A primary goal for most businesses is to find new ways to reach their intended audience. This often includes trying out various marketing strategies in order to reach a wider range of people. For example, a business might split their marketing budget between Facebook ads and television commercials, so that they can reach different demographics.
If you’re looking for a new tool to add to your marketing strategy, you should consider micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are not only one of the most popular forms of marketing being used today, but they can also be one of your best investments. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about them, including what they are, the benefits they provide, and how you can quickly get started with them.
What is a Micro-Influencer?
To define what a micro-influencer is, we need to first define what an influencer is. An influencer is anyone with perceived social influence within their field. This influence can come from their expert knowledge or it can come from their celebrity status. Brands can leverage this influence by having the influencer promote their products or services.
Some examples of an influencer include:
- A famous actor
- A medical doctor
- A reality TV star
- A popular Youtuber
- Authors and journalists
An influencer’s field can be anything, as long as they have social standing within it.
Micro-Influencer vs Celebrity
Micro-influencers differ in the typical size of their audience. While influencers like celebrities may have an audience of hundreds of thousands or even millions, micro-influencers operate on a much smaller scale. These are people who have social media followings in the thousands and who usually cater to specific demographics or audiences.
For example, let’s say you created an Instagram account for you and your dog. After posting pictures regularly, you build up a following of a few thousand people. Your audience is likely filled with dog-lovers or people who love animals. A brand that specializes in pet food may then reach out to you about promoting their products on your Instagram feed.
The other end of the spectrum would be celebrities who appear in commercials during the Super Bowl. This is obviously intended to reach a much wider audience and it’s using the celebrity’s mass appeal to reach more people.
History of Influencer Marketing
The history of influencer marketing stretches back a long way. Businesses have been using people of influence to promote their products for centuries, whether it was getting an endorsement from someone prominent within their community or using a fictional character to promote their product.
But things changed over the past decade or so, as social media grew increasingly popular and the rise of micro-influencers began. It is now easier than ever before for someone to amass a small following and to gain some influence within a community. All it takes is a blog, a Twitter profile, an Instagram account, or a YouTube page and you can begin to generate a following for yourself. These methods also typically have little cost to get started with, making the barrier to entry even lower.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of people working as micro-influencers. Some of them do this as a full-time job, others just do it for some small cash on the side or to get free products. Each one of these people has their own audience that they have developed some credibility by creating and sharing content that interests them.
The Benefits of Using Micro-Influencers in Your Marketing
Now that you know what a micro-influencer is, let's talk about the specific benefits you can receive from using them to promote your brand. To start, micro-influencers allow you to spread brand awareness to a very targeted audience. Because micro-influencers have very specific niche followings, you can use this to your advantage by only promoting your brand to people who are likely to have an interest.
Contrast this with other forms of marketing, like a television commercial, in which millions of people might see your ad, but only a fraction of them would actually be interested in your brand. This might work for major companies who are trying to appeal to as many people as possible, but for many businesses, this approach is a waste of your marketing budget.
However, this doesn't mean you can't reach a lot of people using micro-influencers. When you partner with multiple micro-influencers, the cumulative effect begins to add up. You can then reach plenty of people, all of whom are in your specific niche. And even if there is an audience overlap between some of the micro-influencers you partner with, this will only serve to reinforce your brand message to the people most likely to become customers.
Finally, working with micro-influencers is typically more affordable than some other marketing strategies. Because of their smaller audiences, micro-influencers charge less than some more influential personalities. Of course, as with any marketing strategy, it's all about your return on investment. With micro-influencers, you can expect to receive more benefits for each dollar you spend, thanks to the ability to target very specific niches.
To demonstrate this, here are a few statistics you may want to know:
- Businesses that use influencer marketing can expect to receive $18 worth of publicity for every $1 spent (Oberlo)
- People are 3 times as likely to follow an influencer online as a brand (HelloSociety)
- 8 out of 10 consumers have purchased something after having seen it recommended by an influencer (Oberlo)
- Social media engagement increases with fewer followers (MobileMarketer)
How to Get Started with Micro-Influencers
When it comes to getting a great return on your investment, while also reaching the exact type of customers you're after, there aren't many better strategies than using micro-influencers. And luckily, getting started with them isn't too difficult.
Define Your Target Audience
To get started with micro-influencers, you need to first figure out your target audience if you haven't done so already. You can't take advantage of micro-influencers’ ability to reach a specific audience if you don't know who that audience should be.
There are a few tactics you can use to figure out your target market. If you have an established business, you can begin by looking at your current customer base. Spend some time diving into who your customers are - what is their age range, gender, income level, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. By learning more about your current customers, you'll have an easier time finding micro-influencers that appeal to them.
For newer businesses, you'll have to rely on other strategies. One option is to look at who your competition is targeting. If there is a product or service that is similar to yours, see where their advertisements show up, who follows them on social media, and maybe what influencers they are working with.
You can also just look at your product or service and think about who it appeals to. Create a fake profile of your ideal customer. You may have to tweak this over time as you learn more about who is actually buying your product, but this is a good place to start. Between these three strategies, you should have a good idea as to who you want to target with your micro-influencer campaign.
Find Micro-Influencers Within Your Niche
Now that you have a good idea as to what your niche is, the next step is to find some micro-influencers who appeal to that audience. You should start by thinking about where your audience spends time online. Do they primarily use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram? The answer may be more than one of these, but start by picking out the one you think is the most prominent. For example, if you're in the fashion industry, you'll likely want to go with Instagram, because 25 percent of all sponsored posts on Instagram are fashion-related.
Once you've picked a social media platform, you'll then want to start your search for micro-influencers. An easy way to do this is by searching for keywords related to your products or services within the social media platform. From there you can begin to investigate the different accounts that appear in the search results.
There are a few things you'll want to take note of for each account you come across. First, you'll want to see how many followers this account has. Remember that fewer followers often means better engagement, so you don't always want to work with the accounts that have the largest following. After that, you should look to see if this influencer has previously promoted any products or services. This will give you a good idea as to whether they might be open to working with you. Finally, you should dig deeper into their account and ensure this is someone you want representing your brand.
As you come across influencers that you believe fit your criteria, add them to a list. It's a good idea to find at least several options, as some of the people you reach out to may not work out. For instance, they may not have an interest in promoting your products or maybe they are too expensive for your budget.
Set a Budget
Now that you have a list of influencers you might want to work with, you'll want to set a budget for your marketing campaign before reaching out to them. Since this is your first endeavor into influencer marketing, you may want to set your budget small, to begin with. Then, as you learn more about how to best run your campaign, you can increase your budget to get even better results.
It's important to set your budget early so that you don't end up spending more than you can afford. Doing this before reaching out to influencers will also help you to make a better decision about who to work with.
Reach Out to Your Micro-Influencer List
Now you can begin to reach out to some of the influencers on your list. All you need to do is send them a direct message through the social media platform. Let them know what your business is all about, why you want to work with them and ask if they have any interest in promoting your products. Some micro-influencers will work with you directly, while others may refer you to someone who handles that aspect of their business for them.
It may take some time to set up a working relationship with micro-influencers. Sometimes the person will be unresponsive, other times they may just take a long time to respond, and in others, they may charge more than you can afford. Luckily, there is a simpler and faster way to handle this entire process.
Using an Influencer Marketing Service
To quickly find micro-influencers that appeal to your target audience, you can use an influencer marketing service like Collabstr. Here's how our system works: You first post your collab on our marketplace, describing your offer and the content requirements. This collab then immediately gets shared with 10,000+ influencers. The influencers will then have a chance to review your collab, and if they are interested, apply to work with you.
You can then review each applicant's information, including their audience, reach, and pricing. If you like what you see, you can agree to work with one another. Best of all, you can then track the progress of your collaboration right through Collabstr. Our all-in-one tool makes it easy for brands and influencers to find one another and work together in one space, leading to successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Get Started with Micro-Influencer Marketing
There is no better time than now to get started with micro-influencer marketing. Using micro-influencers to promote your brand provides many benefits while being easy to get started with. To learn more about how micro-influencer marketing can work for your brand, or if you have any questions about how Collabstr helps make this process easier, please contact us at any time.