Influencer marketing is increasingly popular, but well-known
influencers can be both costly and ineffective for certain brands.
Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are an effective way for
businesses to connect with new audiences.
But what are micro-influencers and how can you leverage them?
Partnering with micro-influencers can feel overwhelming. Before you
craft your influencer marketing plan, review this guide to
leveraging micro-influencers to benefit your brand.
What are micro-influencers?
Before digging into micro-influencers, you might be wondering
what exactly an influencer is. Unless you spend a lot of time
perusing social media channels, you might not be familiar with this
Influencer marketing is an offshoot of affiliate or referral
marketing. An influencer is someone with a solid social media
following who shares products or services they use to drive
business for their favorite brands. Common influencers include
celebrities or high-profile socialites. The number of followers an
influencer has will determine what type of influencer they are.
There are five different types of influencers:
- Mega-influencers, or celebrities
- Mid-tier influencers
Micro-influencers are influencers who have anywhere from 1,000
to 10,000 followers on social media channels like Facebook,
Instagram, or Twitter, though the numbers may be higher for some.
They have highly dedicated followers who genuinely look to them for
insight into the best products or services in an industry.
With micro-influencers, quality is more important than quantity.
While influencers may have a significant number of followers, you
want to work with micro-influencers who
produce results for your company.
How you can leverage micro-influencers in your marketing campaigns
As with affiliate marketing, you can use micro-influencers to
enhance your marketing campaigns. Not only do they spread the word
about your products, but they add an element of social
proof—people trust their
favorite influencers like they trust their friends and
Rather than just choosing a micro-influencer on a whim, you need
to have a strategy for how they’ll “influence” your marketing
campaign. Excellent ways to leverage micro-influencers include:
- Social media partnerships: almost half of the world’s entire
population is on social media, making it one of the most
proliferate ways to share information. In Q3 of 2019, that number
grew by 9.6% where the population only grew by 1%. Social media
is here to stay.
- Product or service collaborations: micro-influencers contribute
22.2 times more discussions every week about product
recommendations compared to the average consumer. That means
they’re a prime opportunity to get people talking about your
- Video reviews or testimonials: reviews and testimonials are
critical to the success of most companies, but they can be even
more powerful with micro-influencers. Reviews, for example,
98% of software purchases.
Micro-influencers typically don’t pay to sponsor their own
posts, so their following is organic. This makes them a lucrative
How you can form partnerships with micro-influencers
If you haven’t spent a lot of time reading through social
media posts from influencers, you’re probably a little unclear on
where you need to start. How do you even find
micro-influencers? Why would they want to work with your
Fortunately, it’s not as overwhelming as it seems. With a few
tips, you can start the process of finding the best
micro-influencers for your brand:
Review social media posts: If you have a
social media presence, you might have people who are already
qualified to work with you. Review the interactions on your own
social media posts and check out any posts that others might have
tagged you in to find potential partners.
Check out relevant hashtags: Hashtags are an
effective way to market products on social media, but they can also
help you find micro-influencers. Influencers often have their own
hashtags, though they know the benefits of using their favorite
Follow industry leaders: Your competitors and
leaders in the industry can help you find the right
micro-influencers. See how they leverage influencers in their
marketing campaigns, then see if there are any potential candidates
for you to contact.
Building a partnership with a micro-influencer takes a level of
trust and sincerity. You want to give them a reason to work with
you, so consider what you have to offer them.
Examples of businesses that successfully work with
If you’re still unsure whether influencer marketing is right
for your business, some of the
top brands in the world use micro-influencers to advertise
Choosing micro-influencers to represent your brand can be
challenging. How do you know which people are a good fit for your
product or service? Consider how people use your products.
Hydroflask, for example, has different kinds of buyers: general
customers and people who spend a lot of time outdoors. By focusing
on micro=influencers in the outdoor industry, they can more
effectively target new customers.
Pro tip: Get creative with how you approach
targeted audiences. Notice that a potential micro-influencer
routinely comments or tags your company? Check out some of their
posts to see if they fall into a niche market you can capitalize
2. La Croix
In most cases, micro-influencers receive some form of
compensation for their efforts. The most common way brands approach
this is to give them a discount code that tracks activity and gives
them some percentage or a flat fee per purchase. Other brands, like
La Croix, take a different approach. La Croix reaches out directly
to micro-influencers or individuals that post high-quality photos
with their products and they post those to their Instagram (with
permission, of course.)
¸Pro tip: Ultimately, this should be a
mutually beneficial partnership. Your brand benefits from reaching
qualified new leads and micro-influencers benefit from the income
and exposure they get from your brand. Think about what you have to
offer a micro-influencer.
You might be wondering why big brands would use
micro-influencers. Don’t they have the marketing budget for ads?
45% of people in North America use ad blockers, and the average
click rate for a banner ad is a measly 0.06%. Influencer marketing,
on the other hand, can earn an average of $5.20 in revenue for
every $1 you invest. The top brands can earn up to $20 per $1 in
influencer marketing spending.
¸Pro tip: As with any marketing channel, you
need a plan to measure your results. You also need a plan to
measure the results of your micro-influencers. This can help you
narrow down target markets, other influencers, as well as how to
use influencers in the future.
4. CVS Pharmacy
You might not think micro-influencers work for your brand or
industry, but the truth is that there’s an influencer market for
just about everything. There’s also a micro-influencer for just
about everyone. CVS Pharmacy works with influencers of all sizes,
but they also use the same approach as La Croix by sharing posts
from their loyal customers and their furry friends. Pet accounts
can be an inoffensive way to include micro-influencers in your
Pro tip: Your demographic information might
help figure out the right micro-influencers for your brand. Look at
the age, location, and ethnicities of your customers and look for
influencers that represent your customer base.
Best practices for working with micro-influencers
Working with micro-influencers is like working with any other
partner: Both parties have expectations and obligations to keep,
while maintaining their respective brands. There are, however, some
practices for partnering with micro-influencers.
Follow these simple guidelines when building your influencer
Implement a cross-channel approach: When your
micro-influencers post on Instagram or other channels, spread them
on other social media platforms to boost their impact.
Give influencers creative freedom: Outside of
standard requirements, don’t box your influencers in with
restrictive campaign ideas or a long list of posts they need to
generate for you.
Compose a simple marketing contract: A
contract is critical for both your brand and the micro-influencer,
so write a contract that offers protection and security for your
Micro-influencers are your partners; they aren’t your
employees. That means your partnership with them might be different
than with people who work for your company.
Micro-influencers offer a unique opportunity for businesses of
all sizes to reach new audiences and grow their brand. They’re
inexpensive, yet yield significant ROI with the right approach.
Before you start your influencer marketing plan, review these key
- Micro-influencers already have their own “brand”
and following, so look for influencers with a niche
- You can build partnerships with potential
micro-influencers by connecting with followers on social media
- There are micro-influencers in virtually every
industry; you just need to research how your competitors use
Micro-influencers provide a genuine approach to connecting with
people while spreading the message about your brand.
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What are Micro-Influencers? How to Use Them in Your Marketing
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What are Micro-Influencers? How to Use Them in Your Marketing