Unlike many forms of advertising, working with micro influencers gives you a short cut to finding and connecting with your target market.
By Tom Augenthaler
Recently, I gave a guerilla marketing training to a small business in Houston. The company was admittedly confused about which strategies they should be using, but the one that puzzled them the most was influencer marketing.
After reviewing their digital marketing campaigns and budget, it was clear that it’s the one strategy they should be using to generate leads and outmaneuver their competitors.
If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner and you’re not engaging with micro influencers in your niche, you’re leaving leads – and money – on the table.
Here’s why micro influencers are the new guerilla marketing that can turn into a massive lead-generation tool.
What are micro influencers?
Micro influencers are content creators who have followings online from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands. There is no exact number, but generally their total audience size is less than 500,000 followers across all their social media channels.
Who are they?
They’re everyday people who blog, create videos on YouTube and Instagram, run Facebook groups — and each has their own following.
Your starting point is to look for micro influencers with at least 10,000 followers because that number is representative of an audience that’s engaged and growing.
Let’s be clear, when you work with micro influencers your goal is to have them talk about your company and your products in a positive light so their audiences will visit your website, engage with your content and even buy from you.
So choosing the right influencers is critical. You must make sure they are congruent with your company and your products.
For example, if you’re targeting middle-age women but the influencer’s audience is comprised of teen-aged boys, then there’s no congruence. You must make sure there is a match.
Use micro-influencers to reach your target market
Unlike many forms of advertising, working with micro influencers gives you a short cut to finding and connecting with your target market. It doesn’t matter who your target market is, you can find micro influencers in every possible niche including fitness, health, fashion, beauty, travel, technology and more.
Even obscure niches have influencers. I’m talking about niches and topics you would otherwise not even think about, have content creators serving those audiences.
By way of example, Google “funeral bloggers” and you’ll see what I mean. I can’t think of a less appealing topic than that, but it’s a legitimate industry and deserves representation – which it gets.
But let’s think more mainstream for a moment. Someone discussing the gluten free diet on Twitter, for instance, can have a focused following of readers who they recommend recipes, foods and meal plans to.
Same can be said for other niches such as mobile phones, crypto-currencies, or comic books, and just about anything else you can imagine.
With a following of dedicated social followers, these influencers have the potential to send targeted traffic to your business.
Here’s an example of a micro influencer
If you’re selling athletic shoes, got a new diet product or yoga outfits, Elena Berlin of @HighonSweatt is a micro influencer you might consider. Found on Instagram, she’s focused on yoga, fitness, weight loss, and healthy dieting.
A quick scan of her feed and you’ll see its filled with inspiring, positive content to a growing audience of over 50,000 followers. Her audience loves her content and they show it by commenting, liking and asking questions.
Many micro-influencers, like Elana, are found solely on Instagram which has emerged as the go-to platform for many influencers because it’s simple to use and visually engaging.
However, as a business you are not limited to Instagram!
Influencers can be found on every social media platform including Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and others.
Yet, the important question you need to ask yourself is not which social media platform to find influencers, but where does your target market hang out?
Are they on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or somewhere else? Go where your target market likes to engage and get questions answered. When you search out your ideal consumers, you’ll find out which influencers they are following.
By teaming up with content creators like Elana, you get in front of your ideal consumers. And when she decides to work with you, her audience is likely to respond positively.
They’ll visit your website, check out your offers, join your email list and even purchase your products.
It’s a win-win for both of you as she provides value to her audience and they win by being introduced to new products and services she likes and recommends.
Additionally, as a small business, there’s the added benefit of directing highly targeted traffic your way which you can then convert into your own audience.
Why micro influencers are the new guerilla marketing
Guerilla marketing is all about finding creative ways to market your products effectively and at low cost. It’s about doing more with less.
Leveraging the power of micro influencers is the same thing.
Got a new product you need to promote? How about a new fragrance? Or maybe a new protein drink?
Connect with influencers to review your new clothing line, try out your new sneakers, or perhaps simply take a picture with your product.
Engaged audiences will listen and respond. This is important, because research indicates that more than 70% of online buyers read online reviews before buying.
Even a casual post by an influencer about your product is enough to drive conversions for you.
What about “big time” celebrity influencers?
Some people think influencer marketing means hiring “celebrity” influencers whether that be Kim Kardashian or someone else with millions of followers.
Let’s face it, celebrities are expensive to hire and can be difficult to work with so SMBs are seeking out micro influencers instead.
Something else to consider, unlike celebrities, you can contact most micro influencers through email or direct message. You don’t have to go through a manager or agent – another layer of expense.
Moreover, by reaching out directly you have an opportunity to establish a rapport which means you’ll have more opportunities to work together going forward.
So, by working with micro influencers, you can raise awareness for your company, get your products reviewed, conduct contests to drive traffic and conversions to your website and more.
With micro influencers, you have an incredible opportunity to reach your target markets like never before.
Remember, people like to buy from other people, especially people they have come to know and trust. Now you have the ability to insert your business into the equation to benefit.
So, do what I told that Houston company to do and start working with micro influencers now. You’ll find it to be one of your most profitable strategies.
Tom Augenthaler is an influencer marketing consultant and the founder of The Influencer Marketer, a resource for business owners and marketers to learn how to use influencers for their business.