Many studies have shown that, for brands, working with micro influencers (those with between 10,000 and 50,000 dedicated followers) has had a better pay off than working with macro influencers (50,000+ followers). Perhaps this is because the following is nuclear yet dedicated and within a specific niche.
The engagement for a micro influencer tends to be a lot higher than that of an influencer with a million followers, only 3% actually engage in their content. As a brand, this means that you’ll be able to show your brand or product in context, while riffing off their ideas and creativity – the vast majority of micro influencers believe in the product that they’re promoting. And its relative cost-effectiveness means you can work with multiple people at once. But (yes, there’s always a ‘but’), there’s a right way and many wrong ways to go about it – and there are plenty of dubious accounts with fake followings ready to liberate you of your cash.
Working with micro influencers is a marketing tactic to achieve a specific goal. You might be looking to run a campaign around a new product, generate more traffic to your website or work with someone on a long-term basis as a brand ambassador.
Working together, you’ll land on a plan for the content they’ll produce around your brand or product (think: posts, stories or videos). The best-case scenario is to work with people who already know and like your brand – but, if you’re just starting out and looking to grow, you may need to be proactive about finding the right people.
One study from retail marketing platform ExpertVoice showed a whopping 82% of people were highly likely to follow a recommendation from a micro influencer. For small businesses with limited budgets, this is the most logical way to reach the right people and gain relevance and legitimacy in their sector.
Micro influencers also have a sense of relatability that the Kardashians of the Web world just don’t have. A great example of a brand that have capitalised on the micro influencer is Rihanna’s booming lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty. Savage X Fenty have a plethora of brand ambassadors whose followings range from 6,000 to 50,000 followers. They are clever in their selection choosing a very diverse cast of influencers to wear the same set. On their roster are tall thin blondes, curvy Latinas, short petite black women, plus size people of all ethnicities, influencers with disabilities, people of all abilities, ages, skin tones and body shapes. This is smart because it shows the product in different ways to different people who will all feel seen by the brand.
This is where compensation comes in. In the case of Savage X Fenty they simply promise their ambassadors two free sets of lingerie per month in exchange for an Instagram post and story. Other brands pay hard cash it really depends on what type of partnership you have and the size of your brand.
Don’t think of this as a purely transactional relationship where you’re just compensating someone to carry out a task you’ve set. Instead, you should be aiming to create a partnership (ideally a long-term one), where you can work collaboratively on content ideas at the ideation stage. The right people will have original and creative ideas that are relevant to their audience – and know better than you how to produce content to a high standard. You might even end up co-branding products together.
Making use of software tools to help small businesses, including all-in-one operations helps you to manage every element of a campaign. If you’re just starting out and don’t know where to begin, matchmaking platforms like Creator.co or GRIN can help you find the right people in your sector. There are also tools like Fohr or PeopleMap that track follower health (ie, whether an influencer’s followers are authentic).
When it comes to finding a micro influencer there are many agencies that can help but since they are micro, many of them self-manage. The micro influencers you work with have to be a logical match for your customers, so check in with exactly who they are via your customer personas – updating them if need be. So do your research and reach out where applicable.
Provided they’re open to discussing further, this is the stage where you’ll discuss the specifics of what you want to achieve based on your resources and time frame. Again, this should ideally be a collaborative creative process – the level of input from their side will vary depending on what you want and their level of expertise.
Finally, with your micro influencer it’s so important to have a contract in place. Come to an agreement with terms that suit both parties based on what you’ve discussed. It might make sense to start with a trial period to see if you both enjoy the relationship. This is the stage where a contract should come in.