Today we’re going to be talking about how to work with micro influencers and how to find them. Before we get into that, let’s talk about influencer marketing as a whole. It’s one of the most popular ways for brands to reach new audiences these days. Essentially, what they’re doing is they’re using influential Instagramers, Youtubers or TikTokers to promote their products, services or brand.
Difference between macro influence and micro influencer
When you’re starting your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the difference between a macro influencer and a micro influencer. Macro influencers will typically have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers. They tend to be a bit more expensive and generally more difficult to solidify campaigns with. But this is for the small to medium-sized businesses and we’re talking about micro influencers today, and micro influencers are gonna have typically under 20,000 followers.
What are the benefits to using micro influencers?
For one, they typically get higher engagement rates, which is really important. This is one of the key performance indicators when measuring an influencer marketing campaign – how well the content is actually performing for that influencer. They’re also more likely to engage with their audience which is going to drive higher conversion rates. And obviously the higher conversions the better!
One of the things that we love about using micro influencers is that they’re typically more flexible with deliverables and how we’re gonna formulate the campaign. You can really work with them as opposed to being a slave to price or what a macro influencer might do. So flexibility is definitely a big thing. Another one of the major things that we love about working with micro influencers is it actually helps fuel the content production process. So for example any of the content that they’re producing, we can go on to use on multiple campaigns.
When you’re searching for a micro influencer, what are the things you should be looking for before attempting to solidify a partnership?
#1. Content Quality
One of the most important – or perhaps the most important – thing to look at is the quality of their content. We’re not just talking about photos, but also their captions. Take a look at photos first. Does the imagery that they are producing actually resonate with your brand? Does that look like something that you’re gonna share on your own profiles?
In addition to that, let’s talk about their captions. You don’t want an influencer who is just putting up one-liners that doesn’t really have any substance to it. When working with micro influencers we really want to look for captions that do have a lot of substance, a lot of heart and a lot of meat to it. And the reason is that it will typically drive more conversations, and it shows that the influencer is intentional about the content that they’re producing.
Other than content quality, the other thing that you want to look at is their engagement rate. What you can do is divide their engagement by their followers and multiply it by a hundred. You want to look for at least 20% percent engagement rate for micro influencers with up to 10,000 followers. Now once you cross 10,000 followers, there’s something weird that happens where the engagement rate does drop significantly. So after 10,000 followers look for at least a 5% engagement rate.
Another way to measure their engagement is whether or not it’s authentic. Doing this is gonna take a little bit of research, but tap into their comments and look at what their audience is saying. Does it actually relate to their photo? Are they asking questions about their captions? Those types of things are very important to look at. If you’re unfamiliar with comment pods, they’re ways for influencers to actually drive engagement inauthentically. Common pods are still things that happen on Instagram, so by looking into the type of engagement that they’re getting, you’ll get a good idea of whether or not your campaign will be successful.
The next thing to look at is are they responding to their audience? When you’re working with an influencer you want them to be an advocate for your brand and help sell the product for you. So you want to see are they responding? Do they care about their audience? Are they answering questions for them? And are they continuing the conversation outside of just that post?
When you are choosing a micro influencer you’ll also want to see how much branded content they have out there and how it’s performing. So check out any branded content or any past collaborations that they might have had with another company or brand and see how their audience engages with it. Are they asking questions about it? Does the influencer engage back and share why they’re supporting it?
Look at the type of content they’re creating for the brand as well. Are they taking a picture of themselves holding up the brand? Or is it a video where they’re actually using the product? How they’re helping promote these types of things are really important to take into consideration. Again, these influencers aren’t just a way to reach new audiences, they’re a way to create new advocates for your product or your brand.
#4. Managing Influencers
Next we want to talk about how to manage the influencers once you find the ones that you want to work with. One of the best ways to manage your influencers and the content they’re providing for your company is providing an influencer brief. This influencer brief can be a short deck or a handout that includes the do’s and don’ts of creating content of your brand. For example, you can say that your brand shouldn’t be pictured next to alcohol or shouldn’t be pictured in certain scenarios. You should tell them exactly how your product works as well so that when they are using it or presenting it they’re actually doing it correctly.
In addition to that, you can also provide content examples. And this is a great way to make sure that you’re getting the high quality content that you need and that you’re paying for. Do send them examples of either content that’s been provided for you in the past, or what you want to create based on different aesthetics and inspirations. You’ll also want to include any product information, so the influencer is familiar with exactly what your product does, how it benefits them and how they can communicate it to their audience. And don’t forget to include any required hashtags!
When you’re managing your micro influencer, make sure you have an approval process as well. So this is where they’re going to share the content with you before it actually goes live. The last thing that you want are any mistakes in the content so be sure that the influencer is actually getting their content approved before it does live.
Now lastly, when you’re managing your micro influencers be sure to support them. Remember that this is a partnership and not just somebody working for you. So share their efforts on Instagram stories, on Twitter, or whatever it might be. Or even make announcements that you have new micro influencers working with you and your brand!
#5. Measuring Influencer Campaigns
Let’s talk about measuring your influencer campaign. This is obviously one of the most important aspects of managing your influencer initiatives, so make sure that you do it right. One of the things that you can do is use track links. bit.ly makes this really easy and you can use a unique track link for every influencer that you’re working with. In addition to that you can also use a unique UTM code for every single one. You want to make sure that you know exactly where your traffic is coming from, so using these codes are definitely going to help you do that through Google Analytics or other analytics tools.
Lastly you can also use a promotional code if you’re asking the influencer to sell the product for you. Obviously you want to see what type of impact that’s having on sales, so these unique promotional codes will help you to make sure that you know exactly where the sales are coming from.
In addition to these hard metrics, you’ll also want to look at qualitative things as well. For example, the engagement with the content that you’re putting out. You’re not necessarily going to get a conversion overnight, but sometimes if you can tell that the content or influencer is resonating well with their audience, you can actually jump in there as the brand and push that conversation along. So check out what the engagement is like, what the content is like and if you’re getting enough content to fuel campaigns in the future. These things are also some aspects to take into consideration with your influencer campaign apart from sales.
So now you have all the tools that you need to start your micro influencer campaign! But before we leave, we want to talk about some final tips and strategies. One of them is that campaigns done over a longer period of time (e.g. 60 or 90 days) typically perform better. The reason is because to that influencers’ audience it doesn’t seem like they’re just selling a product. It seems like they’re actual advocates of the brand or the product. So make sure that when you are creating your briefs for the influencer it spans over 60 to 90 days. Multiple posts, Instagram stories, whatever it might be in addition to the other platforms they’re using for added benefit!
The other thing that we suggest is to make sure that you create unique packages for all of these influencers. Creating a branded box and adding some additional gifts in there can help get the influencer excited. And when they’re excited, they’re more inclined to create better content for you and promote it even better. Make sure that there’s something unique for every influencer that you’re working with, because at the end of the day they are putting their brand on the line for yours!