Wouldn’t it be great if a widely recognized public figure talked up your company or cause to their millions of social media followers? If a celebrity publicly shared that they eat your cookies, buy your widgets or support your cause? While reaching these large audiences and making a big splash can undoubtedly benefit the right product, service or organization, the concept of influencer marketing drives us back to a long-standing marketing challenge: quality vs. quantity. Yes, the big splash can make an impact, but how do you know that those followers are the prospective customers and supporters that you are ultimately looking to reach?
Realizing the importance of quality, and connecting with the right audiences, many brands are opting to engage micro-influencers, social media users with a smaller audience (think tens of thousands) that is highly loyal and deeply engaged. Oftentimes, micro-influencers produce content with a more narrow focus (think fashion, health & fitness, cooking/baking, DIY decorating, etc.) which allows them to build lasting relationships with their followers who perceive them as go-to sources for the latest trends in their specific genre of focus.
As your company or cause identifies how influencer marketing can enhance your social media marketing and help propel your mission/vision forward, keep these two key benefits of engaging micro-influencers top-of-mind.
#1: Micro-influencers are trusted
Anyone can say “buy this product” or “work with this vendor” but if the message isn’t coming from a trusted source it stands to make little, if any, impact. Because they have demonstrated extensive knowledge in a specific area, micro-influencers are highly trusted by their followers making them great ambassadors for a brand.
#2: They have the right audience
Despite having a smaller audience than a mass influencers such as a celebrity, micro-influencers offer brands exposure to a highly qualified audience. If someone is following and engaging with their content, it shows they have interest in the topic as well. It is far better to reach a small audience of qualified prospective customers than it is to reach a large audience who may have little or no interest in your brand.
As you work to identify the audience you are looking for a micro-influencer to help you reach, consider:
- Geography (if your product is only available in certain markets, it’s important to find people who are influential in that market)
- Conflicts of interest (if a micro-influencer is representing a competing brand, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of having them engage with your company as well)
- Brand values (is there any content on their social media feeds that could potentially be off-putting to your customers?)
As with most marketing campaigns where an ambassador is being engaged, an appropriate budget is required to make an impact. When considering integrating micro-influencers into your marketing mix, identify what goals you are looking to achieve through their engagement and how best to sustain their engagement. A “one and done” approach is going to yield little if any impact, whereas a campaign will allow for a higher volume of content and impressions, laying the foundation for optimal levels of engagement.
As engaging micro-influencers becomes an increasingly popular way for brands to get their products and services in front of the right audiences, it is important to consider not only how you can make your content stand out to their audiences but how you can nurture those audiences to become lifelong customers following the initial exposure to your brand.