With businesses flocking to social media and competing for followings, contracting influencers as spokespeople is the go-to move. Specifically, micro-influencers, with their highly engaged followers. These popular users build their brand on authenticity, so connecting with them isn’t as easy as sending a direct message. A more thoughtful approach is needed.
With 1.1 billion monthly users, Instagram has become one of the best places to find an influencer for your business. Investing in promotion and standing out is the most important thing now that the market is more crowded.
But, people often don't respond to advertisements well, especially young people who are attracted to authenticity; some even block them online.
While you can't fight ad blockers, you can find a more authentic and trustworthy way to reach users. One of the best ways to do that is to find other spokespeople, especially people your audience trusts.
“Word-of-mouth marketing has changed a lot in recent years and most of it is now being done by influencers, who are one of the most powerful tools in any marketer's arsenal,” said Lyle Berk, an Instagram expert at DraftBeyond and Rearchpapersuk.
Collaborating with influencers allows marketers and businesses to drive cost-effective results while running effective campaigns.
How to Work With Micro-Influencers on Instagram
- Choose an Influencer
- Establish A Relationship
- Help Grow Their Following
- Nurture a Long-Time Connection
Step 1: Choose an Influencer
There are two types of influencers: macro-influencers and micro-influencers. While macro-influencers know that they can earn the money easily because of their fame, micro-influencers recommend products just like any normal person would.
Micro-influencers are social media users who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers and are very engaged with their audience.
Most brands and companies believe it’s best to target influencers with the most followers. However, influencers with a highly engaged audience actually sell products better than those with enormous followings. This is true for one reason: Trust.
Not all micro-influencers want to work with brands though. Especially if their interests are not in line with your product. Doing your own research will ensure that you have found the person that will represent your brand best.
Step 2: Establish a Connection With Micro-Influencers
Most micro-influencers are active in a certain area and attract a niche audience – their interest and niche should fit your brand image. This small ecosystem means that you need to establish a connection with them before you start working with them.
Here are a few steps that can help you build a connection with a micro-influencer:
- Follow them: This is a way to show your respect
- Show interest: Make sure that you do this without promoting your own products
- Don't make an offer to quickly
Sending a message with an offer right after you follow a micro-influencer isn’t a smart idea as it can appear self-serving. If you help your influencer grow, you’ll gain their trust and see better results over time.
Step 3: Help Your Micro-Influencer Grow
Micro-influencers just want to express themselves; they don't join platforms to make money. A survey done by Crowdtap found that over half of influencers say their favorite projects are those in which the brand gives them creative freedom.
This means that you need to respect micro-influencers authenticity and their individual voice. If you help them grow, they will never forget you.
For instance, if you know that they want to grow their followers, offer them something that can help with that goal. Stay creative and cross-promote like the Hawaii Department of Tourism did. They partnered with travel bloggers and Hawaiian natives to promote their #LetHawaiiHappen campaign:
Partnering with Rick Poon, a photographer, they increased the visibility of both their accounts.
Step 4: Nurture Long-Term Connections
Nurturing a long-term connection is a great way to invest in future promotional value. This is a very important part of your work with an influencer. When they publish their post with you mentioned, you will have the opportunity to nurture your connection.
This is critical. You want to have a good relationship so you can return to them when they become more popular. The price per posts will change, and they’ll be more selective in who they represent. But if you’ve helped them in the past, they’re more likely to help you in the present.
One powerful way to do this is to provide micro-influencers with maximum creative freedom. Over three-quarters of influencers told Crowdtap that having creative freedom is the number one reason they’d choose to work with a brand more than once.
Influencer Partnerships Mean Lasting Relationships and Long-Term Benefits
While macro-influencers are expensive and hard to connect with, any brand can reach a micro-influencer and build a meaningful relationship with them.
Micro-influencers represent an opportunity for you to promote your brand, reach more people, and achieve more sales without spending too much money. It's not just a passing trend in the marketing world either. It's a powerful technique because it connects you with someone genuine and authentic.
Those kinds of bonds are difficult to forget and will often pay large dividends in the future.
In spite of the smaller following micro-influencers have, their outsized engagement rate means that your sales will get a boost.