Micro-influencers are people with lesser than 1 M followers online, who can be the real influencers to increase the brand awareness of your products or services.
Influencer marketing is not at all a new thing, as it has been used as a useful strategy since the 1700s, when brands like Wedgewood chinaware used royal endorsements as a legacy-marketing tool. Later on in the early 1900s, “Kodas” cigarette brand included pictures of celebrities in their packaging for collectors, and had trading cards of famous American baseball players inside their packs.
In the recent times, social media has dramatically upended the modern influencer marketing game as a crowdsourcing tool, using micro-influencers, as cost and competitive terms have made it more difficult for small and medium businesses to work with celebrity endorsers in the market.
This change, however, has prompted marketers to take a new approach by utilizing ‘average people’ who have built an ‘above-the-average’ following on social networks in different business verticals and entrepreneurial genres.
Saying hello to these new micro-influencers, there are several advantages and benefits to creating micro-influencer campaigns. Especially the ability to mount promotions of a brand, which are more affordable and frequent, than those that would have worked with celebrity influencers who are mostly beyond the reach of bootstrapping software-as-a-service startups, app developers and more.
Micro-influencers’ followers can be on YouTube, social media, they can be bloggers etc. Nevertheless, the bottom-line is- Are these followers trustworthy, loyal, reliable and engaging?
To determine this level of engagement, Marketly (brand protection company) conducted a study in 2016 between the follower engagements vs. influencer size, comparing celebrity-size large influencers against micro-influencers.
In the study, it was found that micro-influencers who are in the range of 10,000 to 1, 00,000 followers are most successful in engaging their audience, where the display of ‘like’ rates were 2.37% for the micro-influencers against 1.66% for celebrity influencers who have more than a few million followers on their list.
This is because consumers prefer genuine recommendations from a family member, friends, and micro-influencers, those who tend to hold small but fiercely loyal followers on their track.
Why you should trust the micro-influencers?
Beginning right from the base, micro-influencers have direct and personal contact with their audience. In fact, micro-influencers most often have a very intimate sense of who their followers are and what they are like since micro-influencers not only understands their audience but also respects them. Hence, micro-influencers always tend to serve ideas, products and services that they know will resonate among their followers and fans.
Moreover, micro-influencers see their role as one person who is responsible for continually serving up interesting news, ideas, and opinions to their followers- and this strategy works.
According to Forrester, more than 92% of consumers trust a micro-influencer more than an advertisement gig or traditional celebrity endorsements.
Moreover, it can be difficult at times for celebrity influencers to be credible to the customers about utilizing certain products or services.
For example, can you imagine Selena Gomez (who ranks the first among the top six celebrity influencers in 2016) endorsing a brand of dish wash? After all, we all would agree that a celebrity superstar like Selena Gomez does not do her dishes. Hence, there is a plausible disconnection between what superstar celebrity endorsers and many common products and services the average consumers use every day.
Additionally, for most successful online marketing campaigns, more than one mention is required to impact sales. So online social media advertisement expert Barry Feldman (Owner at Feldman Creative) is of the opinion that promoting your brand on multi-channel with multiple influencers is more effective, as micro-influencers are more affordable, which helps brands to create long-term campaigns for market penetration and measurable impacts.
How and where can you find Micro-influencers?
Although there are plenty of micro-influencers on the social media platform, finding the right one for your brand can prove to be a headache.
One way to go about finding the perfect micro-influencer for your brand is by searching through your brand’s Instagram or LinkedIn followers and seeing if any of them are already following you.
Another method of finding micro-influencers, which saves a lot of time, involves paying for influencer’s database so that you can access personal email and contact information of various micro-influencers in different industrial categories.
With all these in mind, here are six sure shot tips to help you reach more of your ideal customers through micro-influencer marketing campaigns:
1. Find the ideal influencer
If for an example, you are selling easy to use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and you contact a YouTube prankster with half a million followers, who nurtures demography of 16-25 years old boys and girls- do you think you would you really find this audience relevant to what you are selling?
Hence, even if with the help of this influencer, each YouTube videos, and FaceBook posts gets hundreds of views, your ROI will be far lesser than if you connect with someone who is specialized in training to help people in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and provides helpful advice on how to buy CRM skills.
2. Focus on engagements
Prior to reaching the micro-influencers ensure they have built an appreciable level of engagements with their followers. The truth lies in the fact; that it is only user engagements that lead to growth.
Always focus on engagements first. Check engagement metrics like comments, repins, retweets, questions, like and other valuable key performance indexes before choosing the micro-influencer for your brand.
According to Heidi Yu, CEO, and founder at Boostinsider (a influencer marketing intelligence platform):
“Remember, most big influencers typically don’t have the type of engagement that micro-influencers do. Because it’s easier to engage 1,000 followers compared to 50,000 followers under the same circumstance”.
3. Use an army
To maximize your results, find lookalike micro-influencers who can promote your brand. You can decide to start your campaigns with one specific influencer, but do not hold on for too long. Build an army of influencers who can communicate clearly, simplify your message, and prove the impact that you need. Never think that all your worries are gone the moment you build a relationship with a single micro-influencer with a million followers since a huge audience does not necessarily mean a lot of downloads.
4. Find a network of connecting micro-influencers
According to a senior media strategist, micro-influencers tend to support each other by leaving comments on each other’s contents and sharing each other’s posts. Therefore, being endorsed by several influencers forms social proof with respect to the media value of your brand, when an ideal customer sees comments from two or more experts promoting your offering(s).
5.Send a weekly digest email.
For better results, get started from where you are and with what that you have. Send a weekly email to inspire your micro-influencers to amplify what you have started. In other words, do not get overwhelmed by email marketing strategies. Just give your micro-influencers an idea of what to push and wait for more opportunities to improve your marketing strategies in the long haul.
6. Show them love
Ditch promotional emails that are uninteresting and assertive, instead show your micro-influencers that you are concerned about the value of their time. Cut the noise and show them, love. Micro-influencers much like your loyal consumers do not want to feel like they are also just another target for your email messages, so instead make them feel like that they are also a part of your brand’s family.
Do not worry even if most of the micro-influencers do not reply to your emails, or do not care about your brand. Remember, there are thousands of other micro-influencers in your industry and so eventually, you will always find an army of micro-influencers who will advocate for your brand.
Last but not the least; never refer to any influencer as an ‘influencer’ or ‘micro-influencer’ in your email. Make your emails sound cordial. Respect them and you will find your right micro-influencer who is willing to work for you soon.