Micro-Influencers: Little Name, Huge Followings

A micro what? Didn’t we cover this already?

Nope. That was a microsite. Fair question, though, to be honest.

What is a Micro-Influencer?

Cute and pretty fashion trendy and hipster millennial woman or girl makes selfie on smartphone camera to share on internet social media channels, self absorbed new generation of young people

“This is the best hat and I won’t hear it otherwise.” In her defense, it IS a really good hat.

Micro-influencing is, well, interesting for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) and startups, because most of these types brands have people behind them who could both hire micro-influencers and become micro-influencers themselves. That alone can make interaction tricky, but it can also maximize your brand’s influence, help you build important relationships via networking, and expand into new markets and audiences.

If you’re adept at spotting trends and content gaps, micro-influencers can be particularly useful. Micro-influencers heavily engage a specific subset or subculture, usually in the thousands. They have fiercely loyal followings, but they’re not usually nationally or internationally known. Micro-influencers influence through niche specialization or just gathering followings in a wider category due to their personalities–but they usually engage a specific type of person.

Let’s use two popular items as examples throughout this exploration: sports equipment and cosmetics. Both of these things generally appeal to different audiences, and we’ll look at how micro-influencers could help both sports equipment manufacturers and makeup brands reach the 18-24 year old demographic.

First, micro-influencers generally:

  • Have an established personal brand
  • Have a few thousand followers on each social media platform (any 3-5 platforms)
  • Experience and provide high levels of engagement from a specific demographic
  • Have a niche, charismatic personality, and something they’re “known for,” like makeup unboxing videos or putting sports equipment to the test and blogging about it
  • Have a healthy email list

If you’re a small brand and you’re its face, you are likely already your own micro-influencer. Didn’t know that about yourself, did ya?

Even if you are (or aspire to be one), that doesn’t mean you should shy away from hiring a micro-influencer, especially if you’re ready to engage a different audience than you currently capture.

How Do You Find a Micro-Influencer?

Young blogger woman smiling

“I’m betting you don’t know NEARLY what I know about lipstick.”

You can find micro-influencers using a few key tools:

  • See who ranks for long-tail keywords using a keyword search tool like SEMrush. Use niche-specific keywords, like “baseball bat review” or “barbie makeup tutorial” to hone your ideal demographic.
  • Check out BuzzSumo to find influencers for any specific keyword.
  • Perform a Google search and see who pops up.

What Do Micro-Influencers Charge?

figures standing on stacks of coins

Well they’re stacked.

Engaging a micro-influencer depends on many factors. If they have a “press” or “business” page on their site, it’s likely that they’ve engaged with brands before or are business savvy and looking to do so. Some groups of bloggers are particularly savvy and know what they’re worth (or may even charge more), like mommy bloggers or established gaming streamers over on Twitch.

Should You Engage a Micro-Influencer?

Smiling woman getting likes

We love this, but we were just wondering the best way to get clouds to like your status.

Well, if you fall in love, sure. Kidding. We had to run with that pun, naturally.

Even if you go after an established micro-influencer, it’s often a cost-effective way to reach a new audience. Check out the demographics they attract–if they aren’t posted on a press page, drop in and look at who comments on their blog posts and social media. Make sure they’re effective markets for your respective brand.

For example, if a baseball blogger is hitting a bunch of older folks who collect cards but don’t buy baseball bats for their grandkids, and you’re looking more for the younger demographic, you might need to move on. If that beauty blogger is hitting the 40+ professional crowd, you’re not going to find those younger fans. You can also tell by the look of their blog, social media, or YouTube channel as well as what social media platforms they appear on.

What Can Micro-Influencers Do?

Female vlogger recording cooking related broadcast at home

Why do mics look so much like tribbles these days?

Micro-influencers are valuable because they can reach a specific subgroup of an audience you want to target. This is really useful if your brand is doing something new or special, or if you’ve partnered with a larger celebrity (your micro-influencers could engage that fanbase). It’s also great for holidays: imagine working with an “all things Irish” blogger when you’re running a St. Patrick’s Day special for that lucky baseball glove or green lipstick.

Social Media Micro-Influence

Woman Using smart phone emitting holographic image of social media

Ah, crap. Facebook floated away again.

Social media is one source of success when it comes to using micro-influencers. Want to target young people on Snapchat and Instagram and help build your social media following? You need those young folks to post pictures and videos of themselves swinging that baseball bat or applying that lipstick. Make sure they tag you and watch your follower count rise. Make sure you thank your new followers and engage with them–block out some time to do that once you know your micro-influencer’s posts about your brand are going live.

Guest Blogging and Micro-Influencers

Middle age woman working on her blog

Hope there’s a micro-influencer for desks, because this desk is incredible.

Micro-influencers’ opinions have value. Usually that happens through their video content or guest blogs. Sponsored posts are a useful grey hat SEO (search engine optimization) tactic that can drive attention to your product or marketing campaign. This means that the micro-influencer blogs about your product–maybe offering it a positive review–and then links to your sales page (don’t forget to track it properly–see below). If you go this route, make sure your micro-influencer is following FCC guidelines (if you’re in the US, otherwise follow your nation’s equivalent) and best practices about guest blogging. Be clear about what link(s) your micro-influencer should include, and what type of language they should use to describe your product.

The blog should appear in the micro-influencer’s trademark voice, so don’t over-exert control; you should have a say in how your brand is represented in this type of arrangement, though.

Lastly, you can always hire a ghostwriter to provide this type of content to the blogger yourself. This gives you more control over the message, all the while maintaining the micro-influencer’s voice and tone.

How Do You Track Micro-Influencer Success?

girl plays superhero

Now THIS is success!

Attribution is crucial when it comes to knowing whether a micro-influencer is worth the ROI (return on investment). You can do this largely through attribution links–even using free tools like bit.ly or UTM codes to track the sources of each click and sales conversion. Simply provide those formatted links to your micro-influencer and instruct them to use them when they post. Bam! Just like that. The micro-influencer can also glean some useful data and boast about conversation rates once your joint campaign is done.

Are Micro-Influencers Ever Problems?

Vlogger recording video blog

If you need a laugh, watch dads explaining makeup videos on YouTube, by the way. Glorious.

One issue with hiring a micro-influencer is that you never know what they’re going to do. You can do your best to observe and hand-pick the most expert, trustworthy, and reliable person, but at the end of the day, you don’t control what comes out of their mouth (or keyboard) on their own channels. Micro-influencers can feel inspired by the media or political causes, veering away from the messages you want connected with your brand, and working with micro-influencers means assuming that risk.

You can mitigate this risk with specific contractual agreements, and in an emergency situation, it’s important to respond promptly and pull your sponsorship if the micro-influencer is really off-message for your brand.

Bringing Influence

We know you’re looking. Do you need micro-influencer content or advice on including this in your wider SEO strategy? Don’t forget we’re here to help. We’ll evaluate your website and provide you with tips on how to potentially improve your search engine ranking–and we can provide you with specific keywords which will allow you to narrow down the micro-influencers you should target to spread brand awareness. Let us know about your needs: contact Dominate with SEO today.

 

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