Wondering why your company, despite how many campaigns you run, is not penetrating your target market? This may be because your target market desires to hear from more than just you. While employee testimonials and other promotional content is helpful, it does not always evoke a large sense of trust with your target market, no matter how reputable your company is. This is due to the shift in consumer purchases being influenced more by consumer reviews, which are believed to have an objective view on a product or service.
Google has its own take on this called the first moment of truth. This is when a consumer is in-store or on a company’s website, while at the same time scouring the internet to find consumer reviews. Many are turning to micro influencers for product reviews. Learn what micro influencers are, the benefits of micro influencers, and how to find and work with micro influencers below.
Who are Micro Influencers?
Micro Influencers are those who are versed in a field or topic and desire to share their opinions about products or services to make the buying experience easier for their followers. However, their reach only extends to those interested in that particular topic.
5 Benefits of Micro Influencers
- Engagement rate – These influencers have a strong following, which allows them to yield a higher engagement rate than a celebrity or their macro influencer counterparts. However, it is important to do your research on a micro influencer you may be interested in working with. Ask yourself these questions during the micro influencer search process to help save time and money for your company:
- Q: Does it look like they recently had a large spike in followers, but little-to-no content?
- A: This may be someone who is buying followers and disguising themselves as an “influencer” in order to make money from companies.
- Q: Does the person have tens of thousands of followers?
- A: This could indicate that the influencer is actually a macro influencer, not a micro influencer.
Although a B2C example, this article shows the pervasiveness of micro influencers, particularly through Instagram.
- Do I Trust You? – Trust is on a downward spiral when it comes to celebrity testimonials. Also, due to FTC standards, influencers have to tell their followers if they are gaining anything from doing a review or content for a company. An example is when you see the #ad at the end of an influencers’ Instagram posts. It may be subtle, however, this is within the FTC guidelines to let followers know that the content is paid. Consumers have put increasing trust in micro influencers throughout the years making them one of the top five trusted sources when making consumer buying decisions.
- Money Can’t Buy Happiness – However, it can help your company’s budget and bottom line. One reason is that they are usually not getting paid to review products, so they are more apt to be honest about their experiences. Best of all, they are more cost effective if your company decides to partner with them. Some micro influencers will work for a set rate, despite the levels of engagement achieved through the campaign. Others will work for an hourly wage or offer to do the partnership for free. In the latter situation, it’s significant that the micro influencer feels that they are being valued and respected by the partnering company. Other benefits that the company can offer are SWAG, access to events, or consultations. This depends on the company and industry ethical guidelines on gift giving. On the other hand, macro influencers may charge for a project based on how much engagement the project received, and it generally can costs thousands of dollars to work with them.
- Let’s talk – Micro influencers are more likely to comment or respond to their followers, making the experience a two-way communication in comparison to macro influencers who do not have the time (and sometimes the resources) to individually reply to followers. This can make the followers feel as if they are talking to a friend or trusted acquaintance, which increases the feeling of connection and trust worthiness long-term.
- Thought Leaders and Lead Generation – Want to kill two birds with one stone? Bring awareness to your brand by partnering with a micro influencer, who is an early adopter and understands the trends in your industry. This will give leads a better understanding of your company and its forward-thinking perspective. This lead generation can occur at any part of the buyer’s journey, and can help fill in leaks in the sales funnel. All of these new leads can be stored within your company’s marketing automation, which can be linked to a social media tool such as Oktopost that can specifically track the performance of your micro influencer campaign on different platforms.
Convinced micro influencers may be right for your online marketing campaign? Here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction.
4 Paths to Finding the Micro Influencer of Your Dreams
There are many ways to find micro influencers, and not all micro influencers are created equal. However, you can narrow down the micro influencers you would like to partner with by using these tips.
- Key to Success: Hashtags – It is key to look at hashtags that pertain not only to your company, but also your industry through Google search, Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter. To expedite the process, look for consistencies in topics and people. After narrowing down the micro influencers, continue to look into their content coverage to make sure they’re an ideal fit.
- Google is King – Use Google to find an influencer in your area. This could be a vlogger, blogger, or social media micro influencer. Regardless, they can help you better understand your target market regionally and their unique wants and needs.
- Events are Everything – When you go to a discussion panel, conference, or industry event, these are chances to meet micro influencers. Also, you can get a face-to-face perspective on their work, an experience that cannot be countered. However, be forewarned, when you first introduce yourself, make sure you are not all business. Be personable and create a relationship at the beginning. , This will give you a better understanding of the micro influencer, and set you up for a chance to talk about the possible business opportunities later.
- Use Social Media Tools – Use tools, like Oktopost’s content function, to find micro influencers. Use keywords to create content categories, review content and potentially find new leads.
Before You Proceed …
Before approaching influencers, just like any marketing effort, you need to know what you want to gain from the marketing campaign. Would you like to drive more traffic to your company’s page, increase conversions, or increase brand awareness? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before trekking out into the world of micro influencers. Which platforms is your target market most engaged on? Be prepared and equipped with a few plans or ideas for a marketing campaign. Also, make sure you have researched the micro influencer, engaged with them on social media and are ready for an open conversation
What to Do When You’re Expecting… A Micro Influencer
You have gone through the steps of the process and now you are talking to the micro influencer of your dreams! But now you are left with the question: What marketing strategy am I going to use with the micro influencer to engage our target market? Well, here are a few ideas:
- Guest writers – This can go either way. The company’s blogger can be a guest on the micro influencer’s vlog or blog. The alternative is that the micro influencer can be a guest writer for the company’s website. However, there are different benefits to each strategy. If your company is featured on the micro influencers blog or social media, you can drive traffic to your website and increase social media presence among your target market. If you choose the alternative route, the micro influencer will have to do more work to promote the content and drive traffic to your website. If promotion is not done in a natural way, it may appear forced and untrustworthy. Both strategies have their pros and cons, and the marketing team will ultimately need to pick which one is best for the company.
- Go with the Tried and True – And by that, I mean a review. Obviously, you do not want to ask the micro influencer to write a positive review about your company, as it as seen as unethical to pay someone to review you. However, you can send them your product and ask them to write a review on the product, in which they can keep the product, regardless of what the review says, free of charge. Of course, this strategy is not within the company’s control, as opposed to other marketing methods. However, this method is traditionally more cost effective than other methods. Through reviews, your company can ask multiple micro influencers, and potentially receive more content in return that can be used as evergreen content.
- Demo Blog or Videos – Similar to a customer testimonial demo video, but more natural. This will give your target market (and potential leads) a look into how to use your tool and its everyday business benefits.
- Giveaways – Also a classic, on and offline. Giveaways, like giving a trial offer and asking the micro influencer to promote your product can be effective in generating new leads. Also, there can be a follow up email nurture campaign for those who did not win the giveaway. However, it is important to have clear giveaway guidelines that are linked to the company’s website.
Are Micro Influencers Right For Your company?
This is the ultimate question, and needs to be taken into serious consideration. When viewing your company’s target market, will an influencer truly enhance the buyer’s journey? If yes, then continue on into the world of influencer marketing and let your voice be heard!