For many small to mid-sized brands, the notion of working with influencers can feel unwieldy and unpredictable. The volume alone can seem daunting — how to choose the right one? — never mind the risk of employing a new-to-you marketing strategy.
But for many B2C brands, micro-influencers can be an effective way to boost visibility, underscore a messaging strategy and reach new audiences.
First things first: What is a micro-influencer? In short, micro-influencers are ordinary people — in other words, not celebrities — with an engaged online following. They could have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers, though some set a minimum number at about 15K. Instagram is, far and away, the most popular vehicle for influencer engagement.
Micro-influencers tend to focus on a singular interest — food, fitness, their neighborhood — making them credible, authentic sources of insight and information for people who engage with their posts.
Plus, they don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. A recent survey showed that nearly 30 percent of companies consider influencer marketing to be the fastest growing online consumer-acquisition channel, beating out organic search, paid search and email marketing.
If you haven’t tapped into micro-influencers yet, here are three reasons your consumer brand might want to consider working with them.
They feel authentic
Micro-influencers lend credibility to a brand. These aren’t digital ads luring people to click. These are real people telling followers they’ve tried your product — and they recommend it. And because most micro-influencers have a narrow frame of focus, a specialty, they lend an even stronger authentic feel to your brand.
When consumers see your brand engaging with an influencer they follow, they feel like you have something in common. You’re both fans of the same influencer. That connection can create brand stickiness.
They drive engagement
Micro-influencers have niche audiences who share their passion, whether it’s around food, fashion or a city. When you work with them, you’re reaching a more engaged audience, consumers who are actively seeking suggestions and guidance around a topic. In fact, a recent study showed that 82 percent of consumers would follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer.
The cost of working with a micro-influencer can vary widely, but you might be surprised at their affordability. According to Bloglovin’s Global Influence Survey, 97 percent of micro-influencers who seek monetary compensation charge less than $500 per post — most even less.
What’s more, lots of micro-influencers work for products, so negotiating a trade for collaboration is a common tactic. Say you have a small chain of restaurants. You offer a comped meal for the influencer and a plus one in exchange for a post. Adding a giveaway into the mix sweetens the deal for most influencers because it drives their brand’s engagement levels. So, you add a gift card to give away and, to be entered, the influencers’ followers need to tag a friend and follow your brand.
All in all, if you’re a consumer brand — especially a small, local brand — working with micro-influencers may give you one of the most efficient and effective boosts your brand’s seen in a while.
Hyper-local. Authentic. Sticky. That’s the kind of marketing strategy that boosts awareness and drives engagement.
Next up: How to choose a micro-influencer that’s right for your brand