followers and interact with them yourself to gauge their professionalism and see if their personality is what you want associated with your brand. If so, take the next step to building a business relationship with them.
How To Build A Partnership With A Micro-Influencer
If the micro-influencer you have your eye on is already following you or using your product, this process will be much easier. If not, you’re going to need to reach out and try to get them on board with your product, service, or message. If you sell a physical product, it’s always a good idea to send them samples when you make your offer. Some companies even compensate their micro-influencers by keeping them stocked with free products.
Compensating every micro-influencer is different. It can depend on a lot of factors, including the amount of followers they have or the amount of engagement they receive on posts featuring your brand. It can seem like a tricky process, but this how-to guide by Lumanu lays out step-by-step options to keep the relationship between you and your micro-influencer mutually beneficial.
Keep in mind that micro-influencers thrive on their authenticity, and the best among them are picky with their endorsements. Have more than one influencer on your list when you start reaching out to recruit.