Can’t Afford the Kim Kardashians? Take Advantage of Micro-Influencers

By Bill Acholla August 3, 2018

I still remember the time when so many people would just blindly buy what celebrities would endorse on TV commercials.

Celebrities still have an influence on people as far as choices are concerned, but the platform has changed.

Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media networks dominating the attention of the buying audience.

And Hollywood celebrities are being replaced by people who are internet famous — people like the makeup artist Hudda Kattan, or the video effects royalty Zach King, or the former Playboy playmate turned fitness professional Amanda Cerny, and of course, the Kardashians. These people appeal to the younger generation and are being used for marketing B2B to millennial.

But a silent minority seems to be getting the attention of marketers – micro influencers.

These micro influencers offer big opportunities for brands without the hefty per post fee.

Let me explain that a little further.

How Much Do the Kardashians Cost?

If you don’t know the Kardashians, you’ve either been living under a rock for the past two decades or you simply chose to ignore them. If it’s the latter, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

But if you have been keeping up with them, you are familiar with their lavish lifestyles, Kylie Jenner’s lips, Kim K’s behind, and their Instagram posts sprinkled with the #ad and #spon tags.

But I doubt you know that they charge as much as a six-figure fee for each sponsored endorsement on Instragram.

You’re probably thinking ‘What the heck? Why do they charge that much?

Well, to put it bluntly, Kim almost has a hundred million followers and has been known to charge as much as half a million dollars per endorsement.

Khloe and Kourtney, on the other hand, have 64.3 and 54.5 million Instagram followers respectively and can command around a quarter million dollars for each post.

The number of their followers ensure that the products they endorse are given global consumer media usage exposure.

And to get them to endorse your brand, you need to talk with a celebrity influencers agency.

Just like the TV commercials of the bygone years, these influencers are dominating the social media world and making big money out of it.

It’s called influencer marketing. And the Kardashians are prime examples of macro influencers.

Imagine this – an Instagram account with more than one million followers earns more than $50,000 from a sponsored post according to Forbes. And your account doesn’t even break the 20 follower mark.

If you’re a business trying to put a dent into an audience you’re trying to influence, go ahead let Kim endorse that miracle hair grower. That is if you have the budget but if you don’t, you need to look for other options.

According to Jeff Lenney an Instagram user with 5k or even 10k LOYAL followers can have a much bigger impact than even major celebrities.

It’s more relevant, more cost-effective, and often times establishes better trust. Higher Engagement = More Conversions & More Sales.

Jeff had many successful campaigns where He just spent $100 and generated $500, $1,000, and even $1,250 back from a micro-influencer campaign.

You just need to position your offer to THEIR audience, which is why the

Jeff uses a tool called Brand24 (Get a free account at brand24.com) – it’s a social monitoring tool that alerts you of any conversations about your brand, keywords, product types etc – so you can get RIGHT in the conversations as they’re happening.

It collects the mentions in a dashboard, your email inbox, or a slack channel for quick access.

This is one good way to see who’s talking about your topic, then it’s just a matter of getting in touch with them.

Here Come the Micro Influencers

While the Kardashians are riding on their tens of millions of followers, micro influencers on Instagram have less than a million.

Actually, to qualify as a micro influencer, your subscriber base should be between 10,000 and half a million.

But how can these micro influencers with fewer followers be more effective than Kylie flaunting her physique? There’s a marketing reason for that.

When an account reaches a certain number of followers, let’s say around a hundred thousand, likes and comments start to peak and engagement starts to flatten out. This is because people are more likely to interact with endorsers that they can relate to.

And this is what being a micro-influencer is all about – audience engagement. These micro influencers have niche audiences which they deeply connect to.

While you might have to sell your soul to the devil just to get the Kardashians to mention your product in a hashtag, advertising with micro influencers on Instagram should not cost more than half a grand. According to a study of 500 micro influencers, the average per post fee is only around $271.

Why Micro Influencers Matter

Micro influencers might have fewer subscribers than macro influencers do but using the former in online store promotions can prove to be more profitable.

According to an online marketing study, people are more influenced by close relationships and trust and these are what micro influencers bring to the table.

More and more e-commerce companies are choosing to work with micro influencers. Here are three reasons why.

  • 60% more engagement
  • 7 time more cost efficient
  • 2% more conversations than average consumers

These micro influencers are personally invested in their advocacy so they have become trusted recommendation sources of their followers. Whatever these micro influencers say, the followers are more likely to follow.

Big Brands and Micro Influencers

But if you’re a big brand, why would you even bother with these micro influencers? Actually, more than a handful of well-known brands have tapped the services of micro influencers.

Here are some of them.

a. Google

Who would have thought that a big Internet media company like Google still needs assistance from micro influencers?

Google worked with Becky Wright and Kelsey MacDermaid of the @TheSorryGirls in promoting their Google PixelBook by running a laptop giveaway promotion.

b. Chrysler

Alan Lawrence of the @ThatDadBlog posts about his family life and this is what got Chrysler interested with him as an influencer.

What followed was a series of posts highlighting the car manufacturer’s Pacifica van and how families will love the comfort and spaciousness it provides.

c. Sperry

Sperry is no newcomer to celebrity endorsements as their shoes have been seen worn by Kanye West (the other half of Kim Kardashian), Pharrell Williams and Blake Lively.

Still, they took their chances on micro influencers Slava Daniliuk and Dhipta Adi Pamungkas and won on audience engagement.

d. Home Depot

For Home Depot, it all started with a challenge for bloggers to remodel their patio in their own unique ways.

The result, the company was able to gather genuine home improvement project contents from which they grew their own fan base on social and blog channels.

e. Ginny’s

Ginny’s is known for offering products on credit and they did what Home Depot did but this time challenging micro influencers to user their kitchen appliance to create unique recipes.

These bloggers came up with nifty ideas on how to use the appliances which their fans liked and copied resulting in bigger sales.

Simply put, micro influencers are crushing it and changing marketing strategies. They’re showing that it might not really matter how many followers they have but how connected these people are to their ideals.

You need to identify the right influencer for your influencer marketing. Your audience is telling you what content they want. You just need to listen to them.

Who are the Top Micro Influencers?

These examples of micro influencers might not have the same number of followers as the Kardashians do but what they do have are loyal and engaging ones.

This makes them some of the top micro influencers who may be able to help you with your marketing campaign.

1. Jacob True. With more than 13,000 followers in his Instagram account, Jacob posts about his travels via beautiful photos. If you’re trying to sell something like a travel pillow, you might be able to tap his audience.

2. Alex Aldebrough. Also known as Daisy Beet by her more than 80,000 Instagram followers, her posts are about healthy and deliciously looking food. She is perfect for your healthy food delivery businesses.

3. Emily Wrecker. She is another healthy food advocate but she takes a more informal approach on her Instagram posts as she also includes some snaps from her daily life.

4. Christian Caro. If your target market is in Southern California, you can tap Christian Caro’s 6,000 plus followers. He posts beautiful photos of life in the area and has a 10% like rate.

5. Elise Young. She is one of the ‘bigger’ micro influencers because of her 70,000 plus followers on Instagram. Her account is filled with workout photos and videos that inspire her followers to become fit through exercise.

Finding the Right Micro Influencers

Finding the right micro influencer should be the first step when you want to work with these advocates.

Here are some tips.

1. Network in niche relevant groups

You can’t expect to market your beef jerky in a vegan blog and vice versa. These niche groups gather for a common denominator, so don’t go barking on the wrong tree. It will be a waste of time, effort, and perhaps even money.

Gundi Gabrielle founder of Sassyzengirl.com stresses that, an effective way to find micro influencers is networking in niche relevant groups (both Facebook and LinkedIn).

You can find micro-influencers among other group members or ask for recommendations.

To make sure they have a significant audience, check their social shares as well as number (and quality) of comments.

If the influencer’s audience lines up with the one you are targeting, offer a JV opportunity.

Either a shout-out or a JV webinar, in both cases with the offer to earn an affiliate commission for any sale they generate.

2. Have a voracious appetite for content surrounding your industry

Knowing the battlefield is part of a winning strategy and the same applies to bringing influencer into your affiliate marketing.

You should be aware of all the available content related to your product and how these micro influencers can help you bring your message to the target audience. Newsletter ideas related to your products can be a good start.

Here’s what Will Coombe had to say; the best way to find industry influencers is to have a voracious appetite for content surrounding your industry.

Once I read a book, watch a video, or listen to a podcast to do with online marketing I like, I’ll be sure to find out who created it and how they researched it.

Great content creators will always grow large audiences over time, so even though they may have a small following currently, it’s worth connecting with them.

I’ll always drop them an email to thank them for their content, and ask if I can offer my skill set to any of their current projects.

I’ve learned over the years that the more you can give to other people, and offer it without agenda, the greater your chances of success in the long run. I’m always trying to be someone who delivers value instead of just taking it.

Check in regularly throughout the year with 2 or 3 micro-influencers, and you’ll be amazed at some of the partnership opportunities that come your way.

3. Spend some time, in person or online, interacting with your audience

Engagement should not be left to your micro influencers alone. Once you have the attention of their fan base, it’s time to follow up by building your own connections with them.

You can do live podcasts or small gatherings in malls and invite these followers.

Melanie Deziel, Founder of Storyfuel.co reiterates that; we all trust our friends’ recommendations more than strangers, and the advantage of using micro-influencers is that many of their followers consider them to be friends.

Someone with a smaller following, perhaps 2500 to 10k, may actually have a deeper and more personal connection with their followers, which could mean a more authentic post from your influencer, and a better return on your investment.”

“One of the best way to find micro-influencers that reach your target audience is to spend some time, in person or online, interacting with your audience.

Find out who they follow, who they tag, which posts they comment on, and who they are interacting with, otherwise.

If you’re finding some of the same names coming up again and again, it’s a good indication that people trust this person, and they may make a good influencer for you.”

“You can also try searching hashtags. If you’re looking on Instagram, for example, you might start by searching for some of the hashtags you use most often, and several of the related hashtags that Instagram suggests on the search results page.

Look for faces or accounts that pop up frequently, especially on soe of the lesser-used hashtags where it will be easier to break through the noise.

4. Use data that already exists

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel as far as data is concerned. Statistics might already be available so instead of doing your own studies, use the existing ones to your advantage.

It saves time and effort, and you’ll be basing your strategies on the same data that your competitors use.

5. Find out who your competitors are using, then reach out to those influencers directly

If you can’t beat them, join them. This is a time-proven strategy and it works. If a competitor’s marketing campaign is doing well with a micro influencer, copy that and talk with the influencer.

You don’t need to identify the right influencer for your influencer marketing because they’ve done it for you.

These people aren’t usually bound by contracts so you can have them post about your products as well.

Here’s what Joe Sinkwitz founder of Intellifluence.com had to say; While I’ve written a book on the subject of using influencer marketing in this exact manner, having found new customers via micro-influencers for thousands of our brands, I’d like to discuss a slightly different angle since it’d be a bit self-serving to just tell people to use Intellifluence (though please do as it saves an immense amount of time).

Plenty is also already written about with regards to using tools like Buzzsumo and Ninjaoutreach to attempt cold outreach, but what isn’t explored enough is for brands to simply use data that already readily exists, and doing so in a way that results in a semi-warm contact.

Let’s say you’re a brand new cosmetics company that is in a new product market segment that hasn’t been served before, so you cannot use social media to look at who follows your competitors and approach them looking to make brand ambassador deals with micro-influencers.

Instead, what you’d do is think about what other cosmetic products your potential customers might use as compliments and start building a list of companies that make them on LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

After determining your broad list, you can then run the “email marketing” mid-level executive profiles through Dux-Soup to determine the possible email addresses for the purposes of establishing a deal with these companies in sponsoring their newsletters, which most will have.

Next, what you’d want to do is craft an ad pitch that makes the other cosmetic company look good as you seek out aspiring brand ambassadors for your brand new product; the landing page for the ad would be a simple explanation of what you’re offering: product and/or cash in exchange for honest reviews shared on social.

It really can be that easy, and cosmetics is just a convenient example; I’ve seen this technique used in a wide variety of industries, both B2C and B2B.

With enough imagination and understanding of the market you want to target, you can scale the concept with great success.

6. Do your research to find micro-influencers whose audiences will benefit from what you have to offer

The main difference between a macro influencer and a micro influencer is that the former might not care about your product or advocacy but the latter deeply do.

Micro influencers are focused on what they advocate about and so are their followers. Work with micro influencers that have the same ideals as yours by matching influencers to brands.

You can base your search on locations, too. If you’re in LA, search for the top micro influencers in Los Angeles. The same thing applies if you’re looking for influencers in NYC.

Vladimir Gendelman founder and CEO of Companyfolders.com advices that, do your research to find micro-influencers whose audiences will benefit from what you have to offer.

Do a keyword search to narrow down the best phrases and find people who are talking about it in their blogs and on social media with hashtags.

Once you’ve built your list of influencers, take some time to develop the proper outreach strategy.

The goal is to work with micro-influencers and provide content they and their audience will be receptive to. The best way to increase sales is to have influencers review your products.

7. Use social media

This can’t be stressed enough and has become more important the past couple of decades.

You need to use and optimize the power of social media. Let your product be known via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.

According to Carter Hostelley founder of Leadtail.com, Social media is a great way to find micro-influencers.

For example, if you’re a B2B company, then searching industry hashtags on LinkedIn will quickly uncover people you should consider as micro-influencers for your company.

Evaluate their profiles to find consultants, thought leaders, and executives that have thousands of followers, create and share relevant content, and engage with others you’d be interested in selling to.

Now look for opportunities to collaborate with them in creating content.

For instance, reach out to them (via LinkedIn) to see if they’ll provide a quote for an upcoming byline, be a guest on your webinar or podcast, or attend an upcoming VIP dinner.

Of course, not everyone will say yes… but those that do will help spread the word on how you’re working together.

Tapping into the credibility and audiences of micro-influencers will help your company get the attention of prospects in a way that shortens the sales cycles and results in more sales!

8. Find these influencers through hashtag research

Nowadays, hashtags are everything when it comes to marketing and advertisement. You need to know which hashtags are the most common in relevance to your marketing campaign and use those hashtags in the posts of your micro influencers.

According to Amy Porterfield, It’s all about authenticity and engagement! The people who are considered micro-influencers may have a smaller following but their engagement with their audiences is the real deal.

They are actively engaged with their followers (whether it be through DMs or in the comment section) so when they speak, people listen.

Find these influencers through hashtag research, podcasts, and “suggested for you”s and authentically engage with them.

After a time of seeing your name and real engagement in their community, they are much more likely to share “you” or your business when you ask.

How to Use Micro Influencers to Market Your Business

1. Create sponsored posts for your brand.

Have your micro influencers post your products in their accounts.

2. Use campaign-specific hashtags.

Make use of the audience-drawing power of hashtags in the posts.

3. Create a glowing video review and tag them.

If a picture paints a thousand words, what more can a video do? Make a video review of your product and tag your micro influencers.

According to Dennis Yu founder of Blitzmetrics.com, Micro-influencers are easier to reach and more relevant than mainstream celebrities.

Dennis own top tips are to:

Buy their book and make a one minute glowing video review, sharing it on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Make sure to tag them.

Study the speakers at an upcoming conference– meeting them BEFORE they speak (just not right before).

If you’ve done your homework, most will gladly give you a 3 minute video interview.

Click like and comment on their LinkedIn posts. As long as you say something meaningful, they’ll likely comment back with something you can use elsewhere or even parlay that into an interview.

4. Leveraging user-generated content in your campaigns.

Let the followers do the advertising for you. Be aware of their own posts and use them to your advantage.

5. Position your offer to their audience.

Again, you should only work with micro influencers that are relevant to your product so you can directly offer it to their audience.

6. Incorporate storytelling into any micro-influencer campaign you run.

In order to increase conversations in your marketing campaign, you need to incorporate some storytelling into it.

7. Build your unique brand voice and be visual.

It’s all about being genuine, unique, and noticeable. Appeal to the eyes of your target audience by using visual tools.

According to Alina Wheeler Designingbrandidentity.info social has leveled the playing field—we are all players, producers, directors, and distributors.

Seize every opportunity to dramatically differentiate yourself. Repurpose all of your content to build your unique brand voice and be visual.

Brands need to demonstrate their difference at every touchpoint. Be memorable and identifiable.

Keep evolving and experimenting. And in the words of George Eliot, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

8. Building relationships.

Get connected with your micro influencers and their audience as well. It’s the best strategy to widen the cast of your marketing campaign.

Ted Rubin says that the biggest mistake brands make when trying to engage influencers is not first trying to understand who they are and what they stand for.

They think it is all about the money, and simply the number and reach. I write a lot about Looking People in the Eye Digitally… so for me the most important influencer marketing tool is building relationships.

Influencer marketing, when used to its best effect, is about building a network of business relationships that will yield results over time.

You’ll get as much out of the program as you put into it. So if your goal is to find a platform, and make this like programmatic advertising, and do whatever you can to automate the process… you will be throwing the majority of your budget down the drain.

A Network Gives You Reach… But A Community Gives You Power! Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.

So if you are only focused on the Money… You risk completely overlooking the People.

9. Take advantage of the business community.

There are other people selling similar products.

They might be competitors but they can help with your campaign too by posting on communities which they visit.

Samantha Kelly founder of Tweetinggoddess.com stresses that; too many big brands are looking at the big celebrities as influencers yet there are many with small pockets of engaged communities who could actually be a better option! Social media keeps our heads in devices yes, but it can be used productively for great things.

Social media is a great way to find your tribe, find what interests you and through that, you find like-minded people and communities you can thrive in.

With Business, community is the new way to find a group of people who ‘get you and understand your drive, determination and vision. It’s also essential in marketing now.

If you have an influential leader driving a community of like-minded people this is gold to a brand who really wants to build a great audience of people who actually understand and love your brand and what you are doing.

If you build a community and surprise and delight your community regularly then you will gain so much trust and loyalty.

So the secret is to find these community leaders.  Community = Trust = Loyalty=Sales

Things to look out for:

Look at all of their social media platforms. Does their message fit in with yours?

Go back over tweets from the past month and make sure they are consistent and not bitching about others or putting people down.

You don’t want to be associated with someone like that. Do they get into arguments and get involved in controversy? Do your research.

Do they already have an active and engaged community? When they post are people liking and sharing their content? Shares and Retweets are more valuable to a brand than just ‘likes’ especially on Twitter.

Are they helping others? If you see them sharing other people’s content and retweeting others than you have someone who is more likely to help you and your customers more too.

Micro influencers could be a better option as some people with only a small following could actually have the exact audience you are looking for! I know many people who have a small enough following but yet their audience embrace them and enjoy everything they say! If they are adding real value to the community that they have around them then that is someone you should check out.

Do they only talk about themselves or do they mention other people and brands in their tweets and social media posts?

Are they a ‘diva’ This can be Male or Female- Have you seen them in another setting e.g. at an event and do they chat and give time to the attendees or do they just leave from the stage and ignore them?

These are all things to consider. Don’t forget you could always ASK your customers who they are influenced by?

This could be a fun way to re-engage your customers too. Give them an incentive or ask them to vote and create an article from the results.

Don’t underestimate the power of a hugely engaged community of like minded people.

Samantha did it with Womensinspirenetwork.com Micro influencers know their audience and know what they want so ask them before you go with the crowd.

Solve the Challenges of Micro Influencer Marketing

Like with other promotional techniques, a campaign based around using micro influencers can also fail. There are pitfalls that marketers might overlook if they are too focused on the benefits.

Unlike macro influencers who are all over the Internet and social media networks, micro influencers can be harder to find.

Every day, more people are getting into social media creating content and trying to increase their followers.

This makes looking for the right influence with just the right number of followers more difficult.

Here are some tips for facilitating the search:

Start with your own followers. If you have followers that know your company and have made purchases, they must be familiar with how you do business.

If they have the right number of followers, you can build relationships with them and since they are interested in your products, it will be easier for them to market your brand as well.

Use hashtags. Who would have known the humble pound sign will become powerful in the social media world?

Take advantage of hashtags that are related to your company and look for influencers that post the same hashtags as well.

Search locally. If you own a food delivery service that covers a particular area, you can start looking for nearby influencers to help you with your marketing campaign.

Use tools. Why search manually when you can use tools like Ninja Outreach, Klear, and BuzzSumo? These search aids present you with a list of micro-influencers that match your requirements.

Jamie Turner Author, Speaker, and CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com points out that there are three ways to find influencers and micro-influencers.

The first is to do it manually, which is perfect for people on a budget. To do it manually, use tools like SimilarWeb to find out who is talking about your industry.

Then you can use a tool like Hunter.io to find out the influencer email addresses. And finally, you can reach out to the influencers one by one.

The second way to find influencers is to use a tool like AdInject or GroupHigh, both of which are multi-faceted platforms with modules for looking up influencers.

The third way to connect with influencers is to find out who your competitors are using, then reach out to those influencers directly.

Most people won’t want to use the third method, but it is an option for more aggressive businesses.

Having micro influencers do the marketing for you is not a silver bullet. This strategy is not without its flaws.

For a fruitful marketing campaign, a single mention from a micro influencer in Instagram might not be sufficient. You are aiming for exposure so you might need to work with more than one micro influencer.

So what does this mean in terms of effort? You need to put in more hours searching for advocates, communicating with them, and evaluating results.

Working with multiple micro influencers is harder than working with a single macro influencer. With the latter, you’ll just need to talk with celebrity agencies.

The plus side is that since these people relate to your advocacy, you can build genuine relationships with them.

These micro influencers should be given freedom on how they present your product to their followers but you can work out guidelines on the campaign and brand goals enabling you to deliver your promotional ideas as you have envisioned.

How do you plan to use Micro Influencers in promoting your business?

Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

Speak Your Mind

*