With all the changes happening in social media, a small business might wonder if it is worth pursuing the use of online influencers for their brand. Of course it all depends on the product or service, the geographical reach of the business, and the ability of the business to handle the expenses, contractual obligations, and the potential business windfall of successful influencer marketing. For most small businesses, there may seem to be a lot of deal breakers here. But read on!
We’ve discussed influence marketing previously, in our blogs about becoming an influencer as well as explaining what it is compared to content marketing. But now let’s take a closer look at a type of influencer that often is overlooked in local marketing and explore what these special influencers can do for your small business. We’re talking about Micro Influencers and if you’ve never heard about them, it’s time you did!
What is a Micro Influencer?
In the blogs mentioned above, we discussed the different types of influencers, which included “micro-influencers”. These are basically content creators at the level of influencer with a sweet spot of more than 10,000 followers but less than 100,000. At this level, the influencer has a very wide reach, but is not yet on the world stage, so they can really connect with the local markets.
If a small business is interested in utilizing influencers in their marketing, the best option would be to use a micro instead of a macro influencer – macro influencers are on the cusp of breaking into a large arena that may not be able to drill down to the local level. This is really the biggest benefit of going micro – getting that personal reach but having someone with a real social authority and trust level with the users.
Micro Influencer Marketing Examples
To really understand what micro influencers have to offer, let’s take a look at a few examples from the fashion and food industries. First is Fran Newman-Young, a lifestyle, fashion and travel blogger. She currently has around 95,000 followers, and has teamed up with multiple brands including John Freida, No7, products that can be found in your nearest Walgreens. But she started as a writing intern with Conde Nast Traveler and British GQ, before starring in a reality TV show, which is where she initially garnered her followers. Following that up with quality writing gigs allowed her to really grow her brand so that the influencing world came calling. This created a basis for her as a trusted source, and now she challenges her followers with conversations around body positivity and mental health awareness. She’s almost at the macro level, but not yet the celebrity status that could make it less attractive for smaller businesses.
On the foodie side, there is vegan cook and content creator NoFussVegan. Rina decided a few years back that veganism was the way to go for her family, so she began creating recipes, tips and tricks for everyone, posting on her blog and on socials what she was able to discover when preparing vegan dishes. NoFussVegan is still at the beginning of their journey, and with only 2 years under their belt, have already reached the micro influencer level. Now, they just need to parlay that into solid connections and influence in order to take a small business to the next level.
How to Find Micro Influencers
Of course there are now many resources for finding the perfect influencer for your brand, so if you don’t have the time but you do have the budget, using a service like Upfluence or BuzzSumo can do the work for you.
If you’re more grassroots, doing a little bit of research can go a long way, especially when looking for local influencers. Searching locations and hashtags on social platforms can help pinpoint the pool of options, and then drilling down by looking at the follower numbers, how often posts are interacted with, and of course assessing the vibe of the influencer are some important steps.
Another thing to try is doing a broad search on Google to see if they have their own blog or website, or if they’ve garnered local coverage and interviews. This can help clarify who they are and what they are interested in doing, as well as if they have representation. Using their website contact form is usually the best way to connect with them.
If looking specifically for Instagram or another social platform, go directly to that platform and begin the steps above. You will want to understand their organic engagement rate, which metrics are not easily obtained. However, there is a simple formula that you can use to get a ballpark figure. By looking at their first handful of posts (usually posts 4 through 10), average their number of likes and then divide that number by their total number of followers, and then multiply that by 100. The total is the percentage rate for their organic engagement. The higher the percentage, the better engaged they are, and the better chance for them to drive followers to your product.
Micro Influencer Marketing Strategies
Like most marketing strategies, everything begins with money. After deciding on a budget, next the focus should be on setting goals and identifying the target audience. Seeing as how this is for a small business, the targets should reflect the desired location, appropriate ages, and interests that are aligned with the brand. Goals should reflect the type of growth wanted in sales percentage or another metric indicating success.
Once these basics are determined, finding the right platform and the right influencer is next on the list. What we’ve discussed above covers much of this, but be sure to discuss the contracts in detail (compensation, progress indicators and metrics, content creation, branding requirements) so that there are no surprises for either party. At this point, campaigns should be ready to go, so all that’s left to do is evaluate the progress and adjust as needed.
Using micro influencers in your small business marketing strategy can be a great opportunity for both the business and the influencer. However, it can be tricky for those new to strategy, so as your tech partner, we encourage you to do your research or simply reach out to us using the contact form below!