Micro-influencers are all the rage in digital marketing right now. Loosely defined as social media users with 10,000 to 100,000 followers on any given platform, micro-influencers are a cost-effective way for brands to build audience and drive engagement — especially brands not able to pay major internet celebrities $20,000 to $100,000 for a single branded post. (Yes, that’s how much it costs…)
Marketers have lots of questions about micro-influencers, so I held a Q&A style webinar along with in-house Curalate Explore pro, Arielle Ranalli. We discussed the power of influencers, how and where to find them, and how you can use their unique voice to achieve your marketing goals. Here are five questions we received during the webinar and my responses:
1. How do I know if a micro-influencer would be a good fit for my brand?
Most micro-influencers have never worked with brands before. They tend to work out best because they only endorse products that they truly believe in. If they’re posting about a product, it’s rare and hasn’t been diluted. We often forget: It isn’t really about the influencer themselves, it’s about the makeup of their community of followers. Is their community engaged? Is this community part of your target demographic? Are they potential customers? After you find them, click through their profile, look at the engagement rate and see if people are showing purchase intent in their comments. Focusing on the community is crucial to knowing whether a micro-influencer is a good fit for your brand.
2. What’s the best way to make contact with a micro-influencer without looking out-of-touch or desperate?
I see a lot of brands try too hard initially. The first interaction should be really lightweight and really low commitment. Start with a simple, one-off sponsored post. This gives you a window into how they work and if they are the right influencer. Since they are not standard influencers, it might take some time to build. Do they highlight your brand in a voice that makes sense? Does their community respond well to their posts? For influencers that pass the first test, you can add them to a roster of influencers you can use at a later date when you run larger campaigns.
3. What are the pros and cons of using a celebrity influencer vs. a micro-influencer?
The media and tech vendors have been pretty quick to denounce celebrity influencers, which really shouldn’t be the case. Yes micro-influencers drive higher engagement across social but when a brand is paying an influencer (like a Kardashian sister) to work with them on a product, the campaign goes way beyond social. They’re paying for the equity in that name. I don’t think it’s a this-vs-that conversation. If you are a Fortune 500 brand that has the budget, go ahead and pay a celebrity to promote your product. But Instagram has really democratized influence and you no longer have to rely on celebrities to make endorsements. Citing budget constraints for not leveraging influencer campaigns is no longer valid because there are so many micro-influencers who will talk about your brand without compensation. They just want the excitement of working with a brand they hold in high regard. In fact, 84% of micro-influencers charge less than $250 per branded Instagram post, and 97% charge less than $500. Compare that to influencers with more than 1 million followers who earn between $6,104 and $24,406 per post, according to Mashable. Fifty influencers with thousands of followers each are better than one influencer with millions. Why? Lower cost and higher engagement.
4. Once I find an influencer I want to reach out to, should I put together a full media kit?
I think a media kit is necessary but it can be really intimidating to a micro-influencer. These are people who may not have never worked with a brand before. They may not even know what a media kit is. If you’re sending them a 25-page PDF and a contract at the first point of contact, they may think it’s spam or they might get really overwhelmed. It’s important to first establish a relationship. Let them know you appreciate their work and the community they’ve been building. Maybe even link to a few examples of posts they’ve done in the past that match well with the aesthetic you’re looking for. Of course your going to craft guidelines for them, but you want this to be a relationship and you want it to be a conversation. Think about reaching out to someone you want to network with in real life. Typically, you’re not emailing them right away with your resume and career goals. You’re flattering them, talking casually about your work and starting a conversation. It works the same way with influencers. Flattery will get you far. Like some of their photos. Leave some comments. If you do send an email also send a direct message so they’re notified on multiple touch points. Also, refer to this handy guide: 7 Things to Know Before Reaching Out to an Influencer.
5. How do you measure the success of a micro-influencer campaign?
I see a lot of brands partnering with influencers for an Instagram or Twitter takeover. Want to measure it? Get granular. Compare the influencer posts with your normal day-to-day posting. Is engagement up? How about impressions and likes? If you want to measure purchase intent, give influencers the ability to add coupon or discount codes to their posts. This lets you track the exact amount of purchases generated by the takeover. Plus, it also allows the influencer to add value to their community, so the posts tend to do even better. If you’re in a business with a higher price point, it’s all about bringing people into the top of the sales funnel. So maybe you’ll measure email collection instead. Think about how you can have the influencer create some call-to-action within their post to drive people to enter their email address or visit a certain website. That’s a great way to prove ROI.
Want to work with micro-influencers but not sure how to get started? Check out our free guide How to Win Fans & Influencer Purchases to learn how much it costs, how to measure ROI and why micro-influencer marketing is the future.
For a quick, painless way to find influencers, use Curalate Explore, which allows you to discover micro-influencers eager to post authentic content about your brand. Learn more here.
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