As you probably already know, influencer marketing is the process of working with highly influential individuals, typically on their blog or social media channels, to reach their audiences with your product or service. The overarching objective is to use the influencers powerful voice to boost the awareness and appeal of your brand.
Influencer marketing is highly accessible, but even so, for some brands, it’s too expensive or unattainable.
Enter micro influencers. Although often more easily reached, approachable and affordable, micro influencers can be as powerful as their macro counterparts.
How to find micro influencers
There are a number of ways to discover micro influencers to connect with for your next campaign. You might have the budget for a subscription to one of the many tools created to alleviate the process or you might be staring down the barrel of a long, manual search, either way, there’s an option for you.
So you’ve got zero budget for tools? Or perhaps you’re saving all the budget for paying your influencer for their time – there’s always the manual route to discovering influential people in your niche.
The search function within Instagram can open you up to a whole bunch of new micro influencers, using search tags, accounts, places and top results for certain keywords. You can also use the explore function which presents a bunch of posts relevant to the accounts you already like and follow, you never know who you might discover this way.
There are also a number of buttons at the top of the screen which will be relevant to your own account, for example, ‘animals’, ‘art’ ‘tv & movies’, ‘comics’, ‘gaming’ and ‘food’. So, although it may be time-consuming, you can find a lot of potential collaborators on social media channels with just some keywords and an excel spreadsheet to note them down.
Buzzsumo offers a great tool to find micro influencers or bloggers within your industry niche and best of all its free.
The search functionality is super easy to use. All you need to do is enter one of your chosen keywords and this nifty bit of software will spit out a list of pieces of content that focus or include that keyword.
From here you can review the domains where the content is published and determine the suitability of the publisher and site in line with your offering and what you want to achieve. Easy right?!
Buzzstream is a massive prospecting tool which you can use to search, find and manage your relationships with micro influencers. You can use the tool to drill down by niche, location, web and social metrics to find the perfect influencers for your business.
You can get a free trial with Buzzstream and there are scaled paid options to fit even a modest budget.
Buzzstream also allows you to track your relationship progress with your selected micro influencers, which can be useful if you’re trying to work with a fair few people at once. It can help you tend to your relationships and also make sure you’re not hounding people too often.
You can get yourself the basic version of Influence.co for free – but be warned, settling for this option means you can only get two campaign applications and influencer contacts a week – that’s going to slow down your progress considerably.
The full version is pretty affordable and allows you to quickly discover influencers. The set of tools can help you evaluate the appropriateness of an influencer to your brand and then help you make contact.
The database includes the ability to search by geography, niches, categories and other demographics to find the right micro influencer to meet your requirements. Social analytics offer an insight into their engagement rates and social reach to help build a holistic picture of their capabilities before you commit.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the growing YouTube community of influencers, then Famebit could connect your brand with micro influencers who are willing to feature your brand in their next video.
Brands need to simply post a brief on the platform, detailing the product or service and information about the campaign and then potential micro influencers get in touch with you.
They can submit proposals which detail how they would approach the video and how they would feature your brand.
The brand can then pick the proposal which appears to be the best fit and get started on the collaboration.
The best bit is that it’s free to sign-up and submit a brief. You only pay once you have picked an influencer to work with, the content is created and then published, then Famebit will take a 10% service fee from the total.
Working with micro influencers
We know it can be daunting working with influencers, after all, you’re putting your precious brand squarely in their hands, but here’s a couple of helpful tips on ways of working to help you get off on the right foot.
The best way to ensure ROI is to work with a group of influencers. What they lack in massive follower numbers, they more than make up for in engagement and trust from their following. Hiring a combination of influencers with different sized followings could boost engagement potential, increase ROI and reduce the overall cost.
Maintain your relationships
Even if you don’t intend on working with an influencer again or you’ve found someone who is a little out of your budget, always be gracious. Don’t palm them off and stop replying to their communications. It’s important to tend to your influencer relationships as it may mean you’re favoured more highly by individuals in the future over competitor brands.
Don’t make presumptions
You can’t send influencers a product and immediately expect them to review it or feature it on their social media without a pre-existing agreement.
The fact is they’re not obliged to do you any favours if you didn’t communicate with them, to begin with. It’s a really great way to piss off an influencer and everyone they know by hounding them after randomly sending them some products asking ‘why, why, why wasn’t I featured on your blog/stories/social media feed’. It’s entitled and it’s bad for business.
Remove the prescription
You can’t tell the influencers how to feel about a product, it’s basically in their court with how they choose to position it or speak about it.
If they hate it, then you have to learn to deal with that, take their response on board and try and make changes which will rectify some of the problems they have highlighted (if this is doable, maybe they just hate you and your brand and there’s nothing you can do about it!).
Stop being precious
One of the worst things you can do is attack an influencer for not liking your brand or product.
It might feel personal and it might sting, but you’re only going to come off worse if you freak out and start a backlash. The best thing you can do is be polite, ask them to provide you with some further feedback, if possible, and use it to learn and grow.
For more information on using influencer marketing to optimise the awareness around your brand, get in touch with us today.