How Small Businesses can Utilize Micro Influencers for Success
Jared Cornell is a customer-support specialist, a marketing evangelist and a book lover, associated
Brands no longer promote their products. Instead, they have an army of influencers or customers who do it for them. This is where they let the product users speak for them. And it is advantageous. Since the brand doesn’t do the work of promoting itself, they get more conversions and sales as a result of other people’s promotions.
The reason for this is the rise of micro-influencers. This is the new breed of influencers that is more accessible, more affordable and has a more significant impact. If you want to utilize them in your marketing promotions, you came to the right place. You’ll learn who they are, how to find them, and how to promote them with success.
What is Micro-Influencer?
A micro-influencer is someone who has a follower base that is significantly smaller than celebrity influencers. On the surface, their follower count may seem trivial. But that doesn’t mean that their influence power is weaker. While their followers may be few, they are still highly engaged. This means that they respond more to the promotions of the micro-influencer.
What makes micro-influencers different from an ordinary influencer is the follower count. The number of followers is lower. But it depends on the niche. It is usually from 1,000 to 10,000 followers. But in some slots, it can reach as much as 100,000 followers. It all depends on the follower count that is considered ‘few’ in a particular niche.
Micro-influencers are unique because they have highly targeted followers. Plus, they are more accessible. Unlike celebrity influencers who will hardly notice you when you send them a message, micro-influencers will read your message and respond to you. If you can get multiple micro-influencers to promote you, the results can be phenomenal. This means that you’ll have several people with loyal and engaged followers supporting you. This often results in a higher response rate, which could translate to conversions and sales.
Why Utilize Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencer marketing is effective because of the following reasons:
One of the benefits of hiring micro-influencers is easy to access. Unlike celebrity influencers that are hard to reach, micro-influencers are accessible. They usually have their contact information in plain sight, and they reply quickly to messages. The reason for this is that they are not as bombarded with words as their celebrity counterparts. This means that it is easier to reach them if you want to work with them.
If you have tried asking for a quotation from celebrity influencers, you’ll find out that their rates are far from affordable. You may have to spend thousands of money just for them to promote you. The reason for this is to reach. Since they have more followers, they can charge higher for their promotions. So if you are on a budget, it is better to go the micro-influencer route. This is because you can get influencer promotions at a fraction of the cost.
If you have seen product placement in a celebrity influencer’s page, you’ll find that these promotions hardly get attention. The reason is that it can get saturated with all the content and engagements that their page is getting. For example, they will create a post, and it will get tons of comments and views. But once they create another post, the other is forgotten. Their followers are hardly focused on their content.
Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are more focused. Since they are few, they can see all the content of the influencer and responds to them. In essence, they belong to an exclusive community that is solely made for them. Thus, product placements get more exposure.
Another difference between micro-influencers and celebrity influencers is trust. Celebrity influencers are often treated as idols. They are admirable but often out of reach. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are more relatable. They only have a few followers, and they speak directly to them. Because of this, their followers tend to treat them as friends instead of idols. The community is stronger, and there is more trust.
With more trust comes higher conversions. Since more people trust the micro-influencer, they get more top quality responses in their content. This means that once someone comments on the content, they are genuinely engaged in it. If they like it, they do. Because of this, it is easier to promote products to them. When you do this, this results in higher conversions, which can come in the form of subscribers or sales.
How to Identify the Right Micro-Influencers
You cannot promote through micro-influencer marketing if you don’t know how to identify the right people. It is not just about getting as many influencers to help you. It is about getting the right people on board. Even a handful of micro-influencers can promote your brand well if you have chosen them well.
So how can you determine the right micro-influencers for your business? Here are some strategies.
Look at their Content
It all starts with their content. You have to ensure that their content resonates with yours. You can do this with some observation. You need to look at the type of content that they are producing to determine if your products are the right fit for their target market. Doing this will ensure maximum conversions when you do the promotion.
Look at their Engagement
You also need to look at the engagement of the influencer so that you can determine if their followers are active. You need an influencer who doesn’t only have a good number of followers. You also need these followers to be responsive. You can gauge responsiveness in different ways. There are likes and comments. You can look at these to see if the followers are engaged. If a page has tons of followers, but it is hardly getting any likes in its post, the followers may not be real. So be sure to look for a micro-influencer with an engaged follower base.
Look at their Past Promotions
You can also get some ideas on what can sell in their target market by looking at their past promotions. You can scan through their content and look for products that are embedded in posts. This can come as a review, or it can be an image or video where they include the product. You can look at these posts and see how the audience is responding. If you found some responses that include the use or purchase of the product, then this shows that their promotion is valid.
It also helps to have a system for uncovering micro-influencers. For that, I have three strategies.
1 — Search Engines
The first place that you should visit when you are searching for micro-influencers is the search engine. This is where you can search for a particular topic, and it will immediately uncover a list of websites that belong to influencers. It is essential to list the first websites that you discover when you do your search. These are the most influential blogs in the niche.
2 — Communities
From influential blogs, you have to narrow down your search. This is where you look at the community. Remember that you are not after highly influential blogs. You need micro-influencers. This is the reason why you should dig deeper. You should look at the communities of these blogs to see if there are other brands that they refer to.
3 — Groups
Influential blogs usually have their groups. This can be a Facebook group or a group in another social media channel. It is vital that you enter these groups, for this will link you to other influencers in the niche. Some influencers may already be members of these groups, and you need to enter the group to discover them.
Methods for Utilizing Micro-Influencers with Success
You cannot just approach a micro-influencer and ask him to promote you. If you have done that already, you’ll find that it is not that effective. Instead, you should give them a more enticing offer. Here are some proposals that may get them to work with you.
Micro-influencers love to get their brand name out there as much as they can. And they can easily do that if they launch a contest. The problem with these contests is they can be quite expensive to run if you don’t have a sponsor. So be that sponsor. Give the micro-influencer the prize. From here, all you need to do is set up the mechanics. You can ask their followers to like and follow your page along with the influencer.
PRO TIP: Want to make the contest more attractive? You can work with several influencers in one game. You can give one prize and add all the different brands in a contest. You get more promotions, and they also get cross-promotions from other brands.
Like a contest, you can also host a giveaway. This is where you ask for the customer’s contact information for a chance to win a prize. It works in the same way as contests. You can also do this with multiple brands, and it can be quite useful.
Create New Products
Another way to get a micro-influencer on board is to ask them to create new products with you. This is called product collaboration, and it is incredibly useful. You’ll see it when brands work with others to create ‘custom’ products. You can also create products named after the influencer. When you do this, they are far more inclined to promote you. You can also include them in the creation of the product. They will take pride in it, and they will help it to their followers.
Promote Your Referral Program
You can also ask the micro-influencer to help you promote your referral program. Having a referral program is easy. You need referral marketing software to set one up. You can integrate it in most eCommerce platforms like Shopify
and BigCommerce. Websites like Best Hunting Bow
Labs have a referral program, and this helped them get more micro-influencer participation in their promotions.
Promote Your Affiliate Program
Another way to get micro-influencers on board is to ask them to join your affiliate program. This is where they can earn a specific amount for promoting your products or services. With every customer they refer, they make a commission. Since micro-influencers are still in the early stage of their business, they are more open to new ideas to monetize their platform.
Ask for Product Reviews
Another way you can ask a micro-influencer to promote you is to nudge them with a free trial of your product safely. This is where you ask them where you can send free products that they can try, and you ask for their ‘feedback.’ If they like your product, they will often post a review about it on their blog or social page. When they do this, you instantly get a promotion.
Ask Them to Include Your Products
You don’t even need to ask them for reviews. You can ask them to include your products in their content. These influencers may create content through blog posts, videos, or pictures. A simple image of the product or including them in the video background is still as effective in encouraging more sales.
Ask for a Shout
If all else fails, you can always ask for a shout. Don’t be afraid to ask. Micro-influencers don’t bite. You can contact them and ask them if they can give you a shout to their followers on their social profiles. They might do it. The key is to resonate with their values. If your ideals are the same as theirs, they might promote you.
Micro-influencer marketing is quite easy to do, so, surprisingly, many businesses forget about it. It is not about contacting a high profile person and paying him to promote you. It is all about approaching a friend that has the same ideals that you have. That is all it takes.
This article was written by Arlen Robinson, he is the co-founder and VP of Business Development at OSI Affiliate Software.
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