Influencers are all the rage these days and for good reason—they bring authenticity, engagement and, not to mention, a loyal following. Oh, and there’s also the fact that 82 percent of consumers act on an influencer’s recommendation to try or buy a product. But where do you begin? If you’re like many brands, you don’t have the budget to pay the $1 million per post that some celebrity influencers now charge. A more economical way to play the influencer game is to collaborate with those who have a large following yet might not be a household name. Enter: the micro-influencer.
A micro-influencer has between 30,000 and 100,000 followers. So while they’re not mega-celebs, they do offer as much if not more credibility and trust among those who follow them than those mega-celebs you can’t afford. So, how do you determine who’s right, who’s wrong and what you should get for your money? Take a peek at our checklist below:
1. Start with Relevance
Aligning a micro-influencer with your brand is crucial for the most authentic, credible posts. But make sure it’s the right fit. There are travel influencers, fashion influencers and fitness influencers. There are even dog and cat influencers. Once you find the right category of influencer, you need to make sure their tone and approach is a match. Every influencer has a unique style and certain juxtaposing in their photos and filter preferences. Some even have a color scheme. For the benefit of the brand and the influencer, it is best to stay on brand for both your brand and the influencer’s.
2. Check Their Engagement
A brand doesn’t need to just align with the influencer but with their audience as well. Just because an influencer has a bigillion followers doesn’t mean you should work with them. Many highly followed influencers get very low engagement, which means people are following but just aren’t that into them. To calculate a potential influencer’s engagement rate, take the number of likes on a post and divide that by total followers. Multiply by 100, and that is the engagement rate. Micro-influencers tend to be a low-cost marketing solution proving to be 6.7 times more efficient per engagement-- costing an average of $180 per post.
3. Follow Their Following
If you’re interested, ask the influencer for a breakout of their followers. This can determine the sex, geography and overall demographics of an influencer’s audience. A brand can then target areas of high follower density with additional promotional activity to increase frequency and brand awareness.
4. Make Sure They’re Authentic
One of the reasons people follow micro-influencers and engage with them is because they haven’t sold out. Make sure their posts for other brands come off authentic and meaningful and not just something they were paid to do. Likewise, when working with them, make sure you keep it authentic and don’t ask them or force them to post your overly promotional content because it will only turn off their followers and lead to negative comments.
5. Get Creative
More than just an unboxing, find an influencer who can think outside the box. Getting 30,000, 50,000 or 100,000 followers isn’t easy, so they are obviously doing something right. Give your talent the reins to make the most engaging content through their own creativity. This allows 83 percent of consumers to trust this authentic messaging.
6. Think Big Picture
Make sure to secure the influencer’s great photos and video for your own use in addition to securing posts for the here and now. Micro-influencer posts aren’t a one and done. In the contract, state that your brand may use and reuse a certain number of assets acquired through the micro-influencers. Finding these influencers is a bit time consuming, so a brand’s ultimate goal should always be a long-term relationship.
Hoffman York has helped clients like Wahl and Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development identify and partner with valuable influencers across the country. These partnerships have led to positive results. To learn more, check out our work here. Or, shoot us a message at ROI@Hoffmanyork.com.