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Influencer marketing is currently the hottest buzzword in internet marketing. It has managed to outperform all other forms of internet marketing strategies to become the most effective program. One that not only creates brand awareness but also helps generate leads and create long-term relationships with customers. Influencers play a very important role in the buying decisions of consumers by helping them with facts and feedback on different products and services in the market. However, a lot of marketers wrongly believe that big numbers speak the loudest. Macro-influencers may have a huge number of followers, but they may not be as effective as micro-influencers in spreading the word. This is because micro-influencer are more influential than many big influencers for a number of reasons. First, the smaller number of followers enables them to better engage with the audience and develop more personal connections. Second, they really know their stuff well and are experts in their own niches. Meaning that their opinions and reviews are considered valuable. Third, their expertise in particular fields allows them to cater to a particular type of audience, and thus their audience aligns better with the brands that they work with. Fourth, higher rates of engagement also result in higher conversion rates and greater ROI. In this post, we will discuss how brands can use micro-influencers to increase brand awareness. If done in the proper way, working with the right micro-influencers will get you the results you want.
#1. Find the Right Micro-influencers
This is the most important step, finding micro-influencers who belong to your brand’s niche. Since micro-influencers are highly knowledgeable individuals in particular fields, you need to collaborate with the ones who take an interest or have in-depth knowledge in the field to which your brand belongs. Choosing relevant micro-influencers will allow you to reach out to a highly connected audience, where you will not have to work too hard to build relationships. Additionally, micro-influencers who have a thorough understanding of the kind of products or services you sell will be able to create high quality, authentic content. Not only will this content be useful to the audience, but it will also effectively create awareness for your brand. For example, L’oreal is a cosmetic and skincare brand and works with beauty influencers and skin care experts to promote their brand. Here’s an example in which L’oreal re-posted a post by beauty blogger Ruth, whose Instagram account cocolemelocoton has over 49,000 followers. You must now be wondering how to find the right influencers for your brand. There are a number of effective ways this goal can be accomplished. Here are a few quick tips on how to find the most relevant influencers: Search hashtags: This is an effective way to locate influencers in your area who already like your products. Do hashtag research by searching hashtags that match with your company, product, or niche and find out the most popular posts or conversations for those hashtags on Instagram or Twitter. Search among your own followers: The micro-influencers you are looking for could be on your own list of followers on your social media accounts. Look through your own list of followers to find influencers who are following you. It will be easy to approach and work with these influencers since they already prefer your brand. Use Google Search: Google search is an amazing tool that can help you locate relevant micro-influencers in your city for your business. Simply enter the relevant keywords and be very specific about the search terms you use. For example, if you own an apparel store search “fashion and clothing bloggers and influencers in Colorado Springs.” Use Tools: Tools like Grin or Socialpeeks can also help with your influencer research. Grin helps you find the ideal influencers for your campaign. You can filter influencers by their niche, location, and engagement rate. It also allows seeing their verified contact details to ease your outreach process.
#2. Select Multiple Micro-influencers
A community of relevant micro-influencers can do wonders for your business. Your brand will get greater exposure with multiple micro-influencers than with just one. Each of these micro-influencers has a fan base of their own and this way you will be able to connect with multiple relevant audiences. More people will come to know about your product or service and this will increase your brand awareness. Working with multiple micro-influencers also means you will get access to a larger quantity of high-quality content, which you can integrate with your content marketing strategies. This way, there will be no shortage of regular content on your own official social networking page. Kate.berkley, cydbee, and kayleighnoellexo are some of the micro-influencers associated with E.L.F cosmetics. Below are a few posts on the brand’s official Instagram page.
#3. Encourage Originality
For your influencer marketing program to be successful, it is important that you follow the ‘high-quality content only’ strategy. To achieve this goal you need to make sure that your influencers are creating original content that offers real value to your target audience. Great content can establish a powerful brand identity for your business. At the same time, you should also be mindful to not interfere with the content creation process of the micro-influencer you are collaborating with. Weighing them down with too many do’s and don’ts can severely harm the originality of the content, and this will surely affect your brand image since their audience will not be able to relate to the content. It will come across as fake and influenced content, lacking in genuineness. Therefore, let the influencers work freely and create content in their own unique ways that their followers are used to and appreciate.
#4. Host Campaign Events
Hosting campaign events with your influencers can be highly beneficial in building a relationship with them, and also improves brand awareness. While reviews and tutorials help in increasing sales, events go a step further in creating a positive impression about your brand in the minds of your target audience. Invite your micro-influencers to host, or be a part of such events. When they share their experiences with their followers, it will help your brand’s image. Such events also help you better engage with your influencers. This fosters a long-term relationship with them. The level of connection they share with the brand determines how much dedication they put into their efforts to promote the brand and create brand awareness. For example, E.L.F Cosmetics embraced a community of micro-influencers and started the E.L.F Beautyscape Weekend event. At this event, the cosmetic brand that stands for Eyes, Lips, Face encouraged fans of the brand to enter a contest and post their best looks on Instagram. Then they picked 50 winners and invited them to a weekend event where they got to try E.L.F products still in development, and received advice from experts and also met the E.L.F. team. The goal of the event was to help micro-influencers strengthen their confidence levels and encourage them to try out new products. When they become more confident, they encourage their fans to do the same. An increased level of confidence will also enable them to churn out more content. The event not only helped the brand to achieve its goals but also allowed micro-influencers to increase their following base. According to Ashley Vera, one of the winners of the competition, before the event, she had 10,000 followers on Instagram and the number grew by 5,000 following the event. However, she now has over 40,000 followers on Instagram and is a notable micro-influencer in the beauty segment. Here is a link to a video post about the E.L.F Beautyscape 2017 event posted by Ashley on her Instagram. The following screenshot is an Instagram post from her where she promoted E.L.F Moisturizing lipstick.
#5. Giveaways by Micro-Influencers
What’s a better way to reach out to an audience than with giveaways and making them a part of the fun? Host giveaway contests through your micro-influencers or allows them to spread the word for any such contest that you are hosting. This will attract more attention towards your brand, since gifts and giveaways are something everyone enjoys, and this will induce them to engage with the brand. Contests that involve tagging friends or sharing posts, will deliver even better results as this will enable your brand to reach a larger number of people as they come to know about your brand through such posts. The following screenshot is a post by Avirall Mansi in which she shared information about a contest hosted by The Body Shop with her followers. On Instagram, she has 776 followers.
#6. Get Innovative
Compelling more users to try out your products is one of the best ways to create brand identity. This can be done by having your influencers create product reviews or DIY lessons using your products. But that’s not always enough. Consumers are always looking for something innovative and to get their attention it is important to offer them something unique, and often. Have your micro-influencers create something that’s out-of-the-box and has the capacity to grab the attention of your target audience instantly. Whatever they create should be original, so that it comes across as unique and authentic to the audience. For example, if you own a cosmetics brand then have them create an attractive look using your products. If the audience likes what they see they will be more interested in your brand. Christina Vergara is a YouTuber specializing in makeup and beauty and has over 2000 followers on YouTube. The following screenshot is from one of her makeup look tutorials in which she used only MAC products. This video received over 5,000 views on YouTube.
#7. Feature Influencer Content
In influencer marketing, it’s a win-win situation for both the brands and the influencers. You can help them extend their reach by sharing their posts on your company’s official website or social media page. A little push can help them achieve bigger results for you. More people will know about them and also follow them for ideas and reviews. And this increased level of influence will help your brand. Moreover, by doing this, you will also be showing appreciation for the hard work your micro-influencers have been doing, which is necessary for building strong relationships with your micro-influencers. Needless to say, if your brand is loved by many micro-influencers, you’re surely going to have a positive influence on their audience. The following is an example of a brand promoting a post by one of its micro-influencers. L’oreal re-posted this Instagram post by micro-influencer Trisha [rokitshopit], a skin care blogger with over 3,000 followers on Instagram.
#8. Micro-influencer Takeover
A lot of brands follow this strategy to improve engagement and raise brand awareness. This is part of an influencer marketing strategy in which a brand allows their micro-influencers to take over official social media accounts and start posting their own content there. They can even encourage their audience to keep an eye out for the brand’s updates as they will be taking it over and sharing some unique content. This enables the brand to connect with the followers of micro-influencers directly, and they may also start following the brand through this program. Not only this, it allows the micro-influencers themselves to create a new audience by providing unique views and behind-the-scenes content for the brand or its products through the takeover. Kimpton, a boutique hotel chain hosted a micro-influencer takeover on Instagram, which helped it connect with a new audience. Alexis [alexisteichmiller] has over 6,000 followers on Instagram and she participated in a Kimpton takeover in which she took over on Kimpton Aertson Hotel’s Instagram account. Here’s a screenshot of a post by Alexis in which she shared an update about the weekend takeover of the account with her followers:
Every individual micro-influencer has their own unique way of connecting with people. And by using their own tactics, they can spread the word for you faster than any other form of marketing. It is more reliable because they are real people sharing their real experiences with the consumers. A genuine review will not focus on the pros of a product alone, but also on the negative points, if there are any. This again makes them more reliable to their followers and hence brands they like will also gain popularity with their followers. Do you have any questions about working with micro-influencers? Please let us know in the comments below.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin’s software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.
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