Influencers are taking over social media and YouTube! In fact some have grown so large that they have starred in TV commercials (i.e: Target, Mastercard, Amex, Kroger)! But, what exactly is an “influencer”? An influencer is simply a person who has the power to influence many people, as through social media or traditional media. This includes YouTube stars and bloggers and so-forth. As Influencers grow, they gain a ton of loyal followers, fans and viewers. And, honestly, so many of these loyal viewers/followers will buy and try just about anything their favorite influencers tell them to try and buy. They have the strong ability to influence YOUR target audience and thousands (if not millions) of potential new customers for your brand! If you have thought about influencer marketing in the past, but have yet to give it a try – now is the time!
According to eMarketer, spending on digital advertising (like social media marketing, influencer marketing, and other forms of social advertising) will surpass television ad spending for the first time in 2017, marking a notable shift in how brands are targeting and interacting with today’s younger, tech-savvy consumers.
Understandably, smaller businesses and startups may find that influencer marketing is very costly. Well – you are right, it can be. IF you choose to reach out to an influencer with millions of followers- hiring them will be very costly! These influencers make thousands of dollars per campaign. Some of them have literally become millionaires! However, there is STILL HOPE thanks to micro influencers!
A micro influencer is an influencer with a smaller (yet loyal) following. They typically have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Although they have smaller followings than the “big-time” influencers, they still have the ability to influence people’s opinions and purchasing decisions! Also, they tend to have higher personal engagement with their loyal followers.However, because they do have smaller followings compared to those with 300k or millions of followers, they are more willing to and able to represent your brand at a lower cost.
So, Why Work With Micro Influencers?
It’s simple – micro influencers are a more cost-effective way to target your relevant audience! Followers are very loyal to the bloggers and YouTubers they love – therefore working with those influencers will build TRUST. If the influencer loves your product or services, that will genuinely show and their audience will more than likely hop online and check you out!
Because they have a smaller audience – they have better personal engagement with their followers. When their audience is too large, they can’t personally reply back to as many people. Higher engagement results in better conversion and a better sales boost for you. In fact, micro influencers have been known to actually boost a brand’s sales by 300%!
Tips on how to work with micro-influencers:
Now that you have read some of the benefits to working with micro influencers, we wanted to give you a few tips on how to work with them correctly so that both you and your influencers are happy!
Do your homework: Go onto Instagram and YouTube and search around for influencers in your niche. Make sure that before you reach out to any of them, you validate that they are actually bloggers and/or YouTubers who not only align with your values but also with your brand image. Check out their engagement and check out their websites (if they have them listed). Make sure they are legitimate! Unfortunately some accounts are either not real OR they purchase fake followers, just so brands can notice them! Taking a few minutes to check out their social media and blog content can help eliminate any problems!
Remember: Make sure their “engagement” is better than their “reach”.
Make a fair offer and send FREEBIES: Get rid of the notion or thought that bloggers or YouTubers don’t do much work and that it’s easy to do what they do. Influencers don’t take too kindly when you minimize their work and ask for a lot with a return of almost nothing. It can actually take them hours (sometimes over a day or 2) to write, edit and market their content. Getting the right photo can sometimes take hours in itself. Try to understand that what may seem simple to you, is more time consuming for them. They want to make your brand as well as their brand (name, etc) look good!
Be willing to give them your product for FREE in return (NOT at a “discount”) for a review or picture with a tag. If you would like a more complex campaign (i.e: a video review, a full blog review, social media mentions on “3 platforms” and a minimum of 100 clicks to your website) then you need to be willing to make a monetary deal! Most micro-influencers already have a “media kit” with their stats and pricing. When you reach out (or if they reach out to work with you) don’t be afraid to ask them for this kit. You may still have the ability to negotiate if their pricing is too high.
- Honesty: Never let an influencer give a fake positive review about your brand! readers/followers can see right through it. Send them the product, let them try it out. You can ask the influencer in advance (and if agreed, put it in your contract) to let you know if they do not like your product. Don’t take it personal if they don’t – not everyone loves the same thing. If they absolutely hated the product, you can kindly ask them to return it to you (at YOUR cost) and ask them to not further continue the campaign. You can use their feedback to possibly improve your product, especially if it is a reoccurring issue.
- Disclosures: Make SURE that your influencer is making the proper FTC disclosures. When they are in any way, shape or form – promoting your brand or products and are receiving payments (including a free product) – they must place the right disclosure on their posts! You can find more information about FTC disclosures here: http://bloggylaw.com/ftc-guidelines-blogger-disclosures/
Work CLOSELY with your influencers & keep them happy: Influencers love having a good relationship with brands! They rave about it to other influencers as well (behind the scenes). Make sure to assist them in any way possible: sponsor a giveaway (let them hold a giveaway for you and you sponsor it by sending the prize to the winner), send them cool new products to unbox live (YouTube, Facebook, etc), promote their posts and giveaways of your products (give a social shoutout and tag them or share their post) trust us – this is a win-win!
When influencers feel that your brand has been amazing to work with – they will go out of their way to promote you even more! Some influencers will even go as far as to make a video or post just about how amazing it was to work with your brand. (extra-promotion).
Contracts & payments: Make sure you are very specific as to what the influencer needs to do in exchange for the payment and free product, i.e: two instagram posts and one blog review with high quality photography. If you ask for something additional later (like, to keep their high quality images for your company’s use) you will more than likely have to pay for that separately. Remember, they still own their content.
Don’t forget to pay them on time if payment is part of the deal. Be very clear and specific on all payment terms!
Influencers are super fun to work with and can definitely make an impact on your sales. Finding the right influencers can be a game changer for your brand! If you are on a budget, don’t be afraid to use micro influencers! One day, they may become a top influencer and still rave about your brand! Just remember: as with any marketing campaign, you may have one or a small few of influencers out of many that maybe do not give you a huge boost.This can happen to anyone! Don’t freak out, just check out your metrics and stats and move on with the influencers who are a great fit.
Have you used influencers in your marketing? Tell us your experience below!