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!