Sharon Tighe is the Head of Online Strategy & Insights at Zahra Media Group. She shares her tips for finding and working with micro-influencers in this post, and if you’d like to hear her talk about how brands can better use Facebook, check out our podcast with her.
If you are already jaded by the idea of influencer marketing, you are forgiven. It has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent months and the true authenticity and purpose of influencer marketing has been called into question. Not to mention January’s very public outing of influencer, Elle Darby, when she asked for a free stay at a Dublin hotel in return for publicity, & was outed by the owner for her sense of entitlement.
Developing the social media strategy of a brand like eumom, which values authenticity, community and the experiences and opinions of real mums, I never felt comfortable with the idea of paying someone to endorse the eumom brand (and we never have) but we have worked with micro-influencers on our social media campaigns.
What is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is similar to an influencer but on a much smaller scale. They have a highly engaged following, sometimes a very niche following, and they promote products with authentic, visual posts. There are a few very good reasons to include micro-influencers as part of your social media strategy:
Targeted & Highly Engaged Base
A smaller, more targeted follower base can mean a more engaged base. As this study from Takumi shows below, there is evidence that organic engagement on Instagram drops, the more followers that a page amasses.
Working with an influencer can cost thousands. While Kylie Jenner and other high-profile influencers can command anything in the region of $75,000 and more for one Instagram post, a micro-influencer may work with you because of their love of your product or affinity with your brand.
CEO of Markerly, Sarah Ware, said that when her company engaged with the Jenner and Kardashian sisters on Instagram on behalf of a weight-loss tea company (see image above), the celebrities brought in hundreds of sales, but after adding 30 to 40 ‘micro-influencers,’ the brand sold at an even higher level, and for a fraction of the cost.
As pointed out above, collaborating with an influencer or celebrity who has over 2 million social media followers means you can reach a broad audience, but the entire audience you are reaching are not necessarily interested in your product. You may get a much greater return working with 20 small bloggers who have followers specifically interested in your type of product or service.
4 ways to find your micro-influencer
To implement micro-influencer marketing into your social media strategy, you need to first find your micro-influencer. There are many ways to do this, but these four simple & cost-effective ways are a good place to start.
1. Brand fan: or as Gina Miltiadou, Zahra Media Group’s Managing Director refers to them, ‘Super Fans.’ These are your loyal followers who are regularly engaging with your content, leaving reviews, and most importantly, spreading your brand message amongst their own fans.
2. Regular blogger: Search out and connect with bloggers who are regularly sharing similar content to you or content that resonates and compliments your brand or your brand’s followers.
3. Niche following: If your product is shoes for example, connect with fashion bloggers who particularly mention shoes. If your product is organic, look for people who blog specifically about organic ranges.
4. Instagram hashtags: Probably the easiest way to find micro-influencers. Search for key hashtags relevant to your brand or product on Instagram’s search function and find out who is topping the list, then check what they are sharing, how often they share and their follower size and engagement.
Crucially, no matter how you find and engage your micro-influencer, once you get in touch with them and agree that you want to work together, make sure that you are both clear on:
— Your campaign objectives
— The quality and quantity of work you expect from them
— The value exchange that you are offering (eg. free product, shares of their channel on your channels)
— Essential brand guidelines, such as text wording or hashtags.
Remember, as with all marketing activity, you need to have clear goals & a campaign strategy before engaging a micro-influencer. Get in touch if you’d like our help with this!