Digital marketers are living in an incredible age where mass marketing is no longer limited to the traditional channels of above the line or below the line marketing.
For years, marketers could only get their messages out in major print, television or radio media channels in order to influence their target market. The demographics and interests of those markets varied so much, that it was challenging for marketers to generate a return on an investment. Additionally, it was difficult to identify if they were investing in the right media channel.
Nowadays, there are so many more channels available and there are several more micro-influencers in different niches that command the attention of an active buying audience. Platforms range from social media networks to blogs, forums or image or video sharing networks.
Influencer organic followers and subsequent traffic can grow exponentially, creating an audience that can be marketed to. This blog details a content marketing case study that shows how quickly influencers audiences can grow.
There are several micro-influencers who command the attention of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people that fit the exact profile of your target market.
Digital marketing agency, Digital Next, offers the following insights for finding, qualifying and using micro-influencers in your digital marketing campaign.
1. Identify the core interests and motives of what your market wants.
Do you know what motivates the people in your market to take an interest in what you have to offer? Do you also know what will motivate them to take action to engage or purchase what you are offering to them? You need to position your offering to ‘fill the opportunity gap’ so you can demonstrate value to them.
There will be communities of people online that are asking similar questions or sharing the same frustrations. Research as much as you can and create a list of all of the things that they are saying, venting or asking for.
You will use this information to create an irresistible pitch and a value proposition to the micro-influencers in your market.
2. Create a database of where they may hang out.
One you identify the types of interests or motives that will attract your audience, you will need to find where your audience congregates online. There will usually be a community of people on a platform or following personalities whose content is related to the interest or motives that you are seeking to promote.
There are always emerging platforms, however, some of the best places to find these influencers include:
- Personal blogs
- Microblogging sites (Quora, Medium)
- Social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram or Google Plus)
- Social video networks (YouTube, Twitch.tv)
- Community sites (Patreon)
3. Identify the promotion angles and pitch to engage with these influencers.
You will only get one chance to make a good first impression. If what you pitch doesn’t align with their interest or motives, then the influencer is unlikely to work with or even respond to you. Your pitch needs to provide a win-win scenario for both parties. Typically, businesses will only pitch an offering that serves a benefit to the business and not to the influencer or their audience.
The influencer isn’t prepared to sell out their audience for short-term gains. So there are a few things that the business must consider before they engage the influencer.
i. Consider what the influencer needs urgently:
In a lot of cases, influencers are struggling to monetize their platform. If this is the case, you can offer them the opportunity to earn an income in exchange for promoting to their audience.
They may be struggling to provide content regularly. So, you can actually assist them by providing content that their audience will find valuable.
You can also help them by providing prizes for giveaways or competitions. It’s an easy win since more people will get exposed to the platform through the competition and more people will get exposed to the product or service that is being offered.
ii. Craft a compelling pitch:
Once you have identified what will incentivize the influencer to work with you, all you will need to do is pitch the offer that will compel them to participate. They need to see a clear benefit to them in order for your pitch to win them over. Otherwise, you will be wasting your time and theirs. It will also be unlikely that they will respond to you again in the future.
There are two approaches that you can take when doing your pitch.
You will need to demonstrate your value proposition immediately and entice the influencer to respond. This is the quickest method, however, you will need to have a few hundred influencer prospects to get this to work.
Build a relationship:
You can build a relationship with the influencer. Over time, you will earn rapport with the influencer and they will be more willing to take on a partnership with you because you have earned trust with the influencer. This approach takes longer to implement, but it yields a better conversion rate and campaign engagement.
4. What type of success can you expect from micro-influencers?
It depends on the niche and the influencing power that these influencers have. One of the greatest success stories is PSY, who created the music video Gangnam Style. When celebrities like Justin Bieber (who currently has 106 million followers) retweeted his music video, the views of the video skyrocketed and became a worldwide hit.
It is estimated that Psy earned $8 million from the success of his song, which was mainly due to the viral success of other influencers.
5. Should you use digital marketing agencies to approach influencers?
Yes, you should. The reason is that it is important to understand the ways to approach influencers so that they will be willing to engage in a conversation that will also create an opportunity to collaborate. Businesses can do it themselves, but often foil their approach by pitching influencers benefits for the business instead of the influencer and their audience.
If the influencer list is large, then it will be necessary to engage an agency to help with the campaign. However, if the influencer list is less than 100, a company can potentially manage this on their own.
If your organization isn’t using micro-influencers, it is time to start engaging with them. Even if they are small, they provide direct access to your buying audience. As long as the audience and the influencers are qualified, there is great potential for ROI and building your business’s brand awareness and sales.