How Micro Influencers Can Help Your Small Business To Grow
As our lives have rapidly moved more and more digital each year, it’s no wonder that influencer marketing has totally taken off. What’s great about this marketing method is that any business, no matter size or budget, can take part. As a small brand, it can be easy for your mind to be clouded with the idea that marketing needs to be an expensive strategy to get your business out there. But, with influencer marketing and the rise of the micro influencer, there’s a strategy that is perfect for you!
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Why micro influencers?
Micro influencers have been all the talk recently, and for good reason too. If you remember the days of social media influencers appearing, you’ll know that these personalities are what we now know as celebrities. As brands found an opportunity through social media advertising, working with influencers specifically, their first port of call was to partner with the big-name social media stars. Your first thoughts are probably people like the Kardashians, right?
Well, as time has gone on, brands have begun understanding that working with celebrities doesn’t necessarily bring the best results. Although don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say that celebrities and large-scale influencers don’t give great results. But, brands have seen even greater success that can be gained from micro influencers. The key thing to understand with influencer marketing is that follower count is nowhere near as important as engagement. So, this is where micro influencers come in.
When we talk about engagement rates, we are referring to the level of interaction between an influencer and their followers. Realistically, your content could reach 500K people, yet very few of these people are interested. Or, with a little bit of research, your content could be targeted at only 10K people, but almost every single person in this group is highly engaged with it.
Micro influencers tend to boast great engagement rates. They are typically experienced in their area, having started their social media as a hobby, building it up to career level. As they are deemed to be authentic, with a love for their topic, their followers are usually loyal with a similar passion.
As a small business, I can imagine that one of your biggest concerns when it comes to marketing is your budget. When celebrity endorsement was the big thing, it meant that businesses with a small budget were really missing out as they couldn’t access these expensive celebrities. However, many start-ups and those with smaller budgets have achieved incredible success from working with low-cost micro influencers over the years.
Depending on the perceived value of your product to the influencer, this group will typically work for product incentive alone, or if anything, a very small fee too. For example, fashion influencers will often partner with a brand, doing ongoing work with them in exchange for access to their clothing. Although, let’s say you would like an influencer to promote a new flat iron. They’re not going to need more than one of these, so for recurrent promotion, they are likely to charge a fee.
To draw back in on the point made briefly when talking about engagement, micro influencers are thought of as being an authentic group of influencers. If we think about authenticity, we are thinking about someone who is honest and real. These are qualities that consumers seek to find in influencers. In fact, with 81% of consumers making purchasing decisions from friends and family recommendations, it’s no wonder that these consumers like to feel as if their favourite influencers are friends.
As we were saying about micro influencers beginning their social media accounts from a hobby, this lends itself to authenticity, as they are genuinely passionate about the subject. In addition to this, when creating content based upon non-monetary incentives, it’s clear to understand that influencers would only do this for a product that they quite frankly love!
Finding micro influencers
When you get to the stage of searching for influencers, you’re probably wondering the best way to do this. You can find influencers in a few different ways, and it’s totally up to personal preference. However, some methods may be more effective than others.
Searching directly on social media
The first method to find micro influencers would be to search for them yourself, directly on a social media platform. The problem with this way is that it can be particularly time-consuming. If you’re only intending on working with one influencer, then great! But, for a whole group, you may spend far too much time scouring through irrelevant profiles.
If you do choose to follow this method, then here are a few tips that could help:
- look through your comments and likes for any potential influencers
- check your follower list for influencers
- take a look at your brand tags and mentions
These tips will allow you to source out any influencers that may already be a fan of your brand, which is a win-win situation!
Using an influencer marketing platform
The next method, and probably most effective (you can call me biased), would be to use an influencer marketing platform. As a small business, you may not have the time or the workforce to dedicate to manually finding influencers. By working with an influencer marketing platform, you can quickly search with dedicated filters for the perfect influencer to match your brand.
As well as being a time-effective method, it allows you to search for only the most relevant influencers, whilst creating lists to compare their metrics. In terms of metrics, we are talking about the data gathered by the platform that will allow you to assess the quality of an influencer’s profile.
Remember when we were talking about engagement rates, costs, and authenticity? Well, you can analyse data on these factors, as well as looking at demographics, interests, and audience metrics too.
Hiring an influencer marketing agency
To be perfectly honest, if you’re reading this as a small business, then an influencer marketing agency probably isn’t your go-to. Although these agencies can yield incredible results with high-quality campaigns, they can be extremely costly. As a start-up, you can get great results elsewhere without breaking the bank. But with a bigger budget, it may be worth investigating agencies.
Understanding the ‘right’ influencer
You are likely to see the phrases ‘the right influencer’, or ‘the perfect influencer’ thrown about all over influencer marketing content. So, what does this really mean? Well, this comes from the discoveries that were found during your planning process. It may seem like we are going a little backward here, but bear with me!
In the initial stages of your influencer campaign, before hunting for influencers, you will have conducted a planning process. Within this stage, the key elements that should have been outlined are your budget, timeline, target audience, and most importantly, your goals. So, when we talk about the right influencer, it is someone that meets all of these needs that you outlined, as well as aligning perfectly with your business mission and values.
So, if your budget is small, then you may have determined the need for a nano or micro influencer. If your target audience is consumers between 25 and 35 that are located in the US, then you will be searching for influencers with an audience in this category.
But, what’s really making brands stand out these days is finding influencers that perfectly match their values. For example, let’s say you are a business that aims to reduce waste through your methods of minimal packaging. You could search for Instagram influencers that aim to spread this message and would be ideal to help promote these values from your brand too.
A common misconception is that influencer marketing is only for big brands. Not only can small businesses get involved in influencer marketing, but they can be the ones that end up benefiting from it the most. As long as you take the time to carefully plan your campaign, as well as understanding your limitations, whatever they may be, then you should be heading in the right direction.
If you’re ready to start looking for influencers or just need a little bit of extra information about how to run a campaign, then head over to Heepsy where you can find everything that you’ll need.