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How To Get Started With Micro Influencer Marketing

10 minute read

So you have been collaborating with large influencers in the past but now you’d want to get started with micro influencer marketing? Or maybe you don’t have any experience with influencers, but are convinced that they could help you with growing your business.

If that is so, you have come to the right place.

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? 

Photo by George Pagan

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 them 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 these smaller 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?

Photo by John Schnobrich

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 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 the individuals 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 get started with micro influencer marketing successfully? 

Photo by Austin Schmid

A 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. 

Conclusion

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 to get started 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!

Employee interview: Influencer Marketing Manager

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.

DMEXCO 2019 Recap

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. 

Conclusion

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 info@influry.com.

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.

The History of the Instagram Algorithm

This blog post has been updated 13.1.2019

The history of the Instagram algorithm does not really stretch that far. In 2016 the company released a statement announcing that the chronological feed would be no more.

Bye bye seeing the newest post first, hello algorithm-optimized feed!

But why did the company change the order of the feed in the first place? In order to understand the history of the Instagram algorithm, it is useful to consider the history of the company.

Photo by Jakob Owens

The History of Instagram

When the app was released in 2010, it went from a handful of users to the number one free photography app in a matter of hours. And by December of the same year, Instagram had over 1 million users.

Shortly after the release of the Android version of the app in 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $1billion. And by the end of that year, the new management was already causing controversy with changes to its Terms of Service.

At first, Facebook enabled Instagram to sell its users’ photos without notification or compensation. This policy was later retracted due to an overwhelming (and not surprising) consumer backlash. Despite this rocky start, Instagram continued to grow exponentially under the new management through the next years.

Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram also influenced the way that the app was designed on a technical and conceptual level. For example, the app began to utilise a storage technology called Cassandra, developed by Facebook.

Another notable change came in March 2016 when the implementation of the Instagram algorithm was published.

History of the Instagram Algorithm

Photo by Markus Spiske

First, the feed was simply organized chronologically by showing the users the newest posts.

However as the company grew, and the popularity of the app skyrocketed, it became harder to keep up with the sheer quantity of content. So Instagram decided to implement an algorithm to help organize that content more effectively.

However, the change did not go well with the users. A lot of people were, to put it lightly, discontent. Even a petition called “Keep Instagram chronological” was put up on Change.org, gaining around 70,000 signatures in only 24 hours. The petition eventually reached 340,000 signatures.

Up to this day, some Instagram users are still unhappy and complain about the algorithm. However, since it was implemented, the users have been more actively engaging with the community, liking and commenting on more photos. 

Because of this success, there are no signs that the chronological order feed is coming back any time soon. That’s why it is important for everybody looking to grow their Instagram presence to know how the algorithm work.

Just click below to read the blog post about the functionalities of the Instagram algorithm!

News, LALALAB and Podcasts

Spring is here and INFLURY has cleaned off ready for summer. This months issue will delve into the rise of podcasts, changes to the software and website and our exciting new partner LALALAB.

Good News Berlin Style

Welcome, I want to start off by saying that this will be the first of our Newsletters.  I am planning to produce one of these every month with the intention of keeping you up-to-date on INFLURY’s activities. I will be creating brand profiles for our partners, showcasing the wonderful brands we are collaborating with. It is also the perfect format for us to notify of changes and developments in Influencer trends and Instagram. I will also detail changes to Influry accompanied my an email to our Influencers,  including upcoming brand opportunities. If the need is there, we will also produce In-depth articles on certain topics we feel deserve it. With that, let’s move on to the INFLURY news.

INFLURY: Updates and News

Has anyone noticed a change in the air? Summer is officially on its way and INFLURY has undertaken a spring clean. With the new software update now functional we are ready to start using it to its maximum. More changes will be made, but at this point, the software is doing its job. There may be changes to the UI in the future, guaranteeing ease of use. Now it was time to turn our attention to the website.  

The website content has been going through numerous drafts, rewrites and changes for months now.  At the beginning of this month however, we were finally satisfied with the content, it was now a matter of design.  The good news is that the design is being created as we speak. We are trying to create two websites in one, with the Advertiser and Influencer sections bringing their own unique “personality”.   When the new site is live, we will certainly notify you all so you can have a look around.

For now though check out our current website: https://influry.com/

Podcasts, A Growing Medium

Online Influencers are often creating and popularising trends on social media. The latest of these trends is the growing number of podcasts. Many Micro-influencers on Instagram also have successful podcasts to accompany their accounts, while successful podcasts also have Instagram accounts. The interconnectivity of these different platforms is a trend that cannot be underestimated.  But podcasts have been around for a while, so why this recent explosion in numbers? Is it simply a passing fad? Or could it be the start of another burgeoning online media Industry?

What is a Podcast?

A podcast is simply a person or group of people talking on a subject, made available as an audio file. How long you ask? How long is a piece of string? Podcasts range from 5-minute bite-size chunks and 20-minute commuter friendly chats all the way to 1 or 2-hour lengthy dissections of situations. The diverse range allows for several applications for various genres and formats each one with its own unique appeal to audiences and by extension, advertisers.

But what is behind the appeal to podcasts? Why have their numbers exploded?  The ability to create a podcast relies on some basic recording equipment (microphones, audio editing software), a room and someone to speak on it.  With the availability of this technology and the affordable price, podcasts have become a great way for aspiring influencers and creators as well as attracting those who made a name on other sites and platforms.

YouTube and Instagram, to mainstream news outlets, influential creators are turning to podcasts, often using them in addition to their existing formats.  Combine this with large mainstream formats facilitating the postings of podcasts for easy consumer access and the growth of podcasts numbers makes a great deal of sense. Applications like iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify have created a vast network of podcasts in huge numbers. Apple recently announced that it will soon split iTunes between podcasts, movies and music into separate applications. This highlights consumer demand for podcasts.

The Variety of Podcasts

In terms of content, podcasts have one of the greatest varieties of genres across online formats. Many creators simply talk about their daily lives, with a group of friends telling stories, others have created book clubs, interviews with public figures, comedy shows, politics, economics, celebrity gossip, the list goes on. This has made podcasts one of the most engaging content forms currently available. Consumers pick a podcast that they think they would like and many people listening to the end. Podcasts can be in small 20 minute segments but many.  For advertisers, this provides the perfect location for targeted digital marketing.

Brand support of podcasts has increased alongside their popularity. What makes them so desirable is that the adverts are read out by the podcasters themselves. For an hour podcast, there might be around 4 minutes of advertising space, considerably lower than that of TV and youtube. However almost all listeners will consume a full advertisement, and with the small amount of time dedicated to advertisements, the adverts themselves provide a more powerful message.  

The downsides to podcasts, well the price. Podcast CPM is often, by some estimates to be around $30, much higher than your average Instagram CPM. Obviously, this price varies, but the engagement of podcasts is reflected in the high price. However, podcasts do not have the same audience numbers seen on Instagram, and for this reason, the quality of podcasts advertisements is often dwarfed by the scope of Instagram.

LALALAB- Brand Profile

Social Media and smartphones have made the process of showcasing our photographic lives, to family and friends simple and easy.  With Facebook alone containing around 350 billion photographs across its lifetime. But what have we lost for all this has created?  The tangible side of photography has seen a rapid decline with the rise of the digital, and the lack of physical evidence of our lives can often seem dawning and superficial. However, INFLURYS latest partner is here to change that. Step forth LALALAB.

LALALAB, originally called Polagram, was created in 2012 by 3 friends with the goal of printing photos from social media while keeping things simple. Printing photos for customers in over 75 countries around the world, they have certainly kept printed photos a desirable and simple addition to our photographic lives. With products ranging from large calendars to photo strips straight out of a booth, LaLaLab is the new way to create physical photography affordable with a professional finish.  This has to lead them becoming the highest rated printing app in Europe and according to their website, printing enough photos to eclipse the Eiffel Tower every 11 days. Without a doubt, LALALAB is a perfect addition to anyone who desires photos the old fashioned way.

How does LALALAB work?

LALALAB works like any other smartphone application. Downloaded straight to your devices you can then access your photos across all social media and Cloud services, as well as pictures saved onto your smartphone.  Simply choose the images, pick the product you want those photo to be on and voila. With a generation of people all over the world taking pictures every day, most of us have more than enough content to choose from, displaying an online world, offline.

LALALAB have a variety of different products to choose from, have a look at their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lalalab/?hl=en

INFLURY and LALALAB will soon be teaming up for the first time. Together we aim to reach 660 thousand followers per month across Germany. We are using their mini-vintage prints and photo strip products for the campaign, two products which perfectly capture LALALAB’s brand. We are extremely excited, and we hope to work with LALALAB, and we cannot wait to start posting content with our influencers. Find out more about LALALAB on their website https://www.lalalab.com/en

That’s all for this month. I look forward to writing more of these in the future, See you soon.

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