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The rise of the micro-influencer: How to get your business ahead

Influencer marketing has always been measured by the size of your followers and reach, but new research shows micro-influencers are a more cost-effective and authentic way to grow small businesses.

Hundreds of thousands of embryonic enterprises around the world have benefitted from influencers spreading the word about their brand amongst their devoted followers. Historically, when companies have ‘borrowed’ the reach of an established audience on social media, they’ve been advised that bigger is always better, but recent reports have put this ‘black and white’ thinking in doubt.

When companies align themselves with an influencer whose profile complements their brand, their followers are far more likely to be complimentary about your product or service. Results show that influencers provide the most digitally savvy companies with the win-win scenario of low-cost leads that convert at a higher rate.

But as the popularity of using macro-influencers has risen, so have the stack of dollars you need to pay for them. Over time, smaller businesses have seen themselves priced out of the macro-influencer market with a sense that the door had virtually been shut on one of the cheaper ways to market their companies.

Now, new research has flung open the door of opportunity again. It indicates that larger scale influencer campaigns can quickly reach saturation point, where the efficacy of a macro-influencer actually wanes as consumers effectively check out. Micro-influencers might have smaller networks, but when they are carefully selected, used strategically and combined sensibly with other micro-influencers, the numbers tell us they can easily outperform their more famous counterparts.

Micro-influencers have anywhere between 500 and 100,000 followers, depending on different sources, but as micro-influencers should really be defined by their quality and not their quantity, the exact figures don’t really matter that much. It seems that the authenticity of the influencer and the passion that they evidently put in to their posts are the key reasons their followers stay more engaged, for longer.

Finding the right fit for your company

When partnering with micro-influencers it’s essential that brand guardians don’t try and force the micro-influencer to use a different tone of voice because it will come across as completely inauthentic and their knowledgeable audience will be wary of the messaging.

Always keep your focus on the content by allowing the influencer to create what their audience is familiar with, believe in and trust. Remember that you’re engaging influencers to do what they do best so let them do it.

An influencer’s followers will quickly notice any inauthentic content and when this happens, it won’t just be the influencer that risks their audience’s reputation and trust. Those who are also your customers many feel the same disappointment towards your business too. Follower count can decrease and word-of-mouth has the power to destroy a brand’s marketing plans and the influencer.

Let someone else do the heavy lifting

If you’re thinking of using multiple micro-influencers but are concerned that you’ll spend too much time caught up in the extra admin, you might want to consider using software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms like Tribe and Klear.

Leora thinks these SaaS platforms are ‘phenomenal’: ‘Simply post your campaign into the platform and have influencers bid for it. Rather than setting a tight budget, you’ll find that some micro-influencers either won’t charge or will propose a smaller investment requirement than originally expected, to create engaging content.’

As an added bonus, you’ll also receive unique marketing ideas from the micro-influencers and won’t have to deal with the complexity of email chains, feedback, approvals and negotiations that are part and parcel of larger and more complex campaigns.

If you’re a small business with capacity to grow, now’s the time to take advantage of the rise of the authentic micro-influencers.

Here are five simple tips on finding the right micro-influencers on the right social media channels:

  1. Work out your target audience and the type of persona/s that would buy your product/service.
  2. Analyse the influencer’s content and consider whether they genuinely fit with your brand’s personality and tone of voice.
  3. Read through the comments section to ensure you’ll be reaching the ideal buyer for your marketing objectives.
  4. Check out other businesses they’ve worked with to get visibility around their credibility, especially around micro-businesses.
  5. Get in touch with the micro-influencer and see how flexible they’ll be to work with you and if they’re genuinely excited about your products, as you want that to come through in their content.

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