As you already know, social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. However, chances are that you’re not getting as broad of a reach as you want. Unfortunately, it can take time to build a captive audience, so what can you do to accelerate this process?
Micro-influencers may be the ideal option. In this ebook, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of recruiting micro-influencers to your brand. What they are, how they work, and how to maximize their potential. Upgrade your social media marketing today, find out more about why micro-influencers are the way to go for your brand.
Chapter One: Why Micro-Influencers?
Social media marketing has a variety of tools at your disposal to help you succeed. You are likely aware of things like pay-per-click campaigns, which can boost your social media ads to a wider audience so that you get more traffic.
However, while these tools are useful, they are only part of the puzzle. Utilizing micro-influencers can help your marketing campaign in a few different ways, such as incorporating a sense of authenticity to your brand. Let’s dive into the reasons why you should focus on micro-influencers in the first place.
What is a Micro-Influencer?
As the name suggests, micro-influencers have a relatively limited audience size. According to the official definition, they will have between 1,000-10,000 followers. While 1,000 followers may not sound like much (you might have similar numbers for your business), what matters is the level of engagement.
The Benefits of Using Micro-Influencers on Social Media
What sets micro-influencers apart is that they are much more influential to their audience. This is because micro-influencers are typically experts or authorities in a particular niche. Some examples could include a food blogger, event coordinator, or travel writer. Because these influencers work in a specific niche, they have much more authenticity, which resonates more with their following.
In fact, according to recent research, micro-influencers can have up to 85% engagement with their audience. The reason for such high numbers is that the people following the influencer are much more likely to pay attention to what he or she has to say. Also, unlike a mega-influencer or celebrity, a follower feels a deeper connection. So, when the micro-influencer suggests a particular brand or product, followers are far more likely to check it out for themselves, since they have a more vested interest.
Think about it like this: micro-influencers aren’t rich and famous - they’re regular people with a skilled job. Thus, they come across as peers to their followers. Up to 84 percent of consumers are willing to trust a peer when it comes to product recommendations. Also, when a celebrity endorses something, it’s just another high-profile ad. When a micro-influencer does it, the impact feels a lot more significant.
Overall, when utilizing a micro-influencer in your social media campaign, you are going to get much higher engagement for your ads. Even if an influencer has 1,000 followers, you can expect to get up to 800 of them. If you went with someone with a much higher following, you could reasonably anticipate the same amount of traffic regardless.
The other benefit of using a micro-influencer is that they won’t cost as much as a local or national celebrity. Whereas a famous actor could charge massive amounts to appear in your advertisement, a micro-influencer is going to accept a lot less.
Not only that, but it’s easier to draft a multi-ad contract with micro-influencers. Thus, if you want to use the same person for an entire ad campaign, you can get a much higher return on investment than you would by paying the same amount for a single ad from a mega-influencer.
Better Conversion Rate
Because micro-influencers can interact with their audience much better, they can go above and beyond the ad. If followers have questions about a particular product or service, the influencer can answer questions and provide honest feedback. This high level of engagement encourages followers to buy the product or service, which will deliver a more significant conversion rate.
According to data, up to 49 percent of social media users say that they trust recommendations by influencers. Again, it’s all about trusting peers over celebrities and brands. If a customer has a question about a product endorsed by Kim Kardashian, she is probably never going to address it personally. A local fashion blogger, however, will.
Micro vs. Mega Influencer: What’s the Difference?
Although we’re focusing on influencers on the low end of the spectrum, it helps to get some context into the kind of people you will want to work with on your campaign. Technically speaking, there are three tiers of influencers: micro, macro, and mega.
Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers
Macro-influencers have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
Mega-influencers usually have around one million or more followers
As you can imagine, when an influencer’s following grows to such proportions, the level of engagement goes way down. After all, how can they interact with hundreds of thousands of people regularly?
That being said, macro and mega influencers have their place, particularly when trying to build brand awareness. Partnering with a mega-influencers can boost your company’s profile and get a lot of people to pay closer attention to you. However, when it comes to conversion rates, you will still have to do much of the heavy lifting with your website and landing pages.
Why Micro-Influencers are Better for Your Brand
Overall, micro-influencers are ideal for the following marketing objectives.
Drive Sales of a Particular Product
Because micro-influencers can have much more sway among their followers, you can expect to get a relatively high ROI on a particular ad. Promoting a single product or service with a promo code can increase sales significantly.
Create Authenticity for Your Brand
These days, consumers want to connect with companies that engage with them personally. Brands that seem to focus solely on the bottom line and not on the welfare and benefits of their customers aren’t going to get that far. By utilizing micro-influencers, you can add authenticity to your business and illustrate that you are both reliable and trustworthy.
Build a Loyal Following
Another thing that we see more of these days is brand loyalty among consumers. Users are far more willing to choose specific brands over others, particularly if those companies share the same values. When you use micro-influencers to spread your brand’s message, it’s easier to cultivate strong loyalty among their followers, creating a solid foundation upon which to grow.
Chapter Two: Finding the Right Influencers
Understanding the value of micro-influencers is only the first step. Now you have to go out there and find the right representatives for your business. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.
Which Social Sites Are You Using?
Social media seems to be dominating our lives at this point, and new platforms come out all the time. Not only that, but you probably won’t be able to build an active presence on every social media site, which means that you need to pick your targets.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are still the big three, but other platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest can help you generate buzz as well. When trying to find influencers, you have to start looking at the sites you (and your customers) use the most.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the audience for each platform is different. So, you will have to consider whether broadcasting there is going to deliver the response you want. For example, TikTok is geared towards a younger, pre-teen crowd, while Twitter is more prevalent among Millennials and Gen Xers. Understanding both your target demographic and the people using the site the most is going to help you narrow down your search parameters.
How Many Influencers Do You Need?
One thing that many small businesses don’t realize about marketing is that you need to run multiple campaigns at once. One campaign could be focused on a particular product, while another illustrates what differentiates you from the competition.
So, with that in mind, you will want to utilize different micro-influencers for each objective. We highly recommend starting small (i.e., one or two influencers) so that you can see the results before committing to anything too big. Even then, you can have multiple influencers working on the same objective so that you can compare them side by side. That leads us to -
Comparing Influencers: What to Look For
Because there isn’t a standard operating procedure for being a social media influencer, it can be challenging to figure out who will be best for your brand. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Activity - how often does the influencer post? Multiple times a day, once a week, once a month?
Engagement - look at some of the influencer’s past posts. Pay attention to the number of comments and replies. Shares and likes are also good, but they don’t necessarily translate to customer activity, so don’t put too much weight on those metrics.
Promo Ads - has the influencer done ads for other companies? How often? If he or she promotes multiple businesses, it could be harder for you to make as much of an impact on his or her following.
Niche - is the influencer’s niche related to your business? How aligned are your interests and values? Does the influencer represent multiple niches (i.e., traveling and cooking)?
Overall, you want to start by following each profile to get a better sense of how the influencer acts on social media. After a while, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect.
Hashtags, Shares, and Mentions - How They Can Help
Social media isn’t just about posting something and waiting for the likes to roll in. All too often, companies focus on what are called “vanity metrics.” These are numbers that may not translate to hard currency. For example, 1,000 people may have liked a particular ad, but did that generate 1,000 visits to your landing page or 1,000 sales of that product? Unlikely.
That being said, you can boost a particular post by utilizing the tools embedded in these social sites. Hashtags and mentions can assist by expanding your circle of followers. Users searching for a specific hashtag will find your post, and those following the account you mention will also see it pop up in their timeline.
Shares are another way to increase the awareness and engagement of a particular post. When searching for influencers, pay attention to how many posts were shared, as that indicates more interest in a specific ad or topic.
Chapter Three: Working With Micro-Influencers
Now that you’ve narrowed down your field of potential influencers, how can you start working with them? This chapter will illustrate the best ways to get a micro-influencer in your marketing campaign.
What is Your Goal?
Before you can even attempt to get a micro-influencer on your campaign, you need to identify the specific objective you’re trying to reach. Do you want to build brand awareness? If so, what does that look like? For example, that could mean boosting web traffic to your site by 10 percent or more.
When developing marketing goals, they should all have these components:
Quantifiable Targets - we want to get 600 new followers on our social media page
Deadlines - we want to reach 600 new followers by the end of the quarter
Milestones - 200 new followers each month for the next three months
By integrating these elements, you can track your progress and determine when you’ve reached your goal. Tracking is going to be crucial, as it will illustrate what’s working and what isn’t. You don’t want to be stuck with a particular influencer or marketing strategy that doesn’t help your business.
Developing an Influencer Strategy
When working with micro-influencers, you need to understand how to utilize them effectively. Here are some things to keep in mind when building a cohesive marketing campaign.
Additional Tactics - what will your internal marketing team be doing during the campaign? Will these posts interfere with the influencer’s?
Compelling Copy - will you allow the influencer to write posts generically, or are there specific items that he or she needs to mention?
Multiple Influencers - if you’re using several influencers simultaneously, how are you making sure that they don’t overlap and dilute your brand’s message?
Overall, you need to consider how well the influencer will fit into your current marketing tactics so that everything builds on each other. Otherwise, you could be hurting the success of your campaign by running similar ads or repeating content to the same audience.
Creating a Contract
Although each influencer will be different, you should have an idea of what to expect going into the deal. Not only do you need to have clear goals, but you also need to include these components in your influencer contract.
Influencer Tracking - you need to be able to tell how well your influencer is doing. If the goal is to get new followers, you have to see which ones followed you as a direct result of the influencer. Promo codes and landing pages are an excellent way to do this.
Payment Via Progress - ideally, your influencer makes more money as long as you are too. For example, for each new sale the influencer generates, he or she gets a small percentage (or a flat rate per transaction).
Termination Procedure - while you need to give your influencer time to generate the leads you want, you should also be able to terminate the deal if things aren’t working out.
What you need to keep in mind is that this deal needs to work well for both you and the influencer. If he or she feels exploited, you won’t get the results you want. Also, remember that you can start small with a short-term contract (i.e., three months) and then build from there once you see how well your partnership works.
Chapter Four: Analyzing Your Results
As with any marketing strategy, you need to see how well it’s working so that you can adjust your approach accordingly. Back in the old days, you could invest in an ad campaign and spend thousands of dollars on print ads or TV spots without tracking its impact on your bottom line.
Fortunately, with technology at your fingertips, analytics has never been more accessible. Most social sites enable you to track how well particular posts are doing so that you can focus on methods that are generating the most interest.
Overall, you want to push ads that get results while cutting anything that doesn’t build the same buzz. Even if you spent a lot of time developing a particular ad series, you don’t want to waste even more time and energy by promoting something that won’t add to your bottom line. Analysis ensures that you are getting the highest ROI possible.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at how to analyze results when working with micro-influencers.
Are You Achieving Your Goals?
Because your objectives were laid out and quantified, you should be able to track how well they are doing. For example, if you wanted to get 600 unique followers in three months, see how many you’ve gotten after the first month and tweak your campaign as necessary.
What you want to keep in mind is that you may need to reevaluate some of your goals and methods. In some instances, you might have to go back to the drawing board to come up with something else that will work better.
For example, if you’re not getting new followers, part of the problem may be that your social pages or websites are not engaging. Perhaps site speed is slow, so you have a high bounce rate. Maybe your pages lack any meaningful information, so no one feels compelled to hit the follow button.
Overall, you need to look at each aspect of your marketing campaign to see where any shortfalls lie. Your micro-influencer may be doing everything correctly, but because you don’t have compelling CTAs on your landing pages, you’re not getting the results you want.
Taking a comprehensive approach to analysis will help you pinpoint problems so that you can fix them. Once everything is working well together, you shouldn’t have any issues reaching your goals.
Which Influencer is Making Waves?
When using multiple influencers, it’s imperative that you track each one individually. This way, you can see which ones are having the most impact on your marketing goals. Ideally, you will have spelled out expectations and quantifiable numbers in the contract. However, even if you didn’t, you should be able to tell which influencers are generating a higher ROI.
Renegotiating Your Contract(s)
After your initial contract expires, you will either want to renegotiate or terminate your relationship with an influencer. If you choose the former option, you may want to extend the contract period (i.e., six months instead of three), as well as adjust payment based on performance. For example, if an influencer exceeded your marketing goals, he or she may be more valuable than you initially realized.
Here a few other tips to keep in mind when renegotiating:
Keep Contract Terms Short - typically, don’t go for any longer than a year. Because social media marketing can fluctuate, you don’t want your contract to outlast your campaign.
Stick to Your Budget - you may be able to increase your ad spend based on past performance, but don’t put too much money into a single influencer.
Adjust Your Marketing Goals - if the influencer sailed past your original objective, you might want to set your sights higher during the renegotiation. Instead of 600 followers, it could be 1,000 over the same period.
Finding New Influencers
Even if a particular micro-influencer works well for your brand, new ones will be popping up as well. You shouldn’t stop looking for new ad partners for your company. You may find someone who is better suited to your particular niche, or if you’re expanding your business, you could locate influencers in new markets.
Conclusion: Micro-Influencers Can Build a Better Reputation for Your Brand
Overall, utilizing micro-influencers in your marketing campaign is a smart idea. Leverage their popularity and authority to build your business and improve your reputation in the process. While macro and mega influencers have their place, micro-influencers can generate stronger bonds between you and your customers.