When done well, micro-influencer marketing campaigns can put your small business on the map. There’s no step-by-step formula you can follow for immediate success, but some agility and creativity with an active campaign can have long term rewards. You can use micro-influencer marketing to increase your brand visibility, drive sales, and establish your business as a credible name in your industry.
If you’ve decided that micro-influencer marketing is right for you, keep reading for guidance on how to launch a campaign that will set you on the path for success.
How to find micro-influencers
There are several ways you can find micro-influencers so you can present them with opportunities for a potential campaign. Some of these methods use platforms you already have in place, while others require additional tools or take a bit more manual effort.
The easiest way to find potential micro-influencers is to review your list of top customers. These are the people who have supported your business the longest and can speak to the benefits of your product or service naturally.
You may already know their names off the top of your head, but it may be worthwhile to do some research using your customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Look for the customers who have spent the most money over the last year, have been customers the longest, or who make purchases regularly.
Then, look them up on social media to see if they have active accounts with a moderate following or frequently vocalize support for your business. If you use a Social CRM tool, you can access social media metrics for your current customers in addition to their sales history and direct contact information. It’s not guaranteed that they’ll be willing to work with you on a formal campaign, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
Influencer discovery platforms
If you want to review a pool of micro-influencers who have the right credentials for a potential campaign, consider using an influencer discovery platform. These platforms, like Carro and Izea, serve to connect established influencers with legitimate brands.
You can use these tools to search for influencers based on objective criteria like location, follower count, or social media network. Influencer discovery platforms will also allow you to search for influencers based on the type of content they create or their areas of interest, such as fashion, sports, wellness, or family.
Some platforms have tools for organizing potential influencers into lists for future reference. Others have capabilities for mass communication and campaign tracking so you can manage all of your active and potential campaigns from one place. These tools are ideal if you want to launch a micro-influencer campaign but aren’t sure where to start.
Social listening tools
Last but not least, social listening tools give you the ability to monitor social media for noise about your business and your competitors. You can set alerts for keywords, like your business name or your competitors, or hashtags that are related to your business or industry. You can also filter your social listening results based on geographic location, sentiment, or reach.
Of course, you can use manual processes to accomplish the same goals. You can set periodic reminders to search for the same keywords or hashtags and use your judgment to discern who would be a good fit for a potential campaign. However, social listening tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Hubspot make this process much easier and less time consuming. They also use artificial intelligence to identify the top micro-influencers who would be the best fit for your campaign.
Identify micro-influencers who fit your needs
Once you’ve found a pool of micro-influencers to consider for your campaign, narrow down your list by considering your campaign needs.
What platforms do your ideal customers use the most?
Younger people are more active on TikTok and Instagram, whereas older audiences are more active on Facebook. You may find an audience on Twitter that fits your niche, or you may have more success engaging a business-minded audience on LinkedIn. In any case, the right micro-influencer for your campaign will post numerous times per week on the same platforms as your target audience.
How many people do you want to reach with your campaign?
What makes micro-influencers so unique is how much interaction they have with their audience. Typically, the more followers an account has, the lower their engagement rate is—especially if the majority of their followers are bots. Do some digging to see if the majority of people liking and commenting are real people or fake accounts that only post spam. An ideal micro-influencer will have between 3,000 and 100,000 active followers.
What kind of message do you want to send?
The overall tone and aesthetic of your campaign will depend heavily on the tone and aesthetic of the micro-influencer you choose. For example, if you want to work with someone whose online personality is witty and irreverent, you should expect that they will use that tone when speaking about your business. Review a prospective influencer’s content before you reach out to them, so you won’t have any surprises down the road.
Finalize your micro-influencer campaign
Once you’ve found the right person for your micro-influencer campaign, it’s time to iron out the details. You can start by requesting a media kit if the influencer appears to have worked on similar marketing campaigns before, or you can start by pitching your idea to them directly. If you choose the latter, be sure to include details about how you will compensate them in addition to your ideas for the campaign. Free stuff is nice, but many influencers expect to be monetarily compensated for their time and effort as well.
You should align expectations with your micro-influencer in as much detail as possible. Set a timeline for the duration of the campaign, including when you should expect to receive certain deliverables and when they can expect to receive payment. This could also include specifications for what should be included in a post and what the approval process will look like.
To get the most value out of your micro-influencer campaign, set KPIs that go beyond typical vanity metrics like impressions and likes. As Google’s Tobias Rauscher explains in his article about proving the value of influencer marketing, “Impressions are essential for getting the word out, but they say little about whether the marketing message actually broke through and how it resonated.” Instead, prioritize metrics that show a direct ROI. This could include link clicks or conversions from a custom URL, or sales that can be tied back to an influencer-specific discount code.
Track results and adjust accordingly
As with most marketing tactics, it’s important to track the results of your micro-influencer campaign so you can adjust your efforts. The trial-and-error approach requires your subjective judgment and some agility, but it will ultimately help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes this means using different creative assets, working with a different micro-influencer, or promoting a different product or service altogether. If you approach your micro-influencer campaign with flexibility, you can turn challenges and obstacles into opportunities.
This article was originally published on May 10, 2021