Content marketing is a very dynamic field. Think about it; a while back, having blog posts on your website was enough to get you ranked high on search engines. In fact, you didn’t even need to have optimized content. Then brands caught on and there was an influx of web content and blogs, which then led to a change in Google’s algorithm. You now had to use keywords to increase your visibility and recently, Google started to favor topic-based content.
Web content and blog posts are not enough anymore and your content marketing strategy has to use a multichannel approach, for it to work. Now, say you only want to boost your local visibility, what is the content marketing strategy to implement? Blog posts and infographics have a wider reach while video marketing can be expensive.
As a local business, you are probably working on a tight budget so it’s important that the content marketing strategy you settle on, be able to yield results. Worry not if you are looking to improve your local visibility.
There is a solution for you – a micro-influencer marketing strategy.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
This is the use of prominent and popular personalities on social media to boost your brand’s visibility or for other business goals including lead generation and an increase in sales.
Studies have shown that influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing methods that brands are using to acquire more customers.1
Influencer marketing comprises of
This is where you use a well known public figure, mostly a celebrity, to promote your brand. Macro influencers usually have a massive following, sometimes even more than a million and are used by established brands. The best example would be Christiano Ronaldo being a brand ambassador for Nike.
These influencers have a low following compared to the macro-influencers (between 10,000-100,000).
However, they are usually experts in a given field and have a good reputation among their followers. They also have a great relationship with their followers as they are manageable and are the best for boosting local visibility. Why?
Because their followers are usually genuinely interested in everything they post about.
A suitable example of a micro-influencer would be a homecoming queen being used to promote makeup materials for a local company.
How to Come up With an Effective Micro-influencer Marketing Strategy
Like any other type of content marketing, you will need a solid foundation; micro-influencer marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that the success or failure of your influencer campaign may very well depend on how effective your strategy is.
A house that has been built on a strong foundation will withstand all types of hardships thrown its way but a house built on a shaky foundation, no matter how beautiful it is, will even collapse at the whisper of the wind.
Here are some tips on creating a micro-influencer marketing strategy.
- Identify the social media platforms you will focus on
Different platforms have different influencers. Here’s the thing; influencers spend most of their time online engaging with their followers. This makes it difficult for micro-influencers to manage two social media platforms at a go.
Lay out the groundwork by identifying the platform on which your target audience is most active. If you are a fashion brand, Instagram will be your right fit as it is mostly images. The tech industry would thrive on twitter as hashtags spread like bushfire while for companies that are B2B, Linkedin would be the best platform.
The good thing about Facebook is that it accommodates all kinds of industries. However, for an influencer marketing campaign, you will want to be as specific as possible.
- Identify and engage micro-influencers
You already have a micro-influencer marketing strategy in place. You have also decided which platform you want to specialize in. The next step is to identify the best influencers to boost your local visibility.
The first step of implementing your micro-influencer marketing strategy is to actually look for the influencers. It is an exhausting process thanks to the popularity of social media.
How do you find a micro-influencer that is right for your brand?
Use third-party tools
Handpicking the influencer is exhausting and time-consuming. How long do you think it would take you to go through each influencer to determine how suitable they are for your brand? Weeks! The good news is that there are third-party tools that you can use to identify the best influencers. Some of these tools include an Instagram engagement calculator by Shane Baker, UNAMO social media and Buzzsumo.2
Search using specific hashtags
Social hashtags are equivalent to website links. Clicking on a particular hashtag will provide you with all the posts available in relation to it. What hashtags are most common in your industry? What hashtags do your users commonly use?
Avoid searching for generic hashtags when looking for micro-influencers. For example, searching for #DigitalMarketer will result in broad results from worldwide digital marketers. A hashtag like #NewYorkDigitalMarketer is more likely to give you the results you are looking for.
Look into your existing followers
You will be surprised to find that you have the perfect influencer on your subscriber list. Since most micro-influencers are usually local, they make an effort to follow brands that are in their industry.
The best thing about such influencers is that they have already shown interest in your brand and are most likely to advocate for you. This process may be time-consuming but is more likely to yield the best results.
Connect with them at events
Offline marketing and digital marketing complement each other. Attend local events and seminars and network with the attendees. There is a high chance of a micro-influencer being one of them. Why? It is their job to keep themselves abreast of all industry updates so they will attend every event that is relevant.
Factors to consider when choosing a micro-influencer
You have already identified various micro-influencers for your campaign and now you have to make sure that you hire the right candidate for the job. Here’s what you need to consider when looking for one.
Ideally, you will want a micro-influencer that drives high levels of engagement from their audience. Having a large following does not matter if the audience is not reacting to their posts. You don’t want to hire a micro-influencer with 100K followers but less than 10% of these followers like their posts. This is not to mean that the number of followers isn’t important because a high following means more brand visibility.
You should also look at their posting frequency.
To calculate levels of engagement on Facebook and Twitter, look at the number of post reactions and shares in relation to the number of followers. For Instagram, you only have to look at the post likes in relation to the number of followers.
Go for an influencer who seems to be making an impact on their social followers.
This is the most important factor to consider. How relevant is the micro-influencer in your particular industry? Remember that they are usually industry experts and their followers are people that are interested in learning more about that industry.
For instance, the followers of an influencer who specializes in product reviews are keen on finding out specifications of various gadgets. They follow this influencer because they trust his judgment. With this in mind, you can’t use such an influencer if you are in a different industry as it will have minimal impact on his followers.
Pick an influencer who specializes in your specific industry for better results.
This is where the number of followers comes in. you want an influencer with lots of followers so that your brand can get more visibility. This should, however, be the last factor to consider.
First, find micro-influencers that are relevant to your industry and have a high engagement. Once you have come up with a list, strat weeding them out based on their following.
- Make yourself valuable to the micro-influencers
Here is one thing you might not know; it’s not always about the money for influencers.
They have a reputation to maintain and have followers that have certain expectations from them.3
Too often, brands are quick to look at the expected results of the influencer campaign, rather than the value provision of the influencers. Other than monetary gain, what else do you have to offer? Are your brand values in tandem with theirs? You need to provide values to your micro-influencers.
Think of it as a symbiotic relationship in which both of you gain.
Some of the values you can provide for them include:
- Collaborations on future projects
- Added exposure to your company media
- Exclusive benefits like early access to new products
- Flexibility to tweak the content in a way that will appeal to their followers without compromising the message
Try and build lasting relationships instead of one-off engagements as there is a high probability that you will need the influencers again. Besides, your brand becomes more trustworthy if they keep using the same influencers as opposed to using new ones on every campaign.
- Collaborate with the micro-influencers on content creation
As the brand, you already have a message that you want to be pushed out. The influencer, on the other hand, has spent years trying to build a relationship with their followers.
You could write the content yourself and hand it over to the influencer for distribution but it wouldn’t be effective. Why? Your influencer has already established a tone that the followers can engage with. They will notice the discrepancy.
Can your influencer write the content? Yes, but it wouldn’t work either because they don’t have in-depth knowledge about your brand and its values.
The best thing to do would be to schedule a meeting with the influencer and collaborate on content creation. This will take time but the results will be worth every second. Send them background materials so that they already have an idea of your brand values before the meeting.
Why Are Micro-Influencers the Best Option for Small Businesses?
As a small business, you will be looking to optimize the usefulness of every single content strategy. Here are some factors that make micro-influencers the best options for you.
They are affordable
Micro-influencers charge way less than macro-influencers since they have a smaller number of followers. In fact, the local influencers ate 7 times cheaper than the Macro-influencers. You will still get boosted visibility but at a cheaper price.
They are easily accessible
Micro-influencers are always looking for local brands to collaborate with. Sometimes they may even approach you first. With celebrities, you will have to go through multiple channels to get an appointment and even then, it is not guaranteed that you will work with them.
Their audience is targeted
These influencers don’t have a large following but their followers are usually people that are interested in the posted content. It is like having your targeted audience in one place.
High engagement levels
Due to their targeted audience, micro-influencers have high engagement on their social platforms. Their audience will like, comment and even share the content because they can relate with it.
How to Make Your Micro-influencer Marketing Strategy Successful
Often times, working with a local SEO agency is the best way to start and grow your business. But aside from SEO, there are other ways to gain traction in any given industry and micro-influencers gives you another option for doing that.
Now that you have finally found the right fit for your micro-influencer marketing strategy. The next step is to make sure that it is successful. Here are some key tips.
First, share the posted content. Both of you have to work in solidarity. Every time the influencer posts something related to your brand, share it on your social platforms for maximum exposure.
Second, focus on analytics. Find out how much engagement the content is getting and use those analytics to better your campaign.
Finally, get curated content at least one week before the campaign commences so that you can have enough time to make changes.
With a solid micro-influencer marketing strategy, your brand will be on its way towards boosting its local visibility.