3 Ways to Spark Successful Relationships With Micro-Influencers

The real sweet spot for an influencer’s follower count is within the 10,000 to 100,000 range, where you are still able to reach a high volume of followers but still get the audience engagement that drives results.

As 2016 has come to a close, brands and marketers alike will begin to look back at what was successful for them and consider what strategies to implement as 2017 kicks off.

This year saw several marketing and advertising strategies take off—even Pokemon Go got into the act–but one method in particular is poised to continue as a powerful tool in 2017. I’m talking about the use of micro-influencers within influencer marketing.

Earlier this year, Markerly introduced a data study showcasing why micro-influencers are so valuable and why brands should seriously consider utilizing “regular folks” with dedicated social followings to promote their products instead of mega-celebrities that cost a fortune.

Our study found that as an influencer’s follower count rose, its engagement (likes and comments) with those followers decreased.

The real sweet spot for an influencer’s follower count is within the 10,000 to 100,000 range, where you are still able to reach a high volume of followers but still get the audience engagement that drives results.

When working with major brands like Nike and AMC Theatres, the biggest question we get asked is: What is the best way to engage with a micro-influencer to start a campaign?

When working with mega-celebrities, it’s generally easy–they have agents or marketing representatives you can reach out to directly to initiate contracts, and you work with those people directly. Rarely, if ever, do you speak to the celebrity, so it has a much more transactional feel.

With micro-influencers, it’s a bit different. Yes, you are still initiating a business relationship, but most of these people don’t have representation handling their affairs–you are dealing with them directly. So after you work with a digital agency or influencer network to identify your influencers it’s important that you approach them in the right way to facilitate a productive relationship.

Below are three tips for working with micro-influencers and ensuring successful campaigns in 2017:

  • Be personalized: As I mentioned before, micro-influencers are real people who get pitched all the time. It’s incredibly important to let them know that you truly admire their work and are genuinely excited to work with them. Tell them why you think they are a fit for your brand and your message, and how much you admire the connection they have created with their audience. Just like a consumer, influencers don’t want to feel like they are just another target that you are trying to spew messaging to. Make them feel like a part of your brand’s family.
  • Don’t get hung up on one person: There are literally millions of micro-influencers out there, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work out with someone. Yes, there are likely influencers that you consider to be perfect for your brand, but a good influencer marketing firm will be able to identify “lookalikes,” which are other influencers that are basically carbon copies of the one who turned you down. One micro-influencer will not make or break your campaign; you should be building an army of micro-influencers who can go out with your messaging in a collaborative effort, which provides greater impact of a mega-celebrity for the fraction of the cost.
  • Make sure you’ve communicated the ask properly: So many marketers expect the influencers that they work with to just understand exactly what they want them to do. It’s super-important to be clear in your requirements so that everyone is on the same page. If you prefer certain terminology, say so. If you want the post shared out at a certain time, make that clear. Even the most seasoned influencers would prefer clear instructions on what is asked of them rather than trying to figure out something on their own. This avoids any confusion or a situation where an influencer interprets an ask one way while the brand was looking for something totally different.

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for brands, and if 2016 is any indication, micro-influencers are sure to have a major impact in 2017.

Sarah Ware is the co-founder and CEO of influencer marketing technology partner Markerly.

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Influencer marketing image courtesy of Shutterstock.