Social media is crowded with influencers. Right from a celebrity to an average individual with an interest in a particular niche is now termed as an influencer.
Well, initially most of the brands rushed to influencers with a high number of followers.
The norm was simple – MORE FOLLOWERS = MORE REACH = MORE BRANDING
Yes! A high number of followers and several likes surely looks good on-screen but when it came to better results, data showed a different picture than expected.
Mind you, we are not implying that influencers with more followers are becoming obsolete. They are very relevant today. They have a massive following for a reason. It is just that brands and marketers should stop just looking into vanity metrics and start designing campaigns which can provide quality results over some million views, reach and impressions.
It’s time brands look deeply into the objectives they want to achieve, their long term goals and work with influencers from different categories. As marketing keeps evolving, micro-influencers are also getting more attention and opportunities in the space of branded promotions. Let’s explore how.
So, let’s first understand what is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is a social media influencer having followers between 1,000 to 10,0000. These influencers are known for being authentic and having expertise in a particular niche. Additionally, micro-influencers are also highly preferred for their loyal audience base.
Influencer marketing as a concept has been there for a long time but the recently added term in this umbrella is micro-influencer marketing.
Through this blog, we’ll talk about why micro-influencers are so crucial for your brand campaigns on social media and what makes them inevitable in the world of influencer marketing.
Why Are Micro-Influencers Important for Brands?
There is more to a micro-influencer than having followers that range from 1,000 to 10,0000. These influencers form the crux of influencer marketing campaigns.
Brands rely on micro-influencers because they have a more loyal fan base than influencers from any other tier. This is because of their limited and genuinely interested audience.
Micro-influencers are known for being more approachable. This means that they share a better bond with their followers and can communicate the intended message effectively. This makes them crucial for every brand’s influencer marketing campaigns.
Not to forget, when you rely on a micro-influencer you know your message is being conveyed to the relevant target audience. This means that your brand is visible in front of the right people who are interested in your niche.
What Are The Benefits of Using Micro-Influencers For Influencer Campaigns?
While there are so many influencers in the digital market why is it that micro-influencers take the cake? LET’S FIND OUT
1. Micro-influencers are high on authenticity
Most micro-influencers you see have carved an audience for their niche from scratch and this makes them highly authentic. Additionally, the ability to retain followers is also commendable in this case! Even with a few thousand followers, these influencers manage to keep them hooked with their content which can work wonders for your brand visibility.
Not to forget, their audience follows them because they can relate with their content which makes micro-influencers all the more beneficial for influencer campaigns.
2. Micro-influencers have higher engagement rate on their content
Brands can make the most out of micro-influencers because they have a high engagement rate for their content. Almost every campaign objective boils down to having a higher engagement rate. And micro-influencers can help you achieve the same. Micro-influencers are more involved with their audience base which also guarantees a higher engagement rate.
Be it responding to comments or simply hosting a Q&A session, micro-influencers know how to keep their audience engaged and active.
3. Micro-influencers can positively impact conversion rates
When micro-influencers talk about a brand’s product or service they are being heard. Moreover, their opinion does matter to that particular audience. This simply translates into higher conversion rates. Along with the strong rapport that they share, they are also known for curating content that is credible. This results in higher conversion rates. (EXCITED MUCH! THERE’S MORE)
4. Micro-influencers help you connect with niche audiences
It is difficult to understand the audience on social media. But with the help of micro-influencers, you can easily identify who you are catering to. Micro-influencers are known for sticking to their niche and likewise, even their audience is very clear about what they are interested in. This helps brands decode their target audience and also tells them about buyer behaviour in their niche.
5. Micro-influencers will not burn a hole in your pocket
Let’s face it, influencer marketing is not as low-cost as it seems. The budget here also depends on the influencers you choose for your influencer campaigns. Micro-influencers are less expensive than celebrity influencers and macro-influencers. Not only are they easy on the pocket but are also high on results.
Your influencer strategy should have a bracket for micro-influencers!
6. Audiences rely more on micro-influencers
We are all smitten by the shiny posts of celebrities but what makes us relate to a content piece are micro-influencers who do not have celebrity status but have an expertise in a particular niche. The audience on social media is smart and needs something credible. This is where micro-influencers can help you out. Their content is relatable and that is what helps in getting the audience’s attention.
How To Work With Micro-Influencers for Influencer Campaigns?
Influencer marketing campaigns need to be planned. This not only goes for mega influencers but also for micro influencer marketing campaigns. Right from finding micro-influencers to curating the right content strategy, there are several steps involved. Let’s take a look.
Step 1- Know your influencer campaign goals
Before coming up with content or even finding influencers, as a brand you have to know what is the purpose of your campaign. Every influencer campaign has an objective in place like increasing brand visibility, introducing a new product line, or simply increasing sales.
Decide what you want to gain from your campaign. These objectives will help you frame the entire campaign efficiently. Without a set objective, your campaign planning has high chances of going haywire! (PLAN AND THEN ACT)
Step 2- Decide the campaign platform for your influencer strategy
The social media platform you choose for your campaign will help you find influencers. Every social media platform has influencers but not all are fit for your brand and campaign. So make sure you first decide on which platform you will implement your influencer strategy.
This will also set the base for your content format.
Step 3- Decide your target audience for micro-influencer marketing
Every brand knows what kind of audience it is willing to target. However, this can change depending on your campaign goals and objectives. Make sure you know who your target audience is. Check the audience demographics for your previous campaigns. Get insights on where your audience is active and what kind of content appeals to them.
Step 4- Decide on a content plan for your micro-influencer strategy
Once you are clear with your social media platforms and target audience, you need to have a content plan ready. A brand can opt for different content types like images, videos, blogs, etc. This also involves deciding how you will roll out your campaign whether it will be an unboxing video, account takeover, Q&A session with the followers, giveaway contest, etc.
It is necessary to plan this out before you conduct influencer search because not all influencers will be ready for all kinds of content.
Step 5- Finally, find micro-influencers for your influencer campaign
Finding the right micro-influencers for your brand campaign sets the base for your overall campaign. Also, most influencers fall in the category of micro-influencers which makes the selection process all the more tough. In order to collaborate with relevant micro-influencers, it is necessary to conduct some research.
- Check their audience demographics
- Check their audience quality
- Check the quality of the influencer’s posts
- Check metrics like engagement rate, follower count, and reach
- Check their content format and niche
Checking these parameters will help you choose the right micro-influencers for your campaign. Nowadays, you can also take the help of any micro-influencer platform to find influencers.
Moreover, an influencer marketing platform like Unbox Social can be very useful for finding credible micro-influencers. (MORE ON THIS LATER!)
Step 6- Measure the impact of your micro-influencer campaigns
After your influencer campaign is executed it needs to be analysed and measured. No matter how many likes or comments you garner on your campaign posts, there are several other metrics that need to be measured. Campaign reports from tools like Unbox Social can help you understand the impact of your influencer campaigns. See what you need to improve in your strategies with the help of analytics. Moreover, these insights also help you know what is not working well for your brand.
The steps above will help you plan an effective influencer campaign for your brand. Nevertheless, an influencer marketing platform can ease out the overall process for you.
Now that you know how to go about a micro-influencer marketing campaign, let’s see how these influencers fare in comparison to mega influencers.
Micro-Influencers VS Celebrity Influencers
Initially, when brands opted for influencer marketing campaigns their only choice of influencers were mega influencers aka celebrity influencers. The focus has always been on the number of followers but that has changed in recent times.
Celebrity influencers come with a lot of popularity and that can be advantageous for brands. However, when it comes to engaging with the audience, micro-influencers take the spot.
The dilemma of choosing between micro-influencers and celebrity influencers is still unresolved but brands are now heavily shifting towards roping in micro-influencers.
The reason behind this is micro-influencers have a niche audience and that brings brands a better audience base than celebrity influencers who are quite massy with their audience.
Celebrity influencers may give the much-needed boost to your brand presence but they do little when it comes to keeping the audience engaged with interaction. Micro-influencers have become the scoop of influencer marketing because they share a connection with their followers which means that the brands they promote are likely to get exposed to a newer audience that has the potential to be future customers.
The selection of influencers should totally depend on your campaign objectives. However, make sure the influencer you choose is genuinely catering to the audience you are trying to reach!
What To Look For In Micro-Influencers?
Finding influencers is one thing but the selection process also needs a lot of focus. Here’s what you should look for in micro-influencers.
1. Know about the micro-influencers’ post quality
Most micro-influencers have built their audience base on the basis of their content. This is why this becomes the primary factor for evaluation. Before you rope in micro-influencers take a close look at the kind of posts they are uploading. See whether their tonality is what you need for your brand campaign.
2. Check whether the influencers are dedicated to their niche
Brands opt for micro-influencers because they are highly dedicated to their niche but nowadays there are no rigid lines when it comes to certain niches like lifestyle. For instance, a fashion blogger may at times also post about food or travel!
Make sure you are aware of what your chosen influencers are posting about and whether their content is attracting the audience you want.
3. See what kind of sentiment the influencer receives on the content
Audience sentiment is one of the most important aspects of influencer marketing. And this also impacts your influencer selection. See what kind of comments your micro-influencers are receiving. Check whether the influencers are replying to valid questions and comments. This will tell you how approachable the influencers are when it comes to engaging with the audience.
4. Check the frequency of their posts
Micro-influencers are usually active with their content but it surely needs to be checked. While some influencers prefer to post daily, some may be posting weekly! This also depends on the kind of posts they are curating and the niche they are catering to. If an influencer is hardly active then you may need to rethink your selection.
5. Try to gauge the micro-influencers’ audience quality
Having a passive audience base that gives you no engagement can lead to poor campaign outcome. See to it that you analyse the influencers’ audience base carefully. This will also tell you whether you are tapping into the right audience with your brand campaign.
Once you are clear with your micro-influencers, it is time to frame your strategy. Let’s check out a few influencer marketing campaign examples to get a better understanding.
Influencer Marketing Campaign Examples
1. L’Oréal Paris
The makeup, skincare, and haircare brand L’Oréal often collaborates with influencers from different tiers for product promotions. Recently, the brand collaborated with influencers for their new foundation range.
2. HDFC bank
Even the banking sector is not behind when it comes to influencer marketing. HDFC collaborated with influencers to market its MasterCard. The campaign was all about using the HDFC MasterCard and how it gave the benefits of cashback.
Online shopping sites bank on social media promotions. Myntra, one of the most popular shopping portals roped in influencers to spread awareness about its mega sale!
The giant mobile company Oppo has been quite active when it comes to influencer campaigns. The company launched a campaign wherein it focused on the theme of social distancing.
5. Lay’s India
Lay’s India launched a quirky campaign wherein they promoted its new packaging style. The campaign was named #SmileWithLays.
Common Mistakes To Avoid In Influencer Marketing
1. Rushing to find influencers without a campaign plan
Marketers often rush to find influencers without a campaign plan. Sure, influencer marketing is all about finding the right influencers who will convey the intended message for you but before that, it is also necessary to have a campaign plan ready. Without campaign goals and objectives, your influencer selection can go haywire.
2. Simply relying on influencers with more followers
The follower game sure has to be strong for a successful influencer but that should not be the only deciding factor when selecting influencers for a campaign. The quality of the followers also has to resonate with your campaign goals. See to it that you check the authenticity of the followers when shortlisting influencers.
3. Focusing only on mega influencers
Brand managers often choose only mega influencers for their campaigns because of their high number of followers and celebrity status. However, this may not always fetch you the desired results. See to it that your marketing campaign has a perfect mix of influencers. Rope in a couple of micro-influencers along with a mega influencer to ease your budget and increase your campaign relatability. For some campaigns, you can also choose micro-influencers and nano influencers depending on your target audience and campaign objectives.
4. Thinking of influencer marketing as a short-term marketing strategy
Implementing just one campaign will not get you long-term results. Most brand managers think influencer marketing is a one-time task and often lose hopes after just a single campaign. To succeed in influencer marketing, marketers need to implement quite a few campaigns to form the desired narrative in the minds of the audiences. Suppose one of your campaigns is focused on Instagram stories, the next one can focus on image-oriented Instagram posts. Only after implementing a few campaigns, you can gauge whether this strategy is working for your brand.
5. Failing to understand campaign statistics
Analysing the campaign performance is as important as implementing the campaign. Keeping a track on the campaign performance statistics will help you detect whether your strategy has worked. Even simple metrics like reach and impressions can tell you a lot about your brand campaign effectiveness. Brands must also compare the figures of their present campaigns with their past campaigns to see whether they have improved.
Many times, micro-influencers can also help you reach a passive audience. The power of micro-influences is humungous and brands need to tap on the same! Getting heard on social media is difficult but if you choose the right influencers it can increase your brand presence to no ends.
Tap on to the world of micro-influencers and get the most out of influencer marketing!