How To Use Micro-Influencers To Generate Awareness In A New Business
When you’re starting a new business, it can be hard to get it noticed. The world of business is a competitive one, and getting yourself seen against a sea of competition is a gargantuan task.
But what about using micro-influencers?
More and more, new businesses are using these small social stars to generate awareness for their brand. They’re effective, affordable, and eager to collaborate with new businesses like yours.
Read on to find out exactly what micro-influencers are, why they’re so great, and how you can use them to grow your new business. Extra reading: The Real Reasons Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing Going into 2019
What are micro-influencers?
You’re probably already fairly familiar with the idea of influencer marketing (if you’re not, watch the FYRE documentary on Netflix for a crash course in how not to do it).
Influencer marketing is the practice by businesses of hooking up with a popular online star to promote their brand, product or service to their sizeable social following.
Notable examples that you might know include Nick Offerman’s partnership with US whisky brand Diageo and, to a less successful extent, Kendall Jenner’s unfortunate collaboration with Pepsi.
These influencers have social followings in the high hundred-thousands or higher, and command princely sums for the pleasure of working with them. Macro-influencers, as they’re known, are generally only reserved for big brands with big budgets, and small or new businesses rarely get a look-in.
Enter micro-influencers. Typically enjoying a follower count far less than their macro counterparts (between 10-100K), micro-influencers are smaller and less recognisable. As a result, they have a relatively tiny, albeit more intimately-connected, coterie of followers.
Why should I use micro-influencers?
So if micro-influencers have less followers and are less well-known than their macro cousins, why should businesses bother with them?
Well, their lack of renown is actually their biggest asset. While macro-influencers boast a huge social following, it often lacks engagement. Research suggests that the higher an influencer’s follower count, the less their followers actually like and comment on their posts on a meaningful level.
Indeed, when a social star’s follower count exceeds 100K, engagement actually levels off. In short, the bigger the influencer, the more distance there is between them and their followers.
Conversely, micro-influencers enjoy far greater engagement as a result of their small following. They enjoy a close-knit community of like-minded individuals, a community that regularly engages with their micro-influencer’s social content.
Micro-influencers also often occupy esoteric niches, such as podcasting, mental health, or under-represented beauty subsets, e.g. makeup tips for redheads or for sufferers of vitiligo.
Consequently, their followers feel a deeper connection with the micro-influencer by virtue of their shared, specific interests. And because micro-influencers have such small social followings, collaborations with them come at a far lower price than those of macro-influencers. As a result, micro-influencers are perfect for new brands looking to generate awareness at the start of their business journey.
How can I find the right micro-influencer for me?
The perfect micro-influencer is one whose audience overlaps with yours.
This means scoping out individuals within your niche. The best way to do this is through a dedicated influencer marketplace. These are tools dedicated to helping you find influencers, such as FameBit or Ninja Outreach.
However these are often paid services, and might be too expensive for smaller businesses just starting out. So another quick (and affordable) hack for finding the right micro-influencer is through analysing your competition, especially disruptor brands in your niche.
Rather than established, global brands, these businesses have typically been built from the ground-up by scrappy entrepreneurs. Not possessing big ad budgets, these indie stores grow their business by connecting with their customers on a meaningful level.
They often use micro-influencers to establish themselves, whether through sustained or one-off collaborations. Check out their blogs and social pages to identify popular micro-influencer campaigns, and then reach out to the influencer yourself. Easy.
How can I use micro-influencers to generate awareness?
Once you’ve found the perfect micro-influencer for your business, it’s time to launch your campaign and start to grow your audience. Here’s how. Entice new customers with irresistible special offers Discount codes and special offers on their own are great for growing your customer base. But when combined with a savvy micro-influencer campaign, they’re even better. Create a discount code that incorporates your micro-influencer’s name (e.g. ZOELLA15) to give your deal a sense of exclusivity.
As well as looking cool, this also helps you track your campaign analytics with ease. Craft a striking image that features your product to make customers stop their infinite scrolling and take notice. Flatlays always make for eye-catching visual content, and a snap of your micro-influencer using your product will make their fans stop in their tracks.
Use competitions and giveaways for a hype quick fix
One of the easiest ways to generate awareness for a new business is through contests, competitions, and giveaways.
Give someone the chance to win a prize or freebie, and they’ll trip over themselves to get involved in return for their email address or a social follow. Get your influencer to launch your contest and create buzz to promote it. Set entry requirements as a follow on your social profile and tagging of a few friends, and you’ll quickly see your social presence grow.
Cascade the competition across your micro-influencer’s social feeds, and jump on trending hashtags relevant to your brand to get it noticed. Eschew generic hashtags (e.g. #fashion) in favour of niche tags with more concentrated followings e.g. #dailylook or #personalstyle.
These help you reach a wider, but more engaged, community of followers. Customers are often cautious about following or handing over their personal details to a brand they’ve never heard of. But when it’s endorsed by a micro-influencer they know and love, they’ll be only too happy to oblige.
Product reviews by influencers, for followers
Part of the reason why micro-influencers are so perfect for growing businesses is because their followers actually listen to what they say. When micro-influencers praise a brand, followers believe them.
Use this relationship to grow your audience by encouraging your micro-influencer to create personalised product reviews. This is social proof on overdrive, a ringing endorsement that resonates with their followers.
It could be a blog, a vlog, or an Insta story (add a Shoppable Sticker to give it an edge) — the key to this is letting your micro-influencer do their thing. They know their followers inside and out, and they know what works, so give them complete creative control.
Create new connections with a content exchange
A content exchange is a surefire way of getting your new business some much-needed attention. Sharing branded content on your chosen micro-influencer’s social feed or website exposes your brand to an entirely new audience, as well as giving you some valuable credibility in their eyes.
But this goes both ways too. Get your micro-influencer to create some content to share across your own channels too. This could be as simple as a blog post or video that you cascade across social. Alternatively, you could hand the reins of your social accounts over to your influencer for a social media takeover.
For 24 hours, your micro-influencer can post what they like (within reason of course) to your Insta Story, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. Cross-promote this across each party’s channels, and their followers will flock to your profiles for the experience. In a competitive industry like yours, it can be tricky getting yourself noticed. But by using the power of micro-influencers, you can easily drive traffic to your website and get your brand recognised.