Why should you work with micro influencers on Instagram instead of the larger influencers?
In the last couple of years, the focus of influencer marketing has been moving towards these smaller scale influencers. And no wonder, as they can bring more influencer marketing campaign results than larger influencers.
Micro influencer on Instagram is considered to be a person who has followers between 5000 and 100 000 people. Or depending on who do you ask, they can have as little as 1000 followers, or even as much as up to 100 000 followers.
In any case micro influencers do not count their followers on the millions. And for their success, that is a good thing. Let us explain.
Why micro influencers on Instagram can generate better results than bigger influencers
1. Micro influencers have a higher engagement rate
We did an Influencer Industry Report 2019 (DACH) together with Goldmedia this year. In it we could notice that micro influencers (followers between 5000 and 50 000 people) have in general higher engagement rate than macro (500 000+ followers) or meso influencers (50 001-500 000 followers).
Micro influencers are not that widely followed, often because they are operating in a niche. That niche, say fitness or being vegan, means that mostly all of their followers share the same passion and values.
So when a micro influencer is promoting a product which fits their lifestyle, it will also most likely fit to the lifestyle of their followers. This in turn means that the audience should initially have more interest in the offering.
Furthermore, an influencer who has not yet such a huge star can often feel more relatable to their followers. This happens because the followers are are mostly “normal” people themselves. When an influencer feels relatable, the audience can more easily imagine using the recommended products or services.
To conclude, micro influencer attract a smaller audience. It means you might need to work with more of them to reach a big amount of people. But that audience has most often a deeper relationship than the audience of a bigger influencer, making product recommendations more effective.
2. Micro influencers charge less than larger influencers
As micro influencers don’t yet have such a big following, nor so many brand collaborations, they can’t charge brands as much as the larger ones can.
Therefore, micro influencers are more cost-effective than larger influencers. You can generate more brand trust and engagement (including sales) and you don’t have to dig so deep into your pockets.
Of course as the popularity of micro influencers rises, they also learn to charge more. You should also be aware of the market prices, as there are some micro influencers who charge way more than what would be reasonable to their their follower amount. For example asking over a 1000 euros per post if you have less than 50 000 followers is a lot.
3. Micro-influencers don’t do that much advertisement
Large, hugely popular influencers usually also get a lot of brand collaborations requests. More paid posts also mean more competition among the advertising companies.
Micro influencers who don’t get so many brand collaboration requests can’t yet do so much advertisement. Thus, every brand collaboration can have more impact.
However, we recommend that when you are choosing a micro influencer for your campaigns you should check how much advertising they are already doing.
Working with micro influencers can thus be a more cost-effective way to do your influencer marketing campaigns. You can reach more engaged audiences, who are initially already interested in your offering. And you can do it with less investment.
So, now that you know what micro influencers on Instagram are, the next step is how to find them! We have also written a blog post about it, so go ahead and read the article from below:
What are the micro influencer marketing campaign best practices? How to make sure the campaigns turn out successful? These are questions our experts and campaign managers get asked a lot.
So we decided to take our learnings from over 500 campaigns and put them together into an 8 section checklist. So that you can make sure your micro influencer campaigns are optimized for success.
You can also request to have a simple checklist of the micro influencer marketing best practices sent to your via email. So that you can easily take it with you to your next campaign meeting.
1. Set tangible goals
Are your campaign goals brand awareness and trust generation or sales creation? How much people you want to reach or how much ROI you would like to generate? These are the types of questions you need to ask in the beginning of the campaign. They will then determine the whole scope of the campaign, so be very specific.
2. Find many suitable micro-influencers
Micro influencers are more engaging than bigger influencers. But because of their follower base is not in the millions (as it should not be), you need to work with a significant amount of them to really have a scalable influencer marketing campaign.
3. Write a contract
Who has the rights to the content after the campaign? For how long? What happens if the influencer does not follow instructions? What happens if the company does not deliver? These are some of the questions which needs to be clearly answered before the campaign is running.
4. Create a detailed campaign brief
In the brief you need to write out what the influencer actually needs to do during the campaign. How to mention your company, when to post, how to post etc. Make the brief, well, as brief, clear and as on point as possible. Nobody wants to read a multiple pages of text.
5. Take care of the technical aspects
Especially for a sales-oriented influencer marketing campaign you need to have a few things in place to measure the success of the campaign.
These are things such as a (functioning) influencer-specific discount code, campaign-specific landing page and attribution model in your analytics provider.
6. Let the influencer be creative
Don’t be too strict with how the influencer can post about your product. Even though you have some requirements for the brand image, the influencer’s audience is used to expect a certain style and tone.
If the paid post with your product differs too much from this style, the audience might not respond as well as it could.
7. Measure and analyse
You get what you measure, so you need to put a lot of effort into this phase.
Brand awareness is measured with reach, brand trust with likes and comments. Interest is measured by clicks to the website, and sales are of course measured with conversions
8. Use the influencers’ content after the campaign
The content from the influencers is creative and engaging. So it would be a shame if it would be used only once.
You can use the content from the campaigns as testimonials on your website or as retargeting ads. In that way you can generate even more results from the initial influencer marketing campaign.
Receive the checklist to your email
Provide us with your email and get the checklist sent to you via email!
So, you have decided to start micro influencer marketing on Instagram. The next thing you need to do, is to find the right micro influencers!
It might seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry! Even though it does require some effort, with our three tips you can surely get started.
1. Choose micro influencers whose interests and values are a fit with your brand
You need to find micro influencers who are a good fit with your brand and product. That’ll guarantee that the micro influencer’s audience is also interested in what you are offering them.
The more specific you are, the better. For example if your protein shake is all-natural and vegan, then your target are individuals who are vegan and also into fitness. Or if your skin care product helps people with a specific skin problem, then you need to find people who are suffering from these issues.
Use hastags, follower lists or platforms to help with the search
You can use hastags which are relevant to the theme of your product. It will help you find influencers working in the same niche. If you find one interesting micro influencer, look what hastags they are using. In that way you can find similar individuals.
Take also look at which people the individual in question are themselves following. Usually people also follow other influencers from the same niche. So by taking a look at the follower lists you should find more influencers to contact for your campaign.
Different influencer platforms can help the search a lot. They provide different search criteria such as gender and location and interest, so that finding the right micro influencers on Instagram goes a lot faster.
2. Look for micro influencers with a minimum 3.5% engagement rate
When you have found a person who seems like a good fit, you need to calculate their engagement rate. The bigger the engagement rate, the better, of course.
Micro influencers usually have a pretty good engagement rate, compared to the larger influencers. For example, in a recent study by Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer with over 100 000 followers has an engagement rate of 2,4%.
Compared to an individual with less than 10 000 followers and an engagement rate of 4%, one can see that micro level influencers are able to enageg their audiences more. Thus, they bring more results when companies collaborate with them.
We recommend to choose influencers with an engagement rate of at least 3.5%. And because all studies are only counting averages, you should calculate the engagement rate every time for each micro influencer. Because even a micro influencer who should have a good engagement rate based on the follower amount might not actually have it.
Which leads us to the third point on our list of finding suitable micro influencers on Instagram.
3. Watch our for fake followers
A person with fake followers often has a very high amount of followers but a very few posts in comparison. Generating tens of thousands of followers takes time. So a huge following with only a few dozens of posts indicates that the followers have been bought. Unless that person happens to be Jennifer Anniston.
Fake followers also don’t usually engage at all. A person with less than 100 000 followers but with an engagement rate of only 1-2% indicates bought followers.
People can of course also buy not just followers but also likes and comments. Comments from bots are however always very shallow and generic. And with Instagram’s test of hiding likes across the globe, it might make it irrelevant to purchase these likes anyway in the future. Not to mention Instagram’s fight against fraudulent accounts as we speak.
4. Make sure the micro influencer doesn’t do more than 40% paid posts
Micro influencers have gotten more popular in influencer marketing, so that means that they get more brand collaboration proposals. But a sensible influencer should realise, that too much advertising can drive away their followers.
Nobody follows a micro influencer just for the brand collaborations they do. So we recommend that less than 40% of the influencers’ posts should be paid. Because if you think about it, 50% would mean every other post is an ad! That’s way too much for anybody’s liking.
So take for example the last 30 posts that the influencer has been doing. Maximum 12 of them should be advertisements. And there should always be non-paid posts between the advertisements. Because if the influencer often posts a lot of advertisements after one another, it also erodes the impact of the ad.
Our list for finding the right influencers is short but effective. It is thus important that you do not skip any steps in the search process!
And now that you know how to find the right micro influencers on Instagram, the next is to find out how to make your micro influencer campaigns successful. We have prepared an eight-step checklist for you, which you can access here.
Despite the buzz, a lot of companies are still wondering if influencer marketing could work for them. Does the influencer’s audience really trust the influencer’s recommendation? Can influencer marketing really bring in new customers and sales? And can it do it more effectively than traditional advertising?
In this blog article we will discuss the findings of some recent studies regarding what are consumers’ opinions towards influencer marketing. Because what they think and they act is what counts.
Especially younger consumers trust the opinions of influencers
Technically speaking influencer marketing should work just because people have always appreciated the opinions of trustworthy people. People such as close friends and family. So from a business perspective, a recommendation from a person you trust weighs more than the marketing speech from a company.
But are influencers trustworthy enough when consumers are making purchase decisions? The answer is, according to studies, yes. At least among the younger generations, people can respond well to the influencers’ recommendations.
For example Morning Consult conducted recently a study about 18-38 years-old American consumers’ attitudes and habits towards influencers.
They found that “50 percent of Millennials [people born approximately between 1980 and 1996], trust influencers they follow on product recommendations, compared to 38 percent for their favorite celebrities.”
We found similar results from our own Influencer Industry Report (2019). The research company Goldmedia interviewed over 1500 Germans about their opinions on online product information and purchase behavior regarding influencers.
The answers to the question “Which of the following forms of product information do you perceive to be particularly trustworthy?” support the notion, that the opinions from close friends an people are trusted the most. As these types of recommendations are usually not paid, they generate the most trust.
And also among the Germans the third most trustworthy source are the product endorsements from influencers. Over a third of the individuals surveyed think, that online opinion leaders can be trusted as a product information source.
Furthermore, the highest level of trust was found to be among people between 14-17 year-olds (41%) and 18-23 year-olds (35%). This also makes sense, as these younger generations have practically grown up with the age of influencers and social media.
Traditional forms of advertising and big celebrities are not that trustworthy
The answers also support the latest trend: people don’t trust that much anymore on traditional forms of advertising.
Advertorials from brands and product recommendations from newspapers and magazines performed slightly better than advertising in the surveys But they did not do that well. So cooperating with influencers can help companies to bring back the trust that traditional advertising has lost.
However, by influencers the respondents from both studies didn’t mean just any influencers. The least trustworthy sources for product information were the stars and celebrities on social media.
A celebrity status or millions of followers does not seem to guarantee a trust in that individual; rather on the contrary. It seems that the bigger the influencer, the less authentic he or she is seen when endorsing a product.
Young consumers learn about new products from influencers
According to the Morning Clinic study, 88% of the respondents said they learn about the products they are interested in from social media. Furthermore, 24% of women and 16% of men learn most often about new products from influencers.
Similar results came about also from our own report where the Germans were asked “How was the product or service presented that you saw online?”
It turned out that almost 40% of the respondents have seen a product/service recommended by an individual online. Almost half the respondents have seen product recommendations from online videos or banners. No surprise as these two forms are still most used in online advertising.
The low numbers for these more traditional forms of online advertising might be explained by the usage of ad blockers and ad fatigue. People have grown so used to online banners that they barely pay attention to them anymore, or block them automatically. Same goes for video ads, which the consumers can also just ignore or skip.
There is thus still room for influencer marketing to grow, at least in Germany, as only less than 40% have seen these advertisements. As influencers’ content on social media is voluntarily consumed, it can’t be blocked by ad blockers. Thus, there is a bigger change for grasping consumers’ attention with it.
Especially younger consumers buy products from influencers
Influencer marketing has often been criticized by its low impact on revenue. And for most marketers it is hard to defend the usage of a channel if its ROI capabilities can’t be proved.
However, studies have shown that consumers are not only just getting new product information from influencers. They are also buying those products.
In the Morning Clinic study, 56% of the respondents said they had purchased a product after seeing it has been recommended by an influencer.
In our own Influencer Industry report the results were a bit more down-to-earth, but encouraging nonetheless.
16% of the individuals between 14 and 29 years old have purchased products which were recommended by influencers. That is every sixth survey participant! Even 7% of individuals between 30 and 40 years old have purchased products recommended by influencers.
Influencer marketing can drive sales but they might not always be immediate
These studies did not ask whether or not the individuals had purchased the products immediately after seeing them. But they have done it, making influencer marketing an important channel in the consumer purchase journey.
If sales through influencer marketing do not come immediately they can be hard to measure. But does not mean that they are not happening at all. Nor does it mean that anything except instant sales is unacceptable.
It is therefore utmost important that the measurement of Influencer Marketing is developed further. Things like individual discount codes, customized links and websites are a couple of ways to make tracking sales from Influencer Marketing efforts easier.
And if the target audience still didn’t buy, you should try remarketing efforts to convince them to return.
Conclusion: influencer marketing can work when done right
Especially for younger audiences, influencers are an important medium for new product information. And not just for information. Influencers also play an important part in the purchase decision process as more and more consumers are buying products recommended by them.
However, if your target audience’s age is way over 30, you might think that influencer marketing is nothing for you. But you need to also remember to think ahead.
Those Millennials and Gen Z people will grow older. And then they will have a lot of purchasing power in the future. And if they have used to the recommendations from influencers, then you most likely will need influencers to attract new audiences to you.
Also, not any social media influencer is suitable for product endorsements. Big social media influencers don’t seem to possess a large level trust and authenticity when it comes to product recommendations.
Because of that, the trend in influencer marketing has been moving towards micro influencers. These individuals operating in a tighter niche can have a better brand fit and thus generate more engagement than the social media celebrities.
Would you like to know how?
If you would like to get started with micro influencer marketing, then we recommend you to read our blog post of the topic. It will explain you how are micro influencers, why they bring results than larger influencers, how to find them AND how to do a successful campaign with them!
You can also send any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org We will get back to you!
Re-using the content from your influencer marketing campaigns as retargeting ads on social media is an efficient way to enhance your campaign performance.
Influencers are creative experts, producing engaging content for your brand and products. So it would be a shame if that content would be used only once for a single campaign.
In this blog post we will explain you why retargeting can enhance the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns, and how you can also do it.
At the end of the blog post you can also request to receive a case study detailing how our client generated an +800% ROI when they added retargeting ads to their influencer marketing campaign.
Retargeting vs. remarketing
Before we go further, let’s agree on the terms. Remarketing and retargeting are often used to mean the same thing which is advertising or sending another type of a message to a target audience who have previously somehow been in contact with your brand.
The difference is sometimes varied depending on who do you ask. For example Neal Patel, an well-known digital marketing entrepreneur, sees retargeting as online remarketing, whereas remarketing is the umbrella term. However Rejoiner has described remarketing as being only targeting existing audiences via email.
For us retargeting means contacting existing audiences on social media, with the content from the influencers in your campaign.
The goal of retargeting can take many forms. You can use it to inform current customers of special offers or to convince past buyers to buy from you again.
Or, in the case of influencer marketing, you can use it to retarget the influencer’s followers who did not convert.
Use retargeting in influencer marketing to catch people when they are ready to buy
Direct sales are of course the end goal of most advertising campaigns. Nobody wants to put money into marketing or advertising and not get anything tangible in return.
However we marketers might sometimes think that whenever we do not generate immediate sales, the campaign has failed.
But let’s face it: in most cases people are not ready or willing to buy immediately after seeing an ad. They might in general be interested in the offer and might even go and take a look at the website. But still they decide not to buy at this very moment.
When done right influencer marketing can be one of the most authentic promotional methods for your brand. Recommendations from other people have more power than pure advertising. People trust the opinions of others more than those of brands. And especially micro-influencers can generate a lot of trust.
However, influencer marketing campaigns can’t guarantee a 100% conversion rate. For those cases when people just were not able or ready to buy from you, you need to retargeting them in order to convince them back to your site.
What differentiates influencer marketing from other marketing campaigns is that you don’t actually have to create any content for the retargeting ads. The influencers have already done it for you!
They have taken the pictures and written the texts so technically the next step for you is to just set up the retargeting campaigns.
How does retargeting in Influencer Marketing work
You can use whichever ad network you have to reach the influencers’ target audience. Naturally the easiest way is to retarget them in the specific network where the campaign originally was set up.
On Instagram the retargeting funnel works as below:
The funnel starts from the feed post, which is more awareness generating in nature. The link to the specific landing page will also be put as the influencer’s bio link for a certain number of days. However people don’t often click it enough to truly generate enough traffic to the website.
Most traffic to the website and thus most sales are generated via a story which contains the CTA or Swipe up -link. That’s why it is important to collaborate with influencers who have at least 10 000 followers, as the Swipe up is only possible from then on.
After the campaign has generated enough visits to the website from the influencer’s posts the retargeting campaigns can be started.
Target non-converted and lookalike audiences
The most important audience for the retargeting campaign are the people who clicked to the campaign landing page but did not convert. These people have already expressed their interest but for some reason or another were not ready to buy yet.
Other audiences worth retargeting are lookalikes from the people who did purchase via the link. Lookalike audiences from your other buyers are a good option to try as well.
Of course you can also target your existing customers. People who have not bought from you for a while could do it again after seeing recommendation from an influencer.
Think also if you could try to cross-sell this product to the buyers of other, complimenting products you have.
Use the best performing content from the influencers
The actual ads used in the retargeting campaign should be the best content from the influencers. They had worked before so the change that they work now is high.
Use the ones which have gotten the most sales or most clicks from the bio link or the Story Swipe Up -link. And if there are not that many of the aforementioned, then use the engagement metrics. So choose the images which generated the most likes and comments.
Remember that you need to have the consent from the influencers in order to use their images as retargeting ads. You might need to pay a bit more in order to receive such usage rights to the images, but it is worth it.
The agreement on the usage rights can always be a part of the initial campaign. Or you it can be negotiated case by case if you see that a certain content is performing especially well.
Make variations to the ad texts
After you have the consent from the influencer it is ok to use the images. However we don’t recommend that you use exactly the same texts as the influencer did.
Depending on the chosen target audience they might have already seen the texts but did not react as hoped. So repeating the same message most likely won’t bring a different result.
Besides it feels a lot more personalised when the ad texts indicate that the person has already seen them. Just don’t get too creepy. People are already rather used to being followed by ads but still nobody likes to be reminded of it.
Also, what the influencer has said does most likely not turn into an ad text without some modification. Most likely the text is too long to fit requirements of the social media sites. So some editing is needed in any case.
Thus, the ads should be a mix of what was in the best-performed posts and a new, improved CTA.
Best practices for retargeting ads
Remember to exclude the people who converted from the original Influencer Marketing campaigns. Might be obvious but we will remind you of it anyway. If people bought from you, better leave them alone. At least for now.
In a similar way you might want to exclude the most recent buyers if you are retargeting other existing customers.
Always have a few different variations of headlines and ad texts to A/B test which works the best. And don’t forget to do both story- and normal feed ads.
However, don’t just copy the feed ad as a story ad. First of all the formats are different (square versus a vertical). Second the people are also using the formats differently by either scrolling down the feed or swiping between stories. So the same ads in both placements doesn’t necessarily work.
People are not ready to buy immediately, even when getting product recommendations from the people they trust. Retargeting the individuals who saw your Influencer Marketing campaign helps to catch the people who need more time before a purchase.
You shouldn’t see Influencer Marketing as a one-off campaign where influencers just post a couple of times and that’s it. The content can easily be reused further across your marketing mix.
Learn how one of our clients got 800% ROI with influencer marketing & retargeting ads
We’d don’t just want to tell you how retargeting works; we like to show it to you.
Provide us the information below to receive a case study detailing how our beauty / FMCG client generated an 800% ROI when they extended their influencer marketing campaign with retargeting ads.
Traditionally the influencer marketing process has been a manual one. Influencers have been researched and contacted individually, and the campaign metrics have been needed to manually collect into one place.
Thus, influencer marketing has often been an inefficient, time- and resources-consuming effort based largely on gut-feeling. Something, which we marketers can’t afford. Therefore, to truly generate results and make marketing at a scale we need the help from machines and automation.
However, like any marketing effort also influencer marketing shouldn’t be automated completely. Its effectiveness is based on the authenticity of the influencer and the trust the audience has for the influencer. As of yet no machine can 100% make sure that the paid collaborations the influencer is taking part in do not break that trust and authenticity.
In this article we’ll guide you through how to automate your influencer marketing process without damaging the relationship between the influencer and their audience. We will show you what steps in the process you should automate, why you should automate them and how to do it.
What steps belong to an influencer marketing process?
In order to know what to automatise and what not, we need to determine the steps in the influencer marketing process.
We at INFLURY break down the process into the following steps:
As stated before, traditionally all these steps have been done manually, making influencer marketing hard to scale. Automation can thus bring a lot of benefits, which will be covered next.
Automation saves time and helps to make data-driven decisions
By using automation as a tool, it can make a lot of the Influencer Marketing steps easier to manage.
Research and book the influencers fast and based on data
Automation brings the most benefits in the influencer research and booking phase. Based on the target audience criteria such as location, gender, age and interest, a software can find dozens or even hundreds of fitting influencers in minutes.
A software can use millions of data points to analyze the target audience of an influencer. It can thus deliver a greater precision for the suitability of an influencer than a manual analysis.
A faster influencer booking also allows different A/B tests to personalize their campaigns or to book different types of influencers.
Fight against influencer fraud
Automation can also help in the quality control of the influencers by checking the follower growth rate and engagement rate for potential fraud cases. When the system already knows what is a suspicious behaviour, it can already flag these individuals and thus leave them out from the results.
Communicate more efficiently
You can also communicate with the influencers faster and more coordinated when automation is used. In a platform or with a software one can create predefined message templates which are easy to modify given any campaign type. These are then fast to send to a bunch of influencers.
A platform or a software also makes it easy to store all the communications in once place where multiple influencer managers can access it.
Keep a coherent brand image with predefined post templates and campaign briefs
Keeping a coherent brand image is also one of the challenges in influencer marketing. This is especially true when dealing with a lot of influencers. Automation can help with it by offering post and campaign brief templates.
Set templates give the influencers very detailed instructions in what and how to post. They make sure that there are no misunderstandings and limits excess communications back and forth. Thus, the influencers are on the clear what and how to post and can thus concentrate on the content creation part.
Analyse the campaign results from one place
Needless to say, automation is key in the analysis phase. From a platform all the metrics from different posts and different campaigns can be found in one place.
This not only makes the analysis and thus campaign optimization easier, it also makes the data more transparent. No more guessing how many engagements or clicks to the website were actually generated.
Don’t forget the human touch in influencer marketing
However, as stated at the beginning, influencer marketing can’t be automatised completely. If one takes a look at the steps described above, it is apparent that every single one of them still demands some human involvement.
Somebody has to come up with the campaign plan and content strategy, which is the basis for the whole campaign. This basis determines the criteria with which to search for the influencers.
Same goes for communication with the influencers and writing all the contracts and briefs. When dealing with other humans, another human being is still the best communicator.
Also one of the most important tasks for humans in influencer marketing is the content review. Just as you wouldn’t approve advertising from an agency without seeing it first, you need to proof the content from the influencers.
Analysis of the campaign metrics and the decisions based on those metrics also still needs to be done by a human. A software can show you a lot of suggestions, but the final decision is yours to make. Or the influencer manager’s.
Thus, automation can assist throughout the campaign process. It’s job is to leave the people more time on the things which a machine can’t do.
But what if you don’t have the time or the people but would still like to get started with influencer marketing? Or maybe you have tried it manually but were not really happy with the results? If those were your cases, then we should talk.
Influencer marketing automation with INFLURY
INFLURY was founded because our CEO Levin realised automation can make influencer marketing so much more efficient and profitable. So our own platform of micro-influencers based on our own software was created, to make more better performing campaigns for our clients.
We at INFLURY take care of all of the influencer marketing needs for our clients. Therefore, when collaborating with us, the advertiser’s influencer marketing process will look as followed:
With us our clients can concentrate solely on the creative idea and the overall strategy of the campaign. Our experts will take care of the rest with the software and the micro-influencers from our platform. All the campaign results will also be found in one place, making the analysis and optimization easy.
And if needed, our clients get expert assistance in the concept and strategy phase as well.
If there are any questions you have regarding getting started with influencer marketing, you can send an email anytime at email@example.com.
Or if you want to receive a personalised consultation regarding automatising your influencer marketing or even starting your first campaign, book a call with one of our experts! They are more than happy to help you.
10 minute read
In the past couple of years one term in the Influencer Marketing landscape has been rising steadily: micro influencers or Micro Influencer Marketing.
In this article we will shine light on what is meant by the term “micro influencers”, why brands should collaborate with them and how to do Micro-Influencer Marketing efficiently. We are confident that you will find inspiration to take to your next marketing campaign meeting.
What is a micro influencer?
Who is a micro influencer differs a bit depending on who you ask. Some say it is anyone who has between 10 000 and 500 000 followers, others say between 1000 and 1 000 000 followers. In any case when one talks about micro influencers one does not talk about individuals who count their followers in the millions.
Micro influencers are not that widely followed, often because they are not such famous people or are operating in a niche. Thus, they attract a smaller audience, or smaller than what the Influencer Marketing branch has been used to.
The why are the companies now started to move away from these mega-stars and the possibility to reach millions? Why can a person with 40 000 followers on Instagram be a better choice than an individual with four million followers?
Why are micro influencers more effective than larger influencers?
1. Micro influencers have a higher engagement rate
According to many studies, when the amount of followers rises, the engagement rate starts to go down. For example a study by Influencer Marketing Hub states that one can expect a person with less than a 5000 followers to have an engagement rate of around 5,7%. Compared to that a person with up to 100 000 followers can only expect to have an engagement rate of around 2,4%.
The more followers a person has, the harder it is to engage a significant amount of followers. Millions of people have very varied interests which can’t be addressed in one post or story. This means that the brand collaborating with a big influencer is also paying for followers who might not even be interested in the offering.
With micro-influencers however the situation is different. They most often work in a tight niche by posting mainly only about one topic, let’s say fitness or beer brewing. This in turn means that almost all their followers share the same passion and interest. So when a micro-influencer is promoting a product which fits their lifestyle, it will also fit rather perfectly to the lifestyle of their followers.
Plus, an individual who has not yet risen to such an influencer stardom might also feel a lot more closer than a megastar. The deeper the relationship between the influencer and their followers, the more influential the person actually is.
2. Micro influencers are not as expensive
Bigger influencers have traditionally been receiving a lot of brand collaboration offers in their channels. Therefore, they know their value and will charge brands accordingly.
Smaller influencers do not yet have such a big follower base to be able to justify high prices. Thus, with micro-influencers brands can not only reach a more engaged audience but also with a fraction of the price associated with larger-scale influencers.
Of course as micro influencers get more popular, they will realise that they can also charge more. But at least for now they are a very cost-efficient choice.
3. Micro-influencers do less advertisement
More brand collaborations also mean more competition among the companies. Smaller-scale influencers who don’t yet do such a large number of promotions have not yet saturated their audience with advertisement. Thus, every brand collaboration can have more impact.
With bigger influencers there might even be a sign of promoted product fatigue. This can make the person not really care about what they are promoting, let alone bother to check what they are posting.
Thus, the more advertisement an influencer does the less authentic they can seem to become. As stated previously: the power of micro-influencers is based on higher engagement which is a result from high trust and authenticity. So they also need to pay attention that they don’t engage in too many brand collaborations which might turn off their followers.
How to find the right micro influencers?
Let’s say you have decided that the smaller-scale is the way to go. Let us therefore guide you with a few tips on how to find the right influencer. Just keep in mind that when it comes to micro-influencers, both the quality and quantity matter.
1. Look for influencers whose lifestyle fit with your brand and product
The main thing is of course to find a micro-influencers whose interests fit with your brand and product. That’ll make sure that the influencer’s audience will also be interested in your offering.
Be specific. For example if your beauty product is all-natural and vegan, you need to find micro-influencers who are all about vegan and natural products. Just any micro-influencer interested in beauty has already too broad an audience.
You can for example use hastags which are relevant for your product, to find influencers working in the same niche. Different influencer platforms also help the search, as they provide a pool of influencers from which to choose.
2. Calculate the engagement rate
The next step is to check how many followers the person has and calculate the engagement rate.
As stated in the study by Influencer Marketing Hub, a person with 30 000 followers should on average have an engagement rate of 3-4%. So he or she should get around 1000 likes and comments per post. In smaller countries where there is less competition the percentages can be even higher.
Keep in mind that these numbers are just averages, but your target influencers should still preferably hitting at least these numbers.
Search also for previous brand collaborations the influencer has been doing, and compare their engagement rate to the average engagement rate. If it is not significantly lower, then the audience seems to be okay with the influencer promoting products.
If however the sponsored posts always perform way worse than the non-promoted ones, then proceed with caution. The audience might not be into paid posts from this influencer.
3. Stay on the lookout for fake followers
Fake followers in Influencer Marketing is still a big problem. However, there are a few ways to make sure that the followers are at least mostly real humans.
An individual with a lot of fake followers has often a suspiciously high amount of followers compared to the amount of posts. It takes time to generate a large following, so a sudden rush in the amount of followers indicates that they have been bought.
Also if the influencer’s engagement rate is significantly lower than what is average to that many followers, then it also can indicate a large number of fake followers. Bots don’t engage.
In addition, you should make sure that the content the influencer posts are mostly their own. For example Instagram is full of accounts which have grown their follower base by just copying popular content from others.
However as bot accounts also just follow people hoping for a follow back, people can gather bot followers even without buying them. Lot of people don’t check regularly what kind of followers they have. But it should be done on occasion, as bot accounts can be kicked off from the follower list.
Finding the right micro influencers for your products does take time and effort. Luckily there are nowadays many services on the market which make finding the right micro influencers very easy.
How to make a micro-influencer marketing campaign successful?
Micro-influencer marketing campaign does not differ a lot from a bigger influencer campaign. The success factors are similar, but it is never a bad idea to repeat them:
1. Set tangible goals
Do you want to reach a new audience, make more sales or to strengthen your brand image? The goal setting will determine the whole campaign scope from the amount of the influencers and the tone of the posts all the way to the technical implementation.
2. Collaborate with a large number of micro-influencers
Don’t settle for just a couple of micro-influencers. There is always strength in numbers, so you should always have your products in the hands of as many suitable influencers as possible.
And if you are worried about not been able to develop a relationship with such many influencers, you don’t have to be. Micro-influencers can help you scale your Influencer Marketing efforts while at the same time you build a relationship with a few bigger key influencers.
3. Take care of all contract and legal issues
With micro-influencers you also need to create a contract regarding the collaboration. This is important for example regarding usage rights for the influencer’s content.
4. Write a specific brief
In order to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes, create a very detailed brief for the influencers. Things like how to mention your company, which hastags to use and how the product should be present ensure that your brand will be presented the right way.
5. Set the technical aspects
You need to set up all the possible technical requirements like elements like discount codes and influencer-specific links. The links need to be added to the influencer’s bio or to their stories as CTAs.
You might also need to create a separate landing page just for the campaign.
Also remember to set your Analytics or any third-party analytics provider to track the visitors coming through that link.
6. Let the influencer have some freedom
Not only does the product need to match the influencer and their audience, but the post needs to also match the style of the individual. If the post comes straight from your marketing department without any reference to what the influencer is used to posting, then most likely the audience will not respond well.
7. Measure and analyse your campaigns
The metrics need to be determined in the goal setting phase. In that way at the end of the campaign it is easy to look at the numbers and determine whether the goals were hit.
If sales are your goal, then direct purchases and clicks from the bio link to your shop are the ones you need to measure. Don’t forget to dig into your attribution data to determine if the campaigns have been involved in the sales process indirectly.
Metrics like reach and engagement rate, or cost-per-engagement, are important if your goal is more brand awareness and consideration. But even when sales are your goal those metrics can be important micro conversions.
8. Re-use the influencers’ content
The influencers are content creators, who have the skills to make great pictures and write compelling texts. You should always consider to pay also for the usage rights for the influencer’s posts after the campaign. In that way you can receive high-quality content to be used on your own social media channels or on your website as testimonials.
The content from the influencers can also be used in other marketing campaigns you have. You can even use it to retarget your existing website visitors or the people who did not purchase immediately from the influencers.
Examples of successful micro-influencer campaigns
You don’t have to take our word for it, as the internet is full of successful micro-influencer campaigns for you to get inspired by. There are also examples of influencer campaigns gone horribly wrong, for you to make sure not to repeat the same mistakes.
You need to determine what success means to you, but whatever you do, let the individuality of the influencer shine through! Remember, they are the one who have the power over their audience, not you.
We hope that our tips were useful to you and that you now feel more confident with micro-influencer marketing. However we also understand that the post most likely did not answer all our questions. So don’t hesitate to ask a question in the comments, call us or send us an email!
In our “Employee interview” series we want to show what working at INFLURY is like, and of course present our amazing employees!
The first person to start the series is Arianna, an Influencer Marketing Manager.
What made you apply for INFLURY?
I didn’t actually apply here myself. I got a Linkedin message from the CEO Levin, asking me to have a call with him about a job opportunity. So I took a look at the website and thought that what they do is a very cool approach to Influencer Marketing. That’s why I decided to have a chat with him to see what he was offering.
Describe what you do on a daily basis
As an Influencer Marketing Manager I am responsible for the development and execution of various campaigns for our international clients. I lead a small team consisting of Junior Influencer Marketing Managers and interns, who support me in campaign management
My tasks include creating engaging and creative influencer campaign strategies for various brands who want to promote their products through influencers. I also manage and monitor all the phases of the campaigns – from choosing the influencers and shipping the products to the content review.
Besides campaign management I am also involved in improving the existing processes of the campaign team. So I do a lot of coordination and management in order to improve the team’s workflows.
How is it to work at INFLURY?
Everyone is friendly and there are no “labels” or hierarchy. As an employee you are free to communicate everything: every concern, every doubt, every idea. There is always someone willing to help or to listen.
What is that one thing you appreciate the most?
The openness towards new ideas. INFLURY is a very open-minded place to work as there is no fear for new suggestions or chancing the status quo if that leads to improve the processes.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
To not be afraid to express myself. Communication is often a big pain point for companies as people are often unsure about what they can or can’t say. But at INFLURY is not like that all as communication is valued very high, whether it’s criticising or complimenting.
If you could choose any brand or a person to do an Influencer Marketing campaign with, who would it be and why?
It would be any humanitarian association or a company dedicated to a good cause! It’s amazing to see how well also influencers react when it comes to charity or to sensitive actions related to environmental issues, animal protection and similar topics.
It’s very gratifying to contribute to such causes with Influencer Marketing. It proofs that marketing can be a very powerful tool if applied the right way.
Can you tell a funny anecdote or a memory from the office?
I have a lot of fun memories from Friday evenings at the office. We used to always stay long on a Friday, drink a beer and maybe go to grab a bite all together. For sure, INFLURY is not a boring office!
Alongside taking good care of our campaigns at work, what do you like to do on your free time?
I really enjoy working out and practicing yoga. It clears my mind after a whole day sitting in front of the laptop.
If you got intrigued by what Arianna has to say about working at INFLURY, feel free to take a look at our open positions! We are always looking for motivated individuals to help us build the company.
How do the digital marketing people in Germany see Influencer Marketing? What are the most prominent questions and concerns that marketers have related to it? By talking with dozens of marketers from a variety of industries at DMEXCO, our sales team could pin-point a few of the most pressing themes in Influencer Marketing.
How to find the right influencers
The theme of the conference this year was “Trust In You”, and most of the questions our team received fit with it perfectly. Influencer Marketing means companies have to practically trust their brands in the hands of strangers, so they had a lot of questions regarding influencer quality.
How to spot influencers with fake followers was a big topic. Companies can’t of course have their products advertised by people whose audiences are not real humans. So being able to filter out those kinds of fake influencers is crucial.
Another popular discussion topic was influencer match. How to find the influencers who have the best brand fit? Or it should actually be asked this way: which influencers’ audience could be interested in the company’s offering? The answer has two sides: the influencer needs to talk about topics which match the company’s product or service and their audience needs to be engaged enough.
Many studies of influencer types and their engagement rates have shown, that when the amount of a person’s followers increases, the engagement rate decreases. So they are able to truly engage less and less people in relation to their followers.
This means that the company’s offering is seen by a large amount of people who are not really interested in it. Thus, the most engaged audience is the audience from so-called micro-influencers, who work in a tight niche.
How to drive sales with Influencer Marketing
Driving sales and revenue is in the end the main goal of all marketing efforts. However, people have been struggling to do it with Influencer Marketing, as it was discussed at DMEXCO.
Many marketers seem to have difficulties seeing Influencer Marketing as a part of the customer journey. There is a lack of knowledge on how to use it to reach marketing goals, from growing brand awareness to advertising to existing customers.
And based on the discussions, we can identify the problem as the following:
Influencer Marketing is not treated as Performance Marketing
There seems to be a misalignment with what marketers want to get out of Influencer Marketing and how it is done. It is often perceived as a performance-based effort which needs to be measured, but many people still act like they are doing brand marketing. This makes it hard to generate sales and revenue as the actions are not aligned with the desired outcome.
Marketers appear to think it is more important to have a good personal relationship with all their influencers instead of aiming for campaign results. Therefore it can be hard to scale Influencer Marketing efforts as one can only have a very deep relationship with a limited number of influencers. This in turn leads to a lack of measurement, as there just is not enough people to take care of it.
As Influencer Marketing is being balanced between brand and performance, it does not seem to have established metrics. Engagement metrics such as likes and comments are important, but they are soft, more brand-related metrics.
If Influencer Marketing is really seen as a part of Performance Marketing, its effect on revenue and sales needs to be measured accordingly. And with today’s technology there are ways of doing just that.
What kind of companies could do Influencer Marketing
Quite a few German digital marketers also seem to have a bit old-fashioned view of Influencer Marketing. They think it is something for beauty products or fashion companies only, and thus are hesitant to even get started with it. Our team also talked with companies who are offering a service and don’t quite realize that it can also be advertised as a product.
Also a few offline retails came to talk with us about how Influencer Marketing could work for them. So bridging the gap between online and offline worlds with carefully set KPIs is a growing theme.
Our sales team also talked with a lot of niche and DIY companies, who have already done Influencer Marketing successfully before, and were now looking for ways of scaling their efforts. So it seems that Influencer Marketing is not just for big companies anymore, and definitely not just for beauty and fashion brands.
B2B Influencer Marketing, meaning advertising products or services via online professionals, was also a topic that was discussed quote a lot. However, as professionals are not interested in growing their influence through paid efforts, there is nothing happening in that field yet. But the theme is already there, so we will wait and see how it will develop or if it will fade away.
Influencer Marketing seems to be a new topic for many of the marketers at the conference, so they don’t know exactly how to approach it. The lack of a systematic, performance-oriented approach and clear metrics make it hard to scale.
Also, the market needs to move away from the relationship focus. A company does not need to have a deep relationship with all the influencers they are cooperating with, in order to successfully do Influencer Marketing. A shallower relationship with many smaller-scale influencers makes it possible to scale Influencer Marketing activities and at the same time nurture a deep relationship with a few brand ambassadors.
All in all, our team was happy to be able to discuss with so many German digital professionals get a better understanding of the questions a lot of companies have. If you happen to have any questions regarding Influencer Marketing, you can at any time shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or if you want to have a consultation about whether or not Influencer Marketing could be something for your company, just schedule a call with one of our experts! They are more than happy to help you.