Influencer marketing is the marketing strategy where brands reach out to celebrities for endorsing their products. While using influential people for marketing has been there for a long time, in the age of social media, brands use this approach in a much more strategic and cost-effective manner.
Today, brands need to reach out to millennial audiences who find it comforting on social media but not in front of the television. Moreover, television and movie ads are very costly and are beyond the reach of small businesses. Hence, businesses, especially SMBs have opted for micro-influencers who have a limited reach but they serve the purpose of the campaign.
It makes sense to opt for this approach, as we are much more responsive to influence endorsements than an advertisement. Studies have shown that an average person (like us) trusts influencers’ opinions almost as much as that of our friends and families. Through this blog you’ll know – who are micro-influencers, why should you hire them, and how to find the right ones for your business.
Who are Micro-Influencers?
Micro-influencers are people on social media having 1000 to 100,000 followers. They have credibility in a small social segment, but their fans value their opinions. Companies can use the minute influence of such people to reach out to the audience, which is hard to target using traditional marketing. Preferably, a combination of 10-20 micro-influencers can target good audience size and create engaging campaigns.
Why Choose Micro-Influencers?
Recent research by Experticity shows that micro-influencers offer 22.2 times more conversations than typical users. By using a micro-influencer, brands can create cost-effective, highly targeted campaigns that trigger purchases. Here are some reasons for you to choose micro-influencer marketing:
You can enjoy an amplified reach using the power of social media and influencers. Each micro-influencer has a strong say in a niche market. By using their influence, you can amplify your reach to their audiences and maximize your current follower base. Since we usually have many influencers engaging with your brand, it creates virality around your product.
Micro-influencers charge pennies when compared to the budget of TV and movie celebs. While Kim Kardashian has an enormous fan base, it makes more sense to leverage the influence of a renowned cloud security expert to reach out to CIOs than to approach her to endorse your product. Hence, you get a much better ROI from your efforts when you choose these niche influencers.
Everybody today is running a PPC advertisement. Even business blogging has become a highly crowded segment. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is new and exciting. Some possibilities are yet to be explored and you can easily combine this strategy with other segments of content marketing to create new opportunities.
Image Courtesy: Shane Barker
How to Choose the Right Micro-Influencers?
Your choice of influencer will be the ultimate reason for the success or failure of your campaign. Hence, it is important to choose the influencers who are the right for your brand image. Each influencer has a distinct reach, voice, market, cost, etc. Here are some factors that you should consider while choosing an influencer:
1. Audience Match:
The micro-influencers on the radar should have a strong authority in the buyer segment you want to target. The influencer should be able to add to your current audience and amplify your social media reach. There is no point in contacting a travel blogger if you want to target techies. The aim is to reach the right customers. Make sure your chosen influence can do that for you.
2. Audit Engagement:
With so many bots in place, it just takes a few bucks to get thousands of followers. The right measure of influence is not the number of followers, but the actual engagement triggered by their posts. A good influencer will also post content regularly to keep themselves in the social media limelight.
3. Know their Capabilities:
It is conversions that matter the most for a business. The click-through rate on the posts of influence is a very strategic metric to track in this regard. But it is obvious that many times, these social media celebs might trigger purchases by influencing their audience subconsciously. After all, we don’t rush to buy toothpaste as soon as we see an ad, but that advertisement influences our buying behavior. Keep both these into account.
4. Ascertain Costs:
While it seems tempting to hunt for micro-influencers with maximum reach, you do need to manage a budget. When you are at an initial stage of a campaign, you should start with many influencers. Over time, you can drill down to those who deliver the highest engagement. This way, you can manage your budget and still select the best match.
5. Match Values and Motives:
The personality of an influencer and his/her social media image needs to reconcile with your brand’s image. The tone, character, voice, style, and content all should have a few common grounds so that the audience can think of you and the influence as the right association. It shouldn’t look like apple and oranges else you’ll lose authenticity and it would look pretentious and fake.
Where to find the right micro-influencers?
Oh yes! We are now at the ultimate question – where to find these micro-influencers? Well, you can consider bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, streets, and even underground, but please have a decent pickup line. In case you want a more sophisticated answer, here are some basic ways to find the right influencer:
If you are looking for local influencers, then Google is your go-to resource. There are ample directories and roundup posts where you can find the ideal influencers that you should approach. This is the simplest way to find influencers, although it is a kind of basic. You may not find the right people in case you are looking for a global reach. As soon as you start researching influence without a location-specific keyword, you’ll end up being bombarded with the results on macro-influencers.
What better place to look for social influencers than on social media itself? Start with a quick study of your current follower base and identify accounts that might be a good match. Next, you should research the relevant hashtags in your niche and finally, you can use filters and advanced search options to drill down on your query.
If you need quick relevant results then use tools like Influence.Co, BuzzSumo, InsightPool, HYPR, etc. These tools give a quick overview of the relevant influencers and some also allow you to reach out to them from the tool itself. A bright side of using tools is that you get a lot of other metrics like engagement, posts frequency, popular content, etc. These combined offer valuable insights to help you better craft your strategy.