When a shoes business tapped a teen vlogger to host a YouTube event, the former gained threefold increase in sales. On top of that, it earned global recognition and became a household name.
It’s not luck. It’s harnessing the power of social media influence. Companies have ignored small social media authorities and “celebrities” for so long until recently when they noticed that they have become integral in the success of so many businesses. You need not look at influencer marketing statistics. You only have to look at businesses that succeeded because of partnerships with micro-influencers.
Most cases of influencer marketing do not involve celebrities, because asking a celebrity to feature your brand is expensive. Besides, celebrities are not niche-specific. They are quite frankly generic influencers with a wide range of audience from all walks of life, most of whom aren’t your target audience anyway.
And that’s why micro-influencers within your niche or industry are the ideal choice. But who are these people? Well, they are your social media gurus — the bloggers, specialists, professionals, or thought leaders in your niche. It’s easier to get the attention of micro-influencers than to get the attention of celebrities. You don’t need to hire the former, but you’re effectively hiring the latter if you want them to market your brand.
Because influencer marketing entails building relationships with influencers, the expected outcome of a well-implemented influencer marketing strategy is inculcating passion in your social media partners. You reach a point in your partnership when the influencer becomes truly supportive of your brand and will promote it because they believe it deserves to be promoted.
Instagram, for instance, is a convenient influencer marketing platform where it’s easy to find micro-influencers. You don’t need to have special knowledge in social media management to maintain business accounts on these sites. But more importantly, it’s relatively easy to find Instagram users with 10K followers or fewer who will support your brand for free samples and promos. Many companies have been on it to do influencer marketing. Instagram is the hot social media site right now that has basically straightforward and solid interface, which allows even users with average social media skills to keep abreast of the trends.
Many of our clients fall for macro-influencers, people with over 100K followers, possibly reaching a million. Why not? They have awesome reach. If you get them in your team, it’s like you hit the lottery.
The thing is, you have to understand the common mindset of people who become that famous on social media. They become social media celebrities. And when they reach these grand numbers you’re probably too late, as other companies might have gotten to them first. Also, these people are already aware of monetizing their popularity. It’s not the same as dealing with a blogger in your niche with only 7.5K followers.
Your influencer marketing budget is, as expected, limited at the outset, and you have to spend it wisely. Small steps include cost-effective ways to create brand awareness and acquire customers. In this case, the small influencers are your friends. They are more accessible and reliable than their bigger and more popular counterparts. Moreover, they have dedicated and more engaged followers.
It’s easier to ask micro-influencers to follow you and include them in your influencer marketing campaign than to do the same things with a huge influencer. Besides, if you have been doing fine in your content and social media marketing strategy, chances are, you already have a few potential ones following you. Maybe you should review your following, and look at the people you can tap.
No matter how you find these little voices that further your brand online, you always have to move right away to the next step. Communicating with your social media partners is still the best way to get things started. It doesn’t matter what influencer marketing platform you’re on. You have to send the message, and oftentimes companies start with something as plain as asking influencers to spread the word.
Influence needs maneuvering in many cases. Business leaders get advice from market experts. Data guides their decisions. The same is true even for small-scale influencers. Social media is a vast place of immense interlacing networks. It’s easy to get your message lost in the convolution of noise without you setting the course. Working around this issue is a no-brainer. You just have to make sure your influencers, big or small, understand what you want to happen. It’s as easy as being straightforward. Say what you want.
What’s better than marketing with and through a network of connected micro-influencers? You think it’s impossible to find a group of people who have more following than their average peers? It’s not. You know the good thing that these folks do? They share each other’s social media content, thereby boosting each other’s reach and engagement. They grow together. This is what brands love. This is why influencer marketing companies are after a network of micro-influencers. Many of these people don’t even realize they’re influencers.
You don’t have to meet everyone in that network. Finding one is like gaining a ticket into their inner circle, because tapping one is all you need to do in most cases. The first influencer shares your content with her co-influencers. It’s like a domino effect, and you just have to watch the good things unfold right before your eyes.
What makes marketing with a group of micro-influencers so effective is because of the kind of positive impression it leaves audiences. People think your brand is worth checking out if several people they follow suddenly talk about it. Suddenly, people will start asking about you.
One of our clients leveraged over a hundred micro-influencers to promote a local bathroom cleaning brand, and they saw nearly 30% growth in ROI. That was higher than the return they got for working with a huge influencer.
A clever influencer marketing strategy is asking your influencers to feature your bestsellers. People are more likely to try out bestselling items. Also, get them to pass around updates of promos and events.
Do your part as well. Influencer marketing isn’t all about the influencers. It’s as much about you as it is about people who wield influence. Just as you want your partners to feature you, you also should feature them. Share their relevant posts, whether they are about your brand or not. If they tweet about your brand, retweet it. Let your audience know other people are talking about you.
Thanking your micro-influencers is the next best thing after giving out freebies and great deals.