Micro influencers used to be the Cinderellas of the influencing world- ignored, overlooked and dismissed as unworthy of attention.
Thankfully, a lot has changed in recent years. A lot of brands have noticed the huge potential in micro influencing and began to harness it.
Today, tons of micro influencers are landing deals with top brands and raking in huge profit. However, there’s a huge question right in front of us.
What’s changed? 🤔
Why are brands now investing heavily in micro influencer marketing? How can you hop on the influencer train and start landing brand deals too?
Well, we’re about to answer all your questions. So, sit tight and put on your influencer hat. You’re going to enjoy this!
Who is a Micro Influencer?
Defining the term “micro influencer” can be a little confusing since there are several conflicting definitions. What makes anyone a micro blogger? Followers? Engagement?
Basically, a micro influencer is anyone who has a deeply engaged audience within a specific niche.
Here’s the juicy part: Just like the term “micro” implies, you don’t have to have a following as large as Beyoncé or the Kardashians. A micro influencer could have from 1000 to 50,000 social media followers and still land brand deals.
What’s important is having an audience who trusts you and would buy into anything you put out.
For example, Alex Aldeborgh, who runs daisybeet, is one of many micro Instagram influencers with less than 50,000 followers. However, she has an engaged and dedicated audience that looks out for her colourful, fresh recipes.
As long as you can really “influence” your audience and their buying decisions, you’re a micro influencer.
Why Do Brands Want to Partner with Micro Influencers?
Twenty-one year old Jenny Doe is an everyday girl who posts about her vegan diet on Instagram. She had just hit 20,000 followers on her Instagram page when a brand reached out to her with an influencing deal, for a new vegan product they were launching.
If you’re a newbie to influencer marketing, this story may seem like a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. However, this happens everyday. Brands may choose to work with micro influencers who only have about 5,000 followers or even less.
If you’re reading this, there’s probably one question ringing in your head right now: ‘Why on earth would a brand want to work with a micro influencer when they can easily bag macro influencers with millions of followers?’
1. They Are More Affordable
Although this may sound like the anthem of any cheapskate ever, it’s true.
Micro influencers are usually more affordable than macro or mega influencers. In fact, studies have shown that micro influencers are typically willing to charge significantly less than celebrities or their macro counterparts.
About 84% of micro influencers charge less than $250 for a branded post on Instagram.
For most brands looking to run a heavy campaign on Instagram, it is more cost-effective to work with several micro influencers at once. This way, they get to achieve the desired results at a lower price.
2. Audience Engagement
Here’s the first thing you need to know about micro influencing; it focuses on a niche or a highly targeted audience. A highly targeted audience is likely to drive higher engagement. According to reports, about 60% of higher engagement rates in campaigns are from micro influencers.
For example, an influencer who focuses on a particular niche like vegan recipes, would have an audience made up of mostly vegans who are looking to try out new dishes. Therefore, any post the influencer makes will garner high engagements and reactions from his/her audience.
3. Relatable / Authentic Content
Have you ever come across a celebrity’s Instagram post and rolled your eyes at the obvious advertising?
Well, you’re not alone.
Today, a large number of brands want to give influencer marketing a shot. However, no brand wants their content to scream: “This is an ad!”.
Micro influencers typically post genuine content they know their audience would trust and relate to. Therefore, it only makes sense that many brands now prefer to work with them.
How To Get Started
So, you think you’re ready to get started and slap the micro influencer tag on. What’s the first step you should take? How do you actually start garnering followers?
Well, we can’t promise you it’ll be as easy as passing a knife through butter. Micro influencing is more like passing a knife through a stale, rock-hard block of bread.
However, we can give you a pretty sharp knife to help you get started on your influencing journey. Here are the first steps you should take:
1. Specialise / Carve Out Your Niche
“Carve out a niche…”, preached every marketer, influencing guru and social media expert. The Avengers said it too! Well actually… they didn’t, but you get the point.
Why exactly do you need to carve out a niche before you can become an influencer?
Let me show you why.
Have you ever tried pouring a glass of water into the ocean? You probably haven’t because it’s a ridiculous idea. However, for context, try pouring a glass of water into the ocean. Does the ocean fill up? Does the ocean magically swell and threaten to overflow due to the ‘enormous’ amount of water poured into it?
However, if you do decide to pour the glass of water into another empty glass, it would get filled up. That’s exactly how influencing and niches work. Creating content under a general field almost never works. You’d just find yourself competing alongside millions of people in the same field, trying to also become “influencers”
That’s why it’s best to focus on a narrow niche. For example, instead of focusing on becoming a food influencer, you can choose to become a vegan keto influencer instead. This way, you have less competition and a more specific audience.
Not sure how to carve out a niche for yourself? It’s simple.
What are you most passionate about? Find your passion areas and pinpoint problems associated with those areas. For example, if you’re really into clothes and fashion, you can pinpoint a problem within the fashion industry.
‘Maybe there aren’t enough options for plus-sized women. Maybe the available options are too expensive.’ You can then decide to focus your niche on cheap clothes for plus-sized women.
This way, you’ll have cut down your niche from just fashion, to fashion for plus-sized women, and then to affordable fashion for plus-sized women.
2. Learn About Your Niche And Act On It
Nothing is more obnoxious than an influencer who carves out a niche, then goes on to play the part of an expert who has been doing it for years. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem in tow with this path without knowing that their audience or followers are probably tired of the act.
If you do decide to start up a food-related channel, there’s absolutely no need to act like you’re the next Gordon Ramsay. Your followers may see through your act and realise you have nothing to offer but fluff.
Here’s something you could try instead. Learn everything you need to know about your niche, experiment new things and act on everything you’ve learned so far.
3. Draw Inspiration
We know what you’re thinking. Isn’t drawing inspiration the same as copying?
A lot of creatives are often scared of drawing inspiration from other people because they feel it makes them less creative. Well, it doesn’t. For starters, drawing inspiration is completely different from copying someone else’s idea or works.
It’s more like finding an idea, adding your personal twist to it and then creating something much more beautiful and unique.
Remember what the mice did to Cinderella’s mother’s old gown? That’s a perfect example of drawing inspiration. As a micro influencer, you need to find out what other micro influencers are doing and draw inspiration from them.
4. Post Consistently
How often do you post on social media? Once a day? Once a week? As an influencer, you have to post consistently and engage with your audience. If not, it’ll just be the classic case of “out of sight, out of mind”.
Try posting daily or once in two days for a start. Make sure you reply to as many comments as you can and don’t forget to engage with other influencers!
Pro Tip: When posting on social media, it’s important to use the right hashtags in order to increase visibility. For example, if you’re an essay writer, you could include the hashtag #writemyessay on your Instagram posts. This way, your target audience will see your posts each time they search for the hashtag.
5. Let Brands Know About You
Let’s now add a quick paragraph here on how to craft your bio the right way, showing that you’re open to collaborations.
Make free collaboration posts to score your first paid one. Let potential campaign managers see how you work and what type of content they can expect from you when they scroll through your feed.
Bonus points if you put together a media kit that you can send to brand managers. Double bonus points if you have more platforms than just Instagram. Blogs, Youtube channel and email list greatly increase your credibility and you can potentially charge a lot more money.
Learn how you can monetize your Instagram with email marketing.
Another approach here would be to reach out to some of your favourite brands with a concrete offer.
“I would like to know if you’re up for a collaboration” is not great.
Here’s a better alternative: “I really love your brand and as a long time customer of your product, I’d like to produce dedicated sponsored content about your brand/product. I’d love to take a sample of your new product and I’m happy to pay for the shipping. In exchange I will do …”
Offering to pay for shipping shows some good will to the potential brand manager and increases their level of trust in you. Win-win!
6. Ask For A Referral
Every time you’ve worked with someone and they are happy with the results, ask for a referral. People are usually more than happy to throw in a good word for you, especially if they have been impressed by your work. You’ll get more brand deals coming in this way.
Referrals allow you to demonstrate your previous wins and boosts trust between you and your potential brand manager. They are also able to view your skills and visualise what kind of content they’d like created for their brand.
Remember, in order to get high-quality referrals you’ll have to tick off a few steps. First, exceed your clients’ expectations and deliver spectacular work. Second, provide exceptional customer experience i.e. respect your clients’ deadlines, always communicate effectively and apply any feedback given.
Go above and beyond for your client and they’ll most likely agree to grant you a referral.
7. Sign Up For Influencer Marketing Platforms
As an influencer, you should make yourself more visible to potential brands by signing on to influencer marketing platforms. These platforms allow brands to easily scout, choose and track influencers to support their marketing campaigns.
Here are several popular examples of influencer platforms you can look into:
- Heepsy: This platform has a huge database – over 7 million macro and micro influencers! With flexible pricing plans, a wide industry reach and a dedicated support system, heepsy is definitely a top contender to grow your influencer career.
- Fourstarzz Media: This is an affordable platform with more than 500,000 influencers. It also boasts a wealth of data on each influencer, which brands easily work with to find the best influencer fit for their campaigns.
- AspireIQ: The platform has excellent campaign management tools such as product tracking when sending products for review to influencers, making it very attractive to brands.
- Social Bakers: As a pioneer within the social media marketing space, the platform is hugely popular for its powerful data and analytics capabilities.
How Brands Select Micro Influencers
So, you’ve finally gotten the hang of influencing. However, how do you land brand deals? If you’re looking to get brand deals, it’s important to note what brands are looking for in micro influencers.
Here are some factors brands consider before working with any blogger or influencer:
- Your Niche – Here’s a pretty obvious fact. Brands only work with micro influencers whose niches are aligned with their brand. If a fashion brand is on the hunt for influencers to partner with, they’ll definitely not go for an electric car influencer, when they can easily go for someone within the fashion niche.
- Audience demographics – Who makes up your target audience? Do you share the same audience with the brand? Companies want to speak to their audience through influencers. Therefore, they’d want to look at your audience demographics before offering you a deal.
- Engagement – How often does your audience interact with your posts? If your account or social media wall feels like a ghost town, best believe brands will shy away from working with you. Brands want to know that your audience engages and interacts with the content you put out.
How to Pitch to Brands
Brands don’t always have to come to you; you need to also go to brands instead. These days, most companies don’t care about their influencers having a large following. You just need to have what they’re looking for and know how to pitch your offer to them confidently. Check back to point 5 from previous section of the article.
Looking to seal a partnership with a brand? Here are some expert tips to guide you:
1. Choose the right brand
This is a no-brainer. The first step to successfully pitch to a brand, is to choose a brand that fits within your niche.
For example, if you’re a vegan keto influencer, you have no business pitching to a car company unless they have a car that automatically cooks vegan recipes 🥗
The brand’s persona should be in tune with your personal brand and should be something you’re really passionate about. You also need to have the same target audience as the company or organisation. This way, you can make sure that your interests are aligned.
Bonus Tip: Ensure that you’re following the brand on all their social media handles.
2. Know your value
What is your worth as a micro influencer? By worth, we don’t mean your monetary value. Rather, we’re talking about your conversion rate, engagement rate and analytics.
Do you really have as much influence as you think? It’s important to keep track of all your stats since they serve as proof of your expertise.
These days, influencing is not determined by the number of followers you have. It depends on how much your audience believes in your personal brand and how awesome content you’re able to deliver.
A lot of times brand see you as a content creator not a channel to get the reach they are looking for. Keeping that in mind make an effort to produce content that exceeds their expectations.
3. Get creative
When it comes to pitching to brands, you will need to get your creative juices flowing. Most influencers like you are probably already using the standard pitching approach that goes…
“I’ll post a photo on my Instagram account if you pay me Y”.
You have to think outside the box and really showcase your strengths.
For example, you could do a little research and get feedback from your audience regarding the brand and the strategies they already have in place. With the knowledge and information you’ll now offer the brand, they’ll be more than happy to snatch you up!
Brand managers and people in charge of marketing love to see if someone they’re about start working with goes the extra-mile and analyses their brand and know the brand values.
Micro influencing may seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy once you have the right tools. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a micro influencer and landing mega deals with brands.