In a media landscape saturated with advertisers all trying to cut through the noise, influencer marketing has become an essential piece of the modern marketer’s tool belt.
Micro-influencers — people who have garnered small yet extremely loyal audiences on their social media platforms by creating compelling content and simply being themselves — are a marketer’s saving grace. These people aren’t your typical brand ambassadors who just post about a product and their key benefits — they are brand advocates with real opinions to share, followed by audiences who trust and value their opinions.
When done strategically, engaging a micro-influencer to deliver your brand’s key messages can be an incredibly effective way to garner awareness, establish familiarity, build trust, and ultimately, to convert new customers.
According to a 2016 study conducted by Expertcity, micro-influencers are perceived by those receiving advice as more “credible and believable,” “more knowledgeable” and “better at explaining how the product works or could be used” compared to the average person.
The study, based on an online survey of 6,000 users drawn from Expertcity’s panel and the general population, found that 82 per cent of respondents were “highly likely to follow a recommendation” made by a micro-influencer.
A gold mine for new audiences
Micro-influencers are unique because they have their own group of loyal followers that they’ve cultivated over time; often, the hard-to-reach demographics coveted by marketers. These influencers have built meaningful connections with their audience, and what they talk about matters to their circle of connections.
By engaging an influencer to speak positively about your product or service, you’re tapping into a new audience that no amount of targeting through other methods could reach.
How to find a micro-influencer that fits
Online services such as Speakr, Tidal Labs and Women’s Influencer Network are great resources to aid in your search for the perfect micro-influencer to advertise your product — but doing your research will be pivotal.
Search for product hashtags in your area and see who’s advertising different products in your location. Also, find out what brand deals a micro-influencer has done in the past and what kind of engagement it saw (likes, comments, shares, re-posts, etc.).
Answer these important questions when determining which influencer is the right fit to relay your message:
- Does the micro-influencer’s personal brand align with yours?
- Is your product something their followers will actually be interested in?
- Are you willing to incentivize their audience to purchase with a discount or a giveaway?
Bang for your buck
The amount a micro-influencer will charge to feature your product on their social channels can vary based on the size of their audiences, how many platforms they’re on, what those platforms are and their location.
The depth of the agreement is also a determining factor; whether the influencer is mentioning the product as part of an existing post, a product placement, or a full-blown sponsored feature will affect cost.
Regardless of these factors, choosing to hire a micro-influencer over another tactic (for example, buying a flight of display ads) usually packs a bigger punch for a lot less money.
Engagement over impressions
While your micro-influencer sponsored post may reach fewer eyes in the big picture, it’s quality over quantity. Because they already have an established and engaged audience, you’ll be getting your brand in front of like-minded consumers who are much more open to recommendations from a trusted source.
Compare this to the superficial impressions often garnered via a pre-roll ad or a leaderboard on a website, and marketing with a micro-influencer starts to look pretty good.
Genuine endorsements sell
A large part of the influencer-brand equation comes down to ensuring your product is something the micro-influencer actually believes in and genuinely wants to promote. While the slope is slippery between influencers who take on brand deals based on genuine enthusiasm for the product and those just trying to cash a cheque, the majority of micro-influencers will only feature products they’ve used and enjoyed themselves.
This is why it’s important to keep the dialogue open and transparent from the get-go. By presenting yourself as a trustworthy brand willing to build a lasting relationship, the potential influencer will be much more inclined to work with you.
The best part? If they really like what you’re about, they’ll continue to talk about your brand — even when you’re not paying them to do so.