When people hop online to research a product they are interested in buying, they are often met with an overwhelming, and sometimes confusing, amount of information. All that information can make it difficult for a brand to get their product or service in front of a potential customer. It’s a competitive space but the reward for winning a customer’s first purchase can be huge. Numerous studies have shown that if a brand or company can get their product or service to a customer first, that customer tends to be loyal towards that particular brand for a lifetime.
One of the ways brands are helping to get their name in front of the eyes of customers is through loyalty programs and word-of-mouth marketing. In the online space, this kind of word-of-mouth marketing comes via influencers and their highly engaged audiences. This tends to create customers that frequently engage with your brand and who are more more likely to share their passion about your product or service with the people they know. The rise of influencer marketing gives brands an online social presence and, as such, has helped brands get their names to the customers they care about the most.
Yet most brands think that the only way to drive sales with influencer marketing is to work with those individuals who have massive social media followings; celebrities, social media icons, etc. But the rise of micro-influencers and their small, dedicated followings has changed things considerably.
While a micro-influencer does not have the larger social media following of a traditional influencer, they tend to have an extremely engaged and trusting audience. And because of their smaller audience, micro-influencers tend to offer their influence for some free products or services. Where traditional influencers like celebrities or social media icons tend to charge high rate for their influence, micro-influencers are a lot more cost-effective. This not only allows your brand to target a very specific, highly-engaged audience, but also to do so at a much lower cost.
It’s perhaps best to think of the benefits of a micro-influencer compared to a traditional influencer in terms of a funnel. Traditional influencers create a funnel of influence that has a wide top and a narrow bottom, whereas a micro-influencer creates the reverse. The traditional influencer will provide you with a tremendous amount of leads, and slowly filter those down to some sales. A social media icon with a large following will share your brand with his/her following, regardless of whether or not the majority of their audience may be interested in it. This can create a few problems. While your brand did get a ton of exposure and you did make a few sales, you also potentially annoyed or irritated a lot of people who did not want to see your product or service on their feed. This kind of sales and marketing outreach may associate your brand with a negative experience––something no brand wants. But when you flip the funnel of influence, the exact opposite tends to happen.
The idea is pretty simple, but the application can be quite complex. You need to find a micro-influencer with a highly engaged, small audience who will vouch and promote your product or service to their followers. While not as many eyeballs will see your brand, those people that are shown your product or service will be much more likely to make a purchase, as they tend to interact and engage more with the micro-influencer as opposed to a traditional influencer. As the followers of that micro-influencer make their purchase, they will (hopefully) share their love of your brand with their own followers. As more and more people see your brand, your web of influence will grow, albeit with an audience that is engaged and loves your product right from the get-go. This is how effective micro-influencer marketing works. Here’s a guide to help you successfully navigate through your influencer marketing campaign.
The most important step in micro-influencer marketing is finding influencers whose interests and audience engagement align with those of your product or service. Likewise, you want to find an influencer who is willing to create positive social experience with your brand. Generally, micro-influencers will require that they test your product or service out before sharing it with their audience, and their followers know this. This is why a micro-influencer’s endorsement can be so influential with their following, regardless of its size.
And this is the essence of why micro-influencer marketing so effective. The loyalty that those followers have for the influencer that promotes your product will be automatically transferred to your brand. Building a strong foundation of customer loyalty can be one of those difficult things for a brand to do, but with a micro-influencer marketing, your company can build that loyalty right from the first impression. It’s a much more organic way for your brand to expand its influence and its proven to work.
While the traditional influencer model and funnel of influence has great potential for sales and exposure, the end result can sometimes be not what you expected, whether it be a negative online reaction or a mismatched audience. Finding the right micro-influencer with an engaged audience can be demonstrably more effective and can create results that last.
For help with your influencer or event marketing and social media strategy, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven Tulman is the CEO of Social Pulse Marketing Inc., a leading influencer marketing agency helping Fortune 500 companies increase brand awareness, improve consumer trust and loyalty, and influence consumer behavior. He is a social media marketing and sales expert, and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping companies grow through effective online marketing strategies, improved sales performance, and overall customer experience.